Listen: Actor Julie Ann Emery chats to Laura Bennett. Above: Julie Ann Emery stars beside George Clooney in 'Catch 22'. Picture: Twitter/julieannemery
Julie Ann Emery has worked on some pretty iconic TV shows in the last few years. Between Fargo, Better Call Saul, Preacher, and now George Clooney’s Catch 22, she’s developing quite a fan-following in the ‘cult series’ niche.
Often playing characters with complex moral struggles (in Catch 22 she’s George’s unfaithful wife), Julie Ann’s work is certainly geared toward adult audiences. However, while in Australia for Oz Comic Con’s pop culture expo, Julie Ann told Hope 103.2 her roles have taught her a lot about life, womanhood, and faith.
In Catch 22, set in World War II and immersed in another time period, Julie Ann found an appreciation for how clothing can inspire respect.
“We took over an airfield in Sardinia (Italy) and built barracks,” Julie Ann said. “There were airplanes from World War II, and bombers that actually flew… I would arrive in my cut-off jean-shorts and a t-shirt [and] by the time I got through hair and makeup and had all the undergarments and clothes on, it really was like stepping back in time.”
The Difference Clothing Can Make
“When you do [a role] in a different time period,” Julie Ann said, “there’s [a different] way that you treat each other and you treat people in public. It made me wonder if our clothing and the way dress [affects] that.”
Julie Ann agrees that maybe we’d treat each other better if, for example, we didn’t get around in sweaty gym clothes.
“I personally don’t try that hard in regular life,” she laughs. “We don’t dress to be ‘out in the world’ anymore, we dress for comfort.”
It’s a fair point for a culture that’s made leggings brunch-appropriate. But corsets aside, Julie Ann’s simply grateful to play female characters with depth.
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“I like complicated women,” said Julie Ann. “We went through a long stretch of television and film where we had two-dimensional women not three-dimensional women…”
“My [personal] experience of women [though] is that they are strong, and they are ‘actionary’. We just didn’t see that on screen when I was a kid… [Now] we’re starting to see more women [with traits] that I recognise.”
Acting in Preacher, Julie Ann’s also become part of a new breed of television approaching religious tenets in unconventional ways. Alongside Netflix’ Lucifer, and Good Omens on Amazon Prime, the streaming era has enabled faith to be explored in often darker and more ‘human’ storylines.
“I grew up with faith in a very ‘wrapped-up-in-a-nice-bow’ kind of way. Shows like Preacher and Lucifer look at faith in a darker, modern, messy way.”
Julie Ann said, “I grew up with faith in a very ‘wrapped-up-in-a-nice-bow’ kind of way. Shows like Preacher and Lucifer really look at faith in a darker way for sure, but also a modern and very messy way.”
“Preacher at its core is about the battle for a man’s soul between good and evil. In a larger sense [it’s about] the battle for mankind’s soul; where have we gotten as mankind? How messed up are we and is there redemption for us?”
“Those are complicated ways to look at faith, and that’s not what I grew up with, for sure. But I think it’s truthful.”
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