The youngest of nine children, actress Jamie Bernadette, grew up in Kankakee, Illinois where she had the benefit of receiving the guidance of film mentor Freddy Krueger! Jaime participated in local theater and performed lines from Movies for her family and friends until she packed her bags for Hollywood to try her luck in the major leagues.

Since her debut in an episode of TV drama "Tell Me You Love Me" in 2007, Bernadette has appeared in countless films and TV series, mostly horror projects, including “Lake Death,” “Axeman,” “All Girls Weekend,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “13 Days,” and “American Satan.”

Her latest film is titled “4/20 Massacre,” and it has been billed as the first-ever "stoner slasher film” which is scheduled to be released in April of 2018.

Bernadette plays the heroic Jess in the slasher film which was written and directed by Dylan Reynolds.

Jaime recently discussed playing the role of Jess, being an Actress, and more via an exclusive interview.

Acting, characters, film, and television

Meagan Meehan (MM): What inspired you to get into acting and did you begin your career in your native Kankakee, Illinois?

Jamie Bernadette (JB): Honestly, Freddy Krueger may be responsible! Ha! I knew every word of the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” In all seriousness, I've just wanted to act since I was a child. I was acting out movies from about the age of 5 to 11 - including “Elm Street.” I was doing theater from about the age of 10, and I continued that throughout high school - some of the high school, anyway.

So, I guess the short answer is, it's just always been in me! I did local theater in Kankakee, but that was it. There isn’t film and television there at all.

MM: You’ve got eight siblings – did they take the same path?

JB: No, they didn’t. I'm the only one who wanted to be an actor!

MM: So, what was your big break in Hollywood once you moved there from your home state?

JB: I actually can't say there's been a "big break" yet, but if there has been and I haven't recognized it then that's probably down to the fact I always just push myself to do better and better. I really aspire to do more and more. I push myself.

MM: How did 4/20 Massacre come to be and can you tell us about your character, Jess?

JB: I sent in an audition tape to Dylan Reynolds, who wrote and directed, and he must have liked it - he cast me. I play Jess, and she's a mixed martial artist, but that doesn't necessarily mean she's also not kind, caring, and thoughtful. She's definitely strong and courageous though.

MM: Did you know director Dylan Reynolds before signing on and where did you actually film it?

JB: Yes, I had met him before. He had directed a film called "Nippes and Palm Trees" which I thought was brilliant. I was lucky enough to be at the premiere for that film, so I made sure to introduce myself. I knew I wanted to work with him. Dylan is so, so talented. He's a great writer, director, editor - fantastic editor, in fact - and he's really going places.

I just know he'll be super successful in his career. We shot it in the mountains of Big Bear, California.

MM: Did you have time to get to know your co-stars before the shoot began?

JB: Thankfully, I knew Dylan's wife Vanessa, who also acts in the film, because there wasn't much time to get to know anyone before shooting. We did all get together for a read-through of the script, where I met my co-stars, but that was pretty much it. Luckily, we all clicked, and it worked out wonderfully.

The movie industry, creative projects, and advice

MM: Thus far, what has been the best part of working in the movie industry and where do you aspire to go from here?

JB: I’ve got to say that the best part is knowing that I followed my purpose in life and that I am happy.

So many people don’t follow their true purpose for one reason or another—a lot of times it has to do with money—and they're miserable. That's not me. I don't want that. I would love to be a series regular on a very good tv show. TV is great right now!

MM: Do you have any fun and/or exciting upcoming creative projects that you would like to mention?

JB: I have eight films coming out this year, which is great! I'm always updating fans on my social media about my latest projects so let readers know they can get up-to-the-minute updates on those films. The most recent film is "The Furnace" which Darrell Roodt, who directed the Oscar-nominated foreign film "Yesterday” and also recently helmed the absolutely gorgeous movie “The Lullaby” is helming.

I'm about to leave for South Africa to shoot it.

I have a role in “Backseat,” but I can’t talk much about it due to confidentiality, but I can say I share a scene with a big star. Sometimes smaller scenes get cut from films, as we all know, but I'm hoping that this one makes the final cut! So far? It looks like my scene will make it!

I also produced, co-wrote and star in a film called "The 6th Friend", which is coming out soon. I'm super proud of this one! Audiences at the film festivals that I've screened it at really dig it, and I'm sure everybody else will too. I'm really stoked to have won a lot of awards for the film.

I would also like to mention "Cereburus" directed by Sean Cain, in which I play the villain!

That was lots of fun! Sean is known to get his movies out there fairly fast so don't be surprised if that's out there sooner rather than later.

I'm also looking forward to working with - drumroll - my childhood obsession Robert 'Freddy Krueger' Englund on a film this Fall! My good friend Maria Olsen, who I co-starred with in "I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu" is in the film with me. I can't wait to shoot the movie.

MM: What advice do you feel is worth providing to people who are aspiring to enter the acting industry?

JB: You must love acting. You must work hard - harder than you ever have. Don't do it because of the "glamour" associated with it, or because it'll make you famous, do it for the love of acting because you like hard work, and then you'll make it. Also, keep away from negative people - far away. Don't listen to those who tell you that you can't do it! You can never stay afloat with an anchor around your neck.