As we continue this
Hunted" spotlight we talk with Jessica Cail who
plays, surprisingly enough, a research scientist called
Jessica. Jessica is currently finishing her dissertation in
behavioral pharmacology. She has recently ghost written a book on
alcoholism and addiction with the owner of an exclusive Malibu drug
rehab center-to-the-stars, and served as scientific consultant on an
upcoming sci-fi feature called, "Light Years Away". In
her off-time she practices stunts, gymnastics and circus work.
She can be seen doing these things in the background of the next
Jack Black film "Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny" - if you have
very keen eyes.
COMIC BOOK BIN (through Christopher
Moshier): How did you find “The Hunted” and Robert
Chapin or how did he find you? I can’t tell, but I am pretty
certain. I was looking through the link you sent with all the
pictures. Is that Robert Chapin in all those pictures?
CAIL: Yes, that's Bob. We've been dating for a
few years. I had seen Ring of Steel long before I moved to LA,
so I was familiar with his work before we met. After we
starting hanging out, he introduced me to The Hunted.
Campy humor with lots of stunts and fights. I loved it.
Eventually I made the mistake that many of his friends have made: I
asked if there was anything I could do to "help" with an
episode. His usual tack on those offers is to use whatever
unique skills, locations or contacts that a person has.
CBB: The current webisode online
is “Breakthrough” where we get the explanation of the Vampire Virus
that you came up with.
a scientist, I said that I thought it would be cool to write up a
scientifically plausible theory of vamprism. Since Bob had
already set up the themes of blood addiction and a viral
transmission (making an interesting AIDS parallel), I decided that
if there were a virus for vampirism, it would likely be similar to
rabies. Rabies transmits itself to others by infecting the
saliva and triggering aggression in the brain. The animal
bites another, and the virus is passed along. But this only
accounts for the biting. What could account for the need to
drink blood? I decided that, as the infection spreads, it might
interfere with the creation of hemoglobin and red blood cells.
There is already a disease like this called Thalassemia, where
patients require a lifelong transfusions of healthy blood to replace
their own. Based on these "facts", I named the virus
Sanguinofamia Mordens, which is loosely translated from the latin:
sanguine=blood, famia=starved and mordens=bites.
Bob was apparently impressed with the work I'd
done, and mentioned that it might be nice to work it into an
episode. Another unique thing I had to offer was my lab. so I
grabbed some "stock footage" of my research: rats, syringes,
injections and such. Conveniently, my rats already had red
I had hoped he would take all this and run with it
(because I hate speaking in public or on camera) but it seemed that
I should be the one who gets this information out. Who else
could say that scientific mumbo-jumbo with a straight face? I
agreed, on the condition that it be a very "Run Lola Run" episode: a
lot of stunts and running, with as little dialogue as
possible. With that in mind, he wrote a script where I am
trying to get this information out, but I am constantly interupted
by running, fighting and stunts. Worked for me.
CBB: Let's talk twinkies!
As for the twinkie bit, when he reached to point of
the script where I am to reveal the cure for vampirism, he asked for
some help. He said, it should be something rediculously
common, like apple juice or something. I thought, penicilin comes
from bread mold. A twinkie is a bread product that never
dies. Ergo, if you could grow mold on a twinkie, you would
have something that would kill an immortal (or the virus underlying
it). It was late, I was tired and I was just kidding, but he
loved the suggestion, and so it was.
CBB: You’re a part-time stuntwoman
and a Neuroscience Professor. That is a hell of
combination! Which direction do you see yourself going once
you’ve earn your doctorate? Will you be a consultant on the
tenth CSI series CSI: Punxsutawney?
When I was six my grandfather asked me what I wanted
to be when I grew up. I replied, "A fireman, an archeologist,
an astronaut and a ballerina." He expressed concern that
perhaps that was too many professions, to which I replied, "I've
decided that if I do each one for 15 minutes each day...". My
family still teases me about that one, but it is I who am having the
last (albeit tired and frequently bruised) laugh.
CBB: Way fan film, fanboy, geekdom
off base, but being in Neuroscience what do you feel about the
current stem cell debate with frozen embryo to cure many neural
conditions? How is it different using an embryo rather than say stem
cells from me to find cures for these conditions? Without writing
your thesis where do you stand on this debate?
have to teach this controversy to my students. I believe that
stem cells are going to be the medical development of the
century. As you know, stem cells are cells from so early in
cell development that that haven't turned into anything yet.
So you can encourage them to become any type of cell the body
needs. You can get stem cells from adults (from the nose, for
example) but they are much harder to turn into anything you
want. Fetal ones have much more potential. They can turn
into new heart, liver, kidney, blood cells, neurons...so many
things. The controversy seems more about the sources of the
cells, than the uses of them. Everyone is OK with using the
stem cells found in umbilical cord blood, since it's a waste
product. But then you can get them from post-abortion tissue,
or donated fertility clinic fetuses, which also would be ordinarily
thrown away, and people get upset. I look at it like this:
I've got a donor sticker on my driver's license. It would suck
to die tomorrow, but at least somebody would be saved by my
organs. The abortion or fertilizatiion has already been done
at that point. That tissue is going to be discarded - it
might as well save a life. That's my $.02.
CBB: OK! I think I used
every brain cell I have for that last question so back to
geekdom. I did some research on you as I am an internet
stalker. Let me throw these questions out there...The World
Stunt Awards? I never heard of such a thing. That is
interesting. How is it to have so many crazy people at one
JC: The World Stunt Awards are a
blast! Since they keep refusing to include stunts in the
academy awards, stuntpeople decided to have their own awards, to
recognize excellence in various catagories. There are usually
numerous stunts within the show (ex...people delivering the winner's
envelope in a full burn, or crashing a car through the stage), and
with hundreds of stunt guys and gals taking over the Paramount
Studios backlot, you can imagine what the after-party is like!
CBB: Miss Castaway!?! This is
really bizarre. I never heard of this one. Michael
Jackson as Agent MJ!?! You’ve got to explain this movie!
It's an unholy creation combining Castaway and Miss
Congeniality. A plane load of beauty contestants goes down on
a deserted island, and "Naked Gun" like zaneyness ensues. Bob
was special effects supervisor on the show, and I was helping him on
set. When the director needed somebody to get into ape
prosthetics, and ride a bicycle on a wire rig to simulate the wicked
witch of the west in a tornado, I jumped in. It's wider
release was delayed due to the unfortunate timing of MJ's pedophilia
CBB: Soldier of God!?! Just
FYI...They spelled your name wrong on IMDB (my bible!) just FYI.
Funny, I just emailed IMDB about that last
week. Can't have them misspelling my first official
listing! Bob got called in toward the end of SOG as a fight
coordinator for the big Muslim/Christian Crusaders battle at the
Horns of Hattin. They wanted a Braveheart-like battlefield
with costumed warriors as far as the eye could see. But they
would only be able to pay the leads. So Bob called everyone he
trusted with some fight skills who would be willing to work for
free. I rehearsed a few fights, they wrapped me in a turban to
disguise the fact that I was blue eyed and female, and I was again
happily in the background, fighting with swords and spears with no
lines. The film has been winning awards on the festival
circuit. Perhaps it will go into wide release someday.
CBB: Light Years Away or as
IMDB has it Worlds Apart. Peter Brady is in it from “Growing
Up Brady” and that other show from the 70’s…The Brady
something…gang…group…I forget. Anywho? What is this
director is changing the name I guess. The movie is about an
astronomer who discovers a "parallel" extrasolar planet, and on it,
an alien woman who has been visiting his dreams since they were
children. His dream girl. The movie is part Ghost, part
Starman. The director is the same guy that did Miss Castaway,
and wanted to work with Bob again for special effects. He
didn't have a lot of scientific background, so I started sending him
ideas and scientific facts that could try to give his script a
little more plausibility. He eventually took me on officially
as a scientific consultant, and I got to tweak the script a
bit. It's still a low-budget alien romance. But when the
lovely full-breasted alien woman lands on earth, she at least points
to the correct constellation when she says where she's from.
CBB: What can we expect for
the rest of 2006 year from Jessica Cail?
going to keep doing all the things I love to do, each for 15 minutes
each day. I will finish my PhD and hopefully keep teaching at
my local university. If a job comes along where I can use my
scientific background to help write a script or a book, I'm
there. On the other hand, if somebody needs a 5'8'' redhead to
climb a rope or take a fall, I'm there too. You've got to keep
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