Interview: Jane Badler

Music and acting often go hand in hand. There are many actresses who became well known for acting and then moved into music, only for us to discover that music was always the passion but the acting break came first. Jane Badler is one such actress, you may remember her as Diana from the 80’s cult classic V, I certainly do. She also appeared in the 2011 series of V, this time as the mother of the alien leader. Those of you who prefer your viewing without aliens may recognise her from a guest role she had on Neighbours in 2010.

Regardless of where you recognise her from, you may not realise she is also a songstress at work on her third album. We were able to ask Jane some questions in the lead-up to her March 21 show at Spiegeltent in Melbourne so I hope you enjoy learning more about her as much as I did.

Hi Jane, welcome to Beauty and Lace. Thanks so much for talking to us.

Can you tell us a little about how you got your start in the industry?

My first introduction to the industry was through Beauty Pageants when I was 17. I was in the Miss America Pageant which lead to live performances all over New England in The United States. It was great training for me. Later, after I finished University, I moved to NYC. I didn’t know a soul. I started to make the rounds knocking on doors and a lovely agent took pity on me and signed me up on the spot. I started to go on auditions and got my first national commercial for American Airlines one month later. It was a joyous occasion.

Much of your early work was on screen, how did you move into music?

Well singing was always my first love. I did my first public performance at 8 years old in a talent contest in the Catskill Mountains in NYC. When I first arrived in NYC I was hoping to be a singer as well as an actress. At that time it was very hard to pursue both so I put my energy into acting. I didn’t return to singing again until about 12 years ago. The Passion has never died and burns more brightly than ever.

Before we focus on your music can I just ask if you have a favourite TV or movie role?

It would be hard to go past Diana in V. It was the most exciting role to get. I was doing the Soap Opera ‘The Doctors’ at that time with Alec Baldwin and I was dreaming of getting into Night Time TV, which was a big transition from Soaps. Getting Diana in V was a big leap for me. V was a huge budget Mini series at Warner Bros. It was terribly exciting to be part of this production and to work with Kenneth Johnson and the amazing cast. I also loved working on the series Mission Impossible which gave me the opportunity to do new characters every week, sing, and of course meet my husband and move to Australia.

Is there a role you are most recognized for? (and can I just say for the record here that I loved you in the original V.)

Without a doubt I am most recognized for Diana in V. It was the making of an incredible journey for me. I had no idea of the impact it would have on my life and the people who watched it. I am very proud to have been a part of this show.

Please tell us a little about your upcoming album and the big names in the industry that you have working with you?

My upcoming album, which we are still looking at a title for, has been an interesting journey. I spent a year writing with the wonderful songwriters Mat Thomas (Mavis’s) and Byron St John. I recorded with many different producers, among them Ivor Quest (Grace Jones Hurricane) and Mark Saunders (Cyndi Lauper, The Cures) and Byron St John here in Melbourne who came up with a lot of the ideas for the production. Finally found wonderful Producer / engineer Simon Polinski through the guitarist Johnny Justin (Thunderwings). We have finished four tracks and are looking to finish the album in April or May. For our live show I am very lucky to have Colin Berwick (Old Country) as my Musical director, musician and producer.

How would you describe your music style?

My musical style is torchy electronica. Smokey, dark, sexy music with strong beats.

You will be playing a show at Spiegeltent on March 21, what can you tell us about the show?

The show at the Spiegeltent will hopefully be a combination of great musicians playing cool, great music and me the singer who loves to add theatrics and costume to my songs. The show will comprise mostly songs from my upcoming album but also some material from the last two albums I did with Sir. It’ll tell of tales of addiction, obsession, betrayal and all put to cool groves, electronic sounds, the piano of Colin Berwick, guitar of JJ Justin, percussion and drums of Mark Stanland and some other surprises.

What’s next for Jane Badler?

After the Spiegeltent show I will continue to mix the album. Also heading to Buenos Aires in April for a Sci-Fi convention then on to NYC to do a Music Video. We are also in negotiations to perform in Europe over the European Summer.

What does being a woman mean to you?

For me, being a woman has always been about navigating the many roles that I have played throughout my life without compromising too much of myself. A wife, a mother, a daughter and an artist. It is about forgiveness and love. It is about finding ways to age with beauty, dignity and glamour. And always trying to be an example of how my sons should respect and treat women. Being a woman is complicated and wonderful.

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