Jena Malone has stepped down from Kristen Stewart or Daniel Radcliffe and has established herself as a respected artist. She has diversified her work over the entire spectrum of genres, from auteur-driven films to studio production.
Malone, who starred in "Donnie Darko" in 2001, was once a precocious kid who sported unexpected flair to box office classics like "Contact" (1997) and "Stepmom" (1998). She's excelled in everything from horror to science fiction to period comedy, bringing her unique screen presence to "The Neon Demon" and "The Hunger Games" without missing a beat.
So, what's her secret?
“Maybe I sold my soul to the independent film devil, and I’ve been moderately sacrificing my blood every new moon or something,” the actress said during a recent video interview with IndieWire. “I’ve never needed a career, I’ve never needed to achieve this thing next, then what you do you do next, that never felt linear. I feel like my linear focus is just like, I love exploration. When that exploration is exciting, I’m so willing to give it everything.”
"I'm a good worker and a recovering grind culture perfectionist," she said. I believe people will want to work with you again if you give good work.
Malone continues her exploration in the new feminist horror film "Consecration," in which she plays a woman haunted by demons from a childhood she barely remembers. When her brother dies mysteriously at a convent, she's drawn into the religious sect's devilish fear-mongering.
Malone appreciated the script's critical lens on societal anxieties about empowered women, which was written and directed by British horror narrator Christopher Smith (“Black Death”).
Jena Malone discusses her book "Consecration."
ANTHONY ELLISON IS A SUSPENDANT TO THE YARD
“It’s fascinating to see a second coming as a feminine vessel,” she said. “I think it’s just a real feminine apparatus in a way.”
Malone has an insider knowledge of how (if at all) women's perceptions have changed in Hollywood.
'I think the short summary is that when someone gets it, they get it, and it's exciting, and it's new. It sits on your tongue in a way that it's a new understanding of something that's very old,' Malone said. 'We're shifting our understanding of abolishing binaries, and we're stepping into reexamining different aspects of masculinity, femininity, and just humanity.'
Though she sees room for improvement, she is patiently optimistic about working conditions for women behind the scenes.
"I'm always optimistic." She added. "I think the things to be optimistic about are building language, learning to apply words and vernacular to things that haven't been well-documented in the past, and learning how to build alliance, specifically for your own well-being."
For someone who began her career at the age of eight, proper rest seems to be a particularly relevant concern, although she has nothing but positive things to say about her time growing up on a film set.
“I grew up on sets. It taught me so much. Being less involved in school, and fourth [through] sixth grades was a very uncomfortable time of growth for me.... I was brought to the table. I was maybe 10 and everyone else was older, but my voice was still as interesting and valid.... I think that there’s something really special in that.
The film "Consecration" will be released on Friday, February 10 and is available on Shudder on Friday, March 3.