Simenona Martinez returns to the big screen this autumn as she is set to appear in Alex Cross.
The movie sees her star alongside Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox while Rob Cohen is in the director’s chair.
We caught up with her to chat about the movie and her role as well as what lies ahead.
– You are about to star in new movie Alex Cross so can you tell me a little bit about it?
I was very lucky to be selected for a role in the Alex Cross film. It’s an all-star cast including Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Cicely Tyson, Edward Burns and Jean Reno. I’ve always wanted to do an action movie, and I finally got a chance with this role.
It’s a very suspenseful movie about detective Alex Cross, played by Tyler Perry who is chasing down a psychopathic killer, played by Fox. Everyone involved in the film did an amazing job.
– You take on the role of Pop Pop Jones for the film so what was it about the script and the character that initially drew you to the project?
As an actor, I am always looking for interesting roles that I feel will challenge me. I feel that if we stay in our comfort zones, we can never learn or grow. That is true for acting as well as other areas of life.
I am a firm believer in trying new things, and I felt like this character had a lot of layers that I could explore and show audiences a dramatic side of my acting.
– The movie is an adaptation of the twelfth Alex Cross novel Cross by James Patterson so how familiar were you with the novel?
I hadn’t read the novel before I auditioned for the role, but I know James Patterson is a wonderful author, and I was glad to be a part of this on-screen translation of such a great literary work.
– The movie is only your second feature film so how have you found the transition into movies from working in TVand shorts?
Movies and TV are very different from one another, so it was a major transition, especially considering the divergence from my role as Simmi on the Disney Channel.
Simmi was a bright and bubbly host of a program for very young kids, and Pop Pop is an accused killer, so that was a huge difference.
At the end of the day, as a professional actress, you have to embody the character you play 100 percent, whether you are shooting for television, feature length films or shorts. I consider myself very lucky to be able to do both television and movies.
– Rob Cohen is in the director’s chair for the movie so how did you find working with him? And what kind of director is he?
Working with Rob Cohen was amazing. He is truly a director with a clear vision for what he wants on screen.
He is an artistic filmmaker who is also very focused, yet very easy and enjoyable to work with.
I definitely hope that I get the chance to work with him again. Having such an accomplished man in the director’s chair was indeed a wonderful experience.
– We have seen the character of Alex Cross on the big screen before so how does this interpretation of the character differ to what we have seen before?
Each actor brings different character to an acting role. MorganFreeman played Alex Cross in the previous films, and Tyler Perry took over for this installment, and I think he did a wonderful job taking the place of such a legendary actor.
My scene was with Perry, and he is an excellent performer. I feel that he truly embodies the character of Dr. Cross, who is a serious detective, but also has a soft side as a family man and wonderful friend.
– Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox and Jean Reno are just a few of the actors that are also on the cast list so how did you find working alongside them and being on a set with them?
I was humbled to a part of this all-star cast. All of the actors did such an amazing job on screen.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to meet most of the actors as all of my scenes were shot with Tyler Perry. However, I was so honored to be working alongside Perry as I have admired his work for many years.
When we shot our scenes he told me never to doubt myself, and that was great advice coming from a man that has had so much success in the industry.
– Perry also takes over the role of Cross – most famously played by Morgan Freeman – so what did you think of his interpretation of the character?
I thought Tyler did an excellent job as Alex Cross. Obviously he had big shoes to fill, but his portrayal of Cross is amazing, and I was honored to share the screen with him.
– The movie doesn’t hit the big screen here in the UK until the end of November but have you had any early feedback about what people are saying about the movie?
The feedback I have heard has been great. I feel that people will be surprised at the level of suspense and at the transformation that all of the actors made for these roles.
I think it is a great piece of cinema, and everyone put their best foot forward from the writers and producers to the directors and actors.
– Back in 2002 you moved behind the camera to direct your own short Black & White so how much is directing still an area that you are interested to explore?
I have always enjoyed being behind the camera, even from an early age. I am taking a bit of a break from directing at this point, but I’m sure the future will see me in the director’s chair at some point.
I am very interested in real life issues, so I would like to direct another documentary in the future.
– Will we be seeing you back in the director’s chair any time soon?
It may not be any time soon, but I will definitely direct again in the future.
– Finally what is next for you?
I am also a singer-songwriter, so I have been writing and producing music for much of this year.
Music has always been a passion of mine, ever since I was a young girl. I never grow tired of writing new songs, and producing new music.
I think it is a great way to express oneself, and I hope to inspire others through my songs, as well as my acting.
I believe that if you work hard enough at your passion, anyone can achieve their wildest dreams. If you want to hear some of my music, go to www.simenonamartinez.com
For the complete interview, visit: http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/movies/Simenona+Martinez-263228.html