With a career that stretches back twenty five years and includes appearances on several TV shows, most recently LAST MAN STANDING and ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Amanda Fuller should be a familiar face to most people. She’s also been in many feature films including ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING.We’d like to thank Amanda for taking the time from her busy schedule to answer a few questions for the readers here at Voices from The Balcony.
1) Give us a little bit of background about yourself and how you got into acting.
I just started acting, like right, pretty much, out of the womb, I wanted to be on stage and performing as far back as I can remember. So it was never really a choice for me, it was what I always loved to do and lucky enough that I started auditioning and working at the age of 8. So I was always able to do it and consistently worked from that part on. I’ve just been super lucky. Yeah, there was never like a conscious decision. It was just kind of an organic unfolding of a love for storytelling and performing.
2) You’ve done quite a bit of both TV and film. Do you prefer one over the other?
No. I love both. I think that they balance each other out really well. They’re very different, but they both contribute a lot to entertainment and what audiences want to see. And I couldn’t pick either. I love both equally.
3) Your newest project is the film ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING. Can you tell us a bit about it and how you got involved with it?
So I knew Rebekah and Dave from working with them before. I had met them when I was doing the RED, WHITE, AND BLUE festival circuit. I think that they worked at Fangoria at the time and I think they interviewed me. I think that’s how I met them, I could be mistaking, but we kind of just became friends. And then when Rebekah did her first directorial short she asked me to be in it and I did that and I just had the best time working with them. So when they asked me to do this project and told me it was a Christmas horror anthology I was super stoked and said yeah, let’s do this! When you have friends in the community that are super talented and smart and creative it’s kind of a a no-brainer when they ask you to be apart of a project.
ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING is a Christmas horror anthology, a bunch of short stories, very creatively strung together. It is super fun, it’s pretty scary at times, but it is really, really funny. It kind of rides the line of, like, horror nostalgia and camp and horror. That’s how I would describe the project.
4) You’ve been in several horror films over the years, do you like the genre or were they just projects that came your way?
I love the genre, but I have to say that I didn’t always love the genre. Growing up I didn’t really know the genre, I was never really exposed to true genre film. I just saw blockbusters and “scary movies” and didn’t really get the draw, to be honest with you. And then when I did RED, WHITE AND BLUE we did the horror festival circuit and that whole community kind of embraced us and I got to see a plethora of genre films and fell in love with them and the community and the fan base and that whole world. And so since then I have been very much a fan and very lucky that everyone ever wants to put me in them. So, generally, when they come my way I am game. I don’t think that there have been any that have come my way that I have not been into at this point. I definitely love horror.
5) One of those films was STARRY EYES. It’s built up quite a reputation since its release. What was it like filming it? Did you realize how well it would be received when you were filming it?
It was another project that kind of came to me that I got to do as a favor. Travis Stevens, who I had worked with before was like, “Hey there’s this cool thing, this directing team – they’re first time filmmakers.”Which I always love working with first time directors, I think it’s always just really, there’s something really special about it. So I signed on and it was really fun to do it. I love Alex Essoe, we kind of bonded right away and so to get to work with her and see her shine was a lot of fun. I also loved my character in it. I think that Tracey was not like a character that I got to play very often, I usually play much more character actor-y stuff, not like best friend roles that are grounded and I just thought that she was a nice staple in the film.
I had no idea how it would be received. It was a very unique project and, yeah, it’s always a mystery of how things are going to be received, but I had high hopes and when it hit the circuit people just fell in love with it. So that was just a really nice thing to experience, the kind of support that we got from everybody and everybody got it and loved it. And, once again, I felt really lucky to be apart of a cool project that people dug.
6) While it never broke through in a big way RED, WHITE AND BLUE is another film with a strong following. How did you get involved with it?
RED, WHITE AND BLUE was another audition. I hadn’t worked in a while and I was going through my early 20s phase of people not knowing what age to put me in and that kind of stuff. So I was kind of struggling and I got the call for this audition, and at that point I had never done nudity, so the big question with my agents was “would you be willing to do this at all because there’s nudity?”And I didn’t know the answer to that for myself yet as an actor. It was long enough ago that nudity was still kind of a big deal – nowadays I feel like it isn’t a big deal at all – but at the time it was kind of a big decision to make. But I read the script and fell in love with it. Fell in love with Erica and just the writing and wasn’t sure if it was going to be this incredible independent film or just like a soft porn. It could’ve gone both ways. So I did some research and watched the first film or one of the previous films that Simon Rumley, the director, had done THE LIVING AND THE DEAD and that film was just so beautifully shot and done with such maturity and impeccable storytelling that I was like “Oh, this is going to be amazing!” So I went in and auditioned and met Simon and we had an incredible first read together and felt really connected and we totally bonded instantly, we were on the same page. They offered it to me and we went and did it. And it was grueling and intense and terrifying and one of the best things that I have ever done and one of my favorite experiences that I’ve ever had and I cherish that film and the experience of making that film. I am very, very grateful to Simon for trusting me with it.
7) What are your favorite performances of your own?
[Laughing] Oh gosh, honestly, I am a pretty self deprecating person, I don’t like watching myself at all. So it is very hard for me to like any of my performances. I’m uber critical and kind of hate everything that I do, so, I don’t know if I could pick a favorite. I could pick experiences I’ve had have all been incredibly special to me to do it. Because I absolutely love the process of it. But in terms of outcome of the performance I could never judge cause I would say that they all suck. And then I am very grateful that anyone else enjoys them and still wants to hire me to do this thing. Yeah, that’s the honest answer.
8) And your favorite films to watch?
It totally depends on what mood I’m in. There are days when I need to see MRS. DOUBTFIRE, there are days when I need to see THE GRINCH, there are days when I need to see THE SHINING. It really depends on the day and I’m an actress, I’m pretty moody and I love films. I can’t just pick one.
I’m trying to think if there’s a good go-to no matter what. I guess MRS. DOUBTFIRE would have to be a film that I could just watch – or THE BIRDCAGE. Now I’m just thinking of Robin Williams. But yeah, I don’t know – I love all films.
9) Are you interested in moving beyond acting into directing or producing?
Yeah, actually. I am directing – I have been directing the past couple of years. I have directed a couple of shorts, I’ve directed a web series. I am also writing. I have written a feature that I am trying to get off the ground and a couple of series. A couple of which I want to direct and a couple of which I don’t. And, all of which I want to produce. I am at a point in my career where I want to start having more creative control over the projects that I do. I feel like I am lucky enough to be at a point where I can do that. The next couple of years are really important in terms of making some of that stuff happen. And I might be directing Last Man Standing soon too. I want to do it all, and will be, and am.
10) What other projects do you have upcoming?
Last Man Standing and Orange Is The New Black currently are the projects that I am working on. And then, like I was just saying, I have a bunch of stuff that I am trying to get off the ground and in development part of the process. But outside of that and doing those two shows right now I’m hoping for something else as soon as there as they are through with their seasons, even until then, anything can change in a day, but right now those are the things that I am working on.
Thanks again Amanda, good luck with your future projects!
RLJE Films will make ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING available on DVD, On Demand and Digital Video on December 4, 2018. That’s today BTW so now you know what to watch this weekend 🙂