The actress talks about her role in Wild Things: Foursome, Cougar Hunters a Mass Effect movie and more
Jillian Murray is certainly an actress on the rise and one to look out for in the near future. After roles in such films as An American Carol, Knuckle Draggers, Forget Me Not and one of this year's eight AfterDark Horrorfest films The Graves, not to mention providing the face and body for the character Dr. Liara T'Soni in the popular video game Mass Effect, the actress seems poised for a big career jump in the near future. Her latest film is Wild Things: Foursome, which was just released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 1. I recently had the chance to talk with this young actress over the phone, and here's what she had to say.
I was curious if you were a fan of this series before you signed on and what your initial reactions to the script were?
Jillian Murray: I actually was a fan of the original series. I haven't seen the second and third films, but the first one I am a huge fan of. I love the entire cast, the twists and turns, the edgy end of it, I'm a huge fan. This actual script, when it came about, I was really excited about it but I thought there was no way in hell I will get this. I only booked the sweet girl next door roles but I kept getting callback after callback and I thought, 'Wow, maybe I have a shot.' So yeah, it was really exciting.
Were roles like this something you were definitely looking for, to break out of the mold I guess?
Jillian Murray: Definitely. I talk with my agents and my team and we've been wanting to branch out. A lot of the offers I get are for these innocent 16-year-olds and I turn down a lot of stuff because it's the same-old same-old. The whole point of wanting to act is trying to change it up and I want to experience everything. This is the one that I really got to do everything different.
Your director Andy Hurst wrote the second and the third film before directing this film. What was it like to have that experience with this whole franchise with a director like that?
Jillian Murray: Oh, Andy is amazing. He is probably one of the funniest people in the world. He's just hilarious and he's really cool because he definitely has a vision of what he wants because he's done it before. It's really easy to ask him questions and he'll know exactly what he's going for.
Where did you actually film this and could you also talk about what an average day on the set was like?
Jillian Murray: Sure. We filmed it in Florida. We had some scenes in Fort Lauderdale, where our hotels were, some scenes in Miami and some in Key West. It was absolutely breathtaking, every location. When you watch the movie, it makes you want to go on vacation. It's beaches and expensive homes and palm trees, it's sexy. Florida is sexy. An average day on the set, it would change, depending on what scenes we were doing. Some days we would have a few hours because we would need to learn how to drive a boat, or gun training. The stuff that was more touchy-feely, we had to choreograph some of those too.
This series definitely has that racy reputation. Was that one of the concerns when you signed on to this or was that something you were game for?
Jillian Murray: It was actually a concern at first, but, again, it was like, how many times am I going to get a character like this? I had to consider that and it was like, 'Why not?' I'm still young so if I'm going to do anything like this, I might as well do it when I'm young and without cellulite. At least this is proof, 'I used to look like this!' (Laughs)
That's great. I grew up watching The Dukes of Hazzard and I have to ask what it was like working with John Schneider?
Jillian Murray: Oh, cool! It was really, really exciting and obviously he has so much experience. He has such a style and he's just so ready to go right away. We actually have a really awesome scene together, but we didn't work together too much. We have a scene together where we're on a yacht and it's gorgeous. It's so cool and he's so professional and so ready to go.
The rest of the cast is filled with a lot of other young actors like Ashley Parker Angel and Marnette Patterson. Can you talk a bit about working with the rest of this young cast and if you had worked with any of these other actors before?
Jillian Murray: I haven't worked with any of them before. My audition scenes were actually with Ashley and Jessie Nickson. She came on last minute, but she is the sweetest thing in the world. We stay in touch all the time and we're really close friends now. She's just amazing. Ashley was just such a cool and different choice for Carson, in my opinion. I expected a little more rough around the edges and he's just a really sweet guy next door. Yeah, it was really fun.
How much would you say that this film will stand out in this entire franchise of films?
Jillian Murray: Well, hopefully, it stands out over any of them. Hopefully when they refer to Wild Things, they refer to this one. They're very similar in the fact that they're all about Florida and the seduction and the murder and that's what it's pretty much all about with the characters changing.
I actually just found you on Twitter this morning and I saw you were pretty excited about the news of the Mass Effect movie.
Jillian Murray: Yes! It's exciting. It's coming out, but I think it's at least two years away now. They have a script that they are doing right now so I hope it turns out as good as the game because it has so many fans. You know, video game fans are like nothing else. You can do so many movies or so many TV things but video games is where there is just everyone. E3 is just huge! I never expected that.
Is that something that you're lobbying for? Do you think they'd bring you on to reprise your role as Dr. Liara T'Soni?
Jillian Murray: Well, the face and the body is mine. I don't know who could look more like me than me, so it's a very obvious answer. It's a little ways away because they don't even have a script locked down and they're not attaching anyone. It's going to happen, but it's more of a matter of getting the script right. It's hard because it's an RPG game and if you choose your own path, how are you going to make a movie? Will everyone choose their own path in the movie?
I'm not going to lie. That would be pretty cool. Everyone gets a keypad or something.
Jillian Murray: In a movie theater, interacting with the film? Let's make it happen! (Laughs)
You have a few other films that are in the works. Is there anything you can say about those at this time?
Jillian Murray: Yes. I have a movie called Cougar Hunting coming out. It's a comedy that we filmed it in Aspen and it's with Lara Flynn Boyle and myself. That one should be coming out this year. I have a film called Forget Me Not and I have a lot of producing so this year is filled.
Oh, you're producing too?
Jillian Murray: I am, yeah. I'm just starting, actually.
Is there anything you can say about those?
Jillian Murray: I was offered two different projects to become a producer on and I don't want to talk about them yet. They're both thrillers, though.
Would you be willing to branch out even more into writing or directing?
Jillian Murray: No, no. I think producing is it (Laughs).
On the acting side, is there maybe a dream role that you're still chasing that you haven't had yet?
Jillian Murray: You know what, I would love to do some crazy action or even a real romantic comedy. I think that would be really exciting. I haven't done anything like that, something that is just complete adrenaline the entire time. With the romantic comedy, I guess Katherine Heigl has the ideal right now.
Yeah, she's locking all those down, it seems.
Jillian Murray: I know! How is she getting ALL of them?
She's got to share the wealth.
Jillian Murray: I know. Give me a few years, Katherine. I'm going to knock you down (Laughs).
Excellent. Just to wrap up, what would you like to say to the fans of the Wild Things series about why they should pick up Wild Things: Foursome on DVD or Blu-ray?
Jillian Murray: Well, they will not be disappointed. It's definitely Wild Things times four. It's more money, more sex, more everything and hopefully they'll like it.
Well, that's my time. Thanks so much for your time and the best of luck with, hopefully, Mass Effect.
Jillian Murray: I know, I can't wait! Cross your fingers!
You can watch the lovely Jillian Murray in Wild Things: Foursome, which is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray.