It’s a new day, which means another new interview for one of my favorite thrillers of the year, A Dark Place (read our review – here). This time it is with the lovely and incredibly talented actress, Jazlyn Yoder. We talk about her career, her inspirations, how she got the role of Theresa, upcoming projects, and more.
Synopsis for A Dark Place –
Alex, is a twenty-something struggling to put his life back together after past, reckless mistakes render his job search hopeless. While pressure at home mounts from his pregnant girlfriend, he runs into an old friend who changes his fortunes. Just when things are looking up, Alex discovers a secret that sends him into a self-destructive, downward spiral and brings his two best friends along with him.
PopHorror – It’s great to talk with you Jazlyn. How did you get involved with acting?
Jazlyn Yoder – I got involved with acting by accident. I modeled when I was young and began going out for commercial auditions which I always felt were much more fun than model go-sees. Once I booked my first commercial and was able to experience an actual set, I immediately enrolled in acting classes and the rest is history.
PopHorror – You’re gorgeous, so I definitely can see you modeling. What was your first role?
Jazlyn Yoder – When I was about 13, I booked a role for an asthma medicine commercial. I don’t think it ever made it to air. It was called Athsmanex or something, haha.
PopHorror – (Laughs) Hey, you have to start somewhere! What are some other female actresses or directors in the business that inspire you?
Jazlyn Yoder – One of my favorite actresses right now is Florence Pugh. After watching her in Midsommar, I was speechless. Performances like that always leave me so inspired and motivated to push myself in my craft. Director wise, one of my current favorites is Ari Aster. His films are straight-up masterpieces in my opinion. Every aspect of the storytelling from acting to set design to camera movements are genius.
PopHorror – I completely agree! How did the role of Theresa in A Dark Place come about for you?
Jazlyn Yoder – I actually originally played the role of Jasmine in the short film that A Dark Place was based on, but after Chris Piñero saw my performances on shows “Chicago Justice” and “Chicago P.D.,” he approached me about doing the role of Theresa instead. I sat alongside Chris for a lot of the writing process and really fell in love with her character so I was very excited that he wanted me to play her. He still made me audition, though!
PopHorror – At first, I wasn’t a big fan of your character because of her actions but then I realized she’s human like all of us and we make mistakes. You give a very emotionally powered performance. When doing a role like this, is there anything you do to prepare?
Jazlyn Yoder – I’m glad you came away with that opinion of her! That makes me feel like I did my job. When preparing for a role like Theresa, I try to understand all of her flaws, empathize and really find them in myself. No one is perfect. We all have skeletons in our closet that we are ashamed of. I actually love roles like this because they force me to do a ton of soul searching. It also helped to be surrounded by extremely talented actors. No matter how much homework I have done on my character, who I am playing opposite of always ends up coloring the scene in unexpected ways.
PopHorror – You were phenomenal. Do you have any favorite scenes?
Jazlyn Yoder – My favorite scene is the flashback of me and Luke (Baines) in the park. We added that scene on a whim when we had a little extra daylight one day. Luke and I improvised the whole thing. We had lived in the bodies of our characters for a few days by that point so we were able to really sit there and have an honest moment together.
PopHorror – I love that scene too! If you were going to recommend this film to your friends or fans, what would you say to get them interested?
Jazlyn Yoder – This movie will satisfy lovers of all genres. Thrills, we got it. Drama, we got it. Comedy, we got it. It’s hard to have an objective view on a project you’re in, but I think it’s damn good.
PopHorror – So true! Any upcoming projects?
Jazlyn Yoder – I am actually about to direct my first project beginning of next month. It’s a short film I wrote, called Latch, which is a drama/psychological thriller about postpartum depression. I will also be acting in it alongside Mike Miller who played Keith in A Dark Place. I am beyond excited to be on both sides of the camera.