The first script actress Madeleine Wade has ever written has been turned into a film! And not just that, ‘’Blood Craft’’ – about two sisters that resurrect their abusive dead feather to get revenge on him- features an all-star cast including the likes of Dominique Swain and Michael Welch! Not bad for a girl who hails from a “tiny town” in Germany.

Madeline recently discussed her career and more via an exclusive interview.

Witchcraft, research, and roles

Meagan Meehan (MM): Where do you hail from, Madeleine, and how did you get your big break?

Madeleine Wade (MW): I was born in a tiny town near Stuttgart in Germany and also lived in Munich.

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I was adopted by an American father who worked for the government, so we moved around a lot, and I lived in Greece, Israel, and Korea between brief stints in the U.S. So short answer- everywhere. I have dual German and U.S. citizenship, which is cool. I’m actually still waiting for that to happen! So, I’ll have to get back to you on that one. I’ve been really lucky to land some cool roles, but they’ve always been really small roles in big budget films and TV shows or leads in super low budget stuff.

So, nothing that’s really put me on the map yet.

MM: Where did the interest come in co-writing a movie about witchcraft?

MW: It was something I wrote five years ago, based on a lot of my personal childhood abuse experiences. And when you’re writing about abused children who’ve grown into adults and want revenge for the abuse they suffered from someone who is now dead, well- how else are they going to get that revenge other than through casting spells? So, witchcraft just seemed like a natural way to go.

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A witch was also something I’d never played before. I’ve been a vampire and a werewolf, but never a witch, so that’s a factor when you’re writing a role for yourself to play. I had written this script and approached James about directing. He then came on board and wrote some additional dialogue and scenes and helped me eliminate some of the redundancy in the script and really flush it out. He helped shape the story more as we shot the film, too. He added some last-minute scary scenes that he wrote while we were shooting that we shot on the fly that added so much to the pace and scary tone.

He also had to be the voice of reason and tone down some of the scenes I’d written that were too graphic, with too much eroticism.

MM: What kind of research did you have to do for the film? Did you visit any witchcraft websites or read books on the subject?

MW: The research was done during the writing process. My husband used to practice Wicca, so I was constantly asking him questions when I was writing the spells and chants. As far as playing someone who enduring horrific physical, emotional and sexual abuse as a child, well- those were real experiences that I lived through, so there wasn’t any research in traditional terms necessary for me.

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I know Michael Welch did a lot of research and went to abuse survivor groups, as his characters’ lives through the cycle of abuse as well. That guy is legit, seriously, he brought it! My husband grew up in the Salem, MA area, so I’d been to several witchcraft museums and stores with him on trips to visit his family there. I didn’t really have to research it online or read books on the subject since I had a live-in consultant.

MM: And when did you decide you’d play one of the lead roles?

MW: I wrote the role for myself, so that was always the intention. I funded the movie using my entire life savings and maxing out all my credit cards so that I could play that role. For me, it was always about giving myself a role I thought would be a cathartic way to work through my abuse issues, and also showcase what I was capable of as an actress.

Casting, co-stars, and goals

MM: How much time did you have to work with Augie Duke before the shoot, to get that chemistry down pat?

MW: None, really. We met once before shooting. It all happened very fast. During the casting process, we were looking at different actresses, and when we came upon her, you could just sense from her clips that she had this playful energy, but also this mischievous glint and the edge needed to play that role. I also saw her doing interviews online, and I thought, “I’d like to be that girl’s friend,” and that sense of familiarity was part of it. A lot of other actresses had shied away from the role. It was a traumatizing role to play that required a fearlessness, and she has that. Plus, she looks like Fairuza Balk from “The Craft,” so that’s ironic and pretty awesome.

MM: And did you know any of your other co-stars before shooting?

MW: I didn’t know anybody! I’d met the kid who plays Tyler as a kid, Mark Rolston, and Augie once before. It was also a crash course in film making for me since it was my first time Executive Producing. So, it was a blessing to be able to have a say in picking my co-stars! I had everything riding on this film, so those decisions were all made very judiciously. It was also one of the reasons I wanted James Cullen Bressack involved, I trusted him to help guide me through the whole process, and he really did. He got our casting director Scotty Mullen involved who really helped with getting the right actors. I’d had one rehearsal with James and Michael Welch prior to shooting. Dave Sheridan, who is a monsoon of comedy, had us in stitches between absolutely killing it in his very dramatic takes, and Mark Rolston and Dominique Swain are such iconic actors. I’m honored to have worked with them all.

MM: What do you consider yourself first and foremost – an actress or a writer--and what’s next for you?

MW: Definitely an actress, this was the first thing I’ve ever written. But, now that I’ve got one under my belt, I’m ready to write more. I started writing another script, but I’ve really only gotten the story outlined at this point. My goal has always been to be a busy working actor. But until someone hires me to play good lead roles regularly, I’ll just have to keep writing them for myself.