Juliette Bennett Best Actress, Manhattan Film Festival
Sultry New York-based actress Juliette Bennett began acting just a few years back, and already has over ten indie films under her belt, either as the lead or supporting actress. She's also won several awards, including Best Actress at the Manhattan Film Festival, Best Actor in a Comedy & Best Actor in a Short Film at San Francisco's 'Best Actor in a Film Festival'.
Acting is one of the most glamorous - but toughest creative professions on the planet - and with so much high competition, it takes very special talent to even get noticed.
Creative Mapping caught up with Juliette Bennett to find out more about what makes an actor tick. Though, just so you know, Juliette sings too and her voluptuous voice means pleasure to us...
"I think you need to be courageous and challenged without actually getting killed doing it." Juliette Bennett
Moon River - Vocals Juliette Bennett and guitarist Hui Cox. listen HERE:
Moon River Juliette Bennett
ABOUT JULIETTE BENNETT
CM: Did you study acting, if so, where?
Michael Howard Studios and the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio. At Michael Howard, I studied scene study, vocal production, sense memory, Alexander Technique, and Shakespeare. I also took classes and am in an ongoing workshop group with the wonderful Lenard Petit at the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio which is a psycho-physical approach to acting.
CM: How did you get into acting?
I was first a dancer and then got into acting after a narrative drama I was in called "The Other Woman."
CM: What kind of work do you do as an actress?
I currently have a lot of film work but hope to doing a play as there is nothing quite like a live performance. My work is to tell stories with my body, the way an artist works with a paint brush. It takes practice every day. Luck is a skill!
CM: Your favourite role so far?
A Serbo-Croatian cook, who does "other things" to make money she can only hint at on her 'cooking show'. It was a fun role.
I got a lot of laughs for the role of Tulip in "The Couple." I play an New York actor who changes and wants to move to LA after the success of her first Indie film.
CM: Congratulations on your Best Actress win at the Manhattan film festival!
I was really honoured that I won Best Actress at this festival, which showed 132 films at the beautiful Symphony Space.
CM: Any interesting roles you have coming up you can tell us about?
I have been cast in a feisty role for an upcoming Mike Canzoniero feature film called 'Cagney Cried' starring Steve Randazzo and Louise Lasser. I'm also cast in another feature called "Words" about an alternative reality.
CM: How do you prepare for a role, is it different every time?
My teacher Lenard Petit said acting is an artistic lie that you make a truth. I find many different ways to find that truth.
CM: Do you ever experience creative blocks?
If I am thinking about what I should be doing rather than doing it, I'm blocked. I avoid that.
CM: Tell us more about the casting process.
I go to a audition before casting directors, or with directors and just do my best and try not to worry about it.
CM: Who and what inspires you?
I get inspired by anything new; dancing and singing, reading great books and meeting interesting people. Some actors I love to watch are Ingrid Bergman, Simon Signoret and Liv Ullmann.
CM: Do you think you need courage as an actor?
I think you need to be courageous in life. I'm an actor because I like to be courageous and challenged without actually getting killed doing it.
CM: Is chemistry important with the people you work with?
Yes, chemistry is so important, so is the imagination.
CM: Do you have to memorise lines ' how hard or easy is it?
I think memory is like physical exercise and the more you memorise, the easier it gets. I'm not sure there's one way to memorise, but I like to learn new songs, texts, tongue twisters, just to keep my brain alive.
I was in Theatre Masters "Top Ten" where John Lithgow chooses ten minute plays for actors to perform in only a day or so. I had a very long monologue to recite while walking on someone's back at the same time.
CM: Are you a member of any industry groups or clubs?
I'm a member of New York Women in Film and Television and The Players Club.
CM: What makes you so passionate about acting?
I can't imagine doing anything else with my life and I'm passionate about life. I've always been interested in human psychology and myths and love being a part to telling stories that inspire and entertain.
CM: What is your acting goal?
I'd like to continue to do creative work and entertaining projects that I can be proud of.
CM: What would be your dream project?
I'd love to work with an Elia Kazan-like director. His films were about elemental passions, nothing complicated.
I'm not getting my stories from books, they're more inspired by the people I meet. I just like to experience the human behaviour and show that in my movies.
Photography © credits:
Kelley Van Dill - Jennifer-Stepany – Damien Mardel - Alan Glaze - Paloma Pargac - Pavel Antonov.