With skills as a dancer and in martial arts, actress Julianne Collins can currently be seen in Brat show Total Eclipse in the role of Allison with her first episode airing in September last year. Julianne recently filmed for award-winning documentary California’s Forgotten Children which was written and directed by Melody C. Miller and screened at many film festivals. Recently chatting to us, Julianne tells us about playing the role of Allison in Total Eclipse, filming for the documentary and one of the highlights of her career so far.
How would you describe your character, Allison in Total Eclipse?
Allison is one of Diana’s minions, so she’s a bit ditsy, mean, and great at gossip.
What was it like joining the show in Series 2?
It felt like jumping into a well-oiled machine. Everyone already knew each other and worked so well together, I felt like I had to find my place quickly.
Who did you spend the most time with on set and what was it like meeting the rest of the cast for the first time?
Everyone was so sweet! I ended up hanging out with my fellow gossip girls and the hair and makeup crew mostly.
For those who haven’t seen the series, can you explain what it is about?
It’s about a group of girls’ adventures through school, with glimpses into their fantasy worlds that they use to cope with everyday life.
Is Total Eclipse your first experience of a regular character and how was it working on a Brat series?
It was my first experience of appearing in multiple episodes of a series. Everyone on set worked so efficiently, it was incredible what we were able to film in a single day.
Can you tell us about the documentary, California’s Forgotten Children?
California’s Forgotten Children is a documentary surrounding sex trafficking with children, in California. I played a young Carissa Phelps, who is a survivor and activist for other victims of human trafficking. The film follows stories from girls and boys of how they eventually escaped.
What was it like taking on this role?
I had never set out to play a role like this, but when I read about the project I couldn’t imagine not being a part of it. I remember when I first learned about it, I felt so pulled to this project to bring awareness to it. I’m fortunate enough to not have an experience with human trafficking, but sitting in the prison jumpsuit I wore for one of the scenes was haunting.
How important do you think the documentary is and what audience do you think should see it?
I think it’s extremely important, and not because I’m in it! The message needs to be heard, and the general population turning a blind eye does nothing to stop the problem. We are more powerful than we think at affecting change. I think pre-teens, teenagers and adults must watch it, because they need to know what they or their friends and loved ones could be getting pulled into.
What drew you to the roles of Lili in Fairy Tale and Julie in Mother’s Death Anniversary and what were both like to film?
Both were after California’s Forgotten Children, and were more darkly themed films. Lili was being exploited for money by her father, and she doesn’t get a happy ending. It isn’t ideal, since movies are supposed to be happily-ever-after, but it was refreshing to see that she didn’t have a perfect ending. Julie had to deal with her mom’s death, her older sister’s anorexia, and her father’s excessive drinking. Of the family, she was probably the most stable one. It felt like Julie’s character was a third party looking into the dynamic of the family. I really liked the idea of someone trying to keep it all together, especially when everything else could be falling apart.
They were so fun to film, everyone on both crews understood the material and were very professional about it.
Are there ways to watch any of these productions?
Unfortunately, Fairy Tale and Mother’s Death Anniversary aren’t publicly available, but California’s Forgotten Children is about to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray!
You voiced the role of Myra in an episode of Henry Danger; how was this experience and would you like to do more voiceover work?
It was my first time on a TV set, and I loved it! I would love to do voiceover work.
What prompted your interest in martial arts?
When I was super little my parents enrolled me into Taekwondo for self-defence. None of us thought I’d fall in love with it!
What was your favourite dance to train in and have you had chance to incorporate dance or martial arts into any of your roles so far?
My favourite dance has always been hip-hop. I loved Jazz, too, but hip-hop was my favourite since the first class I took. I haven’t been able to incorporate dance or martial arts in yet, sadly, but I hope I get to soon!
When was your first acting experience and what do you remember about it?
I was in second grade performing at a local theatre company. I remember backstage smelling like hairspray and my mom helping everyone with their makeup. My role wasn’t big, I was on stage for probably a few minutes out of the whole show, but I would practice my part in my bedroom at night.
Do you have any projects you’ll be filming in the next few months?
I don’t have anything lined up at the moment.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
It’s hard to pick a single moment or thing. One of the highlights was when my Super Bowl commercial aired. My family didn’t tell anyone about it, no extended family or friends. Our cell phones were blowing up once it aired, everyone asking if they just saw me on TV. That was my first big moment of seeing my own work, and other people seeing it too.
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