Your upcoming film Truth or Dare - in a few words, what is it
It's about a
group of friends who become over night sensations thanks to their online
video channel only to realize that fame comes with a high price, namely a
number one fan who just wants to play with them...
According to my information, Truth or
Dare is your first film as a director - so what made you decide to
step behind the camera?
- it all comes down to telling this graphic story in all its beautiful
glory. My co-writer (Jon Higgins) and I had gone out to our top picks for
directors and the ones who loved the script could not do it till
much later in the year, and those who could meet our proposed shoot dates
wanted to "tone down" the script. My
team actually approached me with the idea of me directing this film and
because I love the story, and their horrific struggles, not to mention the
cast and crew that we were aligning - I said yes.
Now how did the project come
together in the first place?
co-writer and I had this concept of a villain
character whose sole motivation was to have friends, be famous, have the
world know his name. I see a lot of this type of false belief in
Hollywood. From there we flushed out story lines that could work
with that type of character, and one of the prominent themes that kept
popping up is the concept of internet
fame, and how desperate some people are to get it.
We had heard about this school in Montreal in which for one of their
projects they are challenged to make a viral video, and if it gets over
100,000 hits then all the students get A's. So the story just came from
truth-or-dare-experiences that made their way into the film?
HA - fortunately I have never played truth or dare like this! However one
of my childhood nightmares does make it in, and it is definitely not for
the faint of heart. For years this would happen to me in my nightmares
and I would wake up screaming and yelling covered in a cold sweat. So I am
eager to see people's reaction to it on the screen!
You wrote Truth
or Dare together with Jonathan Higgins - so what were your
inspirations, and what was your collaboration like?
photo by Buz Wallick
both crazy horror fans at heart and are not afraid to go to those dark
places that some find offensive. It was actually a lot of fun - every time I
thought we could not push the envelope any further Jon found a way! I
really respect that. It's helpful too to have a male and female voice in
the room when writing all that dialogue. Since I had worked with Devanny
Pinn [Devanny Pinn interview -
click here], Heather Dorff [Heather
Dorff interview - click here],
Brandon Van Vliet and Ryan Kiser
before, I wrote a lot of them into the script itself. And I knew that they
would all go down whatever dark and twisted path Jon and I wrote for
them, so that helps!
also do acting duties on Truth or Dare - so what can you
tell us about your character, have you written this one especially for
yourself, how much of yourself is in your character, and what do you draw
upon to bring it to life?
Jessica (center - duh!) with Buz Wallick and Jonathan Higgins
Yes - I play
Jennifer Collins. She is more conservative than I am and more reserved,
but she definitely has a bit of my "smart-ass attitude" and
sarcasm. I actually tried to make all the female characters roles I
would want to play as an actress, because I knew that Dev and Heather
could handle it. I tried to write my character truthfully to how Jon and
I saw her - and keep myself separate from that. I am definitely
much more aggressive than she is, and my instinct in the situation that
she finds herself in would be very different. But that's what I love
about acting - getting to explore someone else ;)
I try to draw
on those I know well for character models when acting, I find that it
helps me to connect with the person on the page. Although it was written
with me in mind we did consider casting another actress for the role
once I agreed to take on directing duties, but in the end I really am
the best choice for the role. Even though it's going to be harder for me
personally it's the best thing for the story - and story trumps all.
Anything you can tell us about
the rest of your cast yet, and why exactly these people?
I LOVE MY CAST!
I am so blessed.
first four that were released - we actually wrote the roles for them
specifically since they are just so damned amazing.
Pinn [Devanny Pinn interview
- click here] - is not only one of
the most beautiful people I know, but she has this amazing heart. I have
always been a fan of her work, even before we were friends in "real
life" (we had been Facebook
friends for a while before I had actually met her. I had the pleasure
to work with her on a few projects (The Black Dahlia Haunting, Cut) and
her acting ability always really impresses me. I wanted to write her a
more complex character than I typically see her play - someone that she
could really sink her teeth into, and someone who has a really complex
character arc since I know as an actress she is going to blow it out of
Heather Dorff [Heather Dorff
interview - click here]
- I rarely have an instant connection with people (yup I am picky), but
Heather and I just kinda had this instant bond with each other from the
moment we started talking, I knew her and just adored her instantly. I
had the pleasure to work with Heather on a film early this year called
Intrusive Behavior and was really impressed with her talent - I don't
want to give anything away (cause you will need to see it for yourself ;)
but in one scene Heather gave an academy award winning performance -
to the extent that the rest of the cast and crew were silent and no one
wanted to call cut since they were so enthralled with what had just
THAT is how good of an actress she is. Heather's character has probably
had the greatest changes as the script progressed and she has been such
a champ the entire time as we are constantly calling her with new
details about her character.
Brandon Van Vliet
Brandon Van Vliet
- Brandon is the life the party, and is THAT GUY that everyone
remembers. He is also fiercely intelligent and hilarious. He is a
pleasure to work with and great on and off the set. I have worked with
Brandon before (Potpourri and an unfinished film that is unworthy of a
name) and am always surprised that he is not on some hit show since he
has such a strong screen presence and is so quick-witted with flawless
comedic timing. When people read the script they often call out his
scenes as the most memorable and it's because we incorporated his sense
of humor into the character.
Ryan Kiser - Ryan is a dear
friend who's been actively working in the indie
scene for years. He really loves to explore these dark characters, which
is why we knew he would be perfect for the role. He's actually very sweet
in real life - ladies, don't let his ability to play questionable
characters fool you!
- Shelby was my first scene study partner when I arrived in LA a few
years back and he was just so much fun to act opposite because his
acting is just exceptional, he has this "Golden Hollywood era
charm" about him. In our script he plays Ray who is Dev's brother
and they look very similar with dark brown hair and gorgeous skin, so he
was the first choice for that role.
The rest of the cast in TBA...
How will you approach the
whole thing from a directorial point of view, anything you can tell us
about the movie's intended look and feel?
From the directorial side I have made sure to hire AMAZING
people for behind the camera. My producers, technical director, Director
of Photography, Assistant Director, sound department and even my personal
assistants are all great at their jobs. I hold the firm belief that films
are a collaborative effort and require the best team - so I have worked to
make sure that my team is perfect. We are going to go for a "Fincher"-look and feel. Everyone on my team and myself are huge fans of his work
and felt that it would really add to the atmosphere in our script.
Your film's story at least suggests quite a bit of violence
- so how far are you planning to go in that respect, anything you can tell
us about your intended gore effects yet, and is there a line you refuse to
cross (for other than budgetary reasons)?
Nope - there is
no line that I would not cross if it was right for the story :) Actually
at one point when writing one of the earlier drafts my co-writer looked at
me after we had just completed a really graphic, stomach churning sequence
and said "I have a thought, but we can't do it, it would be crossing
that line... I think". Before I knew what it was I had told
him "Then we MUST do it!".
We have been working with one of my favorite effects artists for a few
months now to ensure that even the type of blood is perfect (yup - there
are different types of blood). Her name is Carrie Mercado and here is her
While I don't want to spoil any of the gory fun - I will tell you that we
are using 4 different types of blood for this film... I will let your
imaginations run wild with what those will be used for ; )
As far as I
know, Truth or Dare is still in pre-production as we speak
- so what's the tentative schedule, and even if it's waaay to early to
ask, any idea when and where this might be released onto the general
now we are in full blown pre-production
and start shooting on April 25th,
which is literally around the corner. I am really excited. Honestly when
it will be available will depend largely on the success of our IndieGoGo-campaign since it
covers our finishing funds - http://igg.me/at/truthordare/x/2053176.
If we meet the goal we have set then we
can pay the best people to ensure a short post production, if we don't
then it will take longer. At this time I hope that it is sooner rather
then later! I personally hate waiting to watch a film I really want to
You just have to talk about a few other current projects of yours,
and your roles in them:
by James Cullen
Bressack [James Cullen
Bressack interview - click here]?
James - hes a great director to work with. He knows exactly what he is
looking for and enjoys having fun on set. To Jennifer is the first film
shot entirely on the iphone
5. I was blown away at how professional his team was! We actually shot all
my scenes in Las Vegas - I
do so love to travel and Vegas is always fun. Definetely
a job "perk".
Slagle's The Black Dahlia Haunting [Brandon
Slagle interview - click here], and what was it like to play
I am a huge fan so it was a dream come true
for me. It was challenging to find examples of her voice for the time
period that the script takes place in since it was right in the middle of
her transformation from Norma Jean to Marilyn.So I worked hard to come up
with a believable half way point that she would be at. Brandon is a
dear friend and I am a huge supporter of his work. I was honored to be
The Legend of the Grassman?
was such a fun shoot - this group of people have more heart than most
other shoots combined. They were so nice to me while I was on set filming.
I really hope to work with them again - I think the director Tyler Meyer [Tyler
Meyer interview - click here] is tremendously talented! I cannot wait to see what he does next (fingers
crossed hopefully I am in it!)
Mortem, America 2021?
I look forward to seeing this
when it comes out since I loved my character and working opposite Chainsaw
Sally (who in real life is super nice). I will always remember this shoot
since my car got towed on the first day that I arrived to town. We
shot it in Northern Indiana (I think) and
I parked on the street in front of the director's house, only to leave for
the cast and crew diner and come back to no car. Turns out a neighbor was
fighting with the director who lived next door and he had my car towed,
told them it had been there for weeks. Luckily we got it back about 12 min before the repo
lot closed for the weekend!
Let's go back to the
beginnings of your career: What got you into acting in the first place,
and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
The Black Dahlia Haunting
photo by Bob Delgadillo
actually a funny story - I never took classes when I was in school for it.
When I got hired at my first job after University (yup I am Canadian), it
was at the 3 month review that they told me I spoke too fast and had to
slow down. They suggested that I take classes on the subject, when I could
not find any speech classes my boss at the time suggested that I try an
acting class. I did - and found what has become my favorite creative
you still remember your first time in front of a movie or TV camera, and
what was that experience like?
HORRIBLE. I hated it. I was
taking an on-camera class and had not memorized my commercial dialog
enough (I actually hate commercial dialog since I think it always sounds
so unnatural and fake, so this does not help when it comes time to
memorize). I remember feeling so humiliated. But when I suck at something
it just makes me want to do it more - so I kept at it.
You have also had a role
in Camel Spiders, produced by Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here] and directed by Jim Wynorski [Jim
Wynorski interview - click here], both genre legends in their own
right - so what was it like working with them?
never got to meet Roger, but I really would hope to one day. Jim is a
character - he is everything that everyone says he is. And I think he is
proud of it. When I thanked him for casting me and mentioned that I never
thought I would get to work with him since I had read in multiple articles
he only casts women with a C bust or larger (which I am not), he told me
how I needed to get a boob job. Specifically that my breasts should be
visible from the back in silhouette... Needless to say I did not
listen to him on that ;)
making movies, you have also been a regular on a season of the reality TV
series The Brides of Beverly Hills. Now what was that experience
like, and how does doing a reality show differ from making a movie?
was so much fun. Seriously. Every day was just dress up for me. I loved
every minute of it. It reminded me of when I was a child and would play
dress up with my barbies - excepts these dolls were life-sized! I didn't
think it would be as much fun as it was, but it was everything I love
about fashion - glamor, sparkles and puffy gowns :)
photo by Steve Maisch
of course also have to talk about your series Two Doors Down for a
was my very first series regular role and it really helped me realize that
I wanted to be an actress for real. That moment
when you are on set and working with such an amazing team is addictive, I
knew I wanted more of it. This is where I also realized that I had a love
of improv. SO much fun!
Other films/TV shows of yours you'd like to talk
about? And future projects you'd like to share?
Behavior is going to be screened at the end of May in Florida, and I
expect release details soon after. It's the story of a little girl with a
bad temper ;) Its also where I got to see the awesome acting skills
of Heather Dorff [Heather Dorff
interview - click here], and why I
cast her in my upcoming film Truth Or Dare.
The Black Dahlia Haunting has a release date of October - so stay tuned
for all the details on that film. Also expected out this year The
Legend of the Grassman, Post
Mortem America 2021 Part 2, Virginia Obscura, To Jennifer, and I
will be shooting A Grim Becoming in June!
can't help but notice that quite a number of your films are of the horror
variety - a genre you're at all fond of, and why (not)? And does it at all
bother (or flatter) you that women in horror are almost automatically
labelled as scream queens?
It does bother me - I feel like
the power of social media is watering down what a SCREAM
QUEEN is, or at least was. In my opinion a scream
queen is a lady who has worked her ass off in the horror genre,
understands the importance of a scream and really enjoys the art of horror
films. I don't think you should be allowed to self label yourself a scream
queen. It just trivializes the term.
How would you describe
yourself as an actress?
Hard working, dedicated,
determined, honest, truthful, deep, authentic, private, cat lover,
intense, business minded, loyal daughter, loving girlfriend and passionate
photo by Kam Gill
Actresses (or indeed actors),
filmmakers, whatever else who inspire you?
parents have always been my greatest inspiration - they taught me to work
hard and to fight for my dreams.
Jamie Lee Curtis is an actress whose career I greatly admire - she has
managed to work in all genres while still maintaining her horror icon
As far as filmmakers go there is such a long list: David Fincher,
James Wan, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Jason Hoover, Ryan M. Andrews [Ryan
M. Andrews interview - click here], Stanley
Kubrick, Wes Craven, and Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here]
... to name a few.
Natural Born Killers, Se7en,
Martyres, Saw, The
Collection, The Godfather, The
Shining, Taken, The Devil's
Rejects - and there will always be more to add :)
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
HA HA - I can ot answer this unless I want to:
A) give the films/filmmakers I don't like more press,
B) have to suffer through them hunting me down on EVERY single site known
to man and bugging me about why I called out their film, etc, etc.
So I am just going to say... pass ;)
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
Or Dare IndieGoGo: http://igg.me/at/truthordare/x/2053176
Truth Or Dare Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TruthOrDareTheMovie
Truth Or Dare Twitter: https://twitter.com/FilmTruthOrDare
personal page: facebook.com/ActressJessicaCameron
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
- I think you asked literally EVERY single question possible ;) I have had
to come back to finish my answers for the last week and a half just to get
them all ;) But if you think of any more just ask!
for the interview!