Jennifer Blanc, one of the stars of the upcoming film The Victim is, in one word, spunky. You’ll recognize her from Dark Angel and Party of Five as well as a long line of film and television projects. Her character Annie is about finding the party, capturing the fun. Annie and her friend Mary (played by Danielle Harris) are trying to get their hands on some police confiscated drugs by befriending two detectives. Seduce the cops, get the drugs, get this party started. Seems easy. But, The Victim isn’t that kind of movie.
Annie finds herself in the Flagstaff wilderness fighting for her life. Jennifer Blanc explained to me that the strength of the story is in it’s concealment of who the victims really are. Everyone in this films seems to be hiding something which, for an actor, is a hearty meal. In the scenes I saw her shoot, Jennifer’s portrayal of Annie is not only believable but, at moments, engaging. Blanc is also pretty darn photogenic. In person she is a tall and pretty blond with a surprising Marlene Dietrich-like voice to take the edge off. There’s an interesting juxtaposition in Blanc that makes Annie more than the damsel in distress we so often see in film.
Jennifer, sporting her character’s costume of a tank top and skirt short enough to bring a blind man to his knees, told me it had been a great shoot and everyone there was part of the success of getting the film made. She also remarked on her real life husband, Michael Biehn’s role in the film during it’s development and now into shooting. On set, half of his time watching the monitor was to check Jennifer’s shots. They seemed to work together quite well and with the material I imagine remaining civil can be a challenge. It looks like they are doing not one but two more projects together this year so obviously, whatever they are doing is working.
A few days before my visit Jennifer had been on set when her husband, in the midst of shooting a choke-out sequence got, quite literally, choked out. Mr. Biehn was not injured and was perfectly fine, in fact he was sitting 3 feet away eating his lunch while she told me the story. While her mouth said she was fine I could sense, as she glanced over at her him, that it still kind of freaked her out. Watching the video I can’t really blame her. It’s actually pretty scary stuff. But then, if you really looked into it, some of the most intense scenes on celluloid are probably so intense because the actor pushed it to the edge. Watch Jerry Lewis in the ballroom scene of Cinderfella and you see a man who collapsed at the end of that scene and had to be rushed to the hospital. And that was for a comedy, folks. Just imagine what actors like Biehn and Blanc put themselves through to tell a thriller.
But, I’m sure the upside to working with your spouse is in the shooting of the sex scenes. Apparently there are some pretty racy one’s in The Victim which were not being filmed the day I was there. And it was my birthday and everything! Meanies. From the disco glittery glint in Blanc’s eyes when I inquired about the sex scene I am going to say, bring a towel.
Aside from talk of near death experiences and copulation, Jennifer seemed very focused. The entire day she seemed to be fighting allergies, which were not helped by the wind, sand and pollen kicking up all around us. Whenever a case of the drips came to town she wiped it away and kept on moving. Jennifer Blanc is one tough cookie and I can’t wait to see how Annie comes out on screen.