If I could only use four words to describe Juli Piechovski, they would be smart, beautiful, talented and BUSY. It was a pleasure to have Juli agree to answer some questions for the readers of GotInterviews.com. If you know Juli Piechovski quite well, you’ll learn a few things you may have never known. If you’re a new fan, find out what this actress from ABC’s “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23” and star of “Quite a Conundrum,” has to say about cats, Dennis the Menace, Phish, acting and much more.
Juli, you have a long list of credits, but they only begin in 2008. Where were you before 2008? In Hollywood? College? Somewhere else?
That’s right! I was in college: at U of F. I even went to the same high school as Tim Tebow. I also traipsed around Europe a little during college: France, Monaco, Germany, Poland and the UK.
How long have you been acting?
Professionally, since 2008. In my backyard, since 1988. In front of my mirror, 1989. And the first time the world saw me on stage, 1990, from which there exists a VHS videotape.
When and why did you make the decision that acting would be your career?
It was either that or law school. There was a feature film production in town, and I happened onto for a couple days. That pretty much helped my decision.
You went to Krakow Poland and attended college. Did you have a chance to visit either the Płaszów concentration camp or the Auschwitz death camp in Krakow?
I didn’t visit them during that particular trip. But I had visited Oswiecim before. Not with my family, surprisingly, even though we frequently visited Poland, but on a High School trip. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly where you take your kids on summer vacation, maybe that’s why. I think it’s something everyone should do, visit a camp. I still haven’t seen Sophie’s Choice. I recently read for a role where an immigrant mother lets her baby go at Ellis Island, and I thought it’d be great study, to see the film. Meryl Streep is remarkable, I know, and I wish I could watch her play that role, but I haven’t mustered the gumption to watch that. Yet.
What was Oswiecim like?
Hmmm, it was sort of very strange. I was on a tour of Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Lichtenstein with my High School classmates. I remember it sort of being in the middle of all that– of fun stuff. Rightly so, so it wasn’t our first or last impression of the trip. I had a ton of pictures developed, but not one from the camp. I just left my camera on the bus. In our culture of being able to snap a photo of anything anytime, our food, friends, a memorable event… this was the first time I can remember thinking, I am not going to take any photographs, what will I do with them, this is something to be experienced and felt. It was very dark and abandoned, even though it was a bright summer day. Some kids even elected to stay on the bus. I actually don’t remember too many exhibits or buildings. Just some bunk beds, the creepy dark hall, and an open field. But in all that nothing there was definitely a residual energy of so much.
Did that experience change you in any way?
Of course it did. It’s sort of when you grow up from being a child and realize your mom is not the best driver in the world, or your father isn’t infallible. I had that realization about the capacity of humans and government. It shattered my naivete and hopes, I guess.
Your bio says you’re also an artist and photographer. In your art, what medium do you use? In photography, what kind of equipment do you use and what subjects do you like to shoot most?
I enjoy painting, using layers of paint. I also enjoy oil pastels. I like “chunky” mediums. I don’t just like to do flat art, it’s dimensional. In photography, I used to use a digital camera, but have discovered the simplicity and beauty of film. It’s one of those instances where less is more. I like to capture fleeting moments, no special subjects in particular.
You won a best actress award for “Jane” at the 2011 Cannes film festival. Were you there? Were you surprised? What kind of new doors did winning that award open up for you?
I didn’t win Best Actress at the Cannes film festival, but the director of Jane won a Best Film award for his previous work that had been to Cannes. I was at the award’s ceremony for the announcement of Best Actress. I hope no one judges me when I say I wasn’t surprised. And I will say that I attribute that win in part to the wonderful Cinematography by Mark Hubbard, who also won an award. That Award is still opening doors for me; it just puts you into a new echelon of professionals.
Does your interest in different cultures guide you choose certain roles over others?
I wouldn’t say my interest in other cultures affects my decisions; I would say my sociological understanding of different types of people does.
Can you name me the first movie you remember watching as a child?
Jeez, first movie I remember… I’m not sure which one it was; it’s between ET, Neverending Story, or a very creepy movie I wasn’t supposed to see on the TV about a man in bed and snakes all over his room.
How supportive has your family been in regard to your career?
Some of my family has been tremendously supportive, and proud. The others, well, it comes with the territory- when you’re untraditional, you get really weird looks. But I knew that going in.
What’s been the biggest highlight so far in your acting career?
I would have to say my role as Ellen on “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23.” There is just something about millions of people watching you simultaneously across the US on television.
Any disappointments you can share?
There are many; this is probably the hardest career anyone can intentionally choose.
At some point, would you like to direct, produce, or write?
I have produced, I’m not so much cut out for it. I like to have my hand in more of the art of it. I would love, love to direct, but it’s not something that I’m actively seeking out. I know I’ll write screenplays.
If you were given the opportunity to shoot on location anywhere in the world, what three locations would you choose?
Yay, a fun question! In no particular order. Australia, because I’ve never been, and I know it’s all going to be fantastic. Canada, because it’s so beautiful. And somewhere in South America.
To conclude, a rapid fire round of your favorites…..
Coffee or tea? Coffee, every morning. Can’t function without it.
Glass and steel buildings or a tree in a field? If someone prefers glass and steel buildings to that, I’m not exactly sure how we could be friends.
Cats or dogs? Cats! They’re so sweet, and have attitude.
Color? Green, all the way.
Jesus, Buddah or Muhammad? I was raised Catholic! But I know Jesus won’t get mad when I say Buddha, because I know they’re best friends.
Hobby? I love to ride my bike. I love to eat good food.
Country Music, hip hop or classical? Of only those three choices? I have to pick country.
Favorite musician? Oh, jeez, I’m not good at this. I’ve recently been really attracted to the complex orchestrations of the band Phish.
Leave it to Beaver or Dennis the Menace? Dennis the Menace. Ne’er do well little boys melt my heart!
Thank you so much for your time Juli. I really appreciate it.