Four strangers on a drunken wedding dash from LA to Vegas hit a mysterious woman in the desert and must overcome injuries, the elements, and ultimately each other to survive.
Who do I play and what makes her tick?
I play Jamie Dillon. She’s that mid-west girl who grew up in a religious household, and just kind of marinated in the holier-than-thoughness of it. She thinks she’s the smartest one in the room, which may or may not be true. I think there’s a part of her that thought she could ‘save’ her husband, Roy from his bad-boy ways, but at the heart of it, Jamie is a woman who was paralyzed with boredom in her tidy little life, and desperately wanted a release.
Read the entire interview after the Jump...
Is the internet a saving grace for smaller films?
I’m probably the last person to ask. I come from the TV world, where the networks shoulder a lot of the responsibility for promotion. Having said that, the attention we’ve been able to garner for Death Valley wouldn’t have been possible without social media. Film-making as a whole has changed because of the internet – the way producers and casting directors cast the film, the way they’re shot, the instant promotion… we tweet on set, so people are aware of our projects before we’ve even changed out of wardrobe. It’s the way of the future.
What will the audience take away from the movie?
For one, I think it’ll make people think about their relationships. I don’t think you can truly know the heart of another person until you’ve been tested together. I think it’ll make the men-folk think twice before underestimating a woman, and perhaps most importantly, it’ll teach you to load up on water before heading out into the desert.
What was it like working with TJ, and was he easier on you than the other actors?
Well, that was how we first met, on John Woo’s Once a Thief, and we’ve been lucky enough to work together quite a bit since then. I love working with him. The thing about TJ is that he’s extremely talented. He knows and respects the job of everybody on a film set. He started off as an actor, then moved to stunts, then started directing. His photography also taught him about lenses and lighting. (and he’s a total clothes horse too, so he’s REALLY into wardrobe) He doesn’t know shit about makeup, but at least he understands how important it is.
I don’t think a director needs to be hard on any actor unless he or she shows up unprepared. I never let that happen, so it’s not an issue, and on this film, we got all of our talented friends and family to do the film with us, so we were all working really hard towards a common goal. When it comes to getting a performance out of someone, a director does what he needs to do – whether it’s getting up in your face, planting an idea, playing a certain type of music, getting the other actors to modify their actions—it’s not about being hard on someone, but knowing what they need to do their job. In my career, there has only been one director who was hard on me. He was trying to force me to do nudity in a scene (that stuff is negotiated ahead of time, so that actors aren’t put on the spot). I held my ground, and he was truly horrible to me. But let’s face it, he wasn’t looking for a performance. He was looking for boobs.
What projects for the future?
I’ve got a lot of stuff happening right now. My horror movie June, directed by Gustavo Cooper, is being released on October 6. I have an episode of Hawaii 5-0 that’ll be airing in October as well. I have a recurring role on Heartland in Canada on the CBC (here in the states it airs on UP TV) The season starts in just over a week. It’s a great show, and I run the rodeo (not kidding). Lastly, my first novel, Double Down, is being released at the end of October. It’s a murder mystery/romance about a fast-driving, man-loving, sexy cop with a loud laugh and boundary issues. I’m very excited.
What song is on heavy rotation in my car?
I’m a country girl, so I have the country station on all the time. Right now, I’m loving Carrie Underwood’s ‘Smoke Break’, and ‘Burning House’ by Cam. That song is downright haunting!!
What was the last movie I saw?
You won’t believe it, but I was having a girl’s night sleepover, and we watched ‘Nine to Five’. Dolly Parton is my hero! The movie holds up! (maybe not the hair, but whatever)
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