The House Jack Built is a movie about a man named Jack that decides to buy a small apartment building in order to move his entire family in so they can live rent-free. We spoke to Melissa Fumero about her role in the film as Jack’s fiancée, Lily. Make sure to read until the end for an exclusive surprise:
Can you talk to us a little bit about the movie “The House That Jack Built”?
“The House that Jack Built” is this very small budget indie. It was actually the last audition I had in New York before I moved to LA. We shot it in 18 days, 18 crazy days. It’s got an amazing cast of New York actors, all crazy Latino actors from New York. It’s a story about this guy who buys an apartment building and decides to move his whole family in, thinking it will all be wonderful like when they were kids and of course, it’s not. He’s also a drug dealer and his family doesn’t know that about him. So, he’s kind of living this double life and it’s all about the family conflicts, and they’re a lot of scenes about family and love and friendship and loyalty.
What was it like for you working on the set with all Latino actors?
It was great. You can just instantly relate, and we all got along really well. I’m still friends with the whole cast. We’ve been texting each other for a couple weeks excited about the movie getting out On Demand and in theaters. Everyone also came from different places and different backgrounds, and we’re all from New York. The thing I loved the most about this cast is everyone showed up everyday with their A-game. They were ready, they were memorized, they were ready to jump in on the first take. It was really inspiring working with these guys. They were just on the top of their game, just going for it take after take. And, it was a crazy, grueling schedule but we were all really energetic because everyone was working really hard.
What are some of the fun things that you guys did on set?
Whenever you’re shooting a movie, there’s always a lot of down time so there definitely was some singing and dancing. We were also shooting a drama so during down time; there was definitely a lot of silliness that would come out. We would also hang out. I have like the most ridiculous pictures from shooting “The House That Jack Built”, of just people making stupid faces and dancing to hip-hop music, seeing who can get all the words to this rap song. Just silly stuff, it was fun.
How do you think this role is different from other roles that you’ve had?
Lily is really different. She was kind of a hard one to nail down because she’s a neighborhood girl. She almost has these dreams of the white picket fence and the perfect family, that doesn't necessarily match all of her surroundings. She’s also really grounded and probably the only person that really knows and gets Jack. So, it was trying to find this tough girl from the neighborhood from the Bronx, but also who has this sweetened, sensitive and really optimistic side to her. She’s really different from other characters that I played, but I also grew up with girls like that too. So, there was definitely a connection from her right from the audition process.
How would you say that you see yourself in Lily?
I think that optimism I guess, for seeing the best in people, and hoping for the best. I think that Lily’s always waiting for Jack to step up and to be the man that she knows he can be. That’s very relatable. I connected with that very much. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and sort of believe in the best of people, at least at first. So, I would say that was probably the one thing we had in common the most. Everything else I had to kind of find. I didn’t grow up in the Bronx, so it was like ‘how are people in the Bronx? What do they sound like? How do they move?’ And all of that. Also just like working with this cast, because some of them were from the Bronx, so I pulled from them too.
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