Julie Maddalena [Interview]

Welcome to Day 19 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 6 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

 

Believe it or not Folks, we are entering our final days of our Month of Horror! I know we still have 12 days to go before the big night of Halloween, but this essentially means that we are already breaking out all of the proverbial big guns, and even having to forgo our usual Splatterday Special because we were so fortunate to receive so many wonderful interviews with some of the best in the business of scaring the shit out of you! Thus, here we are, on a Saturday, with some wonderful words from the absolutely legendary scream queen herself, the incredible Julie Maddalena!

Julie made her debut in the world of film, horror specifically, in the classic adaptation of Stephen King’s Children of the Corn some 35 years ago. And she has not let up since. She has had a brilliant career on screen both in and out of the horror world. And beyond the world of on screen performances, she is an accomplished voice actor as well, appearing in a plethora of animated films, TV, and video games. In the later she has especially done some amazing work in the Dynasty Warrior franchise, which is exceptionally fantastic.

Yes, Maddalena is an absolute gem of a human being who has done some incredible work, and we are so happy that she agreed to be a part of our Month of Horror series. So Folks, pleas enjoy some great words from the brilliant Julie Maddalena!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it an early aspiration you can always remember having since your youth, or did you just find yourself in this world one day? 

I started out as a dancer at the age of seven and I used to weep after watching performances because I wanted to do it so badly. I never wanted to watch- I just wanted to get up and do it myself! I even dug through the family history to see if there were other performers- just my mom who performed adagio with her brother but was painfully shy so she never wanted to pursue it. I did find a great uncle who tried to act but never heard anything more about him! So it was all me! 

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any kind of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work today? 

I got a McDonald’s commercial celebrating the 50th anniversary of the double cheeseburger! I got to dance, 50’s style for the commercial! It was a blast!! 

In 1984 you appeared in the now legendary film in the world of horror, one of the greatest of all time, Children of the Corn. When you were working on the project back then, was there any indication as how insanely popular this film and the franchise as a whole would become? And how have the fan interactions been over the years? 

We had NO IDEA! The fans, the enthusiasm and the support over the years has heartwarming! When they re-wrote the ending during the shoot to include my character Rachel popping up in the back of the car, attempting to kill Peter Horton’s character, we were super hopeful for a sequel- especially cause Rachel was pregnant! We would joke about potential titles: “Son of Children of the Corn” “Grandchildren of the Corn”, etc. 

 

CHILDREN OF THE CORN, Peter Horton, Julie Maddalena, John Philbin, 1984.©New World Pictures

 

In your own personal opinion, what do you believe it is that makes the horror genre special? What sets it apart from other genres you have worked in? 

I believe that when people are terrified, they are vulnerable and they bond through the common experience. The actors and the people they saw the movie with, even the historical moment in time, leave a sort of imprint on the soul. It is easier to walk away from other genres with no residue on the soul. The emotions may be moved from comedies or dramas, but unless something traumatic is happening onscreen, it is easy to shake it off and walk away relatively “unscathed”. 

We have spoken with several people who have worked extensively in the voice over world. And I am always curious to know what it is like to work on this craft? How do you personalize characters using just your voice? 

Well, I combine the skills I learned as an actress, singer, dancer, mime and improvisational performer. I take elements from each and apply them to help me discover and develop a new character. Theater and dance help me to be comfortable with the physicality of the characters. Improv helps me to play and be comfortable with the (sometimes) awkward discovery process as different sounds come out of my body. Mime and dance helped me to connect with my body and so it is a more facile tool to support new voices. My theater and acting training taught me how to break down scripts, create characters and access emotions. And my singing training taught me breath control, range and vocal mastery over my personal scale. 

What is your favorite scary movie? 

Well, to be honest I prefer psychological thrillers to horror films these days but –if I must answer- I must say I am forever biased towards Children of the Corn! 

Do you have any plans for this coming Halloween? And fun traditions that you try to stick to every year? 

Well, every year we do something different! But, honestly, nothing beats handing out candy and treats to the adorable children who dress up and trick or treat in our neighborhood each year. 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Well, by now the most recent show I’ve directed is out: The Rising of the Shield Hero! 

Soon to be followed by an adorable children’s original animation show where I voice three different characters: Deer Run. Both are a blast!! 

What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you?

Honestly-I can’t remember being scared like that in a long time!!! 

What was the last thing that made you smile? 

Having family around this summer! My kids make me laugh all the time! I love them and my heart is full when we are together! My grandbabies are not near so we Facetime to stay connected. When my son tells her to say “I love you grandma” and she doesn’t want to stop playing to come talk to me she gets very frustrated and yells, “I LUH YOU!!” It is a riot!! 

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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