Jillie Simon was recently interviewed by TheCelebrity.Online Magazine and below is the Q&A session we had with her.
Jillie Simon As Exclusive Cover Story – July 2023
How do you introduce yourself?
Jillie Simon: Hi I’m Jillie Simon, actor, filmmaker, singer-songwriter/writer. In addition to acting in theatre, film and tv, and singing in bands, Jillie has also made two short films, after co-directing two music videos. Her first film hungry was honored with 19 awards, including eight acting awards she received.
She wrote, co-produced and co-directed the short film, in which Oscar-nominee Eric Roberts plays the antagonist. Hungry is currently available on IndiePix’s Amazon Prime channel and on Vimeo on Demand (www.hungry.movie). Her second multi-award-winning film, A CHANCE, based on a play she’d been cast in, is currently in the film festival circuit.
Childhood to Adulthood – How was your transition from childhood to adulthood and what are the bad and good things you remember?
Jillie Simon: I remember still wanting to keep playing make believe with friends when I was around 12 making up stories and playing out characters my earliest improv scenes which was a big clue that I was going to want to go into the field of acting!
I remember jumping off stairs and breaking my elbow at 4 and a half (the bad) and I remember going with my family to Maine for a couple of weeks over the summer, for 3 or 4 summers, which was so lovely, even though the ocean was so cold! It’s a beautiful place. And I enjoyed the adventure of going off to college, being far away from home.
Struggle – What hardships have you gone through in life?
Jillie Simon: The life of a working actor is a struggle there’s a lot of uncertainty when one job ends, you don’t know when you’ll work again, also in auditioning- for example, I had six call-backs for a major role in a Hollywood studio feature film, but they ended up going with someone else, so you just have to breathe and say on to the next! I also did a variety of different “survival jobs” when younger. But overall, I’m pretty blessed, and I stay positive, keep working on everything, and know that another acting job will pop up from seeds already planted and they always do.
Plus, I’ve been making my own art happening, first with my partner and our music and music videos, under our Endorphin Records label, and then we branched into making our own films.
What do people usually not know about you?
Jillie Simon: I began to do some stand-up comedy when I got cast in the role of a stand-up comedian/writer/blogger in a play I did in 2019. We were considering making it into a short film this year, with a new, added scene in a comedy club. I wrote a comedy set that was about 14 minutes long – and when I did it in a writers group, it got raves.
I was then asked to perform it for the Crosstown Theater’s Women’s Festival, which I did this past spring, and it went wonderfully. So though we ultimately decided against producing the play as a short film, I now have some stand-up I’m going to be doing when I have the time, at a comedy club in NYC.
What sets you apart from your competitors in the industry and in life?
Jillie Simon: I think I most likely have a lot in common with “my competitors in the industry” talent, a very attuned instrument, lots of energy, a strong drive, strong work ethic, good training and a great passion for what I do. And I’m also excellent at taking direction and making adjustments, which all excellent actors are also great at. What sets me apart is my unique self my individual quirkiness, humor, empathy.
Casting directors often say they want to see who you are and what you bring to the role bring yourself and nobody else can do that. And I find that too, when I cast my films and I’d also cast and directed staged readings of excerpts from the screenplays of the Screenwriting Competition Finalists at the Socially Relevant Film Festival for 5 years, til I passed the baton in 2022).
Every fantastic actor is set apart from every other fantastic actor by their unique self nobody else can bring that, so if the director feels that unique self is what’s right for the role, that actor will get the part.
What are your upcoming major events?
Jillie Simon: September 28th I’ll be going to the Las Vegas Movie Awards Gala, where I was honored to win Best Actress, Award of Prestige for my role in HUNGRY and we also won Best Inspirational Film, Award of Excellence that was our last festival for that film, before we received distribution. It was originally scheduled for May 2020, but got put off because of the pandemic.
And in October, I’ll be playing in a new film, “Ruxton Hills”, written and directed by Marvalee Peart. It’s a very well written independent horror feature. And we’ll be able to shoot it under the interim SAG-AFTRA contract for low budget indies.
What are your food preferences and physical attributes?
Jillie Simon: I love fruit- I’m enjoying the summer fruits right now, like peaches and mangos, and look forward to having my first summer watermelon and I eat a mainly vegan diet, though I sometimes have clams, oysters and mussels. I love animals, and find it very easy to eat delicious and healthy vegan food options, which is great, as I wouldn’t want to be a part of the very cruel and inhumane animal industry.
Your love life, relationships and family?
Jillie Simon: My partner in music, film and life is my husband Thomas Simon. He’s a composer, musician, producer, editor and wonderful human being. (And co-director of HUNGRY and all our music videos). We’ve had two beautiful doggy kids, but right now, it’s too busy a time to get a new dog, though I’d love to be a dog-mom again at some point.
What expert advice would you like to give?
Jillie Simon: Whatever your passion in life, the best thing to do is go for it and work hard at whatever it is, to make sure you’re giving it your best shot. You never know what will happen but nothing will happen if you don’t try. And be kind one kind act spreads ripples, and always does more good than you can know.
Your social media handles and website links?
Jillie Simon: @jilliesimon (Instagram, Twitter)