Some horror fans bemoan the trend that has seen attractive female actors gravitating to horror culture and horror movies only as a means to cash in on the genre’s popularity, rather than out of a true love of all things scary. There is an undeniable—if latent—sexism behind such gripes (few fans question the motivations of male actors drawn to indie horror), but the haters will have absolutely no ammo if stupid enough to train their sights on Jamie Bernadette.
Not only is Bernadette no stranger to horror cinema as an actress, having recently shot The Face of Evil, Cold Storage, and Reel Evil, she is also a genuine fan of horror and of the Slasher subgenre in particular. “I love the 80’s style slasher films,” she says. “One of my dreams was actually to be in a film like Halloween or Friday the 13th.”
Her latest film, Axeman at Cutter’s Creek, has made that particular dream come true. Axeman follows a group of young people on a trek through the woods, where they cross paths with criminals on the run and a giant, axe-wielding psychopath, the titular Axeman.
In the movie, Bernadette plays Tammy, one half of a same-sex couple. “Tammy is a sexy tomboy,” says Bernadette, “who is very much in love with her girlfriend Liz (Erin Marie Hogan). Unlike Liz, Tammy is a lesbian at heart—for life—and her relationship with Liz is not just a ‘fling’ or a ‘phase’ that she is going through.” As can be imagined, the role was not without its possible pitfalls, but the actor is nothing if not confident. “I have never played a role quite like this before and I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Of course, Tammy is more than her sexual orientation, and Bernadette sees a lot of herself in the character. “I definitely relate to her because she loves openly and gives her all to the person she is with, as do I. She falls hard. Tammy is who she is; she doesn’t wear a facade and I think that I am the same way. She talks when she wants to, not because she feels she must. She sits back and often just listens.” And Bernadette even found in Tammy a source of inspiration. “[Tammy’s] own life is of minute importance to her compared to the people around her. She is a strong person who cares about others. I can only aspire to handle situations of dire circumstance with the strength that she does.”
Though she sees aspects of herself in Tammy, Jamie Bernadette has yet to notice much of the Axeman in the film’s writer and director, Joston Theney. “I haven’t discovered his ‘dark side’ yet,” she laughs. “If he does have one, hopefully it won’t be like that of the Axeman’s. What I do know about Joston is that he is a sweetheart, a professional, and a great writer, director and actor.”