Julie McNiven is a veteran actress of television and film. Best known to fans for her recurring role as the angel Anna in the CW’s long running show Supernatural, some of McNiven’s other television credits include roles on Mad Men, Stargate Universe, Fringe, Nikita, and Desperate Housewives. In addition, she has had roles in films The Possession of Michael King and the upcoming Babymoon. Recently, Julie McNiven was cast as Dr. Sara Cohen in the Joey Adams scripted dramedy Internity. I chatted with Julie about her acting career and why Internity belongs on television. Read what she had to say below.
When did you first realize that you wanted to become an actress?
“I think my first memory was my second grade play. I was like 7 or 8. That was about the time that I also wanted to be a veterinarian. Then I found out to be a vet, you had to be in college like eight years so I was like, I don’t know about that (laughs). I grew up in Massachusetts and my mother was really supportive. She would get books from the library on what was it like to be a commercial actress. She encouraged me to learn about it. I did plays. My parents encouraged me earlier on. They would drive me around to auditions. Then I started doing musicals.”
What was your first professional acting job?
“My first professional job that I got a paycheck for was an opera with a company that was in a town not too far from where I grew up. I was in college. I think it was like a German opera…I don’t remember what language it was in, it sounded German to me (laughs). I played the lead character’s younger sister. I had a couple of lines and I got fifty dollars. That was my first real professional job.”
You have done both television and film. Which medium do you prefer?
“I love both obviously, but I really enjoy television. I really look forward to being on a show where my character has longevity and I’m not getting killed off over and over again (laughs). It’s exciting to me to have this character and get to know the character really well. Television characters get to be developed very well and you don’t always get that in film.”
Supernatural fans know you as the angel Anna. What were some of your memorable moments on that set?
“I feel like my memory of working on that show is laughter. Working with the guys…they really love what they do and they have such a great rapport on set. Everyone has a good time. It’s not the kind of set where you feel that the pressure is on. They get the job done, but they laugh a lot. It’s a really fun set.”
Let’s talk about Internity. What can you tell us about your Internity character?
“I’ll be playing Dr. Sara Cohen. She’s an intern at Portland Memorial and she’s really new to town so she’s still trying to figure out her place in the hospital. She’s also trying to figure out where she should be in life as well. She’s very eager to do her best. Her intentions are always the best. When you’re so eager to please, sometimes you try too hard and everything kinda falls apart. So, I think she’s going to be a really fun character to play.”
Are you looking forward to bringing your comedic skills to your Internity character?
“Yes. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve done a lot of drama, a lot of serious stuff. My character on Fringe…she was funny. It will be nice to play a funny character for more than one episode. That will definitely be fun.”
What would you like to say to the fans supporting the Indiegogo campaign to help bring Internity to television?
“We want to do this. We want to work really hard. If all of our fans gave one dollar, we could do this. My fans and Marina’s fans and Jim’s fans combined…we have over one million followers! It’s crazy! We could do this and it would be great. We’re not asking for a lot. $100,000 is small compared to what it costs to make most pilots.
Joey and Marina and Michael and Jim…we all…we want to have the best quality. We want to be careful about where the money goes. Sometimes I get scripts and sometimes they’re very good and sometimes, they’re okay. When I read this script, it really clicked! It had a lot of fun elements. I think people will love it and that’s exciting. I admire Joey wanting to make this the way he wants. That’s why we’re really hoping it will happen.”
In addition to being a very good actress, you’re also wonderful singer lending your vocal talents to Jason Manns’ EP Christmas with Friends. Would you like to do more singing projects in the future?
“I would love that! You know there are going to be one or two dream sequences [on Internity] where the lead character tries to solve things. I’m like ” you need to have one episode that’s a musical ” (laughs).” That would be really fun. One of the reasons we, and I mean the general we, we like sci-fi is because you can do anything. Anything’s possible. That’s what’s exciting because you can do whatever you want and it’ll work. We can cover stories that are unusual. It’s creative and fun.”
Besides Internity, are there any other current projects you’re able to share with us?
“Right now I’m working on a short film called Injection with one of my ex costars, David Blue. It’s also another Kickstarter campaign (laughs). Basically, it’s a film centered around cancer. Cancer affects everyone. My mother died of cancer. The film is kinda a way to apply some hope about what the future holds with the research elements and maybe finding a cure.
I also have a film called Babymoon which I shot in May. My husband is also in it. It’s about this couple who goes on their babymoon. They go to this country and have an adventure. They get separated. It’s an adventure comedy. It was so much fun to do. We’re screening it this summer.”