Interview by Erik Lončar, 2016.
She acclaimed world fame starring in THE ROOM (Tommy Wiseau, 2003), a role in one of the worst films ever. The unexpected failure, completely turned her away from showbiz, yet her love for acting brought her back after a few years. With 16 roles in her filmography, the actress proves that the world debacle is only a less important stage in her life, and how something bad can always turn into something positive. theFILMitself got an exclusive interview with Juliette Danielle, in which she explained what happened during the filming of The Room, and how she coped with the criticism of the film.
‘I was seriously hiding from shame and embarrassment. I think some part of me was hoping that The Room would eventually go away, but as we all know, it never did.’
theFILMitself: What led you to star in ‘The Room’ and did you expect any success from it? And can you describe the difference of your acting process in the new movies from the process in ‘The Room’?
Juliette Danielle: I was very new to acting when I auditioned for The Room. I was originally cast in the role of Michelle. Eventually, I landed in the role of Lisa and was thrilled. As we were shooting, I had no idea what to think. In our wildest dreams, none of us imagined people would still be talking about this film over a decade later. I’m still amazed when a friend is traveling and they text me a photo of The Room playing in some random theater on a Saturday night.
Auditions for The Room were quite unusual. They were more like theater auditions; there was a lot of improv involved. My process for preparing for the role of Lisa is very different from what I do now. Back then, I was very unsure of myself. I often felt like a deer in the headlights during filming. I had not learned to speak my mind or make strong choices. At this point in my life now, I have much more experience to draw from. I enjoy character work and I enjoy exploring different layers of emotion.
You had a long pause from acting. What was the reason for the pause and what changed your mind to pick up acting again?
It was more than just a pause. I was seriously hiding from shame and embarrassment. I think some part of me was hoping that The Room would eventually go away, but as we all know, it never did. I’m pretty sure The Room will end up being mentioned in my obituary. Little by little, I agreed to do parts in films that my friends were doing. I can’t deny that it makes me insanely happy to be on set. I view acting as a lifelong hobby. Although it’s not something I pursue as a full time endeavor, I love it too much to ever give it up completely.
The Room (Tommy Wiseau, 2003.)
Do you feel regret that people will always remember you as Lisa from ‘The Room’?
This is such a hard question to answer. I used to regret that I ever did the movie, but then I think of all the wonderful people I have met and continue to meet because of the opportunity I was given. I love it when people come to one of my social media pages because they know me as “Lisa” and then actually take the time to get to know the real me. I try very hard to be a valuable member of society, to help others, and to connect. I love it when people can take the time to see that in me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I will always be happy to indulge a fan with a picture or a quote from The Room. I just hope they will make room in their hearts for more.
Trouble with Barry (Mike Justice, Stephen Kitaen, 2013.)
Are you satisfied with the roles you did after ‘The Room’? What is your favorite and why?
Like any actor, I always want more. I do wish I worked more, but I was never good at the business part of acting. You have to be out there constantly networking and making appearances. My problem is that I love being at home, cuddling a cat, watching Netflix. It really is too bad that more movie executives aren’t knocking down the door of the lead actress in the worst film ever made. Ha!
You established a personal blog on YOUTUBE. Can you explain what it’s about and what you target audience is?
Although I love to write, I have zero discipline in that area. I love Youtube. It’s so easy to take a thought I want to convey, record a video, and then upload it without worrying about typos. Plus, it’s much more personal. I was moved to start vlogging about depression and anxiety because it affected me so greatly in my teens and early twenties. Although it still affects me, there are a lot of things I have learned that help me cope with day to day stress and feeling overwhelmed. I guess you could say my target audience is anyone who has trouble feeling comfortable in their own skin. It’s a feeling I am well acquainted with.