Close-up: An Interview with Jessica Messenger

JESSICA MESSENGER is a British actress who has appeared in numerous short films as well as features such as Wasteland (2013) and Beneath a Neon Tide (2014).

Prestridge² spoke to Jessica about her dance background, horror fandom and Six Chicks in a Warehouse.

Q: Six Hot Chicks in a Warehouse is scheduled for release on November 16. What character do you play and what attracted you to this story? 

A: I THINK November 16 is on IMDb but we are still in the process of distribution and the film is currently with the sales agent. Hopefully we can confirm a release date soon.

I play the character MIRA and I was attracted to making the film because of the sheer bizarre nature of the script. I like something a little bit different. I also liked the idea of having a fight scene in my pocket so that was a big influence on my decision – you will see why when you watch the film!

Q: How was your experience working on this film? Did you enjoy working with the other five lead actresses?

A: MAKING this film was tough from the word go for a multitude of reasons. I think the further we got into it the more issues seemed to arise. I would say my experience was stressful but I made some solid friendships coming out the other end with some really talented individuals, people I would most certainly work with again if the opportunity presented itself.

Q: You are a prolific figure in British indie and shorts horror. What do you like – and/or possibly dislike – about working in this genre? 

A: THANK you. I would agree to disagree with that statement but it is nice you think so.

I love the genre fans and filmmakers the most. There is a real sense of community and I put any notion of ‘prolificness’ down to the people who support the films I am part of.

There is just something about horror fandom that no other genre has and it makes it so humbling and worthwhile to be part of. I would not trade the friendships I have made along the way for anything.
Q: Can you tell us some of your favourite films – inside and outside of the horror genre? Do you have any favourite directors or actors? 

A: I HAVE a ton of favourite movies for different reasons, mostly nostalgia I suppose.
I grew up with the teen rom-com era so 10 things I Hate About You, American Pie, Clueless and The Craft had a huge impact on my decision to work in cinema.

I would love to work with Julianne Moore. I could watch her work all day.
Q: You have an incredibly expressive face. It really feels like we are in the moment with you. How would you describe yourself as an actor? 

A: [Laughs]. It is  funny you say that. I totally agree. Actually, it is one of the things I am working on toning down because I find it can be a little OTT at times – super unruly. I would say I am in the pursuit of honesty and truth all of the time. I am not saying I achieve that – more often than not I miss the mark, but you will always find me striving to find the truth in the moment.

Q: You have an extensive background in dance. Do you feel this gave you a solid platform for film acting? 

A: ABSOLUTELY without a doubt. I attribute all of my work in film to my early pursuits as a child and teen. They were the building blocks of my existence for sure.

I guess I feel for the moment rather than think it. I spent most my life feeling things in art first as the stimulus and growing on that to be able to bring out emotion in the movement. So naturally this is what I do as an actor. People will either love or hate it. I do not believe there are any two ways the same for anything.

Q: You also have a background in film studies and have worked behind the camera on films. Do you have ambitions to continue working behind the camera? Is directing in your future?

A: AT this point in time I honestly do not know. I have wrote a number of things over the years, but nothing to make me want to go down the route of making it.

I probably will but it is not in my immediate future. Whatever I do, I want to do it to my best and I feel like I just have not hit that mark as an actor yet. I am not ready to move on.

Q: What kind of projects do you dream of working on? 

A: UNIQUE ones. I have no idea what that means. I just know I want it when it lands in my lap. Usually I just see me in that role and that is how I know it is good for me.

Q: Finally,  do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

A: I HAVE an anthology segment that is currently going through post production. It is called For We Are Many by Hex Media and the segment is directed by Paddy Murphy.

The whole wrap around theme of the movie is folklore and we based ours on an old Irish mythological creature.  I get to play the said creature and it was my first experience of the dark side. I loved every minute!

I have just wrapped on a 1960s Beatles biopic short film and have started training for a psychedelic dance-horror-drama mash up movie for early 2018. I said I wanted unique!

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