Jennifer Lee Wiggins, born on a military base in Thailand, is exactly the type of girl you don’t want to mess with.
With her father in the Special Forces, she grew up around the military. She cultured the talents of firearms and Kung-Fu, and eventually obtained a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. If there’s any way to look pretty and kick ass, Jennifer not only knows it, but masters it.
When approached by photographers, she always disregarded their remarks as mere pickup lines. Finally, Jennifer grudgingly accepted a role on Japanese TV and, beyond her belief, fell in love with the camera. This would change her ass-kicking life forever.
Now, having been in television, music videos and movies, Jennifer is hitting it big. Most recently, Jennifer appeared in two horror movies from The Asylum Home Entertainment: Shapeshifter and King of the Lost World — and a third film is already in the making.
HorrorTalk's very own Sham got the opportunity to sit down with this rising star to ask her some questions and, fortunately, he came away in one piece!
HorrorTalk: What sparked your interest in becoming an actress?
Jennifer Lee Wiggins: Hmmm.. I remember a time when I was a kid, and I did something bad (can't remember what is was), but my mom was coming at me to whoop my butt! She may be a little 5'2" Chinese lady, but she'd be Freddy's worst nightmare — if you get my drift. Anyway, I had to come up with something quickly — so I did and the tears poured out — it was a beautiful performance. I was totally in the moment... [Laughs]. Talk about improve, right? I should list that under my early training experience. So.. I guess you could say that I've had a passion for acting since childhood... It saved my ass, literally, many times!
HT: Who are your influences?
JLW: I adore Gary Oldman — he's so fantastic at being menacing, but likeable when need be (i.e. Dracula). There's something so intense and captivating about him and that's what draws people in. There are bits of others, such as Nick Cage for his fearless risk taking choices. I can lump Angelina Jolie in there too, because sometimes that woman is just so out there, and I can respect that... plus she's the closest thing to a female gun-toting action hero right now... there's a deficit in that department... but I'm hoping to change that.
HT: Most recently, you have worked for The Asylum Home Entertainment. How did you become involved with them?
JLW: I auditioned — threw some kicks and punches at the camera — and the rest is history.
HT: Were you primarily interested in doing horror films? Why or why not?
JLW: I'm interested in doing films/TV — the horror thing just happened. I enjoy it, as I've been playing strong characters. That's what I'm primarily interested in — chicks who kick butt!!
HT: In Shapeshifter, you did all of your own stunts. What was that like?
JLW: AWESOME!! I loved it — and I'm so glad that they had me do the stunts and fights... they just let me go with it. I'm not a "girly-girl" — never have been — and bumps and bruises were always a constant with me... once they learned this, man, they just beat the crap outta me... [Laughs] In the beginning, I told them that I have no fear of physical challenges... in fact... bring it on! Wow! They took me literally — [Laughs] — but I loved every minute of it... although, I think I have permanent jail cell imprints on me.
HT: Obviously, you’re in great shape. What do you do to keep a lean figure? Do you think your athleticism benefits you in getting good roles?
JLW: I work out regularly — you can't continue to kick people in the head without practice, right? I try to eat right — throw some veggies in there with the diet of pizza, chocolate and cookies.. [Laughs] I've always been athletic, and yes, I believe that it benefits me in getting the butt-kickin roles... There's something satisfying when you see people flinch when you're knocking someone around.. it let's me know that it looks like it really hurts!! [Evil Laugh]
HT: What is the most demanding stunt you’ve done? How do you get yourself motivated to do difficult stunts?
JLW: I did some wire work on Dracula's Curse, which was an interesting experience — I had to kick a guy in the face, make a full revolution and land on the wall. Now, I had a sconce with a lit candle behind me and A LOT of product in my hair. So basically, don't set your head on fire, Jen!
As for the motivation — it's simple — I love it!! I think that Leigh (Scott) looks for different ways to throw me around — he must get some sick personal pleasure from it.. (kidding).. I'm interested to see what he'll throw at me next... whatever it is—I'm up for it!!
HT: You had a small part in King of the Lost World. Would you have preferred a larger role? What was it like being covered in all of that make-up?
JLW: At the time of the shoot, I couldn't take a larger role, so it worked out perfectly. Plus, I liked playing an evil tribal b*tch!! She was a smaller character, but still strong in presence — that's what I liked about her.
Ah yes, the make up — cold at application and a little weird at first, but I got used to it. Now getting it off was another issue.
HT: Do you feel that your acting career is progressing? Are you happy with the roles you’ve done so far?
JLW: I definitely feel that my career is progressing, and it's moving in the direction that I want it to — the characters are strong women in their own way. As for the roles — yes, I'm very happy — you have a choice when looking at roles — I've overlooked some roles, when I saw that the character had nothing to offer.
HT: If you could do any type of movie, what would it be?
JLW: I love adventure movies and the physicality required to do them, but I also love comedy — so I'd love to do something in the style of "Indiana Jones" and The Mummy — comedic/adventure stuff, where I'd get to utilize my athleticism and fight skills and also make people laugh.
HT: If you had the option to work with anyone you wanted, who would it be and why?
JLW: Director: Leigh Scott... oh wait... I fulfilled that dream... hmmmm... I guess Stephen Sommers then... [Smiles] because The Mummy movies and Van Helsing are guilty pleasures of mine...
Actor: Hugh Jackman—again—guilty pleasure.. [Laughs]
HT: Do you have a Hollywood crush? If so, who is it?
JLW: Hugh Jackman (but only as Wolverine or Van Helsing — not Tony awards)...
..oh, I can't just pick one... the current crushes include, but are not limited to:
Mr. Jackman with the aforementioned stipulations,
Karl Urban.. ([Laughs] — I start with an Aussi and a Kiwi),
Matt Schulze (hunky Fast and Furious babe),
Brendan Fraser (angel-faced Mummy babe)
... ok, now onto the Rock Star crushes... first there's.......
HT: What are you currently working on?
JLW: Well, we recently wrapped Dracula's Curse, so I'm working on healing and recovery. [Laughs]
HT: Anything else you want to add?
JLW: Nope... got nothin... can't possibly talk anymo........
You can read more about Jennifer at her website. And you can see more of Jennifer, and the rest of The Asylum women, in a "Ladies of the Asylum" pictorial and in the pages of Sirens of CinemaFemme Fatales.
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