the 2009 B
Movie Celebration, actress Jessica Cameron showed up with a
mission. She wanted to win a Golden Cob award. Some might not think
that was a lofty goal, but Jessica had decided that this independent
film award would be a good milestone for her burgeoning carrier. One
year, and 14 film roles later, she strides across the stage at the
Artcraft Theater to accept the Golden Cob award for Best Rising B
Movie Actress for her role in ABSOLUTION. This isn’t surprising to
anyone who’s met her. Jessica’s drive and determination are matched
only by her friendly and outgoing nature.
vibrant and talented actress has taken time out of her busy schedule
to talk with B Movie Man Nic Brown about some of her newest roles,
how she got her start in the business, and why Jim Wynorski yelling
at her to “do it again and this time don’t suck” was really a good
Nic - Jessica,
how'd you get started as an actress?
Jessica - It's
an ironic story actually. I was hired at a clothing company for my
first "real" job after school. At my first year end review I was
informed that I spoke too quickly so my boss suggested I take an
acting class. I did and I was bitten by the bug. For 2 years I just
took classes and had a BLAST. My teacher kept bugging me to go out
and audition and I held off since I already was working a lot at my
day job. I finally did an audition and haven't stopped since.
Nic - What's your favorite
part of acting?
Jessica - I
like to make people feel. That sounds pretty simple on paper and yet
it is very hard to do on film. I want to reach the audience in a
very real and intense way. I work very hard to ensure that my
performance is as believable as possible. I think the audience
Nic - You're involved in a
number of projects right now, can you tell us about some of them?
Jessica - I
would love to!
THE PERFECT CHILD - This is going to be my first intense drama.
After the government passes a law requiring citizens to be
genetically coded, a couple’s dark past comes back to haunt them.
With the birth of their son, and the father’s questionable genes,
the couple must decide whether to ignore the new law and hope that
their love is stronger than genetics, or get coded and allow the
government to control their fate and the fate of their son....
PREY TO GOD - This is going to be an epic horror film. In it my
character, Monica, gets to kick some major butt! Four teenagers and
a tag along little brother embark on a fun-filled camping trip. They
are looking forward to a weekend of fun, adventure and, for four of
them, a little beer-enhanced romance in the woods. After driving for
quite a while, they decide to stop at a diner to stretch their legs
and ease their hunger. While there, the waitress confirms the
existence of a nearby graveyard, which is the source of several
local legends and piques the curiosity of the young campers.
The group sets
out in search for this graveyard and the rumored loot buried there.
They set up camp and settle in for a night of fun and relaxation.
But that night, one of the campers disappears into the wilderness.
Soon, the teens become entangled in the local legend, realizing that
the potential rewards are attached to terrifying risk from a
twisted, backwoods family who want to cleanse the campers' souls
through purification of their flesh.
AS THOUGH DEAD - The end is near and the rapture process has
started. During this event the wrath of God will be revealed and the
faith of others will be tested. A group of people come together in a
church and they must take sides before each of them get taken one by
one, but the question is what one person believes is the rapture
process could be something else, something terrible. The future of
our society is put in the hands of a few, but they must find the
faith and courage it takes to save what’s left. My character,
Elizabeth, is a street smart dancer that helps the group fight for
THE JERSEY DEVIL - For over 260 years, people living near
Pine Barrens have been terror ized by a creature straight from the
bowels of hell. The Jersey Devil, said to be the offspring of a
colonial witch and Satan himself, has the features of a man, a horse
and a goat. It has evil red eyes and large, leathery wings which can
carry it aloft over its terrorized witnesses. Though the creature
has been reported by over 2000 people, there are still those who
call it a legend, a fairy tale, or a fake.
character), a young woman going through hard times after being laid
off, takes aroom at Mrs. Hammerstrom's boarding house, on the edge of the Pine
Barrens. She soon begins to suspect that there is something out
there, in the dark, watching her and the other women at the boarding
house. Something monstrous. Something evil.
Nic - You've
got all these different projects coming out and many of them are
from the horror genre. How would you feel if you ended up with the
label "Scream Queen"?
Honestly, I don't care about labels or what people call me so long
as they see the films. :) I am just flattered that people know who I
am at all! That being said, some people do consider me a scream
queen, and I consider it a compliment. I have a GREAT scream, or so
I have been told. :)
Nic - Do you
enjoy watching horror films?
Jessica - I
They are my
favorite films to watch and to act in. I love acting in those
projects - they are such a great challenge since you have to work
really hard to make it believable to the audience. For me it is a
harder challenge to run from a zombie or hide from a killer and make
that believable to the audience since I have never experienced
anything like that. I am totally out of my comfort zone and throwing
myself into the script and character to make sure that the audience
believes my performance.
However, it is
easier for me to act in other genres, since I can use my real life
experiences to assist my performance. I have experienced
friendships, break ups, working that boring day job so portraying
characters who are dealing with those type of "real life" issues
comes more naturally to me. I am so lucky to have yet to ever see a
zombie, vampire or witch in real life. :)
Nic - Horror films are
sometimes criticized for their portrayal of women. As an actress
what are your thoughts about this?
- I think it is unfair to go after one genre in particular. There
are films in every genre that portray females, and males for that
matter, in a less then flattering light. If someone has an issue
about a certain character then they have the right to not see
another film with the same director, producer, writer or cast
member. But don't hold it against every one in that genre – it’s not
fair. Yes some people sadly follow the stereotypes, but there are
plenty who revolt against them too.
I have had the
opportunity to portray some very strong women in various horror
RESURRECTION, TRUTH OR DARE 4, and POTPOURRI to name a few. I also
have a very strong female lead coming up in the film I mentioned
earlier, PREY TO GOD. Did I mention that I get to kick some serious
butt in that film?
Nic - Jessica, you've done a
lot of work in front of the camera. Do you want to step behind the
scenes and try your hand at writing or directing your own feature?
Writing is sadly something that has never come easily for me. I
would love to get into the producing side of things, and have been
offered a few jobs too. At this time I really want to focus on
acting. However, if the right project comes along for me to produce
I would definitely consider it. I would love to direct...one day. I
would want to get even more experience in front of the camera first
Nic - Who inspires you and
Jessica - My
mom and dad. My mom is such a strong, intelligent and loving woman.
My dad is intense, brilliant, funny man. They are the two hardest
working people I have ever met and inspire me every day. I get my
work ethic from them, and my determination. They taught me that I
could do anything I put my mind to, and they have always believed in
me in everything that I do. I am so lucky to have them in my life.
Nic - We
talked about what you like, but what's the hardest part of making a
movie for you?
Jessica - For
me the hardest part is the pre-production stage and scheduling
When I commit to a project, I get very eager and excited so waiting
for everything to come together can be very difficult for me.
Particularly at the independent film stage - there can be scheduling
delays and other aspects that may delay a project. Trying to stay
upbeat and on top of it all can be challenging.
Nic - Most of the movies
you've been in have been made outside of Hollywood.
How do you think the industry is changing as more and more
productions are coming from independent filmmakers?
Jessica - I
love doing independent films since you have a louder voice in them
and since you can go outside the "studio safety box". As technology
becomes more and more available and more reasonably priced, more
independent films are going to get made. On independent films there
tends to be a more central "vision", since the money is less and
investors are fewer. Independent films are less concerned about
crossing imaginary lines or offending people, which can be great
training for an actress since you can really dig deep into the
character. I am excited to see more independent productions getting
into mainstream audiences; I think audiences are getting tired of
remakes and searching for new stuff.
Nic - Can you tell us about
your best experience on a movie set?
Jessica - I am
so blessed to have had many to choose from. One that stands out is
shooting CAMEL SPIDERS which was directed by Jim Wynorski. Jim is a
legend in the industry and is very well known, so I was anxious to
work with him. He is very direct and says what ever is on his mind.
There are catch phrases that he is known for such as "I hated it",
"Do it again and this time don't suck" and at first you
an actor are taken back by these comments, but then you really have
to stretch yourself to impress him your next take. He brought out my
best, and I really appreciate him for that. I know that I learned a
lot that day and look forward to working with him again, sooner
rather then later.
Nic - What about your worst
Jessica - Well
I would rather not say the name of this particular project (after
all that would be promoting the catastrophe). But I did work on a
project that was very poorly organized, and everyone was treated
very poorly by the producer. This producer even yelled at some of
the people on set, and was yelling at them about things that were
the producer's mistakes. Often on indie film sets you have to deal
with less then perfect situations, but there is no reason to treat
anyone with such cruelty. On top of that, locations were not locked
down, there was no shooting schedule, crew were brought on under
false pretenses, there was no communications about locations or
schedules...so no one knew where to go or when. It was a train
wreck. Luckily it was a very small and short shoot. But there is
something to be learned on every set, so on this one I learned what
not to do!
Nic - What does Jessica
Cameron like to do for fun?
But when I am not on set I really enjoy spending time with my family
and friends. I am one of those people that it doesn't so much matter
where you are or what you are doing so long as you are with people
you adore. I can have fun doing anything so long as the company is
awesome. That said, I do love dancing and being active - everything
from running, hiking, playing tennis, etc. and of course I love
going to the movies!
If you want to learn
more about Jesica Cameron check out one of these websites: