Willamette theatre alumna stars as a villain in new horror film

Willamette University theatre alumna Jillian Kramer '04 has a starring role in an upcoming feature film — but you won't recognize her.

As the leading villain in "The Ward," a horror film directed by John Carpenter, Kramer underwent at least four hours in the make-up chair daily. The get-up for her character, a killer named Monster Alice, included a mask glued to her skin and white contact lenses, altering her beyond recognition.

Carpenter, who personally cast Kramer, boasts such films as "Halloween" in his repertoire. "The Ward" centers on a young woman in a 1960s mental institution who is persistently haunted by a ghost, Monster Alice.

"I absolutely loved that it was such a meaty, dark role — something so completely not what I am," Kramer says. "Playing a role that's so unlike yourself is every actor's dream."

The film role adds to Kramer's growing performance résumé. She is a singer and dancer who spent a semester studying acting at the University of Wales, in addition to earning her Willamette degree.

Since being cast in "The Ward," she has earned a role as a dancer in "The Big Bang," an upcoming film starring Antonio Banderas and Sam Elliott. She is the director of education at the Lake City Playhouse in northern Idaho and she directed the Pirates of the Coeur d'Alene Cruises.

"The Ward" is scheduled to be released later this year. Read more about Kramer in a recent Coeur d'Alene Press article. To learn more about Willamette theatre, click here.