Today Jessica Morris stops by for a quick chat about some of her many upcoming films including Jamie Bernadette’s 6th Friend and On the Horizon. You’ll most likely know Jessica from her role as Linda the teacher from Role Models and from 2012’s Reel Evil. Read on to see what she has to say…
Hello there, thanks for speaking with me today! How are you?
Hi, I’m great! I appreciate your interest in my work.
Let’s talk about Claire; what can you tell us about your short film then?
Claire is a drama about a mentally unstable girl and her “roommate” and how they deal with a breakup in extremely opposite ways.
What inspired you to pick up a pen and write this first script?
I’ve always loved to write. I remember when I was around 12 I entered a poetry contest and won first place with my poem about why I love my mum! My writing has gotten a bit darker over the years though I’d say. So I’ve dabbled here and there. But honestly, one day I just woke up and this first short film script spilled out of me. I finished it in a day.
What’s it like acting in a film which you wrote? Does it affect the way you think about the character and your lines?
As an actor I always think of the character’s back story and innermost desires and fears, etc.. But acting in a film that I wrote definitely did make me dig deeper and connect more. I mean how could it not, right?! It came from my own imagination.
I can really understand now how a writer and a director need to be on the same page about what they are trying to convey with a film. Luckily my director, Mike Hoy ,and I do have a similar vision. I admit it is a little tough in that situation though to take a step back and just trust the director, in the moment, to give it his own spin.
Talking of writing films and acting in them, not so long ago I spoke to Jamie Bernadette but we never got around to talking about her film The 6th Friend, how did that shoot go? What can you tell us about the film?
Jamie is such a talented and hard working actress and producer. It was fun on the 6th Friend because it was a primarily all female cast and with a female director. So it was girl power all the way! We shot it at a beautiful cabin in the woods and came out of it with a group of new friends.
A few years ago you described Role Models as being one of the most fun shoots you’ve ever done, what did you particularly enjoy about that shoot?
David Wain, the director, was exciting to work with because he allowed some improvising and playing. He threw out some alternate lines that were hilarious. And even though it was a pretty big studio movie, it felt like a really chill set atmosphere.
What do you particularly look for in a role then? Is comedy something you would like to do a lot of?
I tend to actually gravitate more towards drama. I have the most experience with it and I do feel that I excel in that genre. That being said, it is a nice change of pace when I have the opportunity to be in a comedy or play a character that has some silly or quirky traits. I also love roles where you can see a strong arc for the character throughout the course of the script.
I was drawn to On The Horizon because it is a story about relationships and every character is searching for love and happiness in different ways. I can relate to this life long quest and I think most people can. Also Pascal Payant, the director, is known for making his films visually stunning.
And finally, what else should we be looking out for you in?
Let’s see… I’ve got quite a few irons in the fire. I’m one of the leads in a film called In Search of America that will be doing the festival circuit this year. It is a moving story about two women, from different walks of life, who find freedom and independence from the man in their life. I’m also doing finishing touches on a feature film script called Under Our Thumbs with my writing partners, Melissa Archer and John Paul Lavoisier. We hope to go into production on that next year. I’ll keep you updated. Things in this business turn on a dime. And that’s what I love about it!
Thanks again for your time today!
Thanks for reading everyone, be sure to leave a comment below!