Q&A with Jewel
Find out how Jewel prepared for her role as June Carter Cash in the Lifetime Original Movie "Ring of Fire," her favorite scene and more in this exclusive Q&A!
How did you prepare for the role of June?
It was a challenge to prepare for this role. It had been quite a while since I had acted in a feature film, and this was the lead role- a fact I did not take lightly. I not only studied how to sing like her, but how she moved on stage and how she spoke. I tried not to focus on our similarities because those things came quite naturally to me. Her relationship with Johnny was turbulent and there were real issues of co-dependency and substance abuse. Learning about their relationship and understanding her struggles was key to my understanding and portraying her. I read books, studied videos, and also spoke with friends of hers, like Jessie Colter, to try and get a full since of her as a person.
What was the most surprising thing you learned about June?
I think a lot of people are surprised to learn June was a writer and performer in her own right- not just the wife of Johnny Cash, although that was a big part of who she was. June won Grammys, wrote her own comedy bits for stage and was a tremendous songwriter. She wrote the song "Ring of Fire." It was real honor and challenge to portray such a multi-dimensional woman.
Share one thing you have in common with June.
We have lots of things in common- we both grew up with an outhouse and have eaten squirrel stew- ha! But also songwriting, motherhood — I know from meeting John Carter Cash and speaking with him that June deeply loved every bit of her son's heart and soul. And she insisted he go with them everywhere- on tour, to shows; He was always with them. I go to mush every time I see my son, Kase. I have him on the road and on movie sets with me just like she did; it’s a great perk to this kind of work!
What’s your favorite June Carter Cash song?
I really do love "Ring of Fire" which is the most well known. Her mother taught her "Wildwood Flower," which is actually quite a dark lyric but to hear June sing it- she brought the sunshine to anything she sang.
How has June inspired you as a musician?
June came from a family of performers- hitting the road at a very young age much like my family and I did in Alaska. Everything she sang about or wrote about was authentic to her, which is what I think is in and of itself the best goal. Be authentic. Describe June and Johnny Cash’s relationship in three words. True Love. Dedicated. Turbulent. Share one thing you have in common with June. We have lots of things in common- we both grew up with an outhouse and have eaten squirrel stew- ha! But also songwriting, motherhood, rural upbringing- I could go on!
What was your favorite scene to film?
My favorite scene, which was also the most challenging scene, was the moment where June breaks down and realizes she can't carry the weight of Johnny's addiction on her shoulders anymore. There isn't a big car chase or some epic battle at the end of the film to bring it to a climax, it was this scene- emotional, raw, honest and real. As an actress, I knew this would be the moment on which the film hinged on, and so I just went for it as best I could!