From "mob wife" to superhero? That's evidently the career path for Marissa Jade, who some may know from her spicy turn in the last season of VH1's reality series Mob Wives, while others could see the resemblance she has to Destiny: Queen of Thieves, a comic book character based on Jade. Said comic book character will soon be coming to life as a movie, with Jade the natural choice to portray the sexy anti-hero. (The project was announced in June.)
Destiny: Queen of Thieves focuses on a female master thief who lives in New York City. When another criminal organization tries to pull a major heist in her city, like a darker version of a modern-day Robin Hood, Destiny sets them up to fail and steals the rest of their assets as they flee the city. I spoke to Jade about how the project got started, preparing for the movie role, her time on Mob Wives, her New York accent and much more!
How did you first get involved with Destiny?
It was an idea that someone presented me with. Basically, it was an independent publisher of comic books who came to me and told me what his idea was, and we put our heads together and created it from there.
Were you a comic book fan before that?
A little bit. When I was younger my uncle actually had a comic book store, and I love superheroes and Marvel, I grew up with all that stuff. I definitely had an interest in it. Not as much as I do now. It's a different world; when I go to the cons there's a little bit of shell shock for me. They all have their own quirks, the fans, and I grew accustomed to it, you know?
Would you say you're a comic book geek now?
Yeah, a little bit. I love my character, I think she's pretty badass.
The comic book took off and developed a fanbase, now they're making a film out of it.
Once the comic became a product I could hold in my hand, I started doing a lot of conventions throughout the country. I would actually dress up like Destiny, do photo ops and stuff. It just so happened that someone who passed by my booth took interest. He purchased one of my comic books, read it, and then came back to me and said, "I'm really interested in it, I think it's a great storyline, and I would like to make it into a movie." And we went from there.
So you'll be playing Destiny in the movie, which is awesome. How much input do you have in the screenplay?
The director hired a writer, and he actually just emailed me asking if there was anything I'd like to add on or take out. I'm fortunate that I have the opportunity to do that, I like that they want my input.
Are you going to have to train for this?
Yeah, there's definitely going to be a lot of action, it is going to be very much like the comic book. I'm a very active girl, sports savvy, I think I would like to do most of my own stunts, it would be pretty cool.
How did you first break into the entertainment industry?
I was in cosmetology school in New York City when I was 17 years old and I realized I wanted to be the girl in the chair as opposed to the girl behind the chair. I left school the second that popped into my head and I said I was going to pursue a modeling career. I've been doing that ever since and I've never looked back.
Was it difficult getting started?
I was fortunate, but this industry is very tough. It's not you personally, it's whatever they're looking for. When you go to a casting call, they already have in mind what they want, and you can't take offense if you don't get chosen. You definitely have to have a thick skin. I started off with a lot of no's; in the beginning I looked younger than what I was. At that age, there were girls who were so much more voluptuous and older looking than I was that fit the roles. So it was a little rough at the beginning. No one really directed me in the industry and told me what I had to do and what I didn't have to do; I learned from my own mistakes.
Like myself, you're a born and bred New Yorker. Does that help with an extra layer of thick skin?
I believe being a New Yorker definitely gives you that extra layer. [Laughs] That and being Italian and Chinese.
Are there ever moments when you regret it, where you think you should have chosen another course?
No, I'm totally happy with my life. I love the lane I took and being who I am. I don't want to look at my everyday living as a job, I want my job to be my hobby, something I love and enjoy.
Earlier this year you were featured in Mob Wives, which sadly recently ended its run.
I dunno how sad I am about that.
What was the experience like? That's a whole new level of exposure.
I enjoyed it, I had a good time with most of those girls. The drama and the cattiness, I can leave that out, that's not really something I'm into. It's not really ladylike to act like a trashbag. If you're not my cup of tea, I just don't keep you in my circle or be around you. It was something I was challenged to do while filming the show, was to keep my composure and act like a lady. I think I did well!
Could you not have seen doing four seasons of that show?
I think by the second season- I mean, you already created a beast, you need the beast to come back out. By the end of the season, if I had another season, it would be no holds barred. I'm not going to wait until the fourth episode to unleash. I don't want to be portrayed to be that person on TV, especially when I wan longevity in this career.
Do you have a tentative start date for Destiny to go into production?
Not yet. Basically, I have to give them my input on the script; once I do we're going from there. So far, so good. I've been happy with what I've read so far.
What is your ultimate goal in this business?
I would really love a long lasting acting career. It's something that I've wanted. Like I said, I had no direction and didn't really know how to go about it, so naturally the modeling came to me and I stuck with that. I guess it's easier for me to stand in front of a camera and look pretty versus actually talking. [Laughs] I kind of grew into that, so now I'm comfortable in my skin. Also, being from New York we have that natural accent, and I've always wanted to break out of it.
Do you find that it inhibits you at all?
I think sometimes. A lot of people ask me about my accent. I know it's not as bad as most New Yorkers, and when you twist me it tends to come out more. [Laughs] But I would like to lose it a little bit; maybe I need Rosetta Stone.
Don't lose it completely. Thank you for your time, good luck with the movie!