Today we sit down with actress Jamie Bernadette to talk about her upcoming zombie movie State of Desolation. Jamie (The Bunnyman Massacre, Secret Children) has been very busy recently with a large array of exciting different projects. Although we didn’t have time to cover them all here, we do go in depth about the upcoming horror movie and also hear a little about her appearance opposite Johnny Depp in the upcoming Mortdecai. Read on for more…
Hey there, thanks for taking the time out to speak with me! I hope you’re well?
I’m doing great! Busy, which is always a good thing for an actor!
I’ve been excited for State of Desolation pretty much since I spoke to Jim Towns last year, what can you tell me about the plot and what we’re going to see when it’s released?
It’s the story of an unusual relationship forged between an aging mercenary and a young pampered suburbanite as they both try to survive the Apocalypse. There’s blood and gore and all of that but you are also going to see a lot of dark drama with a few lighter moments. You’ll see two very different people navigate their way through a crumbling world of zombies, cannibals, carnage, and wreckage, searching blindly for any way out, any way to some sort of safe haven.
And what about your character and her relationship with Craig Starks?
My character, Claire, is not much of a tomboy to say the least. She begins the film as a very weak, naïve person and Craig Stark’s character, Freddie, helps mold her into the strong force that she becomes. I love the relationship between Claire and Freddie and Craig and I have a ton of fun with it. Freddie is the tough, hardened and sometimes cynical one, having lived a very burdensome life and Claire is the complete opposite. She’s had everything given to her and has lived a simple life of parties and friends and the most she’s had to worry about is how she will do her hair or mend a broken fingernail. However, as the story progresses, Claire proves to be very intelligent and steadfast, withstanding extreme circumstances and the harshness of the physical environment. The relationship between Claire and Freddie is similar to a father-daughter relationship, rather than a romantic one.
Film is also very intimate. The camera is just a few inches from your face and you are letting people see into your very soul.
– Jamie Bernadette
Sounds good! You’ve collaborated with Jim before and have future projects lined up as well, what is it about him which makes him such a go to writer/director?
Jim is one of the smartest, most creative directors I know. He’s an artistic genius. Not only that, he’s also great to work with. He’s laid back, fun, hard-working, and trustworthy. He’s a down-to-earth guy and that makes everyone comfortable on set.
How much of a presence are the zombies? Is this going to be a story primarily of survival with occasional monsters, or will it be tending more towards an onslaught of zombies?
I wouldn’t say it’s an onslaught of zombies, like in World War Z, but the presence of zombies is always there and it is part of the survival landscape that these two characters journey through. There definitely is some very gruesome zombie fights and Craig and I went through machete fight training to prepare.
That’s what I was hoping to hear! In the past you’ve mentioned how your training in ballet has helped with your fight scenes, is that training going to come in useful in State of Desolation?
Fighting in film is always about choreography so yes, I would say that my ballet training always helps.
Yes, that would be amazing. I would welcome all of that refresher training for sure. I love ballet and I always have and always will. I won’t cry in some very sad films but I will go to a ballet and definitely cry. I think it’s such a beautiful form of art.
I believe you started out in the theatre and since then you have done a number of productions including Arsenic and Old Lace (a favourite of mine!). Would you return to the stage at some point in the future?
That is always a possibility. I would love to do a Broadway show at some point and staying in New York would be a fun experience. I was just there for the first time last February doing a film with some of the actresses from The 6th Friend. We had a great time.
I chatted to Mira Furlan a while back and she said something which I found pretty interesting, that ‘Theatre is the most Buddhist art in the sense that it stops existing as soon as it’s born’. Do you agree with that? Is theatre’s transience something that appeals to you, or do you prefer the stability of film?
I see exactly what Mira means, having studied the Buddhist teachings regarding present time myself. Yes, theatre only exists in present time, which makes it a very unique art form. There really is nothing quite like theatre and that was my first love. I love the camaraderie with the actors and crew that develops over the course of putting a show together. You sometimes spend months with the same people rehearsing and therein form a deep bond. However, if I had to choose between the two, I would choose to do film, as I very much have, and one of the reasons is that it is perpetual. I love that you can go back and watch your favorite films over and over again. Film is also very intimate. The camera is just a few inches from your face and you are letting people see into your very soul.
We shot a bit more than what you see in the trailer and as the trailer touches upon, there’s a bit of a flirtation going on between the characters of Johnny Depp and Paul Bettany with my character and that of Ashley Pennington’s. It was a very fun shoot and Johnny and Paul are very humble and kind.
Oh nice! You seem to have a million different projects coming out, what should we be keeping our eyes on over the coming months in order to see more of you?
I have three more horror films coming out soon; Mile Marker Seven, Face of Evil and the one I wrote The 6th Friend. I think we should see all of those in 2015. I have a couple of comedies on the way in 2015, What Now in which I play an angsty goth chick, and a brief appearance as a sexy robot in Hot Bot. I have a couple of cameos in some TV shows, such as Glee and Mad Men coming out in 2015.
Fantastic, you really are busy! Thanks again for speaking with me today!
Thanks for the interview!