Juju Journey Brener is a young actress who is in the new action-thriller film Vanquish. The film stars Morgan Freeman and Ruby Rose. Juju is from Los Angeles, California, and comes from a family of actors. She is a third-generation actress, and grew up around sets her whole life. Juju plays the character of Lily in the film. YEM spoke with Juju all about the filming of Vanquish about her character.
Young Entertainment Mag: Your new film Vanquish is coming out soon, how excited are you for this?
Juju Journey Brener: Yes Vanquish is coming out April 16th theatrically! and a week after also digitally. I am super excited for this amazing script written & directed by George Gallo, which is going to be such a cool movie with the 2 talented stars Morgan Freeman and Ruby Rose. I’m very grateful to be part of something so awesome.
YEM: What was the audition process for Vanquish like?
Juju: I had just went through pretty extensive studio and network tests for a big Hulu / Fox 20th show which I didn’t end up ( right now due to Covid everything is done on tape or on zoom). The producer Richard Salvatore & dir George Gallo saw my screen-test for that, then I had a face-time callback with George, at the end of the call he told me I got the role , I was so excited and happy, it was such a special moment.
YEM: What inspired you to become an actress?
Juju: Well, me and my sister are actually 3rd generation actors. My Grandmother was a well known actor in Israel in the 70’s & 80’s and my Mom was acting in TV & Film both in the US & Israel since she was a teen. My Dad was also in the industry for years as a manager, producer and writer. So we basically grew up in it. Were all artists and we all help each other. I used to go to our parents sets, it was always like a big playground with so much excitement and creativity. When I was a baby my sister –Mila’s agents took me on and I started getting a lot of commercials and print work. Then continued to film, tv & animation,
YEM: In the film you play Lily, what is Lily like?
Juju: Lily is quiet, and she has an illness. She is introverted. She is a broken character just like the others in the film.
YEM: What were some of the most fun parts of filming for you?
Juju: The most fun was getting to go in the McLaren! I love sport cars and never been in a McLaren it was so cool!. Also working with such a legend like Morgan Freeman, and having Ruby as my screen Mom. I also loved Biloxi I got to go to the beach on the days off – it’s so beautiful there and the water is so warm, I also got to eat all the cool southern foods like fried pickles and grits, I loved the whole experience , getting to travel after month of lockdown.
YEM: Were there anything you learned on set that you will take with you into your future projects?
Juju: I learned that sometimes directors move fast and that you might not get more than a couple of takes for your big scenes so you better nail it on the first one. I also learned that so many things can go different than planned. We had hurricanes, schedule changes, night shoots, false positive covid tests etc.. At first I was like “what’s happening here?” But I quickly realized that making movies has so many elements and that I always have to be flexible.
YEM: Is there something that people can learn from Vanquish?
Juju: I think they can learn that a Mom will do anything for her child. Also, that there is no absolute good or bad. Bad people can end up doing good things and good people can also have a dark side.
YEM: There seems to be some really intense scenes in the film, what would you do after filming some of the more intense ones to make it less intense?
Juju: On a set its usually not as intense as on screen. But for me since I am very into candy esp gummy candy, I would take a lot of packets of sweetish fish, fruit gummies, lollipops and chocolate and have a sugar party in my hotel late at night lol
YEM: Did you enjoy shooting an action-thriller film like this one? What were the most difficult and enjoyable parts?
Juju: I loved it. I thought it would be tough being the only kid on the set with 100 adults on a film that had night shoots mostly but I liked it. Everyone was so nice and helpful & I got to stay up super late, I’m kind of a night owl so that was fun! One of my favorite parts was going to visit the 2nd unit and seeing all the cool stunts with the motorcycle and stunt guys. 2nd unit dir let me call out “action” on one of the cool stunt scenes, that was super cool and different.
YEM: What are some of your dream roles for the future?
Juju: I’d like to do both comedies and drama. I’d love to be in a dance movie or show because I’m also a dancer and that would be so cool. I think my ultimate dream is to be a super hero in a Marvel or DC Comics franchise. I also think it would be cool to play some kind of princess either in a Disney or DreamWorks project adventure or fairytale project. Id likes to work with Steven Spielberg & Tim Burton because they are amassing directors. I’d also like to star along The Rock, Angelina Jolie, Ben Stiller, Liam Neeson and Aidan Gallagher.
Watch Vanquish in Select Theaters on April 16th and on Apple TV, and Everywhere you rent movies on April 20th! Watch it on Blu-Ray and DVD on April 27th!