Interview: Shenae Grimes-Beech talks Blood Honey
Blood Honey is a new Gothic psychodrama from director Jeff Kopas and stars Shenae Grimes-Beech (The New Beverly Hills 90210), Gil Bellows (The Shawshank Redemption), Don McKellar (The Sensitive Skin), Rosemary Dunsmore (Orphan Black), Natalie Brown (The Strain), and Ken Mitchell (The Astronaut Wives Club).
The film follows Jenibel Heath (Grimes-Beech) on her return to her family’s secluded island lodge to help her siblings care for their dying father, 10 years after the mysterious suicide of her mother. Set to inherit the bulk of the family’s estate, Jenibel learns of a horrific plot against her and finds herself stuck in a life-threatening nightmare, where she must struggle to survive.
Canadian film distributor Northern Banner Releasing (a side-arm of Raven Banner Releasing) will release psycho thriller Blood Honey in theaters beginning with Toronto on September 1, at Cineplex Yonge-Dundas. Vancouver and Calgary special screenings throughout Canada will follow with home video release dates TBD.
In anticipation of that release, we managed to get some moments with the charming, talented Shenae Grimes-Beech to discuss the buzz around Blood Honey as well as share insight into what its like for a young Canadian actress working ’round the world
ComingSoon.net: Blood Honey was originally called The Hive, correct?
Shenae Grimes-Beech: Yes.
CS: What do you think of the title change?
Grimes-Beech: To be honest, I really liked The Hive but you can never get too attached to these things. “Blood honey” was a theme they ran with throughout the story, so it’s an obvious choice and Blood Honey as a title certainly makes it clear that the tone of the film is creepy and dark. I think the new title is appropriate for a psychological thriller…
CS: This is a great, Gothic woman in jeopardy movie with toxic family, secrets, murder… did everything in Jeff and Doug’s script make it to screen? Did you have any room for improv?
Grimes-Beech: I’m honestly not sure as I haven’t had to opportunity to watch the film yet myself! There definitely was not much room for improv purely due to time! With any indie film, you’re typically on an extremely tight budget. In film, time literally is money and there’s not as much money to spare on doing loads of different takes as there is on big feature films.
CS: The movie quotes other great female-centric horror movies like Rosemary’s Baby. Did you reference any iconic film characters of the past when making your version of Jenibel?
Grimes-Beech: I honestly didn’t. I’m a fan of psychological thrillers and horrors, so I certainly had tones from some of my favorites in mind but I try not to emulate anyone else’s performances when I’m acting. I just do what I do and let my performance for each character I play evolve from within naturally.
CS: I met you years ago. We were both guests on MTV Canada. That was when you were the star of The New Degrassi. Life has taken many turns for you professionally since then. What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned about acting in the last decade?
Grimes-Beech: Frankly, I’ve learned to enjoy it again. I’ve learned to be grateful and excited and find the wonderment in every step of process as I did when I first started. When you grow up and begin “adulting” and have bills to pay and images to maintain and all the rest of it, you can find yourself buckling under pressure. This pressure can suck the life out of the spirit of performing, which is precisely why I took a couple years off from acting altogether after “90210”; to regain perspective. I’ve reconnected with that little dreamer inside of me that has always helped me thrive as an actor and chosen to stick a mental middle finger up at the noise that can drown out the brilliance of this crazy career I’ve chosen.
CS: I’m addicted to Lifetime movies. I want to give a shout out to Newlywed and Dead, which I’ve seen more times than is healthy. Loved your Kirsten. Do you see any parallels between Jenibel and Kristen?
Grimes-Beech: Oh my God, you’re hilarious. I think they were pretty different as far as their true intentions and demeanors are concerned, but they are both strong-minded females that fight for what they believe in.
CS: I really appreciate you in dramatic roles where you are the star. You have “It.” What are some of your upcoming projects and some of your “dream” projects?
Grimes-Beech: Thank you very much, that’s a very kind and generous compliment. I’m very excited about my upcoming leading role as Jack Cooper on CTV’s new series The Detail, which will be coming to TV screens sometime in 2018. Professionally, Jack is a stellar homicide detective who does things her own way, gets to the bottom of her cases at any cost and is a total badass with a weapon. On the contrary, her personal life is tumultuous on a good day and more often than not blows up in alcohol-fueled flames. Playing both sides of Jack in her own imbalanced harmony has been SO much fun for me and will showcase my dramatic acting in a completely different way than audiences have ever seen me before. In the future, I’d LOVE to play a rock and roller, musician chick sometime as those are parts of me that I dream of creatively fulfilling on camera in some capacity! I also have a passion for comedy and would love to break into the single-camera comedy world someday.
For more on Blood Honey, including info on the upcoming screenings (including a special screening in Ottawa on August 31st), go to the official Blood Honey Facebook page . And check out our exclusive Blood Honey clip below!