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Julianne Michelle dishes on food, fun and her new film

What’s everyone talking about? It’s not your neighbor, it’s “Apartment 1303,” a new film out now.

Having grown up under the controlling grip of her fame-hungry mother (Rebecca De Mornay), Janet Slate (Julianne Michelle) jumps at the opportunity to move into a high-rise apartment in downtown Detroit. Yet, some deals are too good to be true. One night, Janet’s boyfriend, Mark (Corey Sevier), finds her in the middle of the street — having fallen from the balcony thirteen stories above. When her sister, Lara (Mischa Barton), tries to investigate what happened, she moves into the same apartment and encounters the odd neighbors in the building, including an eerie 9-year-old girl who seems to somehow know the real reason for Janet’s fall. Lara soon realizes that her sister’s death might spell the same fate for her unless she can overcome the strange events that are terrorizing the inhabitants in apartment 1303.

Using innovative 3-D shooting techniques, director Michael Taverna creates a tense supernatural thriller that is adapted from a novel by Kei Ôishi. New Yorker and Marymount School alum Julianne Michelle clues us into the new thriller and what she loves about New York City.

Tell me about your character in the movie.
I play Janet, who leaves home and looks for her first apartment. She’s trying to break free ... from her alcoholic mother. She finds out the apartment is haunted.

How did you get involved with acting?
I started really young, like at 5. I literally fell into it. My mom was an acting coach and a child manager. I was in her baby carriage and on several occasions the casting directors would ask about me. I looked the part and was always outgoing, loved people and felt very comfortable in that setting.

Where are you from?
I was born in New Jersey and raised between New York and L.A. My first film was called “Family Prayers.”

What about the variety show you are involved in?
I have a variety show: “The Di Palma Forum” on PBS. It’s been on for the past few years, but we are looking for a national spot. ... Celebrities talk about health and wellness, even President Clinton is on the show. And we have true ghost stories.

You do some philanthropic work, too.
I work with the St. Jude’s event and I’m the auction chair of Steven Spielberg’s Children at Heart Benefit to support the children of Chernobyl.

What are your favorite New York haunts?
For restaurants ... I like Monkey Bar, Via Quadronno and in the Lower East Side, Spitzer’s for burgers. I love the museums: Met, Natural History, Whitney and the Frick.

Who’s your favorite New Yorker?
Woody Allen is a genius and he used to live in my building. He’s a kind soul.

What’s your biggest must have for fall?
Anything black.

Who’s your favorite designer?
Helmut Lang and Alice & Olivia.

What are your hobbies?
Playing guitar and writing songs in my spare time. I even wrote a couple of songs for the film “Awakened” that’s coming out next year.
 

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