Actress and award-winning short film producer Jenn Nangle grew up in a small town near Boston and began acting on stage when she was 10. She originally had her heart set on Broadway, but fell in love with television while in college. After graduation, she opted to make the move to Los Angeles, where she studied with some of the top acting coaches in the business.
Jenn’s original intention was to act, rather than work behind the camera, but after she accepted a friend’s offer to help her produce a web series she was working on entitled Guides, Jenn found it to be such an amazing learning experience, she became hooked on creating, in addition to performing. Since Jenn began applying her talents to both sides of the camera, she’s focused on short films, some of which have earned awards to garnish her mantel. Most notably, the Mary Pickford Award she won at the 2016 Zed Fest Film Festival.
Jenn also recently debuted her alter ego; Malvolia, the Queen of Screams, a horror hostess who, as of this writing, has made her presence known on social media, but no videos yet. Learn more about Malvolia, as well as other projects Jenn has in store for 2017, in her following exclusive interview for Idol Features. Above photo courtesy of Jenn herself.
JENN NANGLE: I was asked to be apart of an indie filmmakers horror anthology that is still in the works, so I cannot talk about that too much, but each filmmaker was to choose a different horror genre. By the time I was brought on, the genres I had in mind were already taken, so, at the time, my writing writing and producing partner Jul Kohler and I were writing and filming urban legends through a woman’s point of view. I knew I wanted a strong female character or villain of some sort and the only one that really stuck out to me at the time was Kuchisake-Onna. Being that it was going to be “no budget,” I planned out the script prior to writing it and submitted it to the producers. Paul Stephen Edwards shot it and did an amazing job. I’m so proud of it. I cannot wait to showcase it!
CHRIS: You recently debuted your character Malvolia, the Queen of Screams. Please tell me more about her.
JENN: Malvolia has been in the works for about six months. I never really thought about entertaining the idea of a “Horror Hostess,” however, when I saw the line that people were waiting in to have a meet and greet with Elvira at Scare LA, something just clicked. There’s more to the story that I can’t talk about just yet, but just know she will be breaking out on Youtube and we’re going to have a blast! She is unlike anything I have done before!
JENN: There already have been! And a lot of people think that this was “just a photo shoot” of some kind. She is a developed character. I hope there are comparisons of both those amazing woman and Morticia Adams. I took inspiration from all the women, however, Malvolia is definitely her own sassy mistress that should not be reckoned with! She has a dark elegant humor that I hope people will love. They do so far on Twitter anyway!
CHRIS: You have an impressive list of acting credits. Did you start acting on stage?
JENN: Thank you! Yes, I did. I started acting in plays when I was ten years old and became addicted. I wanted to be on Broadway, but something changed my mind and Los Angeles called to me.
CHRIS: You’ve studied at several top LA-based acting schools. Who have been your favorite coaches and why?
JENN: Hands down would be Laura Henry. I worked with her for two years on the Meisner Technique among others. She took a girl and made her into a warrior. No joke. This city is tough and just chews up the weak. She knew this and never let me get away with anything. At the end of those two years I was able to look in the mirror and see a stronger woman who could take on anything she put my mind to.
JENN: Jennifer Ryan in Demonic Attachment. It was a challenge for me to keep up my energy to get through shooting the two days, but also portraying that low energy for when the demon is attached to me. As an actress, I always want to be truthful in the moment, even though I’ve never had a demonic attachment. I have the utmost respect for the paranormal community and wanted to make sure I did as much research as I could to make sure this situation was as true to life as possible. Also, any indie filmmaker knows how hard it is to be wearing 85 different hats at once and in this case, it was no easy task. Acting and producing while making sure everything is on track, making sure the food will be delivered, and having someone be able to get the door when it’s being delivered, and what if he buzzes while we are in the middle of a scene? I mean, the list can go on and on and on. I’m terrible at asking for help, so, that I am working on.
CHRIS: Since you’ve done mostly short films, on both sides of the camera, I assume you could say they’re your preference and specialty?
JENN: Well, they are quicker than a feature! And I am able to wear many hats during the production, which is still not an easy easy or routine for me, but doable. I never in a million years thought I was going to be a filmmaker, my focus was on acting. So when self producing was introduced to me and I realized I could write parts that I wanted to play instead of losing out to another actress during the audition process because she had more twitter followers than I did, I thought it was the coolest thing! But, I had to learn how to write. I had to learn cameras, camera angles, lenses, special effects, etc.
JENN: My acting performance award from Zed Fest. Really, all my awards from Zed Fest, but if I had to choose one, it would be the acting performance one. I set many goals for 2016 and as it was drawing to a close, I hit a real lull. So much rejection was happening all around me and, what a lot of people don’t know is that, I was thinking of walking away from all of this. It was a real dark time for me because all I have ever wanted to do was act and perform. What Wendy Medrano, Ed Stephens, and Zed Fest did for me was they lit that fire underneath me again! They showed me that hard work and perseverance does pay off. The acting performance award because I’ve had people in the industry be extremely critical of my performance in Demonic Attachment. I put my soul into that character.
CHRIS: Give me the first thing that comes to mind when I mention these shorts you’ve done: Coat Room.
CHRIS: Spirit Board.
JENN: My first everything.
CHRIS: Dare You.
JENN: Fun! Creative! Thinking outside the box!
CHRIS: The Traveler.
JENN: Amazing story. Amazing collaboration!
CHRIS: Demonic Attachment.
JENN: My passion. My life.
JENN: Killer! Proud.
JENN: It’s a script I wrote years ago. An ode to Alfred Hitchcock if you will. It has a retro fifties feel to it with a pretty intense topic and a little surprise ending.
CHRIS: What was your role in Shark Bites?
JENN: I was cast member. It’s a pilot my friend Matthew Clark wrote, directed, and produced. A Saturday Night Live for kids. So much fun to make! It was nice to act silly for a change! We made it to the fourth round (the last stage) but it didn’t get green lit. Though it has been pitched to a couple other networks. Fingers crossed!
CHRIS: Do you usually do your own makeup?
JENN: I do. I prefer to now. Doing a lot of independent film, usually there isn’t a makeup artist on set so you have to do your own make up or show up “camera ready.” My first try at it was creating my look for the web series Guides where I was able to be really creative. Believe me, when I can pay for it, I will LOVE when someone else can do it for me. But for now, I make do. I am so thankful for Youtube makeup tutorials!
CHRIS: Have you ever purposefully covered up your freckles for a character?
CHRIS: I see you state on your resume you’re a skilled burlesque performer. Where have you performed?
CHRIS: I see. Have you tried anything special that you might do in your burlesque act if you were to perform? I mean, like fire-eating, tassel twirling, whatever?
JENN: (Laughs) No ….I’m not that skilled, though I wish I could fire-eat! It’s so cool, but I’m too scared! I mean, what if I burn my eyebrows off?
CHRIS: Do you have any favorite old school burlesque queens?
CHRIS: Do you have any special skills or talents that you don’t include on your resume?
JENN: I can wiggle my nose like Samantha Stephens from Bewitched!
CHRIS: With that, I thank you again for doing this Jenn. In closing, any shout-outs to anyone?
JENN: Momma and Poppa Nangle. Without them and their support, I wouldn’t be here. G113 Photography for always coming up with creative and amazing concepts for the crazy ideas that are in my head, and always having a quick turnaround. Check him out! Jul Kohler for being an amazing example of friend and driven collaborator. LAHorror.com and Safety Meeting Productions; some of the greatest, most hard working guys I know who are so supportive and believe in me, and I in them. I cannot explain how hard that is to find. Shannon McGrew from Nightmarish Conjurings, Ryan Cusick from iHorror.com, Brian Sapir & Neil King from We Are Indie Horror. They have supported me from day one. So blessed to have their belief in me.
CHRIS: Oh, just one last question: Did Malvolia allow “Pantsless Aaron” to serve her and, if so, how?
JENN: Oh Darling ….a woman never kisses and tells. But no. He only dreams he could.
Jenn was among the 26 women who were recognized at last year’s Zed Fest
Film Festival, for their accomplishments in the film arts.
Trailer for Demonic Attachment. Jenn says the story is true to life for her because she
grew up in what she believed was a haunted house in Danvers, Massachuttes, a town
which was was part of the “Old Salem Village.”