The Maidstone. East Hampton, NY
Interview: Rob DeStefano

It’s been a breakout year for the young actress who tackled the role of Rachel in the film Electrick Children. A Mormon teen who claims to have been impregnated by the audio of a rock and roll cassette is certainly a unique character to proudly add to a growing resume. Julia Garner sat down with IF for a brief discussion on her career and her involvement in Rebecca Thomas’s film.

IF: It’s been a big breakout year for you. From Martha Marcy May Marlene to The Perks of Being a Wallflower and to your star role in Electrick Children. What led up to this success?

JG: Having good agents and managers, and part of it might be luck too. I’ve been acting for only two years now. My friend was interning at a casting office, and she told me about an open casting call for this TV show called Skins. I didn’t want to go, and my sister said, “Oh you should go!” So I went. It turned out the person who casted Skins also casted Martha Marcy May Marlene.

IF: And what interested you in Martha Marcy Mary Marlene?

JG: The first thing I look for in a film is the dialogue. How good is the dialogue and the writing? It’s the quality of the writing that influences my decisions.

IF: After you chose your project, what do you look for in a director? Specifically, what did you like about Rebecca Thomas’s direction in Electrick Children?

JG: She had this idea, and she just knew what she wanted. I think that was the case with Sean Durkin [director of Martha Marcy May Marlene] too. I look for someone who really knows what they want and who I can trust. I was able to trust all the directors I’ve worked with.

IF: Speaking of Electrick Children, did you have any knowledge of Mormonism going into the film?

JG: I knew what Mormonism was and what fundamentalist Mormonism was. The thing is that the film is more focused on Rachel’s journey and how everyone is searching for something.

IF: Having been your first lead role, was starring in Rebecca’s film stressful for you?

JG: I didn’t really think about it when I was shooting the film because I was very much in the moment as the character. I think when the festivals started hitting, that’s when I got a little nervous.

IF: What festivals did you attend?

JG: Our first festival was the Berlinale. That’s where we had the film in competition and had our world premiere. And then we were also in SXSW. I love Austin. It was raining though this year.

IF: I know you have a busy afternoon, so last question: what is your favorite film of 2012 so far?

JG: I used to see a lot of films, but over the past year, I’ve been busy making films. [laughs] I really don’t know!

Click here to check out Julia’s upcoming filmography.

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