Interview: Katie Burgess speaks with us about her starring role in Jurassic Games


Katie Burgess stars in Jurassic Games from Uncork’d Entertainment and did an incredible job playing the part of a criminal on a mission to survive.

The fictitious story of Jurassic Games follows ten inmates who were previously sentenced to death. The one person who is able to eliminate the other nine, and/or survive until the end of the Jurassic Games, wins his/her freedom.

We recently had the chance to catch up with Katie Burgess and talk about how she was able to play such a menacing character, Joy. Simply put, she’s an extremely gifted actress. Don’t be fooled by her nice personality, watch Jurassic Games and you’ll quickly realize she can compete with the best of the best when it comes to intensity.

Jurassic Games is set for VOD release on June 12, 2018, and DVD release on July 3, 2018.

HR: How did you get into acting?

Katie Burgess: I got into acting when I was about seven years old. My mom forced me to audition (laughs). … And I fell in love with theater. And a couple of years later, I was about nine, I decided that I wanted to try [it]. So I auditioned for a commercial, and I got the part. And that was kind of the beginning of it. I Just fell in love with being on set and learning more about acting and that was pretty much it for me.

HR: That’s so cool. It does look like a lot of fun from the outside. …

Burgess: It is! Yes, it’s fun. It’s hard work, though, definitely.

HR: I’m sure, yeah. So you’ve already been involved in a lot of great movies — The Lamp, Two Secrets, Gremlin, and now, Jurassic Games — what made Jurassic Games unique for you?

Burgess: So, [in] Jurassic Games, I played Joy. And Joy was completely new for me. I have only… played sort of like a “girl next door” kind of role, and Joy is just horrible; She’s such a terrible person.

HR: She’s awful.

Burgess: Yeah, she’s awful! But it proved to be a challenge for me. And I was really excited to kind of jump into that and learn more about Joy’s character, and kind of just [use] imagination and creativity to kind of bring her to life. And that’s probably what drew me to Jurassic Games.

HR: Wow, so how did you prepare to play her? because you nailed the sociopath thing.

Burgess: Thank you!

HR: I mean, I [have] a Criminal Justice [degree]. … But yeah, I saw the movie and I was freaked out. I was like, I don’t wanna do this interview anymore (laughs).

Burgess: I’m glad to say that we don’t have that trait in common (laughs). For just preparing for Joy, it was basically flag poled upon my own experience as a teenager, because she’s also — she’s a kid on top of being a sociopath, of course. And so I pulled upon that, and I think that’s what really kind of helped her gain her depth, sort of. And then, other than that, we just kind of read the script. And the more that I was interacting with the other actors, the other characters, the more Joy kind of seemed to create herself if that makes any sense.

HR: Wow, so you guys were all kind of feeding off each other? 

Burgess: Yes, it was awesome. It was very collaborative, which is great.

HR: Wow, that’s super cool. So, I wanted to ask you about your fighting. Because, your fighting scenes, I’m not gonna give too much away, but your fighting scenes looked super genuine. And I’m a martial artist, and I was just watching the way you were beating the crap out of people, and I was like — that looks really professional. Did you have a martial arts background at all or anything?

Burgess: Not at all. So actually, I didn’t even know how to like, hold my fists right. And so, I had like a brief little run through with our stunt guys, and they kinda taught me how to do the kicks. So that was helpful. And then it was mostly just on set. I would throw a punch [and they would say] “that was horrible, please re-do that — you are hitting like a small child.” Practice definitely made perfect. And by a couple takes later, they got me where they wanted me.

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HR: Wow, ok, that’s really cool. It’s weird talking to you right now because I saw the screener, and I was like, this girl is terrifying. And you’re such a nice person (laughs). 

Burgess: Well good! that means I did my job, I guess.

HR: Yeah you did, you did. You freaked me out. So what was it like on set when you weren’t filming? Were you guys, like throwing spears at each other? Or were you like playing checkers? How was it off-set?

Burgess: It was a lot of fun, honestly. Everyone that was on set was so nice and hard-working, so yeah. We all kind of hung out together when we weren’t filming. Or, ya know, Adam Hampton slept a little bit — a lot (laughs) — constantly sleeping. So it was really great. It was great on-screen and off-screen.

HR: That’s awesome. Anything goofy happen while you guys were not filming?

Burgess: I mean the whole time, Adam (Hampton) and I just kind of — we gave each other so much crap on set. … It was a constant back and forth. We would just roast each other constantly. And it was a lot of fun. He’s so much older, ya know; he has kids and everything, and here I am this 17-year-old girl just going at it. …

HR: That’s so funny. So what was your biggest goal for your role in this movie?

Burgess: My goal, honestly, was just to make her (Joy) as fierce and intense as she came across on the script. And it was definitely a challenge to get into that mindset. But once I was there, once you kind of get the ball rolling, it’s kind of hard to stop. … I just I really wanted the audience to see that and be afraid of her.

HR: Yeah, I mean, you invoked fear in me.

Burgess: Lovely. I love to hear that!

HR: So looking to the future, is there anyone you’d like to work with, in particular — actor, director? 

Burgess: Um, I think it would be Steven Spielberg. I feel like it’s such a basic answer, but Steven Spielberg is a genius. And I’ve been reading … one of his autobiographies, and … he’s just a genius. And I think that it’s really interesting [how he] kind of takes his stories and creates them into film.

HR: That’s awesome. Well, I’m sure that will be something that happens in the future here.

Burgess: Yes!

HR: Definitely. So do you have any other projects planned right now or projects that you’re working on?

Burgess: I do, actually. So I am going to start filming in the next couple weeks a spy action thriller called Jade Black. I will be Jade. So I’m really excited about that, and you should definitely be on the lookout.

HR … Well, that’s all I have for you. So, thank you so much for your time today!

Burgess: Perfect, thank you so much!

Next: Wes Ball speaks with us about directing The Maze Runner

Jurassic Games is set for VOD release on June 12, 2018, and will be released on DVD on July 3rd. Also look out for Katie Burgess in Jade Black coming soon.