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An Interview with Jenna-Francis Duvic, Star of Murdaritaville

by Mike Haberfelner

February 2024

Films directed by Jenna-Francis Duvic on (re)Search my Trash

 

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

 

Murdaritaville is about a group of friends that go hangout at a camp in the woods and slowly start getting killed off by a parrot head man. He kills people who arenít big enough Jimmy Buffett fans. My character actually hates Jimmy Buffett, so she is really against Jimmy Buffett and all parrot heads.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much of Jenna-Francis Duvic can we find in her?

 

I was able to draw upon characters like Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games in order to think of a survival mode type of character. It is kind of hard to see me as myself in this character because I almost never make as many frowny faces in real life as I did in this movie haha. I am a bit of the opposite of this character. I wouldnít say I like being a leader, but this character must be a leader in the end.

 

How did you get involved with the project in the first place?

 

A director I worked with in the past, Benjamin Connell, recommended me to director Paul Dale [Paul Dale interview - click here]. Paul found my demo reel on YouTube and thought I would be a good fit for the role.

 

To what extent could you identify with Murdaritaville's approach to horror and comedy ... and with its many Jimmy Buffett references?

 

I could relate to Murdaritaville because it is my type of comedy like the Scary Movie series. I love how dumb funny the jokes are and how almost everything is a Jimmy Buffett reference. I definitely started listening to more Jimmy Buffett after making this film and it helped me understand the script so much better.

 

What can you tell us about Murdaritaville's director Paul Dale, and what was your collaboration like?

 

Paul is a laid back and chill dude. He is a very supportive and creative director and writer too. He made me feel super comfortable on set as everyone already knew each other there but I didnít know anyone. He would sometimes change the script up on us and add an improv line instead that was always hilarious. I had a great time working with Paul and experiencing the making of this movie!

 

Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!

 

It was a very relaxed environment with everyone drinking if they wanted to and just hanging out in between scenes. The location was so beautiful too. It was in the middle of summer so it made you just want to jump into the river - which my character had the opportunity to do! It was very freeing to be allowed to do anything creatively there as an actor.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

There is nothing coming up currently! I am just constantly auditioning and keeping my eyes open for my next role.

 

What got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

When I was a sophomore in high school, I got out on stage for the first time. It helped transform me to overcome anxiety and started my acting passion. I started training for film after I graduated high school in 2018 at Launch Model and Talent in Metairie. My training had been on pause while I completed my college degree, but since graduating in 2022 I have gone full force back into training at a few different places between Covington and New Orleans! Iíve worked with Jim Gleason, Billy Slaughter, Rachel Whitman Groves, Nicole Barre and many other amazing actors and acting coaches.

 

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

 

In college I did many short films and only recently this year have I started being in more commercials too! Most of the short films I did were things I had written and or directed/produced as well. That was my main point of focus to study in college!

 

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

 

I would describe myself as an actress that tries to be fully present in the moment. I try to feel whatever feelings my character would be feeling in that moment so that my body naturally reacts to those feeling and shows the truth of my character. I am a super strong empath so if I create a scenario in my head that is needed for a scene I can transport myself and my feelings there fairly quickly.

 

Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?

 

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My top favorite actress of all time is Jennifer Lawrence. I love her stillness. It is something I try to work on significantly. It inspires me how hard she works and all of the ranges of roles she has played. I also love that she is from a Southern state like I am. Also, a classic actress that inspires me is Jamie Lee Curtis. But there are so many amazing actors and actresses, itís difficult to pick.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

One of my favorite newer movies is Top Gun: Maverick for sure. I think I saw it three times in the movie theatres when it came out. I also love classics like The Notebook and the Harry Potter series, Stand by Me, Star WarsÖ gosh itís difficult to pick only a few. I do love Scary Movie 1 through 3 and 5 is okay too. But real horror movies have never been my favorite.

 

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

 

I would say anything scary like Hereditary or any of the Exorcist/Poltergeist type of movies.

 

Your website, social media, whatever else?

 

I am currently taking a break from social media but all of my profiles are still up! My Instagram is _JENNAFRANCIS_ and my TikTok is princess___jenna

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

I donít think so but thank you so much for your time and your questions!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

Amazon

Amazon UK

Vimeo

 

 

 

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

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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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
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