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An Interview with Julia Rees and Anja Lill, Stars and Creators of Carrot Happens

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2012

 

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Your upcoming webseries Carrot Happens - in a few words, what is it about?

 

It’s a comedic series: Two former nerdy girls in their mid twenties decide to take their delusional visions to another level when they take revenge on their High School crush.

 

To ask something obvious: Why carrots?

 

One of the characters in the web series does not like to swear, so instead she uses vegetable names like “What the tomato” for „What the heck“ and “Carrot Happens” stands for „Shit Happens“.

 

What were your initial motivations to get a project like this off the ground?

 

We are very passionate about our careers and always take it one step further.  We wanted to create a quality product and be fully involved in all of the aspects of filmmaking to have a better understanding of what is expected of us. In our career as actresses we have read hundreds of scripts whose quality levels were more than unsatisfactory and would only hurt an actors reel.

With this web series we decided to create our own quality product to star in, in order to engage the audience with a fun and intriguing series and turn our career in the right direction

 

Your inspirations when writing the series, and honestly, was any of this based on personal experiences and/or wishful thinking?

 

The story is not based on personal experiences but maybe a bit of wishful thinking. The characters are similar to our personalities but enlarged for comedic purposes. For instance Lizzie, played by Anja Lill, always has reminders set in her phone. And Jasmine, played by Julia Rees, has OCD.

 

How would you describe Carrot Happens' brand of humour?

 

It is a more innocent PG-13, slapstick kind of humor with a lot of physical comedy, accidents and mishappens.

 

What can you tell us about your characters in Carrot Happens, and how do you approach them, acting-wise?

 

Both of the characters we portray are very lively and rich in their odd behaviors and related to us as stated above. From an actor's perspective we have to mentally put ourselves into the quirky situation of kidnapping someone and to play the characters at different ages. Playing them in their High School teen years will require us to physically change and act more childish whereas when Lizzie and Jasmine are in their twenties they have grown up quite a bit and seem more mature.

 

A few words about your director Nardeep Khurmi, and how hard will it be to, to a degree, handing over your own project to someone else?

 

We fully believe and trust in our director Nardeep Khurmi. He is very talented and knows what he is doing and we cannot wait to see him bring our vision to life with his imagination. Nardeep has finished a great film school in New York and has worked on numerous projects before. We truly enjoy acting, and when it comes to set, we do not want to have to worry about anything else but that.

 

Anja Lill

I know you have worked with each other before - so how did you meet up in the first place, and what made you to ultimately decide to collaborate on this web series?

 

Julia Rees

We went to Stella Adler together and have worked on plays and short films together. Ultimately we did not only just become friends but also roommates. Since we know each other extremely well we can coach each other on set. Our creative minds never stop so we’ve developed a lot of different projects and two minds can write better than one.

 

What made you two go into acting in the first place, and what can you tell us about your training as actresses?

 

Both of us have wanted to become actors since we were little girls, but our families were never affiliated with the entertainment industry so we didn’t pursue acting until we were in our teens. The fact that we don’t like to act in German brought us to Los Angeles. We chose the Stella Adler Academy for our training because we truly believe in the Stanislavski technique and Stella Adler is based on the imagination, which enables you to play any role truthfully.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Carrot Happens?

 

We have both worked on numerous shorts like the thriller Mirage, where two girls are being pursued by a killer, another web series called The Couch, several regional commercials, infomercials and feature films like The Extra. Also we have been in many theater productions prior to coming to Los Angeles. Our theater background made it easy to transition into film.

 

Besides acting in movies, the both of you have also done quite a bit of theater. What's the difference between acting on stage and making a movie, and which do you prefer, actually?

 

We definitely prefer acting in movies, that’s why we decided to move to Los Angeles instead of New York, which is more known for theater. The main difference is that for the stage you have to project your voice and your emotions/actions have to be big to be seen by the audience. In film everything is tuned down and simplistic. The expression of the eyes is very important and the smallest facial movements are exposed on the big screen.

 

Any future projects you'd like to talk about?

 

We just finished filming the short thriller Mirage which is currently in post-production, and we want to submit it to film festivals. Another short thriller is in pre-production called The Quija Board and will be filmed in June. Also the web series The Couch will be featured on YouTube and starts filming at the end of April. We always have new projects coming up. If you are interested in keeping up with us, visit our websites: www.JuliaRees.com and www.AnjaLill.com.

 

Your approach to acting as such?

 

When we get handed a script, we use the tools we got taught in school, such as Script Breakdown. We explore the bigger theme of the script and then go into character work, meaning creating a background story, researching their occupation and living as the character in some every day situations. The choices should be extremely specific to bring the character to life and the actor should always find a way to raise the stakes.

 

Actresses (or indeed actors) who inspire you?

 

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Find Carrot Happens
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Carrot Happens here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
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Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Carrot Happens at adultvideouniverse.com

Meryl Streep is a big inspiration to the both of us. She is able to portray so many different characters and puts on accents convincingly. Edward Norton is such a chameleon that you don’t even recognize him in most films. Amazing acting skills! We both hope to have such careers some day.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

We like movies that inspire us to think with a twist in the end with amazing cinematography like The Butterfly Effect, The Shining or The Matrix. But we are also a fan of comedic movies such as Bridesmaids or sitcom series like Friends, How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory.

 

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

 

Swingers is a movie we really disliked. The content, the dialogue, everything about it was boring. We are not interested in movies that have a slow pace and no new insights. We want to be inspired or laugh uncontrollably.

 

Your/your series' websites, Facebooks, whatever else?

 

Our official website where we will also release our episodes is: http://carrothappens.moonfruit.com.

On Facebook you can follow us and always find out the newest information and episodes immediately: www.facebook.com/CarrotHappens.

 

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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