Exclusive Interview Jennifer Blanc-Biehn for ‘Everly’

– by Gig Patta
salma-hayek-everly.jpg

Don’t ever underestimate the lethalness of a well-armed woman.

In “Everly,” Salma Hayek plays a woman who is defending herself in her apartment upon waves of assassins sent by her ex, a mob boss.

The movie is directed by Joe Lynch (“Knights of Badassdom,” “Wrong Turn 2: Dead End”).

In an exclusive phone interview, Latino-Review caught up with Hayek’s co-star, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, to discuss about this shoot’em up action movie. She talked about Hayek, Lynch and the preparation involved in the film.

“Everly” is currently available on iTunes and is in limited theater release at certain cities.

Latino-Review: You have a movie coming up called “Everly.” Could you tell my on why you were attracted to that film?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: First of all, Joe Lynch was directing it. He’s a fantastic director and an all-around good guy. So I was very interested on what he was doing. There was a chance to shoot in Serbia, which was pretty cool. Salma Hayek was another reason. One of the producers, Adam Ripp, was a very old friend of mine and he was so excited about this project when he brought it to me. The characters were pretty cool and getting to do an action movie was an epic part of it. [Laughter]

Latino-Review: Could you tell me more about your character? I believe it’s a person who lives in the building?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Yeah, I live and work with [the main character]. We’re friends. Basically, it’s a character girl named Dena who is a prostitute and assassin. [Chuckles]

Latino-Review: [Laughter] A prostitute and an assassin?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Yeah, a prostitute and an assassin. That’s pretty much in a nutshell.

Latino-Review: Basically, your character kicks ass then just like the character Everly?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Everly really kicks some ass. But yeah, my character is pretty tough. She tries to tough it out. I think the other girls in the building are a bit desperate and I think everybody is in the movie. It’s part of the reason on why she becomes that person. She’s a tough chick.

Latino-Review: Did you have to do any special preparations for your role?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: I just do the normal preparation for a movie. I’ve spent some time talking to Joe. There were some rewrites. So there was a lot of preparing along the way. It was some mental preparing and getting used to the interior set.

And there was some gunplay…..my husband does this a lot. It was intense. So I had to prepare for that really. [Laughter]

Latino-Review: I figured with your long career, you had a lot of action movies under your belt especially with gunplay.

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: I had some fight scenes and I did have some weapon usage [in the past]. But, not as fluid as this movie. This movie is full on all action. It’s more like on what Michael [Biehn] does, which is just a pure kicking-ass action movie.

I’ve definitely done some of that and with a little experience under my belt. I’ve done more drama, thriller and horror—with [action] stuff intermittently in there.

For Salma, it was like “how did she do it?” [Laughter] For the rest of us, it was just being there along for the ride.

Latino-Review: Did you enjoy doing the action scenes in this film?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Yeah, there was just so much action. I had a really good time. I thought it was really cool.

Latino-Review: So what was the most difficult thing you had to do on this project?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: It seems to me on the timing with the weaponry and the acting with people. Then the timing with the set. You don’t want to mess that up, because that’s a major reset. [Laughter] That’s one of the most nerve-wracking part that I had to do. [A lot] takes place in an interior of a building—mostly in an apartment. So splitting up all of that and with things breaking—if it doesn’t go along the way it should—then it’s a long reset.

Latino-Review: That is interesting. The entire movie practically takes place at one location and at one certain time period. That’s it, right?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Yup, that’s it. It’s all in the apartment building in New York. It’s in her apartment mainly. The majority is in her apartment. It all happened in a coarse of less than twenty-four hours I want to say.

Latino-Review: Wow.

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: I know, right? She is definitely a real bad-ass.

Latino-Review: Now you mentioned it was a good opportunity to work with Salma Hayek. How was that?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: She really believes in strong women. Like my husband, Michael Biehn, who films a lot of action movies and he’s a real truth meter. He’s always crazy about finding the truth in his performances of his films. Even if it is an outlandish kind of truth in it.

I found that it was a major similarity to Michael in that way—in the sense that she was really, really into finding her truth and finding the truth on everyone around her. This story is very tense. That’s such a good quality in an actor. Finding the truth in the women and finding the truth in yourself, it was very important for her to bring it to life. I’ve really watched her spending time on doing that—and that was really cool.

Latino-Review: You’ve mentioned your husband, Michael, several times. Did he give you any certain advice to you for this movie or perhaps through the years?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Traditionally, he will always give advice on weapons and being careful. If he thinks I need help with something, he’ll drop in and give advice. Throughout the years, [he gave me] a lot of it. He has really taught me on how to pick and choose on what I want to do. He has taught me so much about forming a character. Being yourself inside of the character for that situation of that character is in. It’s so much more truthful as an actor no matter what kind of movie it is. He’s been an integral part of my growth—not only as a person—also in my career. He has directed me in movies. I felt like he has helped me probably at least the same with some of the acting teachers I’ve had.

He had taught me so much stuff, but the truth meter was definitely the height of my teaching. It’s all about finding your truth, because there’s no other way to perform a role if you can’t make sense of it yourself. That’s kind of been the big lesson. [Laughter]

Latino-Review: Just out of curiosity, are you planning to work with your husband in a particular film project?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: We have a company now. It’s called Blanc/Biehn Productions. We have “The Victim,” in which he directed and I starred alongside with him. I’ve definitely starred in quite a few movies with him. We have a lot of projects going on as producing partners. We have one or two projects for sure, which had not come out yet that we both acted in. Some of [the films] we are also doing separately now too. So many people are like “they’re doing it together all the time” and I think they like that. They will hit you up and put up offers like that. I think we should also show the support for each other and split the difference a little.

We have a [film] coming out with Angus Macfadyen from “Braveheart,” in which Michael and I are acting with him. So there will be a bunch of cool pieces like that we’ll be together.

Latino-Review: You tend to strive towards horror films, similarly like Joe Lynch. Do you prefer horror films? Is that your forte or preference?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: I really started with comedies and drama. Then I fell into this horror genre, which I fell in love with. More so is that I really like thrillers than the horror films. I love political thrillers or any thrillers with a really good story. It doesn’t even have to be horror.

Danielle Harris is a really good friend of mine and I took it in with her. This genre is just to fun. The fans are so cool and excited. It just wants to make me want to do more.

We’re trying to do a lot more art horror films. They horror, sci-fi and fantasy—but they’re not totally hardcore. It’s a totally action movie mixed with the grindhouse horror vibe. There’s a lot of gunplay.

So like “She Rises,” that Angus [Macfayden] wrote it, is a horror movie. It’s about a couple who gets lost and [encounters] a succubus, a mythological creature. At the same time, it’s a bit dramatic and kind of trippy.

We’re kind of doing the genre, but our own version of it—not the cookie cutter slasher [movies].

Latino-Review: You don’t consider yourself a scream queen, do you?

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: I don’t. My friend, Danielle, is more of a scream queen. I have been labeled that before. For myself, I have many things mixed in that wouldn’t [warrant] that [title]. Although, Danielle and I are in a movie together which is currently in post-production called, “Havenhurst,” which is another horror movie. [Laughter] So who knows? Maybe I am. [Laughter] I certainly don’t label myself as that.

Latino-Review: I appreciate this conversation. Good luck with you and your future projects.

Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Great! I look forward in talking with you again. I have to say that I love this movie and glad to be a part of it. Thanks so much.

“Everly” is currently available on iTunes and is in limited theater release at certain cities.

Interviews, Film, LRM Exclusives Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Everly