In each post, we will introduce you to the cast and crew of The New World Horror. Jennifer Grundy plays Suzie, who soon finds herself consumed by the evil virus. Jennifer starred in many Milwaukee and NYC productions, and most recently she portrayed Mrs. Trotsky in Variations on the Death of Trotsky at the InterAct Arts Festival in Milwaukee.
Suzie was born and raised in northern Minnesota. Suzie was a quiet child that had no friends growing up. She met her husband Frank at a church function where she learned he was a recent widower. They married, and Suzie soon got pregnant with their only child, Annie. Suzie quit her job and happily assumed her role of homemaker and mother to Annie. The family lived an average suburban life. Well, perhaps not so average. Both Frank and Suzie believed that the end was coming soon, as there was just so much sin in the world. The joined extremist church after extremist church, but still couldn’t find a denomination that aligned with their beliefs. At the surface, they are a fun, laughing couple, but deep down, their hatred nearly consumes them. Despite her appearance as a smiling housewife, deep down, Suzie is seriously fucked up.
Tell us about your character and how you plan to portray her.
I see Suzie as a very broken, damaged person who is desperately looking for a way to show that she matters. She came from a horrifying home life, and managed to move beyond it to some degree by cobbling together her own family, who are very important to her. But the anger at the lack of control over her early years is still simmering, bubbling and churning within. She finds a way to direct that energy in way that is very powerful, in a negative way. When she becomes a Zombie Queen, she finally feels like she has won, and no one is going to take that away from her without a fierce battle to the end.
What is your favorite horror movie and why?
My favorite horror movie is Kubrick’s The Shining because of the psychological terror that it evokes. The supernatural force that works it’s way into Jack’s being and pushes him slowly to the point of complete madness is so real, so utterly terrifying that, to this day, whenever I watch it I still get chills up and down my spine. The fragility of Wendy and the horrifying images that Danny is able to see frighten me like no other movie before or after ever has.
What are you most looking forward to about working on this movie and why?
I am looking forward to the many transformations that my character will go through, physically, psychologically and emotionally. I have never worked on a horror film and am fascinated by the make-up and special effects that it will require. We seem to have a very talented and interesting cast and crew, so I am looking forward to working with everyone.
How would you survive a zombie apocalypse?
Wait…aren’t I already surviving one?
About Jennifer: Jennifer has most recently performed in Milwaukee with Quasimondo Physical Theatre Company at InterAct Arts Festival, where she portrayed Mrs. Trotsky in Variations on the Death of Trotsky. She also portrayed Jean in the debut of Cabaret Milwaukee’s live radio play, The Jealous Revolver. Other Milwaukee credits include Shel Shocked: Shel’s Shorts at Carte Blanche Studios, Juliet and Romeo with Bad Example Productions at the Alchemist Theater, and both the 2011 and 2013 New Playwrights Festival at the Chamber Theatre. She graduated from the New Actors Workshop in NYC in 2008, where she participated in weekly improv shows and delighted in doing a Story Theatre Production called Dick Whittington and His Cat. While in school, she also had the distinct honor of working on scenes for director Mike Nichols, actor/director Stanley Tucci and actor Kevin Kline. She performed in several productions in NYC, including Adventures of the Puppet Princess at the Looking Glass Theater, Regina in The Block at the Tank Theater, and Shakespeare staged readings at the NYC Public Library. Prior to NYC, she had the pleasure of working at the Actors Theater of Sacramento, where favorite roles included Laura in The Glass Menagerie and Bunny in The House of Blue Leaves. When she’s not acting, you’ll find her working on her small-batch preserves company, 5 Lilies, cooking, drinking good wine and enjoying the great outdoors.