July 21, 2014 Interview – Jillian Murray
The art of storytelling is one of the most captivating forms of entertainment known to humanity. For American actress Jillian Murray, the desire to partake in the thick of the plot prompted her to move out to Hollywood and pursue a career in film in her later teenage years. Starring in a variety of films and television series such as Disney’s Sonny With a Chance, horror film The Graves (2009), and mystery-thriller Wild Things: Foursome (2010), Murray has gained a ton of experience in a short time. Now taking on a role in Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, she continues into the horror genre while growing in her career. Recently we sat down with the film star to discuss her love for acting, her role in Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, and her future in movies.
CrypticRock.com – You became involved in films at a young age. What inspired you to delve into acting?
Jillian Murray – I moved to Los Angeles when I was 18 but I did not actually start booking jobs until around 2004. I was not that young, a lot of people start when they are 5-7. I think the thing that inspired me to make this a career choice was that I was really interested in telling stories and exploring characters in general. I think that kind of just blended to what I was interested in, it was either that or psychology.
CrypticRock.com – That makes sense. Among your resume you have some stand out credits including appearing on Disney’s Sonny with a Chance and the horror film The Graves (2009). What do you find the most challenging aspect of getting into different roles?
Jillian Murray – Well Sonny with a Chance is more sitcom acting, which is a very different world than a horror film. For me, it is more challenging to a do a sitcom in front of a live audience.
CrypticRock.com – Those are two vastly different things and shows you are a dynamic actress. Now one of your latest films, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, will be released in theaters August 1st. This is in fact the third film in the film franchise. What was it like working on film?
Jillian Murray – The locations were amazing, that is what drew me in originally. It was filmed in the Dominican Republic, it is a horror film, but there are beautiful landscapes, and the extremes of the two are really interesting to me. I was actually a really big fan of the first Cabin Fever so when I heard they were doing another, I was interested. If there was another Exorcist film I would be really interested in that. There are certain films that you grow up watching, especially horror films which always have sequels, that I am a fan of. Cabin Fever was one of; The Exorcist (1973) was another one. I got lucky with that one.
CrypticRock.com – That is great that you have the chance to be a part of something you genuinely are into. When Cabin Fever was first introduced back in 2002 it was a major horror film hit. The follow-up, Spring Fever, was not as successful, but this third film seems to really have a solid storyline and some interesting concepts. How excited are you to be part of the rejuvenation of the series?
Jillian Murray – I think it is really exciting when they start doing reboots of films. The storyline is really interesting. I really like things that do with virus and things that can technically really happen. When it is really cheesy horror such as aliens and ghosts, it is not as interesting to me. The religious horror films are scary to me and so are the ones with medical concepts because they are more realistic to me. I was interested in that.
CrypticRock.com – You play the role of Penny in the film. You and your friends come in contact with the flesh-eating virus and we will let audiences find out the rest. This film actually really keeps the viewer guessing the entire way through. Do you feel that was the intent of writer Jake Wade Wall to bring that suspense back?
Jillian Murray – I think that is every writer’s intent in terms of horror, you always want to keep the audience at the edge of their seat. Here is the thing though, you can have a great script, great cast, and great group of people working behind the scenes, but in the end it is in the editor’s hands, they pretty much control what you are going to see. You never really know going into it, you always have high hopes that they end up making the film the same way. I have done a bunch of films where the script is great but when I saw the film it was not even the same script. They literally will cut it so much that the editor is pretty much the creative person in it and they make their own films. Cabin Fever: Patent Zero pretty much stuck straight to the script. It is pretty much what we were expecting to see when we were making it.
CrypticRock.com – That is good. Obviously editing is essential but it is great they kept it to the original script for the most part.
Jillian Murray – Right, because there are so many times you do films and you then watch them and say what is this movie, because they really change them a lot.
CrypticRock.com – My last question for you is regarding films. Crypticrock.com is a music and horror news site so we like to focus on all genres. Are you fans of horror films and if so what are some of your favorite horror films?
Jillian Murray – The Exorcist for sure. Signs (2002), I love that movie, it has that realism to it. Pretty much anything to do with exorcisms. The Last Exorcism (2010) was really scary to me as well.
CrypticRock.com – The original Exorcist is one of the best horror films of all time. If you had the opportunity to be in one of those Exorcist films you would really love that.
Jillian Murray – 100%, I think it would be epic. To be honest, I think it would be really hard though. It is really a difficult film to do; you are stepping on a lot of people’s toes when you are doing that type of films in terms of the genre. I feel like there is a challenge to get the audience all into it, because there are a lot of religious people which do not like to see that type of film being made. There are also some really scary stories on the set of The Exorcist.