Juliet Landau has an elaborate career playing an eclectic array of characters. While it is her role as the vampire Drusilla in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel with which fans are most familiar, Juliet is so much more than a diverse and talented actress, in front of and behind the camera. Her latest film project, in concert with husband Deverill Weekes, is a two part documentary series called A Place Among The Dead and A Place Among The Undead.
A Place Among the Undead is a documentary exploring the place of the Vampire in pop culture using interviews with the biggest creators and stars in the vampire world, including Joss Whedon, Gary Oldman, Tim Burton, Willem Dafoe, Anne Rice, Nathan Fillion, and Christian Kane.
Originally, UNDEAD was supposed to be self funded by both Juliet & Deverill. However, the project grew beyond their wildest expectations, so they launched an IndieGoGo campaign which is in it’s final stretch. I had a chance to briefly chat with Juliet about the project, and what fans who back it can expect.
Fans of Juliet Landau have seen your career take a fantastic journey as a performer. In many roles we have seen the ‘stradivarius’ of your body and voice express itself in so many different ways. Is filmmaking another form of expression for you?
JL: Absolutely. It has been quite a natural evolution. I think I use many of the same skills that I do as an actress. All creative processes have a similar through-line and an ebb and a flow. I’ve spent a lot of time on set and in production. I understand what needs to happen to make things run effectively. I love actors and understand the process that will make things truly sing. As an actor, I work with imagery and have always created a look book of references for each role. Dev and I did the same thing with helming the project. That way every department knows and understands what world we are building and that allows everyone to bring their A-game.
Why did you choose this medium?
JL: I truly love the nature of it, having an ephemeral idea and then carrying it out to fruition. I love being the one with the vision, the one responsible for every creative decision. As an actress you are one component in a large canvas. I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with Tim Burton and Joss Whedon, who always chose the takes that I would have chosen. It is amazing to be creatively on the same page, but that doesn’t always happen. Making something from start to finish, expressing your concept and voice is addictive!
Your husband, Deverill, and you have teamed up on projects before. You seem to make a good team. What do you feel makes working together gel so well?
JL: We compliment each other brilliantly. We bring our separate strengths to the equation. We have very similar taste and are interested in similar themes. We spark one another’s creativity. It is a dream collaboration. We inspire the best in each other both personally and professionally. I think we encourage one another to be fearless. I am very lucky.
UNDEAD seems like the perfect project at the perfect time. not only for your fans, but also for vampire fans. What other kinds of projects can we expect from you in the future as a director/producer?
JL: The material is so vast that we have another feature length documentary, A PLACE AMONG THE DEAD. It covers crime, reality / when people take the fantasy of vampirism too far. We also have a few other projects brewing. Those are varied in genre and style, very exciting! I am extremely passionate about one of them in particular. But at the moment we are keenly focused on A PLACE AMONG THE UNDEAD. So many brilliant people are in the film already: Tim Burton, Joss Whedon, Gary Oldman, Anne Rice, Robert Patrick, Willem Dafoe and there are so many more who want to participate! Dev and I were self- funding, but the project grew and grew! We are currently raising funds on Indiegogo. We are looking for like-minded people to contribute and to become our producing partners.
Thanks for your time, Juliet. We look forward to seeing you sink your teeth into this project and become it’s maker.
Fans, don’t forget to click this link, and help bring the definitive vampire documentary to life!