SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Juliette Daum: I was raised in a small town in Northern Wisconsin but moved to Europe at age 16. Originally, I came to study the English Concertina in the Netherlands but ended up studying Art and moving to France to study music again. I was invited to teach Concertina in Germany and ended up staying there a few years until I eventually met my husband and moved to the UK. We have been living in Wales a few years now. I run a business making woven baby wraps and bespoke clothing and sell on the internet all over the world.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?
Juliette Daum: It probably was a development from an earlier ballerina dream but has endured. I love performing and have grabbed every opportunity I could. I won some awards for acting in high school and wanted to study acting, but my Father convinced me to study the Concertina instead. I have done a few acting courses over the years, but I think my life experience has taught me a lot about human behaviour which is very useful.
SKSM: How did you become involved in Vinton’s Lot Dollar Baby film?
Juliette Daum: Ali told me about the film when I was at one of her Aerial fitness classes last spring. I immediately thought “Ooh, how can I get involved?” Then she said she would have to escape through a toilet and have to swim through loads of poo and I was like… “hmmm maybe not”. A few months later she posted on Facebook that they needed a strong looking woman to play a masseuse and I thought I could pull that off.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Juliette Daum: I would say it is a story that people could relate to. Maybe not the specifics but just how some problems can become all consuming and can destroy your life. Even before he locked her in the toilet, the misery she felt from the ongoing conflict was controlling her and making it impossible to live. Her own triumph over the situation, physically and mentally, allows her to move on. She didn’t actually win or get what she wanted. She just took back control of her life. That is what I like about the story anyway.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Juliette Daum: I auditioned for Ali and Jamie. I knew Ali already as I said but met Jamie at the audition. A couple other people were supposed to come audition as well but they didn’t show up so I didn’t really have to fight for it. The part of the Masseuse wasn’t particularly emotionally demanding and I have done some massage before so it wasn’t too difficult to make it look believable.
SKSM: You worked with Ali Cocks on this film, how was that?
Juliette Daum: Ali was very passionate about the project. When I joined in on the first day of filming it was apparent that they had a lot of trouble with the crew that had originally been involved and had essentially been left high and dry. Ali took up the mantle and became the force that drove the project on against all odds. I helped anywhere and everywhere I could. Camera work, art department, even assistant directing on days that Ali needed to focus on acting, reading off notes for the scenes she had planned out. Originally Ali hadn’t planned on editing but after nursing it through so many stages she had such a strong vision on what she wanted for the outcome. I encouraged and supported her taking on the editing role. With anyone any less dedicated it would not have gotten finished.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Juliette Daum: One of my lines in the film is “Sounds like you need to get laid” it was funny saying that over and over again. Once I left off “sounds like” and we had a good laugh at just how blunt “You need to get laid” sounded. There were lots of funny times during filming. The hot tub was literally just that. A tub over a fire and it got really hot in the middle. I was on camera at that point and we had to stop filming a few times when Sam’s butt was burning. He was a good sport though. I thought it was funny how many times he apologized for being the “bad guy.” The most fun I had was actually making the poo. Ali made the stuff she needed to rub on her body out of nicer food ingredients like cocoa and carrots but we couldn’t have afforded to fill a whole toilet with that. So I made a vat of mud, sand, clay, porridge oats and flour for the bulk of it. I even sculpted a few turds to be strategically placed. I knew that fine art school education would come in handy.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Juliette Daum: Yes, with all of them. I am looking forward to our next project.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Juliette Daum: Since working on Vinton’s Lot I have decided to go back to University to study Film Making. Jamie encouraged me to sign up for the course in Aberystwyth. I am on my second semester now and really enjoying it. It feels like I am finally really following my dream.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Juliette Daum: He is definitely a genius, no one could argue with that. However, I am not particularly drawn to the horror genre. I have a lot of nightmares anyway and don’t do well with more visuals to fuel them. I am more of a fantasy person myself.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Juliette Daum: Well, something that surprised me about me is that I enjoyed every other role I took on for this film more than the actual acting part. I particularly enjoyed helping in any way I could to get it done. From the camera work to making the poo it is hard to say what was most fun, I just love it all!
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Juliette Daum: Follow your dreams, do what you love. Cliché I know but if you want to make a film, nowadays you can with little to no money and it is a lot more about the journey than the finished product.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Juliette Daum: I don’t think so. Thank you for reading.