Your upcoming movie The Possessed - what is it about, and
what can you tell us about your character in it?
Well this is the description on IMDb Pro ;)
supernatural thriller set in New Orleans, The Possessed focuses on the
story of Ruby Blackwood, a stunning, yet sardonic private detective
who holds a dark secret."
will be playing Ruby/Lilith, two very different characters. I'm
very excited about doing this project and I have a feeling it will be
special indeed! Ruby is a very complex character with a really in-depth backstory. She has some secrets that are revealed as the film
progresses but I don't want to give anything away ;) You'll just have
to wait and see ;)
you prepare for your role, and to what extent do you identify with the
character of a sardonic private eye?
I am tackling this as
I do any role, with research, inspiration and an active imagination. I
have to identify at least a bit with every character I portray. It's what
makes them all human and relatable. I also try to watch films and shows
with the same type of subject matter to inspire me.
How did you first
get involved with the project, and how did you end up on the production
side of things as well?
I was approached by the director
about this character, and I've assisted before with a few castings and
such so I was asked to be an associate producer.
You have worked with The
Possessed's director Shawn Anthony quite a few times before - so what
can you tell us about him and your previous collaborations? And how did
you first meet, even?
I met Shawn years ago and we worked
together touring in stage magic - he was a professional illusionist and I
was looking for work in the performing arts, it just kind of happened. I
also was a fan of magic but my original love for acting outweighed my love
for stage magic (I was an assistant and an escape artist for a few years
but that also can take its toll physically on a person) so I went back to
my first love, which was acting in theatre at the time. So I started
focusing on film after taking a class, and during that time, Shawn wrote
me and told me he was tackling a screenplay called Soulmate and wrote to
me about it. I read for him and he loved my read, so that was the start to
working with him. That still is my fav role to date for film. It's out on
Vimeo. I also had a blast doing other feature films as well as two short
films called The Price and Bloodloss (another favorite character of mine
where I played a vampire trying to become human again). We've been friends
and collaborators since. He's become quite a phenomenal writer, director,
and cinematographer since then. I enjoy working with him. He's subtle and
writes female characters really well. They are strong and full of subtext.
I look for that in any screenplay I'm considering.
So any idea when The Possessed
might go into production?
Principal photography is slated
to begin early 2017 :)
Another film of yours that's
about to premiere is Laid to
Rest - so what's that one about, and who do you play?
Rest is about a ghost who is caught in limbo from an untimely death. I
play "Jessie" who is a restless spirit caught in limbo.
did you even draw upon to play a ghost?
I was inspired by
more of the "life" part than death - how precious it is and how
quickly it can go by. How we can lose everything in the blink of an eye. I
focused on dysfuntional relationships and the typical patterns to them, as
well more of the heart of who Jessie was. I also focused on what love is
to different people and how it may affect them. Loneliness and fear of
loss. Fear in general. What is the worst thing that can happen to a
person. They are alone. Some people also fear monotony and living the same
life and patterns over and over again. Sometimes I believe people go
through that until they learn from those patterns and can move on from
that static feeling of limbo.To me this was more of a drama than a horror
but definitely had undertones of gothic horror which you will see in
the film when the outcome of her situation is discovered.
Do talk about
your director Jennifer Valdes, and your collaboration with her!
Jenn has an artist's heart and a gothic vision when it comes to her
screenplays. I loved her ideas which she purveyed in her script for Laid to
Rest. She also is a very sweet person and I'm so happy I had the
opportunity to work with her as I'd been wanting to for a few years. She
and I seemed to be on the same page for my character. If I had questions
she was very quick to respond to them. Collaborating with her was a lot
It's so exciting that this film is premiering at the Macabre Faire
Festival and Shawn Anthony was nominated for Best Cinematographer! And,
recently it also was accepted in The Winter Film Awards. So hopefully
all the hard work we did together is paying off :)
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
It was a lot of fun with some really great people who love what they do
simply put. I've even kept in touch with several of the lovely people I
met. Who knows maybe I'll collaborate with them again in the future.
Either way I've made some friends for life.
other current and future projects you'd like to talk about?
Currently I'm waiting as said to film The Possessed, which will be the
most challenging project I'll have worked on to date for multiple
reasons. It's just an all around larger scale production with a really
incredible cast and crew assembled as well as a killer script. I
also have other feature film projects coming out this year such as The
Haunted where I play Katherine Blackwood. Then I'm supposed to be
filming 315 Wicked Way in the role of "Siren", and
Twincarnation as the Aksos Twins, and continuing Tales of Horror as the
show's host Lilith Death, which is an anthology of short horror films
on Vimeo. I do have other projects but I am afraid I am not yet allowed
to discuss them. Both feature films and short films and am also in talks
for several projects as well. I will post info on my website as it's
On another note, I did some voiceover work recently including Red Brew,
a short story that can be found on my website, as well as for Camcorder
TV called I Am the One Who Screams. I love voice over work
as well, almost as much as film work. But I'm always looking for inspiring work
that challenges me in new ways as an artist and that I find relatable. I
occasionally do some modeling for cosplay, magazines, couture, and novel
covers. That's always fun and a totally different type of art. But I
love them all.
got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
I've loved acting since I was a kid. Probably around the age of 5
when I did Cinderella in camp, lol. My dad was very much into acting
and broadcasting and he introduced me to the world of theatre
and film, so my love of the craft comes from him honestly. He even
also had a degree in it. But yes I have I started training when I
was about 13-18 with other kids at a professional studio, and during
that time in high school I was in plays every year, did some
community theatre, took drama class each year, and was head of the
drama club for a bit. Following that, I received an honorable
mention for MD Distinguished Scholars in Acting. Then I earned a
small scholarship in college for acting as well. After which I went
on to earn a BA in Theatre. Once I was finished I toured
professionally with several companies, did dinner theatre, summer
stock, and some semi professional work and after for a few years did
some touring stage magic as mentioned as well as performed in Las
Vegas for a Halloween season. Once this started to settle down, I
decided to take a class for acting for the camera. The film bug got
me and here I am. I was thrilled to have won 2 Awards for my
portrayal of Katie Stephens in Soulmate at 2 different
WMIFF and HMIFF. During college, I discovered voice-over work as
well. Since then, I've tackled character work to video games to
industrial work and narration.
Honestly though much of my training is from experience and
learning from being on stage or on a set. Nothing really prepares
you for that until you actually do it. I never put down anyone for
not studying but some of the work I did in school did help too and
I'll always be eternally grateful to those teachers who gave me that
education and discipline, and while I am a believer in honing one's
craft, I believe also that either it's there in the person already
or it's not. All of this experience certainly gave me a well needed
appreciation for this artform. It's all I've ever wanted to do.
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Laid to
Rest and The Possessed?
I've done some drama, sci-fi, horror, and dark comedy. Most of the roles
I'm cast in seem to be attached to supernatural thrillers or gothic
pieces. I'm not sure why but perhaps there is an innate part of me that
is just simply drawn to it. I've also worked on several of those reenactment crime series shows such
as Copycat Killers, I Was Possessed, and Southern Fried
Homicide. You know the types where true
crimes or bizarre stories are said to have occurred in real life.
Those were fun. As mentioned I've worked on anthologies on Vimeo and webseries etc, and may be doing another one soon. I started off
doing extra work while doing theatre, and student films and then it just
kind of escalated. I'm still waiting for several projects to come out.,
some as old as 2009. But really I just kind of go where the work finds
me and to characters I'm drawn to. It seems I am also cast as the anti hero type, and majority of them are supernatural related as
i.e.: witches, demons, psychics, gypsies, ghosts, goddesses. All of which
to me are always fascinating and unique to portray. But I'd never rule
out a good drama, fantasy, or epic tale ;)
your filmography, one can't but notice that you've been in quite a few
horror movies - at all a genre dear to you, and why (not)?
as I mentioned above they just seem to find me. Sometimes I audition and
sometimes people have been known to reach out and show me their scripts
where a character seems to fit my description and ability as they
perceive it. I am a huge fan of fantasy and sci fi and of course
supernatural thrillers. But I never rule a project out by genre, I just
go to what calls to me which is not ever set in stone.
would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
I take on each project
individually so there is no real singular method. Some are more
realistic and some have more of an artistic or macabre flare to them but I
always try to find the best way to humanize these characters. I'm a very
internal actor. Sometimes I work on specific physicalities with the
body to mark how a character starts off. They have certain ticks etc that
make them who they are. Or it's more internal than that. I use personal
experience to mold how they grow or react. I've studied multiple
techniques, and methods in school and workshops, as well as movements.
Laban and Alexander etc. I tend to do a lot of mirror work when it comes
to the more intense work for scenes etc, and I watch others work for
inspiration sometimes, or I even will listen to music for inspiration. I
also have a strict habit of warmups to help me loosen up vocally and
phsyically for every project I do. I probably sound like a nut to
the average joe but there are many actors out there who I'm sure have
their bizarre seeming routines. I just go where I can as far as I
can to the best of my ability. And I always give 110% on every project I
work on. I can't accept less.
Actresses (and indeed
actors) who inspire you?
Hmm, well I've been asked this
question multiple times and it really hasn't changed much. Helena
Bohnam Carter, Eva Green (her work on Penny Dreadful is awe inspiring),
Cate Blanchett, Jessica Lange, Vera Farmiga , and many others. I'm also
hugely inspired by Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, and Johnny Depp. All
of these actors have intensely inspired me at one point or another.
Your favourite movies?
Wow there are way too many to list! But offhand I can list a few... I'd
say Labyrinth (fav when I was a little girl),
Edward Scissorhands, Big
Fish, Rent, Lord of the Rings ... so many ... I think I'm caught
more on some T series now than films though - Penny Dreadful, The OA, Sense8,
Buffy the Vampire
Stranger Things, Black Sails, Da Vinci's Demons,
some of the best acting right now is on TV! All of these are so good!!!
and of course, films you really deplore?
Well I don't like
to put negative things out about others work. Honestly I suppose that
would depend on direction but I prefer more serious quality filming. I am
not going to list any specific film as I hate to throw anyone under the
Facebook, whatever else?
(I have some links to other things on there as well as some of my social
Facebook fanpage: www.facebook.com/actressjessicafelice/
Stage 32: www.stage32.com/profile/22964
Occasionally I'm a guest interviewer for SQ podcast Bloodline which is a
lot of fun - www.facebook.com/SQHorrorMagazine/
For updates on any of the Harvest Moon projects like The
Possessed, The Haunted, and Tales of Horror please go to:
Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I just want to
say thank you so much for this amazing opportunity and to everyone who has
shown me such love and support along the way. It means so much to me. For
that I'll always be grateful. Much love and for those pursuing a career in
film, I wish you much inspiration, personal growth, and success! Cheers xo