Jamie Bernadette Talks Acting And The State Of Women In The Film Industry

March 17, 2018

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of HorrorFuel.com. She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: horrorfuelinfo@gmail.com

I sat down with actress Jamie Bernadette who has a lot of films coming up, including two films out this April, 4/20 Massacre and Killing Joan. Bernadette gave us insight into the films and a look at what’s to come.
Jamie also told us about what it’s like to be a woman in the film industry, harder than you thought it would ever be.
Horror Fuel: “Your first two roles were in truth based serial killer films, ‘Son of Sam’ and ‘Nightstalker’, both written and directed by Ulli Lommel. How did that happen?”
Jamie Bernadette: “I mean, it just kind of happened. My friend was cast in the lead in ‘Son of Sam’ and referred me for a role.  That’s when Ulli Lommel was like ‘Sure, yeah, have her come.’ That’s how that happened.”
Horror Fuel: “I noticed you in ‘American Satan’. That’s such an incredible movie. Tell us about your character, Juliette.”
Jamie Bernadette: “It is a great movie. I play Juliette, the assistant to Mark Boone Jr., the bands’ music producer.”
Horror Fuel: “You have two films that are about to be released, ‘4/20 Massacre’ and ‘Killing Joan’, how are you feeling, excited, nervous?”
Jamie Bernadette: “It’s exciting for sure. That’s never happened before where I had two movies come out on the exact same day. I like to help market my films so I want to make sure that I give each film the same amount of attention. I hope I don’t drive people crazy on social media, hitting them with two movies at the same time.”
Horror Fuel: “I’m sure they enjoy it.”
Horror Fuel: “How would you describe your character Joan in ‘Killing Joan’?”
Jamie Bernadette: “She is a loose cannon, she’s impulsive, she’s over the top, angry. When she transitions into the afterlife she still carries some of that with her. Now we see a more vulnerable side, that’s the character arc. She’s changed quite a bit, as most people often do with a near-death experience. She does change. She’s over-the-top sometimes, but that’s the way that the director wanted it. This film has a very comic book, artistic, stylistic feel to it. A couple of reviewers have said that it could have been animated.”

Horror Fuel: “In the movie, you’re a bit of a bad ass, did you have to do any special preparation for it?”
Jamie Bernadette: “I did a lot of work with our stunt coordinator, but I have done a lot of stunt work and fighting before. It wasn’t like I was new at this.”
Horror Fuel: “You have some fight scenes in ‘4/20 Massacre’ as well. What’s it like to play a woman fighting a maniac?”
Jamie Bernadette: “Physically, it was a demanding role. There was this scene where I had to flip him over my back. It was definitely a challenge, but we had fight rehearsals in a Karate studio. I was sore, but I love doing that stuff. The guy who plays the killer, James Gregory, he wasn’t enormous, so that helped. He wasn’t a six-foot-four human being, so it wasn’t too bad.”
Horror Fuel: “If you will, give our readers a little taste of what ‘4/20 Massacre’ is about.”
Jamie Bernadette: “It’s basically about five girls who go on a camping trip for my character, Jess’s birthday. They are in an area where marijuana fields are growing. Our writer and director Dylan Reynolds, based on true stories of people who go to the marijuana fields and get killed. They’re messing with someone’s crop. That was his inspiration. We meet a guy who has gone there to steal the pot, but he gives us the pot because his friend was killed and he’s being chased. Now we’re like the next ones who are going to get it.”

Horror Fuel: “I have a question, with this being a pot movie, what were people in the scenes really smoking?”
Jamie Bernadette: ” It was some form of fake stuff. I don’t know what it was. It wasn’t real marijuana.”
Horror Fuel: “Oh, that’s no fun for the actors. [laughter].
Jamie Bernadette: [laughter]
Horror Fuel: “What was it like working with a nearly all-female cast?”
Jamie Bernadette: “It was great. I loved that dynamic a lot. There were six of us women. You know when you’re young and at a slumber party and you had so much fun before boys were involved? It’s like you’re eleven again and hanging out with your girlfriends. I really enjoy that.”

Horror Fuel: “Are you working on anything now?”
Jamie Bernadette: “Yeah, I just finished a film called ‘Cerberus’ with  Sean Cain directing. It was a blast. I play a villain, a really wicked crazy person. I just wrapped that Friday.
Now, I’m going to South Africa to shoot a film called ‘The Furnace’ by Oscar-nominated director Darrell Roodt. It’s the same production team as the movie ‘The Lullaby’, a beautiful horror film. It’s stunning. I think it’s ground-breaking in horror. It’s absolutely gorgeous. My film is a survival drama. My character lost everything, her husband, one lung. I end up training and doing the toughest race through the desert with one lung. In a lot of the movie, I’m in the desert by myself. I’ve always wanted to do a survival movie. I’m really excited about working with these filmmakers. I leave on Saturday.
Then, in the Fall I’m working on ‘Harvest Moon’ with Robert Englund who played Freddy Krueger. That’s going to be incredible. He was my childhood icon. I was obsessed with ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’. I knew every line of the film, I acted it out. I watched it over and over. It’s just surreal that I will be working with him. Maria Olsen is also in the film. She’s one of my best friends. We worked together on ‘I Spit on Your Grave: Dejavu’. We worked together on ‘Bunnyman’ but did not have a scene together, but I knew of her. I’m really excited to work with her again.”
Horror Fuel: “I actually interviewed Reine Swart from ‘The Lullaby’ recently. She’s amazing.”
Jamie Bernadette: “She’s great. We met at the premiere here in Hollywood.”
Horror Fuel: “So is ‘Harvest Moon’ a horror film?”
Jamie Bernadette: “Yeah. Oh, I have another film coming out called ‘Backseat’, it’s a big, big film with Amy Adams, Steve Carell, and Christina Bale. I have one scene with an A-list actor,  I can’t say who, but fingers crossed it will stay in, they cut so much.”
I also have The 6th Friend’ which I co-wrote and produced coming out too this year. And I have ‘State of Desolation‘ that I also starred in and produced. I’m really excited to have my own projects. It really has been a great experience having a say every step of the way, right down to the color, the music, the editing, everything that goes into making a film.
Horror Fuel: “Have you considered making the leap to directing?”
Jamie Bernadette: “It’s definitely not out of the question. I think that would be a lot of fun.”
Horror Fuel: “Well, hopefully, we’ll see you listed as a director one of these days. Maybe a horror film?”
Jamie Bernadette: “It probably would be. I love the genre. When I think about it and I write, I write a lot too, that’s I’ll direct it. It would definitely be horror.”
Horror Fuel: “That would be great. We need more female directors in horror.”
Jamie Bernadette: “Absolutely, we need more women in horror, well in every genre. It’s crazy. I think the last statistic I heard was that it’s seventy percent men behind the camera. We really do need more. Women directors have a really hard time. Man, whose interview was I reading? It was a female director, I didn’t know her personally. She directed a really impressive film and then had trouble getting a job. She was working on top-tier films. But hopefully, things are changing with all the women’s movements going on right now in entertainment and we will see more directors, and writers, and artists.”
Horror Fuel: “Women have so many stories to tell. It’s a shame things have been and are like that.”
Jamie Bernadette: “I know, I know. I think there are some people who don’t take women as seriously as men. My boyfriend at the time, when I was producing, there was twice that I had to put him on the phone. I had been on the phone for forty-five minutes trying to get something done and I put him on the phone and he was on there for a minute and had it taken care of.”
Horror Fuel: “Oh, wow!”
Jamie Bernadette: “I bet a lot of people think that it’s not still a thing, discrimination against women, but it actually is. We’ve come a long, long way since the 40’s, 50’s, 70’s, we really have, but when I put myself in a position of power, I definitely experienced it on both films. I was like, ‘Wow, is this really a thing?’
Horror Fuel: “That’s insane. I can’t understand how it’s still like that.”
Jamie Bernadette: “It’s unbelievable. I actually had someone on the film who wouldn’t talk to me but would talk to the male producer. ”
Horror Fuel: “What?”
Jamie Bernadette: “Oh, yeah. And we noticed. Why wouldn’t he talk to me? Because I’m a woman! So, yeah it’s definitely a thing.
That night I needed some lights picked up and they didn’t want to come pick them up. The space we were renting needed them out. I was talking to this woman for like forty-five minutes. My boyfriend gets on the phone and in one minute she’s like, ‘Okay, we’ll have them come pick up the lights.’ I’m not exaggerating. My mouth was dropping open. After that, I would just hand my boyfriend the phone to handle stuff and it would be done. It’s amazing.”
Horror Fuel: “It’s mind-blowing that things like that are still going on.”
Jamie Bernadette: “It got so bad that my producing partner, who is a woman, and I would turn things over to a man when we were having problems. We would go to her dad and say, ‘Please call these people. They’ll listen to you, you’re a man. We learned that people don’t listen to us.”
Horror Fuel: “You need to get you one of those voice changers, but it’s a shame you’d have to resort to doing things like that.”
Jamie Bernadette: “That’s a great idea.”
Horror Fuel: “I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was that bad.”
Jamie Bernadette: “Yeah, it’s that bad.”
Horror Fuel: “You’re a busy woman. How do you balance life and acting?”
Jamie Bernadette: “I’m a workaholic type. I don’t party, I rarely drink. I’m not really a partier. I just work. I work seven days a week rather it’s marketing or working on a film. It’s just what I do. To let off stress I like to go on trips for like ten days. I love to work though. It’s my purpose. I do it because I want to do it and I love it.
Horror Fuel: “It’s great that you have something you really love and that you have a great work ethic.”
While I am excited to see Jamie’s upcoming projects, I am left sad knowing that she faces such hardship as a woman in the film industry. I truly hope that industry changes and that Jamie continues to kick ass as a talented actress and filmmaker. To stay up to date on Jamie Bernadette’s projects please follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Be sure to check out 4/20 Massacre and Killing Joan. Both will be released on April 3, 2018.

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