Julia Ormond ('Surveillance')
Julia Ormond has made up for a long absence from the screen since she established herself as a major star in the mid-1990s. Last seen in the Oscar nominated 'Curious Case of Benjamin Button,' Ormond now stars in the Indie thriller 'Surveillance.'
The film revolves around Two FBI agents, Elizabeth Anderson (Ormond) and Sam Hallaway (Bill Pullman), who arrive at a local police station in the Santa Fe desert to investigate a series of murders. They interrogate three eyewitnesses: Police officer Jack Bennet, the meth-addict Bobby, and Stephanie, an eight-year-old girl, whose family was murdered by two figures dressed in jumpsuits and latex masks.
Chatting one-on-one with the oh-so-lovely Julia Ormond, I first wondered if she had connected with her character? "It was the overall piece that really drew me in, and I loved the fact that Jen Lynch was directing it. And really, for me, one of the ways that this business works is that you talk to me. But you should really, if you can, talk to all of the cast. They were such a great cast, and I think itís such a good ensemble piece. And I guess what I really Ė you know, itís a rollercoaster of a ride. But then at the end of the day, even though Ė I feel like itís one of those films that takes you on a real journey. And is provocative, but in an entertaining way, and then dark in the right way, because itís about violence. And I think sometimes we get Ė I feel a little bit anesthetized to violence that goes on in the world, because of how we show it on film. And I actually think this film doesnít anesthetize you to it."
What do you look for in a character to undertake? "I guess my first thing is whether or not I can identify with a character. You know, I look for stuff that I feel is gonna challenge me. I look to be in a piece that I think will be a good piece at the end of the day."
And you could identify with this character how? "The work that I do around the world so intersects with violence, in terms of slavery and trafficking. I really feel like we need a more Ė a greater understanding of what violence is. I think the key to finding solutions to violence is understanding where the person whoís become violent has come from."
I know that youíre very involved in this whole trafficking problem. Is that situation getting better? "No. I think what is getting better is, thereís greater public awareness about it. I think the public knowledge of it Ė you know, I think what has been perceived is that this is all about the forced sex trade. And I know that Ė I think public awareness is maybe towards the fact that the biggest group is actually agriculture and mining. And that illegal slavery taints a lot of our illegal supply chain. But I look upon it all as supply chain. You know? Forced prostitution is, essentially, to those people, an illegal supply chain. And the person becomes a commodity within it."
What countries are the worst? "I donít like to kind of grade it like that, because itís really everywhere. And itís far more Ė in my understanding, itís far more prevalent in America than we are currently acknowledging, because resources havenít gone into it. But I think the stats that will come out over the next couple of years will demonstrate that itís a huge problem in America. And itís partly to do with how the west relates and trades with the developing world, and needs to sort of be aware that there was a big difference between a shoddy business approach, and actually doing things that put people in significant danger on the other side of the world. And also here. Thereís slavery right here in America."
Do you have a very different perspective on your choices as an actress today over those you made a couple of decades ago, perhaps? "I would say that I think if you look back, the stuff that I started out doing Ė my first piece, with Traffik, playing a heroin addict. That was my first piece on television. And then my first film was Baby of Macon, which is a particularly violent look at rape. And how rape is used as a weapon against women. And I think what happened is, you donít always get to dictate, exactly, the role that you get to play. And I think what happens is, you do a variety of different stuff, some of which people are more aware of than other stuff. And I think itís the Ė I donít know. I guess this little break made me decide that I needed to try to work harder, or be more disciplined about finding roles that were more different. That were more varied."
It seems that there is almost now a resurgence in your career. Youíre working a lot more now. Is this a different time in your life to be a working actress? "Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think Ė I feel as if taking my time to come back in with the stuff that I really want to do is sort of finally paying off, and roles that are more easy for me to do, as a Mom, in terms of time constraints. So, thereís still certainly restrictions. But Ė you know, as a Mom, I think definitely thatís my number one role. Thatís what everything else gets prioritized around."
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