“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is a process, and working together is a success. Without a team, there will be no success.”
Jaime King, a successful fashion model featured in Vogue, Mademoiselle, and Harper’s Bazaar turned actress shared her career journey in Dead Talk Live, broadcast on December 10, 2020.
Jaime shared with the Dead Talk Live Show Host Viz she is being discovered at the age of 13 as a fashion model.
“Coming from Nebraska and didn’t grow up with luxuries, this opportunity allowed me to travel all over the world, understand languages and humanity, and that’s an invaluable experience for me as a storyteller.”
As a very established fashion model as she is, it is very unusual for a sudden career change. Jaime explains that she is always very passionate about acting, although she gets more push back from the fashion industry rather than the Hollywood executives, she is very blessed to work with wonderful film producers like Avy Kaufman and Jerry Bruckheimer.
“I always have a passion for acting, writing, producing, cinematography, directing, or any part of storytelling. They deeply ingrained in me and my soul.”
Jaime laughs when she reminisces about the 1st movie she was involved in, Pearl Harbor (2001) Directed by Micheal Bay, Starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, and Kate Beckinsale.
At that time she did not understand the hierarchy at all, she originally went in for the lead role, Evelyn Johnson. Due to being too young, she got the role of a one-liner nurse, Betty Bayer. Even Though Jaime got a small role at that time, she feels like acting is where she belongs.
“When I’m acting, I feel a kind of presence, that is so exhilarating! I feel like I am completely at home!”
Jaime describe the first inspiration that makes her wanted to act in a horror movie is The Shining (1980)
“I think through horror films, it’s a beautiful way for people to explore not only their own inner experience, their own fears, worries, anxieties, concerns, but in a way that releases adrenaline and dopamine, it is a vehicle that creates tension, then releases it. It’s a kind of genre that can blend with so many genres, and it’s universal.”
As an actress with a long and successful journey, her fondest moment throughout her entire acting career is acting in Black Summer (2019) directed by John Hyams, work with her co-star Justine Chu Carry (Spears), Christine Lee (Kyung Son), and the rest of the amazing cast, and crews. She stated that the relationship between her and the crews is very close, she can literally know everyone in the crew, and she gets to do 12 minutes long take and rehearse for 4 hours, which she didn’t experience anywhere else throughout her acting career.
“There are so many elements in the scene, I didn’t understand the blocking. And I told Justin that it doesn’t make sense for me to move diagonally that time. Justine explained to me the reason for that is to show me blocking and protecting my daughter (in the film) in that scene. And I’m very thankful for that.”
Jaime didn’t know “Black Summer” would be a show about a zombie apocalypse when she was proposed to act in that show. Because the script does not even contain the word “Zombie” in it. What she likes about the film director, John Hyams is that he is very determined on who should be the actor and what are the things that he wanted to capture. After a couple of back and forth, Jammie finally agrees to take the role.
“I believe in abundance. I’ll take it if the role is totally for me. If not I’d much prefer to see another actor bring it to life.”
When she is asked about her co-star Justin Chu Carry (Spears), she says Justin is a “Force to be reckoned with”. She never met Justin before, and they didn’t talk about the scene in the first episode beforehand.
“There’s this kind of chemistry going on when I act with Justin. We were not supposed to be romantic in any shape or form, yet because of our strong chemistry connection with one another, it would read on cameras like, “Wait, are they lovers, or not lovers?” he just took the role, flipped it on his head and did it like slick, without even playing slick.”
Justin Chu Carry as Spears in Black Summer (2019)
She admires Rose, as a character that she is vigilance, adaptable, loyal, and extremely determined. Like the scene where the two military men drag Spears away down the tunnel. Even Though other people tell them that person is a horrible person, she follows her gut feeling, sees people in a bigger way than that.
“It’s funny because when I’m acting, it’s not just about me playing a character. It’s more like I merged my consciousness with hers, that’s what makes characters so unique. For me, I was born radical. In the scene where they drag Spear, a Black Asian Man, down a tunnel, promising a white woman to take her to her goals. Inside of Jaime, the first, immediate thing that went through my mind is “this is wrong”. It’s something that I couldn’t turn off.”
Dead Talk Live sitting down with Jaime proceed to talk about the character Kyungsun, played by Christine Lee, a Korean woman who doesn’t speak English at all. Jaime states that even without subtitles, watching her performance was so exciting, because Kyungsun is someone that was really an unknown.
“She’s electric! She’s so dynamic and riveting! She just likes to pop off the screen! She shows the power of great actors, the power of humanity, the power that we understand each other even if we don’t speak the same language.”
Christine Lee as Kyungsun in Black Summer (2019)
The regular length of an episode of Black Summer is 1 hour, but it was just about 20 minutes for the last episode, packed with action from the 1st down to the last second. Jaime states that they always want to distill, tell the story in a way like a visual novel. And what’s great about this show is it doesn’t have to be the length of a traditional television show. It can be flexible.
“Props to our whole camera crew, we’re able to shoot in a way that doesn’t have much breathing room. We’re so immersed in it, there are all these quick cuts all the time. It takes John Hyams and the people he brought together to create this, and gives them permission to really go there.”
The shooting of season one is officially wrapped about a month ago of season 2 (October 21st, 2020) Viz curiously asked Jaime do they need to wait for permission from Netflix, or it was planned early on for season 2, Jaime says:
“When it came out on Netflix, it was extraordinarily successful, we knew right away, and got everything set up and organized.”
Due to the pandemic going on, it was difficult for most of the industry, including acting as well. Jaime talks about the strict restriction and difficulty that she and the crew have to go through during the shooting in Canada. She was basically isolated from the rest of the whole cast, she wouldn’t even be allowed to go on the set on the days that she wasn’t on camera. But she and the whole cast are very determined to overcome these issues, just to complete the movie. She was thankful that she had a wonderful cast on her back.
“We accept every single rule and know that we are going to get through and wrap this thing. It’s not just because of our own show, It’s more giving more opportunity for our industry to get back on its feet, especially because there’s not even 20% capacity up in our industry yet.”
In the final moment of the interview, Viz asked Jaime to pick 1 word to describe the 2nd season of Black Summer.
“Arghh this is so hard, extraordinary I think? Honestly, I’m left ineffable, I never had an experience before in my entire career, the exhilaration freedom, power of communication, it’s so timely, it’s almost like it’s the most present, it’s precious.”
And Jaime picks “Transcendent” as a word to describe season 2 of Black Summer.
Although Jaime and the team are having a difficult time filming the 2nd season of Black Summer season 2, the determination that they need to finish the movie is finally delivered! It is estimated that this will be broadcast on Netflix in 2021 Summer, Stay tuned!