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An Interview with Joi Itapson, Star and Writer of Alice

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2015

Films starring Joi Itapson on (re)Search my Trash

 

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

 

Alice is about a streetwalker in her twenties, and Alice isn’t her name. She’s intelligent but with limited education and limited funding she’s had no choice in her current career. With a small daughter and a disabled mother to support Alice has turned more and more to alcohol to help her through the day.

 

You also wrote the screenplay for Alice - so what were your inspirations, and did you write "Alice" with yourself in mind from the get-go?

 

Alice is actually an extension of a character I wrote for a short story in school. When director Douglas Reese [Douglas Reese interview - click here] asked if I wanted to work on this project and gave me a rough idea of what he wanted I knew she was the way to go. The character was originally much older and inspired by the song "Could I Leave You" from Sondheim's Follies.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much of Joi Itapson can we find in Alice?

 

A few years ago I watched a movie called Water, the characters played by Lisa Ray and Seema Biswas were what I pulled for Alice. They created characters where it was obvious that they had so much more to offer but circumstances keep them trapped. I often have headaches that make me physically ill and I kept thinking, Alice has the same but her headaches never goes away, the knowledge of that kind of crushing pain is what I wanted most to convey and I hope I succeeded.

 

What can you tell us about your director Douglas Reese [Douglas Reese interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?

 

Doug is so much fun to work with, he generally lets me know what he wants then stands back and lets me run with it. He trusts me to know what he needs and when he does get specific he does it in a way I can understand and I appreciate that.

 

How did you and Douglas Reese first meet even, and what can you tell us about your previous collaboration Nikki?

 

Doug and I meet last year in a Psychology class and it was love and first sarcastic comment. Nikki was the first time we worked together and that was a spur of the moment thing for me. Doug let me know what he was thinking and the characters came together very easily.

 

Back to Alice - what can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Doug had definite ideas for how he wanted things to look and we worked through everything scene by scene. I did spend most of the first take trying and failing not to laugh, I think it says a lot about how we both think that we needed to laugh before we started on creating something with so much pain.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Doug and I are working on a new project called Saviors. A few months ago he asked if I was interested in being a vengeful ghost and I’ve fallen head over heels for the project since. Shaping the character finding out who she is has been an adventure in how far I can push myself.

 

Nikki

What got you into acting to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

Stage shows were what drew me to acting. Watching productions of Shakespeare, and then shows like Wicked and the stage version of the Lion King. I have no formal training, aside from several classes at State Thespian Conferences.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Alice?

 

Aside from Nikki most of my work has been on stage. I found it initially awkward to work on camera because I was so used to facing my audience and exaggerating my movements and emotions. However I have come to appreciate the range of subtle I get to display on camera.

 

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How would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your character to life?

 

I am very detail-oriented when it comes to acting. I need to know who my character is and what drives them. When I can I do a breakdown before I start. It might be the writer in me that needs that backstory before I can really begin.

 

Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?

 

I am a massive fan of golden age actresses and actors. Gene Kelly, Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Sidney Poitier. There’s a class that they exude regardless of their character that I love.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Maggie Smith is my hero), Charade, I could just keep going I devour movies from that era. Movies from recently include The Princess Bride, and About Time.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

I have a love hate (mostly hate) relationship with The Room and Mercenaries. While I enjoy laughing at them I also can’t unsee them and trust me I’ve tried.

 

Your website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

I don’t have a site but I am on Facebook, Twitter and Imgur and more recently Pinterest.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

Jetzt kaufen bei
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