Najarra Townsend has 77 credits to her filmography, but in the world of horror she is best known for her starring role as Samantha in Contracted. She will continue her horror mayhem in Jill Gervargizian’s, horror short The Stylist. I had a chance to catch up with Najarra to discuss her new movie, upcoming film plans and how she really feels about horror. So, grab a chair and sit back as we get styled by Najarra Townsend!
How did you get involved with The Stylist?
Jill reached out to me. We had met at a screening for my film “Contracted” a few months prior. She sent me an email asking if I would be interested in being apart of the project and after reading the script, I was totally in.
Tell us about your character in The Stylist and any tidbits you can share.
My character Claire is a hair stylist. She’s a complex character, obsessed with perfection. The film is really beautiful. Our cinematography department and our whole crew did an amazing job. Jill really had a strong vision for the film and it shows.
How was it working in a feature film like Contracted to moving into a horror short like The Stylist?
I’ve done a lot of shorts in my career. With shorts there’s always the challenge of getting enough information across in such a short amount of time. My character development is pretty much the same whether it’s a short or a feature. Having a solid background for my character and understanding her actions is always most important to me. With “The Stylist” we had 3 days to film, so it was fast but so much fun! With “Contracted” I was really ingulfed in my character and the whole experience. It was a life changing role. I learned a lot about myself. Although we only shot in 15 days, it felt like its own whole world. Whether I’m making a feature or a short, I’ve been fortunate enough to always walk away with new friends. I like to call them my film family. Working with Jill on “The Stylist” was amazing. I hope to work with her more in the future; she’s extremely talented.
How have you enjoyed working in the horror genre, so far?
I love it! Making horror movies is so much fun. Everything is heightened and emotional. And I love sfx. Plus, horror fans are the best!
Now that you have Contracted and The Stylist under your belt will you continue to pursue additional films in the horror genre?
Of course! My first feature when I was 10 was a horror movie. I’ve done a few throughout my career. You’ll continue to see horror movies from me. It’s a genre that I love, whether it’s being a part of it or watching it.
What advice do you have for actresses/actors looking to be part of horror?
It’s hard for me to give advice just on the horror genre. I would say in general if you are trying to make a career out of acting you need to make sure that it’s %110 what you love. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs and a lot of rejection, it’s just a part of the business. Be persistent and passionate and always remember, just have fun.
What’s up next for you?
Next up I have a feature film coming out. “Wolf Mother” is an action/thriller/road trip romance with a little bit of horror thrown in there. It’s a movie that takes you on a high emotional ride. I can’t wait for people to see it!