Well, folks, February has come to an end, and just in time, iHorror caught up with the very busy indie actress, director, producer, and editor Jennifer Nangle. Learn about how she got involved in the horror community, and how she manages to wear all these hats seamlessly. One of her newest ventures Malvolia: The Queen of Screams has proven to be venturous, creepy, and downright fun, others have described this beautiful vixen as the new “Mistress of the Dark.”
Check out our interview below.
iHorror Spotlight: Jennifer Nangle
Writer, Director, Actress, Producer, Editor
Ryan Thomas Cusick: Can you please tell us about yourself and also where you are from?
Jennifer Nangle: I grew up in a small town just north of Boston called Danvers which is right next to Salem… So with that comes a lot of history and a lot of paranormal/ghost stories. I also grew up down the street from Danvers State Hospital (aka Session 9) and was obsessed with it. I guess horror has always been in my blood! I went to college at Niagara University in Western NY for theater studies/musical theater but ended up incredibly fascinated with television and film.
After doing some theater around Buffalo, I moved to LA and, for two years, studied the Meisner, Linklater, and Alexander techniques. Since then I’ve been auditioning, writing, producing, acting, directing, creating! I started out self-producing as a series regular and producer for a sci-fi comedy web series called “GUIDES” to where I then moved onto my dark comedy short film “Coat Room,” but I always felt incomplete. I finally bit the bullet and wrote, produced, and acted in “Demonic Attachment” my first horror short film based on the haunted house I grew up in Danvers, MA. It won some awards, but mostly I felt like I was doing what I really wanted to do! Horror!
RTC: What are the greatest challenges that you face as a woman in the filmmaking industry? How do you believe these challenges can be resolved?
JN: I feel like a lot of times I am treated like I’m inexperienced and/or don’t know what I am doing. I don’t know if some males feel threatened or insecure around women who aren’t afraid to speak their mind or know what they want, but I have been extremely lucky to find my core group of male filmmakers, producers, directors, writers who support women and me wholeheartedly and encourage me. With that said, whenever I am being questioned about my talent or experience, I will always listen, but then show in my actions.
RTC: What female filmmaker has inspired you the most? Has this changed over time?
JN: It’s hard for me just to pinpoint one filmmaker that inspires me. I take little things from many of them and form my own. I’m more influenced by women actress because acting is my first love. I always go back to Charlize Theron’s portrayal of “Aileen Wuornos” in Patty Jenkins’ “Monster.” Not only the transformation she went through but the emotional roller coaster – YES! Just YES!
RTC: Jennifer, we first spoke back in 2016, you have artistically grown so much since that time, what has that been like for you?
JN: Well, that is amazing to hear! Thank you! I just keep doing the doing! I didn’t go to film school; I studied theater. So cameras, lenses, lighting, writing, locations, editing, etc. is a work in progress for me. Learning as I go. I’ve learned so much from my mistakes, BUT mistakes lead to beautiful art! If anyone has seen “Demonic Attachment,” a lot of the ritual takes of my character were outtakes. One was even an eye blood test. It’s amazing what you can piece together and what story will result from it. I’ve also learned a lot from being on set with my other peers. I see what works and what I like to do differently. I found a flow that works for me. I like to make sure everything is set, all props and everything is ready to go, my shot list is complete – and then when I’m on set, we just work and have fun and create. Being so controlling with the end result will make a very controlled product. Just being in the moment is an incredible opportunity!
RTC: What does Women in Horror Month mean to you?
JN: For the longest time, I always felt that it was a month of celebrating hard-working women, which, don’t get me wrong, it totally is. But I feel like bloggers (like yourself) are showcasing the underdogs. Yes, celeb names are still and will always be celebrated because they have paved the way for us, BUT it’s refreshing to see new faces that I would have never known had someone discovered them and shared. It’s been beautifully overwhelming learning about all these ladies that hold positions all over horror – not just acting or directing. It’s really amazing how so many have embraced this month!
RTC: I have heard that you are going to be involved, maybe starring in your first feature this year? Can you elaborate, or is it hush hush? What do you have lined up for 2018?
JN: Well, it’s not my first feature because, besides little minor parts in others, “Irrational Fear” was my first feature. This year I will be working on my first feature as a LEAD! <insert happy dance> I will be playing “Woman #1” in the upcoming feature film “Inverted” by Deranged Minds Entertainment. It’s about a 1970’s women run cult that takes on 4 new individuals and puts them through a bunch of… Tests… To see who is fit. I’ll be playing the cut leaders right-hand woman who leads all these individuals through a ringer of mind-blowing exercises. It’s like “Saw” meets “The Manson Family” meets “Rob Zombie”. I keep saying it’s going to be a “wild ride” because it is! This is a role I have never been able to play and I hope that this shows others that I can really do these kinds of roles. I’ll be shooting another short film I wrote in May, I’m currently writing a found footage feature, and, of course, the Queen of Screams Malvolia will be coming back for Season 2. I’m ready to step back into that dress and get the blood flowing again!
RTC: Is there a female in the industry whom you’ve dreamed of working with?
JN: Barbara Crampton – I mean, no reason needed. Brooke Lewis – just to be able to act with her would be incredible. Definitely Megan Freels Johnson – I really dug “The Ice Cream Truck” because the characters were so complicated in a very simplistic way…. Deborah Voorhees – such a strong woman who is so focused and ready just to tear it all up! Jennifer Kent, Kathryn Bigelow, Mary Harron, Karyn Kusama, Patty Jenkins…. I’d love to have an opportunity to work closely with a woman director this year. We’ll see if I can cross any of these names off the list during 2018!
RTC: Are you going to be making any appearances this year? Where can fans find you on social media?
JN: My goal is to show up to as many horror conventions as Malvolia as possible this year! I’d love to meet as many people as possible! I really wanted to attend the New Jersey Horror Con for the “10/31” screening, but alas, money and distance makes it tough. I am really bummed about that! I’m really big about social media – so don’t be afraid to connect!