As I mentioned before, one of the numerous things I love about running this site is not only being able to cover things that I enjoy but the people who make it possible as well, and I have an appreciation for the work that goes into the various projects. So I will always cover indie projects, for example, because of a certain spirit that goes into the endeavor and I can relate to that motivation. Jacqui Holland, who I interviewed before, is not only a joy to know and a pleasure to talk to but has been working on many projects since that interview. Silent but Deadly, a comedy thriller about a serial killer murdering employees and residents in a retirement home, was recently released and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But she isn’t just an actor as she has her own production company, MNDFCK, and its been involved in some interesting upcoming projects and I’m fortunate she was able to share some information again.
Me: My visitors already had a taste of the brilliant mind behind the lovely smile and beautiful face and how you started a production company, you’re an actor, and a writer. So what have you been up to since our last interview?
Jacqui: Pretty much what I’ve been doing is getting stuff together for the production company so we got a lot of IPs together and we actually have 10 films that we’ve lined up. And (they) all have different budgets and they all pretty much fall into the horror category. But we’ve been doing pitch packages on them, and then what I do is work with writers so I’ve been doing a lot of revisions, meeting with writers, and changing some minor things, dialogue or whatever, and getting everything ready. And we’re almost at the point where we’re gonna do a massive pitch and start raising the money and get investors involved. And hopefully starting this summer we’re gonna be making our own films. And also my other film, Two-Faced, has been in post (production) and we’re getting a rough cut of it and we’re gonna see that tomorrow morning (4/4/14). And so I’ve just been dealing with the editors and getting everything together so we can take that to the distributors and get it on the market. And besides that I’ve still been acting here and there, and I have a new werewolf film that I start shooting at the end of this month.
Me: Now you’ve been promoting Two-Faced and posting some interesting pictures, can you tell me what it’s about, the inspiration behind it and were you also the writer for it?
Jacqui: I’m actually not the writer for it but I helped come up with the concept for the story. It’s about a woman named Jessica and she’s the ultimate Femme Fatale. She’s a very vain woman who cares very much about money and how she looks. And she finally finds this fiance and they’re supposed to get married and the mother-in-law comes into town and she will not let her son marry Jessica because she feels she’s a gold-digging whore, which she is. And (the mother-in-law) catches her with another guy, and then Jessica wants to shut her up so she goes to smother her and she gets her face horribly disfigured by a dog bite. And so the rest of the movie is her killing people for their body parts.
Me: I was wondering how the mask came into play with the story line so basically after she was disfigured she just went off the deep end.
Jacqui: Pretty much because the one thing she had going for her was her looks and then after they become destroyed she feels like she lost everything so she’s gonna do whatever it takes to get them back. And so she goes to this underground plastic surgeon, who’s brilliantly played by Tony Todd (from Candy Man)
Me: Now I’m technically on vacation and I also have time to catch up on my writing so my main obstacle is time. So how does the creative process work for you when it comes to writing considering all the hats you wear and it’s about more than just having time?
Jacqui: Writing is hard to make time for because it’s really consuming so for me I really enjoy doing revisions more and touching up the dialogue and making it more realistic. And I’ve worked with some really great writers so it’s easy when you know you’re working with something that’s pretty good to start off with. When I actually do sit down and write myself the only way I can do it is if I lock myself in, turn my phone off and get myself some delicious snacks and just stay there for a weekend or something. And commit at least a 10-12 hour window of time and just not leave the house and just really get into the heads of the characters and write.
Me: (laughs) Do you find that certain snacks help more than others or do you just go with your favorites?
Jacqui: I usually write with a partner because I enjoy being able to bounce ideas off of someone, so when I wrote Silent but Deadly with Jason (Lockhart) we were really into these meat trays, and I don’t even like them very much but for some reason when I’m writing they’re very delicious. (laughs). It’s like me and cheese trays. And I try not to drink soda very often but when I’m writing I always want a coke zero. That’s definitely my drink of choice or something that soothes me.
Me: I know you asked a question on twitter about a situation with a dog of a crazy woman shitting on the floor, so do you write roles that you can see yourself playing in specifically or do you have a person or character type in mind?
Jacqui: It depends. Sometimes I see myself in the role and I’m writing it for me and there are other times (where that’s not the case). There’s this one script I was working on pretty recently, and in that one there are a couple of great roles in it. It’s about a girl who’s schizophrenic and kind of goes crazy. She has a really good friend in it, and they’re both great roles but I don’t even know when it gets made which one I would want to play. So it’s not always specifically for anyone.
Me: I saw Silent but Deadly, and as I told you before, I understand perfectly why you won actress of the year award and as one who has been going to various long-term care rehab centers just about every single day for my mother, I could see many of those things happening in a comedic way based on the stories that are told. What was your inspiration for this movie and your character, Kitty?
Jacqui: The inspiration was my grandmother was just going into a retirement home at that moment in time, and Jason, the co-writer, his grandfather had just went into a retirement home. And Jason’s mother was like they’re so funny, someone should really write a movie about that. And so we just started writing it. But Lee Meriwether’s character, she plays Vivian, is 100% based on my grandma. My grandmother’s actually been married 8 times, which is kinda insane, and she was planning a wedding in the retirement home about a year ago. So that was all true. And for Kitty, when I was a little girl we went on a couple of cruise ships and I always wanted to be the activities director on a cruise ship. And so I feel like that was kind of the inspiration for Kitty. She’s the activity director and she has so much fun just singing and getting all this attention in a completely fantasy world because there are just a bunch of people who are very into the story and all the stupid things since there’s not much going on in the retirement home.
Me: Not to give away any spoilers, but would you like to see some of those characters revisited in the form of a sequel or do you feel that would be too much?
Jacqui: Yeah I would love to make a sequel, and in my head it takes place on a cruise ship and Kitty now has a bunch of money, and I’m not gonna give away any more than that. But she takes all the people from the retirement home on a cruise ship, and there are killings happening on the cruise ship as well. It’s a little bigger budget so I don’t know if it’s possible but it’s in the back of my mind.
Me: I’m a huge Thor fan and you’re starring in God of Thunder as Thor’s girlfriend. Can you elaborate on your role in that movie and give a status update on it?
Jacqui: Yes, in the beginning I’m not Thor’s girlfriend. I’m a girl who works at a furniture shop who happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up in a car with Thor. And I pretty much drive the entire movie. They had me drive like, God, 3 different giant cars. I was like c’mon, I have a tiny little car and I’m knocking into things all the time. Who thought it was a good idea having me drive a truck, a giant minivan and another van. That was the hardest part of the movie having to drive 3 large vehicles because Thor is from another planet and he doesn’t know how to drive. But it was definitely a fun role, I did a lot of running for it so I kept in good shape. I don’t actually have a date and I talked to production so it should be coming out soon in 2014. But I don’t have an exact date as of yet.
Me: Now you’ve been involved in some series before such as High Heels, Low Standards, which you was a writer for. Do you have any plans for future series or will MNDFCK ever be involved in the production of series?
Jacqui: As of right now I don’t but I do have another production company that is kind of associated with MNDFCK, and it’s called TMI. And it’s mainly comedy because I come from a comedy background and my favorite genre is dark comedy. So I definitely have some ideas and I’m thinking about producing a pilot within the next year, and the idea swimming in my head is very dark, and wrong but it’s funny.
Me: Will your dog be making any future appearances because he had a quick role in one of the High Heels, Low Standards episodes?
Jacqui: Yes, there are a few different scripts and it’s actually of two dogs. One is a boy dog, Boots, and is the one in High Heels, Low Standards. And I have a little girl who’s very tiny and we have a carnivore script that we’ve been working on and just finishing it up and getting rewrites done on it. And there’s definitely a part for Bunny in that one. And I really like to do a feature where Boots is one of the leads and that’s definitely something that is on the agenda. I feel like Boots has star quality and really has to get himself out there. And I gotta be a stage mom so I’m working on it.
Me: So are you gonna be a good stage mom or a bad stage mom applying too much pressure?
Jacqui: (laughs) I’m not sure. I’m trying pretty hard. There’s a new movie called Pop Star Palm that’s in post right now and I met with the guy just to watch his screening of it. And I said can I bring my dog, I think you would really like him.
Me: When you decided you were gonna pursue your dream of becoming an actor and your view of it then, what has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned over these years?
Jacqui: When I started I was thinking oh I’m going to be a millionaire, and all of this is going to happen, and you don’t realize how hard it is until you actually do it. And some people get really lucky and they become a series regular on a TV show within the first 6 months of trying but that happens almost never. So it’s usually they’re born into it or somehow connected but if you just come here and you don’t know anyone it’s really hard. So for me it’s been a learning experience but along the way I found out I really enjoying writing and creating. And the indie world is really cool because you can have control over things and no one is telling you what to do. And if I was to look back at it I would definitely say this is cool, I never expected I would be a filmmaker. But I’m enjoying the ride and I’m loving it.
Me: So what is your next big release and when will it be available?
Jacqui: I’m not 100% sure which one will be released next but it has Tom Bridges and Eric Roberts in it called Dead Ringer. And I play an obsessive stalker in it and I’m sure that’s coming out in 2014. And the God of Thunder film should be coming out soon. And then Two-Faced next year.