Julia McAlee is an American actress and singer-songwriter who is known for her portrayal of quirky and spirited young women in independent films. She has been described as such: "If Bjork and Lady Gaga time traveled to 1969 and had an orgy with a young Barbra Streisand and a young Shirley MacLaine, the resulting offspring would be something like Julia McAlee." She was born in Baltimore, MD and currently resides in Los Angeles.
And here is what the totally cute and multi-talented Julia had to say in our recent chat....
David: Can you describe how you signed your very first autograph for a fan?
Julia: Let's see. I'm pretty sure I was in 7th grade, so I would have been 11 or 12. I was playing Dolly in the musical "Hello, Dolly!" at my school, Crofton Middle School, near where I grew up in Maryland. It was actually one of my favorite roles! It's hard to beat Dolly Levi. Anyway, some stranger came up to me after one of the shows and asked me to sign the program. I think at the time I was a little weirded out, but also really flattered.
David: What has been the strangest or funniest moment you have encountered while working on a film or TV set?
Julia: Well it seems like weird things always happen when you're making movies. That's part of the reason why it's so much fun. It's bizarre and unpredictable. The first thing that comes to mind is the last film I made. It's an indie thriller called "The Fetish Set" and we shot it a few months ago, in March, in Texas. So there is one scene in it where Bill Oberst Jr. is supposed to bite my character's toe... Well they didn't yell "cut" and the camera kept rolling, and so Bill kept going and he actually bit my toe really hard! Which was a total surprise to me, and I wasn't supposed to say anything in the scene, so I could barely keep it together! My face was just contorting into horrible expressions, I'm sure. It was really hilarious though.
David: Do you collect any movie memorabilia, or autographs yourself, and if so what are your favourites?
Julia: I love movies but I don't really collect anything, no. I mostly just watch them. And I've only ever asked for one autograph ever, and it was from Alan Cumming. I'm a huge fan of his, actually I was kind of obsessed with him when I was around 13 or 14. He's such a great performer, super versatile, and also so sexy in such an offbeat way, which I love. I saw him in the stage show of "Three Penny Opera" in New York years ago and very very sheepishly asked for an autograph afterwards.
David: And, if any person in history could sign their photo for you, who would it be and why?
Oh geez, I'd go with someone incredibly iconic. I think it's a toss-up between Marilyn or Elvis.
Julia: Do you have any particular superstitions or phobias relating to your filmmaking?
Julia: Superstitions? Well I don't know if I'd categorize it in that way, but when it comes to very dark subject matter - I don't take that lightly at all (no "dark vs light" pun intended there). It can really mess with you if you're not careful. And the last film I did, the one I mentioned before ("The Fetish Set"), it has extremely dark subject matter and dark themes. So when you're dealing with that as an actor, you have to make sure not to hold on to it. You engage it and let it come through you, but then you have to release it. Otherwise you can really get in trouble. Some amazing actors have gone mad over that kind of thing. Those kinds of dark energies are real, and I believe that even though it's "just" a movie - there's a very powerful magic in storytelling and in creating images. I'm very spiritual, and for me, it's related to that. So you just have to be aware and be careful of the spells that you're weaving. At the same time, I think it's an important thing to recognize and explore the darkness, like in Jungian shadow work. You have to know yourself and know what you can and can't handle.
David: What actors and directors would you love to work with in the future the most?
Julia: I would love to work with Jessica Lange, Tom Waits, Johnny Depp, Quvenzhane Wallis, Tilda Swinton, Annette Bening, Michael Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Kevin Spacey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Barbra Streisand. Alan Cumming, of course. And plenty more. So many talented and inspiring actors. And directors - Sam Mendes, Quentin Tarantino, John Cameron Mitchell, David Lynch, Ang Lee, Sofia Coppola, Jim Jarmusch, Kelly Reichardt, Baz Luhrmann. I'd really love to work with more female directors too.
David: Have you had any unusual or funny experiences with a fan or an autograph hunter?
Julia: I was in Buenos Aires for the B.A. International Film Festival. A film I'm in, "Bummer Summer," was playing there. Anyway I was in the back of the theater for one of the screenings of the film and afterwards, some of the people who'd been watching were staring and pointing at me when they realized I was one of the actors. One of them came up to me and was speaking Spanish; I don't speak any Spanish at all, and it took a while of weird motioning with our hands and laughing and him speaking Spanish and me speaking English to finally get that he wanted my autograph. So that was kind of funny.
David: Outside of acting, what moments bring the most joy to your life?
Julia: Being in nature is really important to me. I love the forest and the ocean - anything in nature. And I love music so much. I've always loved to sing. Travel too. I love to explore and see new things. Also dancing. And laughing!
David: Is there a story, or incident, from your life, which tells us something totally different about Julia McAlee, the person, rather than the actor, which might surprise or intrigue your growing legion of fans?
Julia: Well of course! I'd be boring if I didn't have some secrets! But for now I'm going to keep them to myself.
David: In the future do you see yourself becoming a full-time actress or happily dividing your screen time with your singing career?
Julia: I could never stop singing and writing and playing music, I just love it too much. I want to keep doing both! And I'd really love to combine them more too. Musical theater is what made me fall in love with acting and performing, and I've never done a movie musical - so I would love to do that at some point.
David: What's next for you?
Julia: Well I'm currently working on a Song Of The Day project; I'm calling it "Sing Every Day." I'm recording an original song every single day for the month of May 2013, and am releasing the songs online for free. Some of them are really simple short acoustic songs and some are more involved with a bunch of instrumentation and tons of tracks. I'm kind of a perfectionist, and often this stops me from putting stuff out there. So this project is kind of a personal thing to combat that, and also because I really want to share my music with the world. I'll be done with that in a few days since May is almost over, and then I have some other things in the works. I'm planning on releasing a more formal album later this year, and I'm also working on video collaborations with Clint Hanaway. We shot a music video for one of the songs I did for my project, partially in southern Utah and partially in LA. It's for the song "Sky People," and it should be finished within the next week or two. Spoiler Alert: There are aliens!!