The series stars Oscar winner Adrien Brody as Captain Charles Boone. After the tragic death of his wife, he along with his children return to Preacher’s Corner, Maine where he confronts and deals with a dark family history.
One of Boone’s children, Honor, is played by actor Jennifer Ens. One amazing bit of trivia about Jennifer is that this is her first professional acting job and its alongside an Oscar winner!
We had the chance to sit down with the Vancouver actor to talk about the series, how she auditioned for the role and why people are so obsessed with the supernatural.
Pop Culture Principle – We learned that Chapelwaite is your first acting job ever. Is that true?
Jennifer Ens – Yes! I just dove into the deep end! 😊 People are surprised to learn Chapelwaite is my first acting job. It was such a life changing experience.
Pop Culture Principle – How did you land the role of Honor Boone? Did you have to audition? If so, what was the audition process like for the role?
Jennifer Ens – I received an audition and did a self-tape. I did the self-tape early December of 2019 and didn’t find out until late January 2020 that I landed the role. I only did one self-tape for the audition process so I was very shocked, to be totally honest, I didn’t think I was going to get it. The funny thing is, I was on vacation in Bali and on this island where I didn’t have any service. I finally checked my phone and I had so many missed calls. I finally found out from my agent that I had booked the job!
Jennifer Ens – I cried! I was so happy. I called all my friends and family right away. After I do auditions, I kind of file them away in the back of my mind so I don’t get attached to them. When I got the call, I was so in shock because it had been almost two months, it actually took me a few minutes to process and I was like ‘Oh yeah! Jerusalem’s Lot” then I knew exactly which one it was and was thrilled.
Pop Culture Principle – Chapelwaite is inspired by the Stephen King’s short story Jerusalem’s Lot. Did you read Jerusalem’s Lot in preparing for the role or did you choose to not read it and come in fresh when building the character?
Jennifer Ens – To be totally honest, I didn’t know about Jerusalem’s Lot before I auditioned. But I did read it before filming to help me prepare for the role. I knew a lot about Salem’s Lot, but didn’t know much about Night Shift.
Pop Culture Principle – What was it like for you to step on the set of Chapelwaite for the very first time?
Jennifer Ens – I have to say I was terrified, but at the same time super excited. We had a meeting beforehand with just the cast and director. The five of us (Adrien, Emily, Ian, Sirena and I) were able to meet each other and get more comfortable before filming so that really helped. This was my first professional job, so I really didn’t know what to expect. The two younger actors are working professionals, so I was actually asking them a lot of questions. 😊
Stepping onto set for the very first time was a really electric feeling, and the adrenaline just rushes in right away and then it’s go time! It was really fun, and everyone made it such a comfortable environment. Adrien and Emily helped me so much and I don’t know how, but it just came naturally to me, and I felt very comfortable.
Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us a little bit about your character Honor Boone?
Jennifer Ens – Honor is the oldest daughter of Charles Boone. After her mother passes, she steps up as the mother figure to her siblings and doesn’t really get to process her mother’s passing as she should. Throughout the series, she is the pillar of strength in the family. Charles Boone is a sea captain, so growing up she always knew to stand by him no matter what the circumstance. She is very loyal, confident and strong which is very important because of what happens in Chapelwaite… She knows how to stand up for herself and is great at using a gun when she needs to! 😊
Pop Culture Principle – You co-star in the series with Oscar winner Adrien Brody. Can you tell us what it was like working with him?
Jennifer Ens – I learned so many valuable things from him. Watching him work was like a masterclass. Everything that he does is so intriguing and seamless. He really helped guide me throughout the initial process. If a scene wasn’t working or things weren’t jiving properly, he knew exactly what to do. He’s like a magician. Not only is he a great actor but he’s an amazing person. He’s hilarious, extremely thoughtful, caring and kind.
Pop Culture Principle – Chapelwaite also stars Emily Hampshire who is best known for her work on the comedy series Schitt’s Creek. What was it like working with her?
Jennifer Ens – = Emily is hilarious! I love her. She’s very down to earth, genuine and always brought a lightness to set. I love working with her, she taught me so many helpful things. She is super easy going and always made set super fun.
Pop Culture Principle – The town does not welcome the Boones with open arms from the beginning and being that the children are mixed race, they have to deal with racism. Can you talk a little bit about that aspect of the series?
Jennifer Ens – At first, Honor is very excited to go to Chapelwaite. They’ve lived on a ship for almost their entire lives so she was ready to be on land. She’s excited because she gets to learn more about her dad’s family which she doesn’t know much about. When she goes into town for the first time and experiences racism right away, she’s very taken aback. Because she’s lived on ship and on the island of Nuka Hiva she hadn’t faced racism prior to Preacher’s Corners.
Pop Culture Principle – Would you consider Chapelwaite the house itself to be its own character in the series?
Jennifer Ens – Definitely! The house has a big personality…We shot this series in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s a real house, we shot everything on location and in the studio.
Pop Culture Principle – The creators of Chapelwaite describe the show as a clash between new ways of thinking and regressive old habits, and the way the past can overpower and corrupt hard-fought efforts to change for the better—all wrapped up in supernatural mythology. Would you agree with that?
Jennifer Ens – I would agree with that totally.
Jennifer Ens – I was trying to figure that out myself because everyone loves Stephen King, they love horror, and they love gore. I love it too. I don’t know why everyone loves that stuff, but they do. It’s like a guilty pleasure or something. What does it all say about us as humans? 😊
Pop Culture Principle – What did you enjoy most about filming the series Chapelwaite?
Jennifer Ens – It was such an amazing and emotional experience for me. It was my first job, and we were also filming during the pandemic. Working with Academy Award winner Adrien Brody and Emily Hampshire, this being a Stephen King story and all of these different layers, it was probably the first best acting job I could ever ask for. I loved my character; I loved the story and I loved everyone involved. I think my favorite part was just being on set and getting to act with everybody.
Pop Culture Principle – What can fans look forward to with the ten episodes of Chapelwaite?
Jennifer Ens – They will definitely be on the edge of their seats the entire time. They can look forward to a lot of gore and a lot of plot twists. You will definitely be shocked and are in for a treat.
A huge thank you to Jennifer Ens for taking the time to talk with us. We see big things for her future in the entertainment industry! You can watch Chapelwaite beginning on August 22nd exclusively on EPIX!
**Main photo courtesy of Jenna Berman**
**All Chapelwaite photos courtesy of EPIX**