Grae Jordan (Actor, Maniacal Night)
THR: First off, what’s your favorite horror movie? What movie scared you the most?
Grae Jordan: Cabin in the Woods, I love satire and it made the horror aspect not as daunting. I am scared of most horror movies, so I can't really pick (I'm not the biggest fan of horror movies). It was easier to act in horror because it feels like you are in on the joke instead of the joke being on you.
THR: Your performance was creepy as hell. What was your inspiration when performing in the film?
GJ: My inspiration was a mixture of Baby Firefly, Harley Quinn, and myself if I was insane. I always wanted to be a villian in a movie, so this is a dream come true.
THR: When working on an indie film, how much input do you get into how your character acts or the dialogue that you perform?
GJ: Maniacal Night Director Shreco Bakari told the cast that the script is a base that we were allowed to build upon. So ad-libbing was heavily encouraged. I also had a lot of control on how my character acted. Neither Shreco or Cicely wanted to know what I was going to do to them. Even Stranger 1 didn't know what I had planned next. But most film projects as an actor you don't get as much flexibility to explore other dialogue/ character choices. You normally just do what the director says. So I would say the cast and I are very bless to have a director that trusts and believes in our skills, judgement, and talent as actors.
THR: How long have you known that you wanted to work in film? Were there any particular movies that inspired your desire to be an actress?
GJ: I have wanted to be in film ever since I could understand what a movie was. My mom used to tell me that when I was three, I would tell her I wanted to be on the big screen when she would take me to see a movie. She would try to convince me to be a newscaster or tv meteorologist, but I wouldn't budge. It was either big screen or nothing (funny enough my backup plan for acting was to become a scientist). I don't think there was a movie that inspired me to become an actress because I had this dream from a very young age. But I do think Tyler Perry's Madea movies had a big effect on me growing up and they inspired me to go after my acting dream especially after hearing Mr. Perry's life story.
THR: Is horror your preferred genre to work in? Are there any other genres you want to be involved in?
GJ: Not really, I kinda just got sucked into it. Don't get me wrong, I love getting the experience of acting in horror and I would absolutely be in more horror movies in the future. But I wouldn't consider myself a horror actor. I would love to get involved with every genre of movie but my favorite genre is action. More specifically action-adventure comedy, picture any Dwayne Johnson movie that was made in the 2010's. So, trying to get cast in an action-adventure comedy movie is the next goal for my career.
THR: Obviously, when you play a role as a psychotic maniac, it’s going to differ a good bit from your own personality. What are the difficulties in playing someone with such a mean streak if that’s not who you are as a person?
GJ: At risk of sounding like an actual psychotic maniac, It wasn't that difficult. It was kind of nice to portray a terrible person because I know that Stranger 2 is not me. The only thing we have similar is a face and a voice. I know my character and I just put her on like an outfit when I need her. Then take her off when I'm done or think of my method as flipping on a light switch. I'm on when I hear action, then off when I hear cut. I can't tell if it is a good or bad thing for me to be able to slip into a role like this with ease (I'll let you decide that one).
THR: How did you get involved in the production of Maniacal Night? Was it just a standard audition or did you already have a relationship with the cast and crew?
GJ: I have worked with almost everyone in the cast before(the cast is also the crew lol), so the relationship was already there. Also I was able to mesh well with the new cast member. So, it was just a great environment to be in during rehearsal and on set. I didn't have to audition, I was offered the role and I gladly accepted. It was awesome to get offered a role instead of auditioning, but if Shreco wanted me to audition I would have given him the audition of a lifetime.
THR: If you could work with anyone in the industry, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
GJ: I have two, I don't know if that is cheating but I can't decide between the two (it is like asking a parent who is their favorite child). Viola Davis and Dwayne Johnson, I want to work with them for different reasons. Viola Davis is a phenomenal actress, is the embodiment of regality and grace, her performances in Doubt and The Help should be considered the gold standard for acting, and she inspires me to be better not only as an actress but a person. Dwayne Johnson's movies were my childhood, he made acting look like so much fun. He always tries to have a good time in whatever project he does. So, honestly I want to work with him because I think he would make set and press tour life a blast (can you tell that I am a fangirl).
THR: What’s next for you? Any new projects you’re excited to talk about?
GJ: Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to answer this question at the moment, but I am hard at work. So, all I can say for now is . . . . . . . Stay Tuned.
THR: Finally, if you finished this interview and immediately found a winning lottery ticket for ten million dollars, what would you do with the money?
GJ: I would put 5 million in a savings account, so it can build interest for when I retire (like I'm ever going to retire from acting, but it's a nice thought). 2.5 million I would invest in property and the stock market. 2 million would be donated to wherever or whoever needs it. Then I would keep the last 500,000 to fund my acting career, trying to become a professional actress ain't cheap. I don't know if this is economical but it is what I would do. Also, I am aware that this was supposed to be a simple question and I should have given an answer like, buy a mansion or travel around the world. But where is the fun in that? I really enjoyed answering your questions, I had an amazing time!