Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
February 3, 2006.
With the face of an
angel and a body built for revenge, Jenna Dewan has become the latest
internet sweetheart. The twenty-six-year old former dancer and model has
become well-known by fans of MTV Ė she has starred in videos with Justin
Timberlake and Ricky Martin as well as touring with Janet Jackson and P.
Diddy. Unfortunately, she is
not unknown to the
gossip columns Ė
a few years ago she was rumored to be the woman
who came between Timberlake and his pop-star sweetheart Britney Spears.
(Dewan insisted at the time that she and the singer were
just friends.) Now the attention she is
receiving is more welcome. Dewan is breaking out as an
Her film starring debut
is Tamara, a low-budget horror film about a shy, unattractive high
school student who dabbles in witchcraft and is transformed into a
gorgeous succubus with killer urges. The film was originally planned to be
released straight to video, however rabid web interest in the movie and
its photogenic star have led to the movie getting a theatrical release.
The day before Tamara
was to be released into theaters in New York
(and two weeks before its wider release around the country); Dewan gave us
a call to discuss her new movie and her career.
Previously you had
worked as a dancer on several musical tours and videos with people like P.
Diddy, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin and Janet Jackson. How did you get
into that and what was it like?
It was amazing.
I started dance when I was five years old and danced pretty much
throughout my life. Then at age sixteen, an agent Ė a dance agent from
LA, actually Ė found me and asked if I went to LA if he could represent
me. I said sure. So, right at eighteen I moved to LA and started
auditioning. I went to college as well, I went to USC. I was auditioning
dance-wise and just started booking work. Booked the Janet Jackson tour
and was goneÖ And that was where my life took me in the beginning.
Youíve also modeled for
Stuff. How do your
backgrounds in dancing and modeling help you as an actress?
Well, I think in any
avenue of the industry Ė the entertainment industry Ė itís always kind of
an easier crossover. Because, you know, when dancing, youíre used to
being in front of the camera. Youíre comfortable with different aspects
of being in front of the camera. With modeling, itís the same thing.
Also, you know, you kind of get your feet wet in the industry. So moving
over to actor, youíre still entertaining. Youíre still an entertainer.
Itís pretty much just going from one aspect to another aspect. You get to
learn different skills. It was really fun for me because it was a
challenge. I had never acted before, so it was really trying to learn a
new craft. Then I became passionate about it. I became really excited
about it. (laughs) It was kind of like my new love.
A friend of mine from LA
said that he had met you at a celebration for
producer Dan Curtis when the WB was
thinking of doing a new version of his classic series
Dark Shadows Ė
never aired. How did you get involved with that
project and what happened with
Yeah, right. I
auditioned for it. It was a pilot that I auditioned for. I got it and we
ended up shooting it. You know, it was one of those things where itís
just a real big bummer because everyone was saying, ďItís gonna go. Itís
a classic. They already have a built-in fan base.Ē It turned out, I
think, pretty good, but last minute they pulled it and, you know, it was
just kind of one of those Hollywood stories.
Other films you have
done have tended to be dramatic, but you have also guest-starred on sitcoms like
Quintuplets. Do you prefer doing comedy or drama? Which one is
God, thatís a good
question. I like them both, to be honest. Comedy, I would say, is harder
for me. I think comedy is harder in general.
Dramatic Ė itís more real Ė you have more to draw from. If youíre not a
natural comedian on a daily basis, comedy is Ė itís about timing, itís
about so many other aspects that are hard. But, I had so much fun doing
it. Once you get the sitcom style down and the comedy style down, itís
like a rhythm. It gets a lot easier. I had a blast, though. Iím pretty
goofy to begin with, so I just had to embellish my goofy side.
What attracted you to
My agent sent it to me
for an audition. I read it and I loved the fact that to play Tamara you
had to play two different characters. Not only two different characters,
but completely different sides of the spectrum Ė the poor, picked on,
unattractive girl and the vixen, the revenge-filled powerful woman. I
knew it would be a challenge and I was really excited. And I always kind
of wanted to do a horror movie, so I was excited about that. I really
like the character of Tamara.
In the early scenes, you
had to play Tamara as a mousy, shy, unpopular girl. You did a really good
job of it.
that hard for you? Because Iím assuming that isnít really exactly
what your life was likeÖ
Right. You know what, it wasnít that hard. I mean, there
was a period in my life where I moved around all the time as a kid. There
was a period where I was pretty much the outcast in a lot of ways. So, I
drew from that. But, also, once I got into the wardrobe and the hair and
the makeup, and they did some scarring on my face and puffed up the
eyebrows and shallowed out my eyes. All these things that, once you get
into that and the dowdy clothes, I mean it just kind of came naturally. I
figured out ways to hold myself and be. I just imagined what it would be
like to really be that invisible to people. It was fun.
Once Tamara comes back
and she is evil and very sexually predatory
was it fun to play that kind
of bad girl role?
Yeah, it really was. It
was a lot of fun. It was tricky, because I didnít want to play her like I
was playing someone powerful or sexy. I wanted to have her be more like,
just really into her newfound powers and experimenting with them and
messing with peopleís heads. Just having fun with it, more than oh, Iím
sexy, now Iím going to go use thatÖ (laughs) I wanted to play
with it and it was fun! It was really fun to be a powerful woman
Which of Tamaraís
personalities do you relate to more?
Oh, Iím a mixture of
both. At times, Iím really shy and I
really keep to myself. At times I like to step into my power and step
into my sensuality. On a day to day basis, Iím probably a direct middle
of both of those. (laughs)
It was fun the way
Tamara was able to do get her revenge through mind-control Ė she gets the
characters to do the bad things to themselves. She doesnít physically do
any of the things. Did that idea intrigue you as an actress, having that
much control over others?
Thatís what I loved
about the whole script. Jeffrey Reddick, who wrote Final Destination,
heís really inventive. He wrote this kind of a throwback to old
horror movies, in the sense that a lot of it has been done before. But,
there are twists on it. I liked that as the villainess; I wasnít running
around with a knife and killing people. I liked that I was working on
finding their insecurities and getting them to basically destroy
themselves. Getting to be manipulative. It just made for a way more
interesting character to me.
This was a pretty young,
relatively unknown cast. What were they like to work with?
We had a blast
together. We had so much fun. I mean, we were stuck in Winnipeg, Canada,
which doesnít have the most things to do. (chuckles) But we made
it fun. We had so much fun. I actually grew to love Winnipeg. The cast,
we all really gelled. It was a really, really good casting.
Tamara was originally
supposed to go straight to video, but because of strong feedback is now
getting a theatrical release. How does that make you feel?
Oh my God, I was
extremely excited. It was shown at a few film festivals Ė one being in
New York and a bunch of other things Ė and it got great response. People
really responded to it. The internet just made it go crazy. So, they are
riding the heights right now and releasing it. Iím really excited.
I saw a quote from you
that said that you
have only a very basic understanding of the internet Ė you can get your
email and maybe look at a site if you know exactly
where it is but otherwise you are kind of lost. How weird is it that
the internet may be responsible for giving your career a boost?
Yes. Yeah, truly, Iím
like man, maybe I should learn a little more internet. (laughs)
Since this movie, I will say, Iíve gotten a lot better. I now know how to
surf. I know how to reach different things, how to find links. But,
literally, Iím still pretty slow with it.
Youíre also promoting
doing a win-a-date contest. How did that idea come up?
It was the producerís
idea. I think they just decided it would be kind of fun. I get to go and
pick a guy and pick a date Ė whoever I want to go with and have a fun
night on the town. I was like, okay. (laughs) Sounds fun to me.
Now Iíve seen in
interviews that you say
Tamara is your first
film, but according to a filmography I found on the internet, it said you
also did a movie called Waterborne. What was that? Was that after
was technically the first acting job I did. But it was a really small
independent movie and it was actually a really small part. There werenít
even really lines to it; it was an improv type of thing. Apparently itís
a really great movie; I havenít even seen it to be honest. So, I always
say Tamara pretty much is my first movie.
You have also just
finished two new films,
Take the Lead with
Antonio Banderas and an untitled
Disney musical film
about high school with Rachel Griffiths and Heavy D. What can we expect from them?
They were amazing to
work on. I love Antonio. Heís probably one of my favorite people Iíve
ever worked with. That movie is great. Itís really fun and itís kind of
like a Dangerous Minds meets Save the Last Dance, in a way.
So, I got to use my dancing. On both of the movies I got to go back into
my dancing a little bit. Theyíre fun, big movies and hopefully they will
Letís fast forward a bit
here, to later on into your career. Ideally, how would you like for
people to look back at your career as an actress?
I would hope that people
would look back and see that Iíve made really interesting, creative
choices, and Iíve gotten to play different types of characters. Not just
sticking to one type. Really fighting for really playing Ė Iíd like to do
bigger movies. Iíd like to do action movies. Iíd like to do musicals.
Iíd like to do small, independent movies. Iíd like to do so many
different things that you really canít put me pigeonhole me into one
category. Iíd like to do all different kinds of stuff. I would do TV. I
would do anything, you know, as long as the character was something that I
was excited and creatively interested in. I would like to bring light
into everyoneís life and make people feel something Ė joy and happiness
and sadness. Thatís pretty much my only goal.
CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT JENNA
DEWAN HAD TO SAY TO US IN 2012!
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