Dutch actress Dylan Jongejans joins us on Close-up Culture for a quick chat about her breakout role in Zara Dwinger’s Yulia & Juilet.
Q: I believe you had never acted professionally before ‘Yulia & Juliet’. Can you tell us about your background and what spurred you to get involved in this project?
A: I live in Amsterdam with my mom, two sisters and brother. I am in my final year of high school and hopefully I will graduate in June! I had never considered acting before, but I was approached through social media and I thought it could be interesting – so I checked it out. I am still happy I did!
Q: As you say, you got the role in ‘Yulia & Juliet’ through digital casting. What was that process like?
A: At first, I was approached through Instagram for another project which I was actually too young for. Zara Dwinger was working with the same casting crew and they introduced me to her. She was interested in me, so I had to do the casting with a few different actors until it became clear that Sara Luna Zoric was the best match.
Q: The film follows the doomed love story of two girls in a youth detention centre. Could you connect personally to Juliet and this story in any way?
A: I have never been to a place like that [youth detention centre] and I don’t know anyone who has. I do have my own ‘love issues’ of course, so I have experience of that kind of thing!
Q: This film draws a bit from Shakespeare’s famous love story. Were you familiar with ‘Romeo & Juliet’ before this film?
A: Yes, I knew the story. My final play in primary school was about Romeo & Juliet.
Q: Zara told me she was drawn to you because you are a ‘natural dreamer with a really strong presence.’ Is that how you see yourself?
A: I never thought about myself in that way, but I can see how Zara might see me like that. Zara, Sara Luna and me are all different and I think that is why it worked out so well.
Q: What was it like working closely with Zara and Sara Luna Zoric?
A: It was really nice and natural, we get along really well. I liked Zara and Sara Luna a lot from the beginning. The chemistry between us was good, I think you can see that in the film.
Q: How did you deal with the intimacy required in this role, especially as a first-time actor?
A: We met up quite a few times before shooting the film. That really helped getting comfortable with each other. At first I was a bit nervous to film the intimate parts, but Sara Luna and Zara really helped me feel comfortable.
Q: Apart from acting, what are your passions and interests in life?
A: I am still young and I like many different things. I like hanging out with my friends and doing some modelling, but I also like to play hockey and don’t mind travelling either. So I am not sure yet what I want to do [in the future] but I will figure it out.
Q: Do you think acting could be something you pursue further?
A: I really liked making this movie and I definitely would like to do more. I really hope I get the opportunity to learn more and play many more roles.