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An Interview with Jamie Bernadette, Star of The Furnace

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2019

Films starring Jamie Bernadette on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie The Furnace - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?


Itís about the character I play, Mary, who loses her husband and the use of one of her lungs in a devastating car accident. She is left with no hope to live after suffering such a heavy loss. She and her husband had planned to run a 150 mile race in Africa together. After meeting a very special doctor who helps her recover, she decides to run the race by herself.


In The Furnace you play a passionate long distance runner - now is running something you enjoy in your private life as well, and how did you pepare for the physical aspects of the role?


I do like to run and I enjoy very long hikes as well and do both all the time. In preparation for the role, I ran way more than I usually would, and I also fully researched what it's like to live with only one lung, and I learned that the healthy lung expands in the chest cavity to compensate for the non-functioning lung.


What did you draw upon to bring your character to life on an emotional level, and how much Jamie Bernadette can we find in Mary, actually?


I dredged up nearly every loss that I had experienced in my life and I used that to get to where I emotionally needed to be each day. I did relate to this character a lot. I think we all can say that we have had some sort of suffering in our lives, as does Mary in this film.


How did you get involved with the project in the first place, and what drew you to it?


One of the producers watched a film of mine and knew I was the one and found me and contacted me. I read the script and absolutely loved it. I had always wanted to do some sort of survival film in nature and this was exactly that. I also love the underdog story and was drawn to the deep melancholy that is at the root of Maryís soul.


Do talk about The Furnace's director Darrell Roodt, and what was your collaboration like?


Darrell is an incredible being. Heís kind and warm and thoughtful and brilliant. He has very high energy and so establishes the mood on set as very positive and fun. He is really honest, so when he says you did well, you believe him and when he says that something isnít working, you also believe him.


As far as I know, The Furnace was the first movie you shot in Africa - so what was it like filming there, and how does filmmaking in Africa compare to a typical US movie set?


I absolutely love filming in Africa. I love the people, the culture, and the country. I love the food, too! I bonded with the people on a very deep level and it was something that I really needed in my life at the time. As far as a movie set, itís the same as in the US.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


Itís an emotional film and often the on-set atmosphere was emotional. There were days when some of the crew members were crying their eyes out. Other times, Darrell Roodt had us all laughing. He has a great sense of humor and an enthusiastic energy, which is contagious.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I have a horror film coming out really soon called Dead by Dawn and I play one of three antagonists. I had a blast playing the villain in it. Close behind the release of that one, I have Ash and Bone, another horror, Colonials, a sci-fi, Nicole, Her Ex & the Killer, a horror/comedy, State of Desolation, a post-apocalyptic drama/horror, and The Bone Box, a horror. In the meantime, Iím working on getting three feature films off the ground as a producer and Iíll also act in them, and Iím attached to many great upcoming films.


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Thanks for the interview!


Thank you.


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD