Movie Interviews

Published on April 13th, 2020 | by Tracey Barrientos

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We Talk Justine With Writer, Actor, Director, and Filmmaker Stephanie Turner

Recently I spoke with writer, actor, director, and filmmaker Stephanie Turner about her new film “Justine” which is available on Netflix.

 

How did you get into the business?

As a kid I always wanted to be an actor. I started pursuing acting work when I was around 15 or 16. I lived in the Washington DC area at the time and would submit myself for regional jobs. After high school I moved to LA and began studying acting and got an agent.

What would you say was your big break? 

My first big job was in the New Line Cinema feature film “Monster-in-Law”, I played a pop star that Jane Fonda’s character interviewed on her talk show. Jane strangled me in the scene, it was an amazing experience.

How does it feel to have your first feature film in the “popular” only a few days after it was released?

It’s incredibly exciting! It’s been really wonderful to hear from people who have discovered the film on Netflix. It’s an amazing thing to have your work on a platform that reaches so many people around the world. I feel very grateful.

What intrigued you most about the story?

As I was working on the script there were so many elements that intrigued me and were things I wanted to explore. I think the biggest one is the judgments we make about one another. It’s something that all the characters in the film deal with at some point.

What were some of the challenges you might have ran into with this film?

We faced a lot of challenges in getting this film made; it took about 5 years from first draft to final cut. Initially, the biggest challenge was finding a producer to make it, which didn’t end up happening. I ended up starting a production company and produced it under that company. I guess many challenges came up but we kept going and finding ways to work around them.

 

What if any were your funniest moments or most memorable?

Our set was full of laughs because our two producers, Louise Shore and Angie Edgar both have a great sense of humor. We also had 3 hilarious kids on set ages, 7, 8 and 9 at the time so they kept us on our toes!  For the most part we tried to keep things light on set knowing that, by nature, film sets can get pretty intense. We had one day where we were doing some driving scenes in an old car (Papa Don’s car) and of course it was in the 90s that day (even though it was early April). The car didn’t have AC and our actors were dressed for Fall weather in jackets and sweaters. It was brutal but we got through it and all the actors were very patient with us.

You are the trifecta of the film industry, do you have a favorite role within the production of a fil.? One more so than the other? or does it depend?

I think it depends. I love just being an actor on something, it’s really fun to embrace a new story that someone else has written and dive into that character. But it is also so rewarding to see a project through from the very beginning of an idea all the way to completion.

For any aspiring females sharing the same interests in the film industry; what would be the best advice you could give to them?  

Just keep going. If you are passionate about the thing you are working on then just keep going on it. It’s difficult for women in this industry, I’m not going to lie. But the only way it gets easier is if we keep doing it.

What do you like to do in your free time and how are you managing this time of Isolation?

 

The quarantine has been challenging. I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old and it’s pretty all-consuming having them both home all day.   By the end of the day I just want to get in bed and watch a show or a movie. I’m just grateful to be healthy and that my loved ones are healthy. It’s such a scary and surreal thing for all of us in the world to be going through.

Anything else you have coming up?

Yes, I’m always writing! I have a finished script which I co-wrote with Karen Bethzabe (she plays Jackie in “Justine”) that we’re trying to make right now. I also have a tv project I’m developing.

 

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Photos by Tommy Flanagan

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