Julie Marie Berman

 

 

The Emmy-nominated actress shares her thoughts about
the life and loves of the first Daughter of Port Charles.

By: Dawn


While chatting with Julie Marie Berman, the first thing that strikes me is how well-spoken she is for someone so young. She knows exactly what she wants to say and says it in an engaging and informed manner that invites your attention. Enjoy this one on one conversation with Berman as she takes on the trials and tribulations of her character, Lulu Spencer.

Currently, Lulu is involved in a romantic triangle with Logan and Johnny and the actress says, "Outside that, I think Lulu is a character they throw into a lot of different storylines to help motivate other people's storylines and push them further because she's a character that is involved in everybody's business! I definitely have been used a lot more in the aid of other people's stories." That was not always the case, however, and Berman cites a few personal past favorites. "I definitely enjoyed everything I was able to do from the pregnancy and abortion storyline, to Genie (Francis; ex-Laura) coming back and having the opportunity to work with her, but I also had so much fun playing with the rest of the Quartermaine's, and having the fun and the witty banter. They're fun to work with and we have a good time. You know when stuff is good and when the writing is there, it's fun to play. You know, you kind of get the comedy and the drama out of the show and I enjoy both areas, so pretty much whatever they throw at me, I have fun."

Even her first day on the set in October 2005, was enjoyable. "It was fun," she shares, "It was the Lucky and Elizabeth wedding and I really liked that I was there on such a busy day because I was able to meet everyone at once, and I didn't have to walk around the halls wondering what actor is who, and feel uncomfortable if I haven't met them. It was just a great opportunity to get to know everyone. And everyone was hanging out at lunch too, so it was a perfect time to get to know people. I enjoyed it!" That's not to say the fast pace of daytime television didn't come as a surprise to Berman because it did. "It was really hard to get used to trying to be perfect in one take and not having a lot of rehearsal time,"  she admits, "The pacing was difficult but it's nice to be able to go and get through it because then you potentially have more free time in the day if you get all your things done early in the morning. And you also have free time if you get your scenes all together in a row; you still have momentum, instead of sticking on one scene and doing it again and again. There are some really cool things about the soap opera filming style, but it was very different getting used to that coming from episodic work, where you get to do scenes over and over and they'll do another take just for you. It's kind of like, you get one shot at it and if it's good, it's good. If it's not, it doesn't really matter."

Because Berman was the first adult performer to bring the role of Lulu to the canvas, she was able to bring her own style of uniqueness to the character. "I think it's much more interesting to play a character that is... You know, she's young, so she's inexperienced and she makes mistakes," the actress states, "I think it's interesting to give her both strengths and weaknesses and I've really enjoyed anytime they've seemed to bring my character down and make her out to be young and naive. All of a sudden, she's extremely wise and mature the next day and it comes out, every lesson having learned something. I enjoy creating layers in the character that can make her more human instead of a hero or an anti-hero - she kind of falls in between, she's more human."

"I think they had a lot of direction in mind when the cast the character," Berman goes on to say, "They were pretty specific about what kind of girl she was, which I like! She was very rebellious and independent and open-minded as well, and I think it left me a lot of room; left the writer's a lot of room to develop the character and see what works. I think she's a very complex character but interesting in the respect that she's never boring to play."

But a girl can still dream. "I would love to see Lulu get really dark," Berman reveals, "I think it would be neat to see some dark side of her. She's treading in the middle, which is great because every time she messes up, she's redeemable. I think it would be neat to see Lulu get a little dark for a little while and see what happens with that." As for co-stars she would love to work more with, Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) is at the top of her list. "I think he has wonderful storylines," she marvels, "And he has a really great one now and he's a terrific actor. We've never really had a storyline outside of the fact that we're related so anytime there's something going on with the family, we talk to each other. I would definitely enjoy it if they had something for us to do because I love working with people where I feel like I can learn something. I think Tyler is very gifted and I'm sure I would learn a lot working with him."

"I'd like to play anything that's challenging," Berman continues, "I love a challenge! I'd like to do something that's hard to portray, or hard for viewers to watch, or something that's not typically done. I want to stretch my legs and do as much as I possibly can and on a soap opera, that's the kind of medium where you have that luxury to really try anything. New storylines come up all the time. I would love it if they threw a monkey wrench into the regular soap opera schedule and give me something really crazy to do!" Citing Lulu's involvement in the Metro Court hostage story, she says, "I loved that. It was hard because there were long, long hours, and all of us where there for such and extended period of time. It was hard to just stay in it and continue to be depressed and crying and whatever. But it was a challenge and I was really proud of everyone and how hard we worked. And I love challenges so I enjoyed it a lot." Her idea of a dream role? "I would love to play either Winona Ryder or Angelina Jolie's character in Girl, Interrupted. That movie was amazing and they did such stellar work. I don't think I could ever compare to either of them, but if I did have the opportunity to do it, I would just love to."

As for Lulu's romantic pairings, Berman admits that she is not sure of the fans' reaction to her onscreen partners. "Hopefully we can take this Johnny/Lulu/Logan storyline to an exciting place instead of the typical fighting over the girl thing.... She's kind of been all over the place so we'll see what ends up happening." Meanwhile, Berman enjoys relaxing hobbies in her spare time. "I enjoy painting, I love cooking and I take my dogs for lots of walks," she shares, "My free time is usually leisure time and I'll read a lot or I'll paint and I enjoy cooking. Just things that make me feel calmer. I think at this time in my life I'm so stressed out every time I have things to do, it's nice when I do have free time. It's like my time to come down from everything and relax, get settled and get ready for the next day." One thing she's not stressing over is the possibility of another Emmy nomination. "I'm not even looking," she says when I ask her what scenes she would consider for submission. "I'm not even thinking about that. No counting the chickens before they hatch!" she adds with a laugh.

Despite the current writer's strike, Berman still remains positive about the show. "It's hard because you have people who have not been writing the show and are not familiar with the characters now writing," she says candidly, "But everyone's doing the best that they can and we just have to work with what we've got. Other than not knowing in advance what our work week is going to be like or getting scripts as early as we used to, it's still my job and you still find ways to make the scenes work if you can."

"Keep watching," she wants her fans to know, "Keep us on the air! And thank you for all the support!"

 

Visit Julie Marie Berman on the web:

www.juliemarieberman.com

 

Photos courtesy of ABC and various internet sources. Main photo courtesy of EMG Photography.

 

 

 



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