Jamie Bernadette had no small feat when she took on the role of Jennifer Hills’ daughter in I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu. The actress has more on her schedule than just this difficult role. She can be seen in a number of upcoming projects including the TV series Ember and the film Ash and Bone.
I’m glad you can take some time to talk to me about the movie.
For sure. Thank you so much. I’m excited.
I talked to Camille last week and she had such wonderful things to say about you and your work in Deja Vu. I was really excited to talk to you after I spoke to her.
That’s nice. I love her.
I know. How can you not love her? She’s great. We were talking about her wish to have been in more scenes with you.
Yeah, it would have been cool if she could have been in more of the film.
We also spoke about the fact that she would have loved to spend more time with you.
That’s really sweet. We got really close and hangout when she comes into town. We have a really close bond.
She’s like your faux mom.
So how did you find out about this film initally? How did that come about?
Actually I saw a casting notice and it was like this super model, you know I will never get this. I knew the film. I knew the original film. I loved it. I thought it was brilliant. So, I was definitely interested in the film but I almost didn’t submit. Then, I was just like what the heck and I just pushed the button. Then they asked me for tape. I sent in a self tape and then I got a call back. I still didn’t think I would get it. I just didn’t think I was pretty enough. I thought no way.
Don’t think that. You look amazing.
You’re so sweet. but we all know what Victoria Secret models look like. If they want a Victoria Secret model then I’m not getting this. I went in and auditioned. I’m good when he was in the room. I was like okay, great, and then I had a third audition. I read with all different actors. They kept me in the room for five hours reading with other actors and seeing chemistry. I don’t know for some reason they picked me. I don’t know. Terry told me from his side what it was my audition, acting basically. That’s how I got the role.
It’s so interesting that you bring up that you were a fan of the original because I was talking to Camille about this. Especially with a lot more women in film criticism, a film which was once vilified has a lot of women are speaking up for it now and saying this film is really a good movie. It deserves to be seen. It deserves to be regarded as such.
Jennifer Hills in the original film a really big thing about it. She deserves to be put on the horror heroine hall of fame because she is the ultimate survivor. Now, you’re playing her daughter who turns into her own bad ass survivor. That must be a great feeling to carry on that kind of strong woman role.
Yeah, absolutely. I love that role. To be part of the franchise is still surreal to me. It doesn’t seem real even now.
Have you seen the final cut of the film?
Oh, no I’ve seen it. I was at the premiere. So yeah, I’ve seen it. No, I do have some movies I’ve been in that I have not seen. [LAUGHS] But I have seen this one. I watched it at Terry Zarchi’s house before the premiere. So, I’ve seen it twice now.
That must be a surreal experience to see yourself up there going through all of this tramatic material and just making it through.
It just doesn’t seem real. When I’m watching, it doesn’t seem like it’s me. It seems out of body.
I have to ask is there any talk, any idea on your part about continuing this story line?
No, we have talked about it for sure. More than once, it’s been brought up with the producer. I was just thinking about it the other day actually. It’ll be interesting to see if they do end up doing another film and continuing it. It just depends how this film does. I don’t know.
Yeah, I would love to see where this goes from here. I mean there are so many possibilites.
There’s definitely indication at the end of the film the way I put on my dad’s hat. I have his blood in me as well. He’s the villian. So, it’s a dual character.
Exactly. When that’s revealed to her, suddenly she’s dealing with these two different people that have made her in this very tramatic experience. So, there’s a lot of things for her to explore in the future.
That would be one of those roles where you could really dig into and play around with the character.
I did on Deja Vu. I mean I went super dark with it.
From the characters first scene where you see her with her mother to the end of the film, you can see that change going on. Credit to you for doing that.
Thank you. I definitely had it in mind that I was also Johnny’s daughter.
I’m assuming that you knew that going into the film. Was it a surprise sprung on you during filming?
I think they showed me the script before they even cast me in the role because they were down to me and two others; then it was me and one other girl. I think they wanted to see if I read the script, if I still wanted to do it and I did. I saw the script pretty early on.
It’s so interesting that your story about getting the role mirrors Camille’s own story about getting the role of Jennifer. That had to be a good omen. Something I approached with her and I’ll approach with you as well. When you were going into this role, because sexual assault is part of this, did you at all research or talk with any sexual assault survivors to prepare?
I did have someone close to me that was raped the first time she had sex. So, I did have that to go off of. I did months and months and months research getting ready. It was some sleepless nights let me tell you.
I can imagine.
Like everything I read, watched YouTube videos. I remember Elizabeth Smart was one of the cases that I really looked into. She was taken from her home at a very young age. I think it was Utah. I watched this one interview with a women who was brutally raped and she had been left for dead and survived. Now, gang rape stories I read there was one that was in France and it was 20 or 30 guys. They got 30 days in jail. I read the statistics that one in four women have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime in America. South Africa is the rape capital of the world. I learned a lot. I really did prepare for it.
When I was speaking to Camille about that she talked to me about a convention experience where a rape survivor came up to her in tears. She told her how much the film meant to her. It’s facinating because all the initial reviews of the film were male critics talking about how dare they make this movie. Women are like this is our life; this is what life is like for us.
We have to be afraid of this everyday. Both films are showing the brutality of it.
I had two people from cast and or crew, I won’t say which ones, came up to me crying because they knew some who had been raped. It’s like what Camille described with people coming up to her crying like she was a counselor. It happened to me on set as we were shooting. Two people were crying their eyes out to me, pouring their heart out to me. I get chills just thinking about it. It was really emotional for people.
It is. I told Camille the first time I watched both of these films I was in tears. It connects whether you’ve known somebody, whether you’ve gone through it yourself; it’s something that touches off these feelings. Have you been experiencing a lot of the fan reaction that Camille has?
Are you planning to do more of the convention circuit, get out there and go to some horror events?
Yeah, it’s definitely a possibilty in the future. Camille and I have wanted to go to one together.
That would be great.
Go together as team. Hopefully that can happen soon .
And you’re doing a movie or have you completed the movie with Kane Hodder?
I have not. I’m attached to like 20 films right now. It’s hard to keep them all straight.
You need a vacation.
I just had one so I’m feeling pretty revitalized.
I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu is available for purchase on DVD and on-demand through YouTube, Amazon, Vudu, and Google Play.