While I awaited Jodelle Ferland in the lobby of Hotel Monaco, I spent my time pretending to admire the purple, maroon, gold and silver holiday decorations. Although they were beautiful, I was really debating whether the man sitting across from me was Kurt Bestor (local composer and pianist). When I was 99.9% sure it was him, Jodelle walked in with her mother.
I was a little nervous about interviewing the girl who had starred in many horror films, including Case 39, They and Silent Hill. I wasn't nervous about the fact that she has over 50+ film and TV credits at only 16, but because some of her roles actually gave me nightmares. I told her this, and she replied "I have a mouth right now so it's not that bad."
I began the interview with questions pertaining to Twilight as she was in SLC promoting the DVD release of the Twilight Saga: Eclipse where she stars as Bree Tanner. For those who don't know, Bree Tanner is a newborn vampire turned by an evil vampire to fight the Cullens (Edward, Alice etc.). She surrenders and tries to control her blood lust, but the Volturi (vampire royalty) are having none of that. Her scene is brief, but her character lives on in Stephenie Meyer's new book: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.
BH: How has your life changed since Eclipse?
JF: Well, my life has changed quite a bit, and in a lot of ways it stays the same. I'm still just, you know, a normal girl who enjoys hanging out with friends doing regular things. But, I mean I wouldn't be here if it hadn't been for Twilight. I've been doing all sorts of conventions, meeting a lot of fans. It's just so much fun.
BH: Do you have any memorable moments from being on Eclipse?
JF: Well, I think honestly the whole movie was pretty memorable. Actually, I did have my 15th birthday on set, so that was pretty cool.
BH: Did you get a cake?
JF: Yeah I did. I had a birthday cake on set. And I mean that is pretty much every girls dream to have, -she smiles and laughs-a birthday party on the set of Twilight. I was so happy that I got to do that. That was really fun.
BH: What about working with Jeff Bridges and Terry Gilliam on Tideland? How was that?
JF: Oh that was awesome. I had a blast on Tideland. It was quite a long time ago by now actually- she laughs- I was nine years old when I did it. I turned 10 in the middle of filming that.
BH: Do you spend most of your birthdays on set?
JF: I do actually.
BH: That must be hard. Are you away from your family a lot?
JF: Well, my mom always comes with me. Because I have to have a parent or guardian on my films, so she has to come with me anyways. So, I'm never completely alone. I mean especially at nine years old when I was filming Tideland. I couldn't be just going off on my own- she laughs- you know sitting in a room ordering room service. It wouldn't work out too well.
BH: Has it ever been too much trying to balance school, acting and everything else?
JF: Well, it's pretty difficult, but I do manage, just barely. I'm homeschooled, and it's an online schooling program. And on set when I'm filming, I have to have a tutor at all times. It's the law. And, so at least when I'm filming I have a tutor so that I can keep going with my schooling even when I'm on set. But, it can get pretty difficult to do both and still find time for other things.
BH: What do you like to do for fun?
JF: Well, I love to read. I'm a major bookworm. And I also love painting and drawing. Artistic-type things.
BH: I read that you would want to play Katniss in Hunger Games.
JF: Well, I think anybody would.
BH : What do you like about Katniss?
JF: Well, I mean, like I said I'm a huge bookworm. So, as soon as somebody mentioned to me "hey I think you might be a good Katniss" I went out and I got the book right away. I read them all pretty much like in a day. But I had to wait for the last book to come out, so that took a while. But the first two I read in two days. And, they were amazing books. I really really enjoyed them. And Katniss, she seems like she would be such an amazing character to play. She's so strong and independent. And there are so many things in the book that I know would just be so much fun to film.
BH: I still need to read that one.
JF: You do need to read it! It's amazing. It's totally right up there on my list with like Harry Potter and Twilight, all of my favorite books. I love Harry Potter. I used to wish I was British just so I could be in Harry Potter. Unfortunately, I'm not.
BH: I love Harry Potter too. So, what kind of roles would you like to take in the future?
JF: Well you can really never be too picky when it comes to the film industry. You have to sort of take things as they come and pretty much take what you get. You don't have to do every single role that comes your way. But, I never really know what I'm going to be doing in the future. I just have to sort of wait and see what roles come my way. I do tend to do a lot of scary movies, which is really cool I love doing those. But it would be fun to do something different.
BH: Of all the TV shows and movies you've been in thus far, which was your favorite and why?
JF: It's really really difficult to pick a favorite. Actually I just did an episode of a TV series called The Haunting Hour, which is not out yet but it will be coming out soon. And, I've never had so much fun on a set before. It was amazing; I got to do all sorts of cool things which I can't tell you about yet. You'll have to watch it for that.
BH: What movies are you currently working on?
JF: I'm busy busy working on tons of things. I just finished a movie called The Tall Man with Jessica Biel. She was really cool. I loved working with her she is so nice. And over the summer I did a movie called Mighty Fine. That's with Chazz Palminteri, Andie MacDowell, and me, obviously. So, those should be coming out sometime soon in the future. And I'm really excited for those to come out. I've also got a lot of other things which are currently secrets. You'll find out soon enough.
BH: Is it hard to keep all those secrets?
JF: Well, it is. Especially when I found out that I got the role in Eclipse. I was not allowed to tell anybody for I think almost a month. Which, it was torture. I mean when you find out something that's really really exciting the first thing you want to do is go tell everybody. But I had to keep it to myself.
BH: That would be hard. Do you think they will make a movie out of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner?
JF: Well, I honestly don't know if it will be or not. That would be pretty cool if it was. I'm not sure if it will be. It's a possibility.
BH: Another one of those secrets?
JF: Jodelle laughs. You know what it's not even. Everybody thinks I'm just not telling them, but I really don't know if it will be a movie or not.
BH: Is it fun being in those horror movies?
JF: It is it's pretty cool actually. I really do like playing the dark character. It's pretty cool. It's really scary when you watch it. It doesn't seem like you'd be having a lot of fun at all. But it is.
BH: What's your favorite part about playing in horror movies?
JF: Well I think the coolest part of being in horror movies is just watching the whole thing come together when you get to go in to the premiere and watch it when it's all finished. Because there's so much that they do afterwards. You know they add music and effects. And it's just really neat to see it like after they're completely finished with it. It looks so amazing.
BH: I'd be kind of scared to be on a scary movie, especially Silent Hill.
JF: It's funny because when I was watching that it really did look really freaky. I mean there were all those different monster-type things. And, actually a lot of that was real. I mean they add things after, they add effects, but it's real make-up. For example, Dark Alessa they didn't do anything after. That was a lot of time in the hair and make-up chair.
When our ten minutes was almost up, I asked my final question.
BH: Anything you'd like to say to your fans?
JF: I just appreciate them so much. I have so many dedicated fans they are all so amazing. I just love that they are so passionate. And, I just love them all.
BH: Well, I know you've got to get to Best Buy to do some signings. Thank you very much, it was nice meeting you.
Jodelle is happy and truly seems grateful for all her acting opportunities. Too bad she won't be able to stick around for Sundance to mingle a little longer with Utahns. She's off to spend some time with family.