Juliette Fairley may have blazed onto the acting scene playing serious, dramatic roles, but the gloves are off (and the fangs are on!) in her latest film, Summer of Blood, a comedic spin on the beloved vampire film. Aside from giving Fairley an opportunity to let her hair down, the film has gained entry into the coveted Tribeca Film Festival. The Daily Quirk had the opportunity to talk with Fairley about her film’s upcoming Tribeca debut, getting bloodied up and into character on the set of Summer of Blood and which social issue inspires her writing career. Read on for the full interview!
The Daily Quirk: Congrats on Summer of Blood being selected for the Tribeca Film Festival. Can you tell us a bit about the film?
Juliette Fairley: Yeah, the film is an independent feature film, about 90 minutes long. It’s a vampire comedy about a guy who is a commitment-phobe and doesn’t want to marry his girlfriend. They break up and then he goes on Match.com and he meets three new girls, and I’m one of them. In the process he gets bitten by a vampire in Brooklyn and then bites all three of us and we all become vampires. It’s really funny!
TDQ: And can you tell us a bit about your character Denise?
JF: Basically, he takes my character on a dinner date and he really grosses me out! He has food dribbling down his face and my character is really grossed out by him. He’s also obnoxious. I run off at the end of the night to get away from him and I call him a jerk. So, I think my character starts out being a little prim and proper, and then by the time he turns my character into a vampire, my character is all out, loose and wild. He does it to the other two girls as well.
TDQ: What attracted you to the role?
JF: Well, it’s funny, when I read the script I was laughing throughout the whole thing. And after I read the script I said, ‘I gotta be in this!’ so I told them that I accepted the role. I’ve done a lot of movies where I’ve played serious, dramatic roles like a drug addict or a single mom who’s struggling and I never get a chance to do funny roles so I jumped on it immediately.
TDQ: Summer of Blood was shot in just 9 days with two canon 5Ds. That must have been an intense experience. What was it like shooting?
JF: We did a lot of late night shoots in Williamsburg and it was very intense because we were on a tight schedule and a tight budget. I remember one night we didn’t leave the set until 5 a.m. We pulled an all-nighter.
TDQ: What do you think it is about the vampire drama that has such an appeal to audiences?
JF: I think everyone has experiences with a personality, whether it’s your mom, your dad or your brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend or neighbor and they seem really nice to you and then one day they’re like a monster. I think everyone has that moment where they think ‘Gosh, she was so nice, and now she’s a demon, what happened to her?!’ So I think that’s why the vampire movies appeal to people because we can all relate to: ‘What’s become of my mother?’ or ‘What’s become of my boyfriend?’ It’s not necessarily that they become vampires, but you see them in a bad mood and you didn’t know that they could become so nasty.
TDQ: You already touched on the fact that you enjoyed playing a comedic role, but was it fun getting to play a vampire?
JF: It was so much fun! I got to wear fangs, I still have them, and I got to wear these colored contacts. We had blood all over us. It was definitely fun. Between the fangs, the contact lenses and the blood, it was an actress’ dream in the drama department in high school. These are the kinds of roles you want to play, you want to be somebody that you’re not, even if it’s for a six or nine-day shoot.
TDQ: What was it like finding out Summer of Blood would be shown at Tribeca?
JF: It was a surprise to me, I was shocked! I had emailed one of the producers about a movie that he was doing that he thought there was a role for me, and when I asked when we would get started filming he told me it was on the back burner because we got accepted to Tribeca. That was incredible. This is the biggest film festival I’ve been in.
TDQ: Will you be coming out to the festival to support the film?
JF: Yes, I will be showing up to the red carpet. The opening night of the film is the April 17 so I will be getting ready for that, going to the gym, yoga and all that stuff to be in shape for the red carpet [laughs].
TDQ: Maybe you can wear the fangs!
JF: We were talking about that! We asked if we could wear our fangs for the red carpet but they said no.
TDQ: Maybe for the after party.
JF: Yes, for some fun shots [laughs].
TDQ: Let’s talk about you a bit, what made you decide to become an actress?
JF: My father was a performer when he was younger and my mother is a painter, so I grew up in a creative household and acting was always something that I loved to do. I would entertain my friends by putting on scenes for them and they would laugh and laugh. Then I studied drama in school and it kind of evolved from there. I continued to take classes and auditioned and it was always something I was good at and that I liked.
TDQ: You’re also a writer, can you tell us a bit about some of your other projects?
JF: Yeah, well I wrote a script that I’m still shopping around, as well as a couple of short films that I wrote, starred in, directed and cast. One of them won three awards, including one at the New York International Film Festival in L.A. I also write for TheStreet.com.
TDQ: What inspires your work?
JF: The short film scripts that I’ve written that were accepted into film festivals are basically about being biracial by having a black father and a white mother, and how a lot of biracial people are stuck in the middle. My short films are usually a commentary on that struggle. A lot of people can relate to it whether they’re half Mexican, half White, or half American. It can apply to anybody who has a parent that’s a different religion and the other one isn’t. That’s what inspires me, showing the conflict.
TDQ: We like to end on a fun note, so if you could play any other supernatural creature or super-human, what or who would it be?
JF: I think Wonder Woman because I like her costume, she looks very sexy and I like to be sexy. Or the genie from I Dream of Jeannie, I like her costume too.
The Daily Quirk would like to thank Juliette Fairley for taking the time to chat with us. You can check out Summer of Blood when it premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 17th. For more info on the film, visit the Official Site of the Tribeca Film Festival.