Jessica Cameron is one of horror's favourite actresses, she didn't always want to be an actress though, she started off after leaving university, as a fashion designer, only making the leap into acting after taking some classes, she says she was 'bitten by the bug', so I started off our interview by asking what it was that bit her? What makes someone who has studied for a degree in fashion and presumably had a 'game plan' ditch it all and go down the road of making a career in acting?
"Fashion design was not at all creative in its real life applications and I did not like many of those who I had to surround myself in that industry. It was a very catty atmosphere and I found myself stuck in a high school environment. Acting was such a creative release and was by far the most difficult thing that I ever had to do. I am not one who shows my emotions often to others. I can count the number of people that have seen me cry in real life. So to be emotional and raw in front of the camera, cast and crew is difficult to say the least. I am a firm believer that usually the hardest choice is the right one. It was the challenge to do something that was so hard so well that attracted me to it as a career choice."
You have appeared in many productions, including indie movies, movies, TV shows and web series', do you have a preference? I know as far as the independent movie making business goes, there is a lot of horror films and a lot of low budgets.
"For me its all about the story and the character, I honestly don't care which medium it is presented in. So long as it is done well and it is marketable - at the end of the day I just want to get it out there. The preparation is different since films typically take place over a shorter span of time where as tv shows and web series can go for years. I am a BIG fan of "living the life as opposed to playing a character - there's more truth in it for me. So I try to focus on how my character lives her every day, not just the day that the film or show starts on."
Following on from the question above, do you have a favourite genre? What would be your dream movie role for instance?
"HORROR! Its my favorite to watch and act in. Its the most challenging for me personally since most people don't have a frame of reference for the subject matter. Very few people have escaped a serial killer, few have encountered that cannibal family in the woods and lived to tell the tale, no one I know has ever seen a vampire or werewolf. So to make the story believable you really have to tap onto that deep dark place of fear and survival while staying in character and in the situation. Much more difficult compared to other genres that often tackle "real life issues". I mean, we all know what a sad woman who's questioning her life at a coffee shop looks like, I would rather be running from that demon myself ; )"
Your look could be described as “girl next door”, but looking at the work you have done, it is incredibly varied, and so that description could belie the truth a little, if you were to describe Jessica Cameron in 20 words, what would those words be?
"Truthful, passionate, real, kind, compassionate, understanding, determined, hard working, responsible, FIGHTER, fearless, hurting, loving, loyal, strong, competitive, ambitious, cat lover.
(Side note - putting yourself into 20 words is actually harder then you would think, I highly recommend everyone try this)."
The acting world, whether it be indie or mainstream is incredibly competitive, taking no prisoners and spitting out those it doesn’t want to play with anymore! If you and I were sitting down in five years time with a cuppa and a sticky bun, where would you hope your career had taken you?
"I would hope that I am working with some of my favorite people from the past and some new brilliant people that I have yet to meet. In the perfect world I would tell you tales about some of the more action oriented films I have done (I really want to do more stunts and fighting) and how it took a lot of courage and training to ….(insert crazy random stunt here). I will have produced and starred in several films that really resonate with the horror community today and gave the right people opportunities that they deserved. I hope that I will be surrounded in my work and personal life with people who bring out the best in me and in return I shall do the same. I hope that I can tell you how I am making the world a better place, what I am doing to make a difference and really impact the world that we are in -I will be involved with more charities in larger capacities. I expect that I will be happy, and hopefully have made others happy along the way!
"I know you, the reader, are probably going "but what about the money, fame, awards, accolades?" Honestly, fuck all that. I just want to make movies and hopefully make the world a better place. But that's just me, I am sure that Donald Trump would disagree ; )."
It is always great to get a perspective from someone who has 'been there and done it', if there is someone sitting now in the position you were in, when you decided fashion design was out and acting was in – musing over taking that big step – what advice could you give them?
"To start pursuing their dream every moment of every day. Seriously - thats about 18 hours a day, 7 days a week….If you have to sleep; ) Remove every distraction you can - unnecessary expenses, faux friends, etc. Live as frugally as possible so that you can focus on the art and the craft and not paying for an over priced apartment or credit cards.
Any creative career is one that requires an extreme amount of effort and energy for YEARS before any recognition or compensation is received, typically at least (yes there are those rare exceptions who land a major role right away but it is just like playing the lottery). And know that you will have to move to a major market if you continue your path (so if you are unable to move due to family or any other restrictions and are living in a small market/town….sorry, but you can still have a fun hobby!).
If you are looking for fame, glamour or money then you had better choose any other career.
If you don't love it then don't do it, its simply not worth it unless its so deep within you that you do not have a choice."
You have already worked with some really great people, does it feel like a privilege at times to be a part of a world so many dream they were in?
"Every morning when I wake up and I don't have to force myself to go into some horrible office I know that I am truly blessed. Then I realize that I get to read scripts, review my emails and plan my next character and it feels like a privilege. Then I realize that there are not enough hours in the day and I had better get to work ! )
So in short- YES!"
What are you currently working on? Can you give our readers a sneaky peek into what is coming up for you next?
"I just wrapped a wonderful indy film in Florida, "Intrusive Behavior". Here is the plot outline:
'After 10 year old Heidi is committed to an institution for behavioral problems, Her family moves on with their lives. When they are told Heidi has committed suicide they feel they can finally break free of the guilt of abandoning their child 15 years earlier. But all is not what it seems as the family is stalked by an intruder who has a debt to settle.'
In this film I play the new fiance of Josh whose family is going through all the emotions that come from loosing their child. Its always very challenging to have to portray aaa people when they are at their weakest, its not a pleasant place to go as an actress. That being said my co-star Heather Dorff was amazing and though I do not want to say any spoilers I will say that horror fans are going to really love our character arcs and our interactions.
You can find out more about this project on its Facebook page here.
I am also working with one of my favorite Canadian directors, Ryan M. Andrews on a project that I am extremely excited about called "Til Death". Here is the plot outline:
'Not much goes on in the sleepy little Hamlet of Brekken Cross. When newlywed couple, Patricia and Matthew Abbott, stop for the night at the local bed & breakfast, Patricia falls in love with its quaint inspirational setting. But neither of them can prepare themselves for the horrors that await.'
Not only will I play the female lead in this but I am also going to produce it in my home country, Canada. Ryan M. Andrews is one of the most intelligent, passionate, creative people that I have ever known and I consider him a blessing in my life.
Ryan will be updating his page with all the info about this cool project, find out more here.
Finally I just finished co-writing a wonderful little torture porn flick entitled Truth or Dare. I am really looking forward to shooting this one later this year!I will be starring in and producing this one as well. Here's the plot outline:
'6 college kids find internet stardom when they make “Truth or Dare” videos with a violent twist. It is all fun and games until their number one fan takes them hostage and makes them play by his own rules….'
More info to come soon.
So needless to say 2013 will be a busy year for sure!"
We always end every interview with some just for fun questions, and this one is no different!
"YAY - GO!"
Which six people living or dead would attend your dream dinner party?
"I would definitely pick some of the amazing people that have passed away...Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Princess Diana, Henry Ford and my Mom and Dad.
My Mom and Dad because I miss them so very much and would give anything to see them once more. Marilyn for me as I am a HUGE fan. My father loved John Wayne (I would have to sit through so many westerns as a child) and he really respected Henry Ford (growing up we would vacation in Detroit so that we could see all the Henry Ford stuff). My Mom would just have a BLAST with everyone. This would make for some amazing dinner conversations ; ) I would be curious to see how Marilyn would interact with John and Henry - each very successful in very different careers.
Now THAT would be one hell of a diner party ; )."
Do you sing in the shower? And if so what?
"Sadly I do not sing in the shower. I placed 2nd in two singing competitions as a child and vowed never to sing again. True story."
What album/music is currently in your Ipod/MP3 player etc?
"I do not own an Ipod/MP3 player…"
Are you superstitious or have any quirky fears?
"Bad things happen in threes… Seriously. This is a truth, isn't it?
Every time I think I have dispelled this myth with 1 bad thing happening sure enough there's a second and then a third!
I also hate garbage disposals. Even when they are off. I just have this strong visual image of my hand getting stuck in one and it getting turned on….so I just avoid kitchens with them."
Like what you have read? Then these will be handy ;):