I’m really excited to be bring you this interview. It’s been a long time in the coming. It’s an interview with Julie Ann Emery, an amazing actress who has had roles in film and tv such as Hitch and Commander-in-Chief. As usual, part one of the interview is all about Julie Ann and part 2 will be about her new show, Drifter as well as another web series that she created, Then we got HELP!
Now on with the interview.
How did you get started in acting?
I’m from a small town in Tennessee and the only theatre for 100 miles was the theatre in my home town. They used a lot of local talent. They also supplied the High School with a Drama teacher who was on staff at the theatre. She heard me sing in a choir concert and recruited me for my first play. She then took me to that theatre for my first audition. Literally drove me there and waited for me. Her name is Mel Michel and the theatre is The Cumberland County Playhouse. I owe them a lot.
I was looking at your IMDB page and was shocked by some of the shows and films. You have quite the impressive body of work. What are some of the shows and films that you were in?
Hitch is probably the most popular. I played Eva Mendes lovelorn best friend. Some of my favorites include the critically acclaimed Line of Fire, Commander-in-Chief, The Riches, Dexter, Suits, Damages, Taken, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, and I got my start on TV in a recurring role on ER…so special shout out for ER.
What were some of your favorite projects and why?
Sort of answered this one above. But favorite is determined by a variety of factors for me. Line of Fire was an amazing role with an amazing Creator/ Director and an amazing cast. That one is an all around. Sometimes a favorite is because of the role, like my role on The Riches. Sometimes a favorite is because I love and respect the show, like Damages and Dexter. Sometimes favorite is because of the people, Hitch was one of the nicest casts I’ve ever worked with.
If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing as a career?
Well I am now writing and directing on the Web as well. I have an award winning series called Then we Got HELP! and a new show we are currently crowd funding for to get off the ground called Drifter. But if I weren’t doing something creative? I don’t know. My family will tell you I’d be a lawyer because they think I’m that kind of debater (my brother would say arguer). But I can’t imagine doing anything but this.
Dream project and why?
Single project? I don’t know. There are several dreams. I dream of working with Line of Fire creator Rod Lurie again in a lead role. He writes such complex and amazing women. I dream of getting a little movie I’m writing and directing off the ground with a terrific cast. I dream of Then we got HELP! getting picked up to television with my amazing cast in tact. I dream of doing a play on Broadway. For me the dream keeps shifting and evolving.
If you could work with any actor/actress living or dead, who would be and why?
Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Laurence Olivier, Lauren Becall, John Cazale, Bill Nighy, Dame Judi Dench, Joan Allen, Michael Caine. Actors who change the air in the room. Actors who make you better by being in the room with them, having to keep up. Actors who work to elevate the level of the scene all day long.
I listened to your interview with Amanda and April of Indie Intertube 4/18. I loved the song that you sang. Jeff’s version was also very good. Where did the idea came from?
I walk around with a soundtrack in my head all day. Usually a made up one. That was my sound track that day…I decided to make a video blog out of it.
Are you a singer?
My husband Kevin Earley is a brilliant singer, and recently nominated for a Drama Desk Award. I can definitely carry a tune, and I began my career doing Musical Theatre in roles like Louise in Gypsy. But I’m not the kind of singer who can compete on Broadway today. I can’t belt crazy high notes like they do in Wicked or anything.
What made you want to go from TV and film to web series?
The opportunity to write and direct. Also, I started Then we got HELP! at the bottom of the economy and a lot of my brilliantly talented friends were struggling for opportunities. I wanted to put them all to work. But I really do believe in the web space. And I believe the web space is where all of tomorrows Oscar and Emmy nominees are cutting their teeth.
Tips for beginning actors?
Study study study, especially after college. You need to know and understand your work and yourself as an artist BEFORE the industry does whatever it is going to do with you in terms of career. Once you get an opportunity, you want to be able to do extraordinary work. The only way to do that is to study study study. We’re in a moment right now where young actors think networking is more important than honing their craft. That networking will get them a job. Networking MIGHT get you in an agent’s office or an audition, but once you’re there…if you can’t deliver, well….study study study study.
Tips for people who want to create their own web series?
Be realistic about your assets (mine were that I know great actors) AND about your deficits (my first show had NO money). Try to turn deficits into creative plusses. Don’t write roles when you don’t know actors who can play them. In a no money situation, that will simply leave you with bad actors. And go in with an understanding that building and sustaining an audience for your show AFTER it is shot and edited, is a 60 hour a week job. It’s not enough to shoot something and put it up on youtube. That’s not how it works.
Tips for surviving auditions?
Prepare FULLY and know what YOU want to do with the character and the scene. If you accomplish that, walk away happy. Don’t take it to heart if you’re not their choice. There are a million factors that don’t have anything to do with you involved in choice. But if you knock that audition out of the park, you’ll be back for everyone in that room. I’ve never booked a big role that didn’t start in a different audition, an audition where I didn’t wind up being their girl.
Quick fire questions
Coke or Pepsi?
Iced Tea (I’m a Southern girl)
Cats or dogs?
Summer or winter?
Hugs or kisses?
Nothing beats a really good hug.
Fame or fortune?
Fortune…then I can produce my own stuff and employ people!
Which is worse: speaking in front of a crowd or writing a paper?
Writing a paper.
Time travel to: the past or the future?
Celebrity magazine or newspaper?
I’m a sucker for chips.
Game of Thrones
Never had one