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