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INTERVIEW:
 
Abbey Mantel
 
Abbey Bus2
 
Abbey Door
 
Abbey Stairs
 
Abbey Mirror
 
Jen Taylor - "Abbey"
 
DESCRIBE ABBEY, WHO IS SHE?
Abbey is the consummate care giver, it's her job but she is also a person trying to take care of everybody. Kris (Kristensen, co-writer and Director of Inheritance) and I talked about it, it's almost her vice. She thinks all people are good.
 
I think Abbey is latently (strong). Her life has been pretty benign and never had to fight for anything. I don't think she had ever been challenged, how many of us have to fight for our body, our soul?
 
HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH DIRECTOR KRIS KRISTENSEN?
I like working with Kris, I like him as a person. What I liked was he would listen to my input, sometimes he would use it and sometimes not but I really appreciated that he would be open to it. There were times when he wouldn't tell me anything at all. Honestly at the beginning that was a little scary and I came to understand if he doesn't give you any comments continue on.
 
YOU CAME INTO THE MOVIE LATE AND CAME ON SET THE DAY AFTER YOU TOOK THE PART, HOW WAS THAT?
Honestly it was good for me because I had no time to stress out, no time to worry. Because it's my very first film I had to take things as they came and breath into them. It was really a lesson for me, because I'm such a worrier in real life and I didn't have a chance to do that. I lived moment to moment.
 
WAS IT GOOD NOT HAVING TIME TO WORRY?
For me, as far as my stress level went I think it did help. I wasn't scared, I had no fear. It was really sort of invigorating, it freed me up.
 
WHEN DID YOU TAKE THE PART?
I literally took the part at 6am and I was asleep when Kris called. It wasn't really a choice, of course I want to do this, I'll be there. No hesitation.
 
I don't think I told Kris this but they offered me the part of the woman giving birth and I turned it down. And I remember talking to me friend Deb and saying I guess they hired someone from L.A. and I wasn't upset about it but Deb was upset for me and she said, "I bet she has two weeks and they'll call you and tell you they fired her." When I told my friend Deb (they hired me) she felt so vindicated.
 
WHY DID YOU WANT THE PART?
She is a strong woman, the film is written about strong women, by men which is very puzzling. She takes an interesting journey. How many times do you get to play someone who is possessed? It's realistic but these fantastical things happen and trying to make that real was fun and challenging.
 
It was exciting to wake up at 6am and go to that movie set and I'm not a morning person. I was happy, very happy it was very exciting for me.
 
FOR THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF SHOOTING YOU WHERE ALSO PERFORMING A PLAY AT NIGHT. HOW WAS IT WORKING ON TWO PROJECTS AT ONCE?
I was shooting this movie in my head. I think that time taught me some skill, to be very present all the time.
 
HOW WAS LIFE ON SET?
To be honest in the first week everyone was so happy to have me there I couldn't do anything wrong for anyone and it was scary, to me personally, I didn't know if I was getting honest input. But after the first week everything was back to normal.
 
I still remember that first day. All I did in the very first shot was walk into the house, I opened the door and said "Mrs. Baker" and walked up the stairs. And we finished the first shot and everyone applauded.
 
It was very exciting. I learned a lot. Sometimes in theater I'm a busy body and want to help everyone and make sure everyone is o.k. But in film you really learn what your job is and not to do anyone else's job because you just get in the way. I thought the crew was very supportive and easy to work with and kind and really professional.
 
Of course you need actors and they're important but you realize how little an actor does in a film time wise. They may be the people who get the glory or criticism. But as far as time and work I really think actors have the easiest part of it. We have to work in a different way, we have to stretch emotionally but I really appreciated the work everyone on the crew did.
 
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF SHOOTING?
Waiting. Waiting on the set there's a reason they say hurry up and wait. That and getting in and out of that wig. I hated that wig, it's in Greece now and good riddance I say.
 
HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH THE OTHER ACTORS?
It was great. Marjorie (Nelson) is great. Carter (Roy) and I get along really really well, so it was so nice that he played someone I was supposed to be intimate with because we feel so easy with each other. Emma (Jones) who played my best friend is now a good friend of mine. It was really wonderful, we all clicked really well, there was no ego, everyone was happy to be there.
 
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART AS AN ACTOR?
The Dual Abbey's. Oh God that was hard!
 
You see good Abbey on one side of the room and Evil Abbey on the other side of the room. But to keep the momentum up was very very difficult and to get right back in the conversation each time and keep the energy up and to differentiate between those two characters. And the smoking was very difficult.
 
WHAT WAS THE MOST FULFILLING SCENE AS AN ACTOR?
This is going to sound really weird but it's the scene where I come home after sleeping with the doctor and Carter (who plays Neil, Abbey's boyfriend) and I have our blowout. That was the most exciting for me as an actor.
 
WHY?
Because we were so connected and real and honest. It's one of those acting moments that you hope you get to have when ever you enter into a production. It's just really being in the room with somebody and listening to them and taking what they give you and being totally honest, it was really an exciting moment.
 
DESCRIBE THE FILM.
It's a thriller about a woman fighting for her sanity and her life against dark forces.... (Jen laughs).
 
And it's doesn't have a Hollywood ending and doesn't cop out in a Hollywood fashion.
 
This interview was conducted by Marcus Donner.