Revenge has a new name (and a sssmokin' body). Tamara, starring music-video-dancer-turned-actress Jenna Dewan and from the creator of Final Destination, is a new horror film now playing in New York before going into wider release on Feb. 17. Oh, and did we mention that revenge smells nice and flowery, too? Actually, that's just the fragrance (not Curious, you can pretty much bet) worn by Justin Timberlake's post-Britney girlfriend as she sits down for a one-on-one with TVGuide.com.
TVGuide.com: So the moral of this movie is what Mom always told us: "Don't pick on the drab girl who's into the occult or else she'll clean up nice and unleash on you a load of hurt."
Jenna Dewan: Yes, and we like that. That's what I love about the movie, is that it does have a big moral to it "You reap what you sow." You can't just go and out and do what you want without suffering the repercussions of it.
TVGuide.com: It's cool how she punishes people with their own shortcomings.
Dewan: I like that, too. In most horror movies, you get revenge by picking up a knife and stabbing people. In this, Tamara plays on people's insecurities in a fun, dark and creepy way.
TVGuide.com: This movie is kinda like Carrie if Carrie ended up being a hottie instead of covered in pig blood.
Dewan: [Laughs] Everyone has been saying that, and there are some similar scenes, but Tamara is actually a lot different. Carrie leads up to when she dies, whereas our movie really starts after I die. But it's a similar take on the "unattractive girl gets her revenge" thing.
TVGuide.com: Why this for your first feature-film lead?
Dewan: Why this? Well, when they sent me this script, I really liked the fact that the main character, Tamara, got to play two different "parts." I was really drawn to that playing the mousy, unattractive Tamara and then the powerful villainess in the end. I knew it would be challenging.
TVGuide.com: Speaking of "unattractive" Tamara, as I watched the first scene, I was like, "This girl ends up being the one in the movie poster? Um, I don't see that happening."
Dewan: You didn't? [Laughs] Well, that was the goal.
TVGuide.com: Were you nervous about carrying the movie?
Dewan: Yeah, I was, but I just went into it headfirst and seriously. If I had dwelled on it too much, I would have freaked out.
TVGuide.com: How psyched were you that this went from being a straight-to-DVD release to playing in theaters, and all because of Internet buzz?
Dewan: It's great! When they called me and said, "It's being released theatrically in New York and then all over," I was ecstatic. I was blown away by the fact that people responded to it and liked it a lot, especially fans of the genre, who either really like something or tear it apart. They really like our movie.
TVGuide.com: Not that I endorse gratuitous nudity in horror films, but... this could have used more. Meaning any.
Dewan: [Gasps] Noooooo....
TVGuide.com: Oh, please. It's not a big leap from the lad-mag shoots you've done.
Dewan: Oh, it's a big leap. I won't do nudity ever, unless it's a great role. I don't think Tamara needed nudity at all; there was one part that might have had it, and I thought, "Why?" It was just gratuitous nudity and I'm not that kind of actress.
TVGuide.com: OK, be honest: Have you ever taunted the nerdy girl in class?
Dewan: No! I was the person that was nice to everyone, that liked all the different groups and cliques. I was a cheerleader, but I was involved in other stuff, like theater, dance....
TVGuide.com: Now, I have no problem with Brokeback Mountain, but I think the scariest moment in your movie is when two jocks start clumsily pawing each other.
Dewan: [Laughs] That was written a lot worse, let me tell you, and they toned it down a lot. It was funny seeing them prepare to do that scene.
TVGuide.com: Let's talk about your other upcoming films. I just spoke to Alfre Woodard about Take the Lead....
Dewan: Oh, you did? I love Alfre. In that, I play a student, someone very different from Tamara....
TVGuide.com: I should hope so!
Dewan: Well, yeah! I play a very New York, ghetto-fabulous girl from the streets named Sasha, who has lots of attitude. It was fun, my first time working with a big ensemble cast like that. Antonio [Banderas] was amazing, Alfre was amazing.... And then I have a Disney movie which is like an updated Fame-meets-Shall We Dance. I play a performing-arts-school student who falls in love with a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. It's a cute movie and actually kind of edgy for Disney.
TVGuide.com: Hit me with your most colorful music-video-shoot anecdote.
Dewan: Hmmm... when I was doing the video for Janet Jackson's "Doesn't Really Matter," we were on this stage that was on hydraulics and my harness happened to not be hooked up, so the first time the stage tilted down, I literally slid, right past Janet and the other dancers, off the stage and onto a concrete floor. I've hurt myself on almost every job I've done!
TVGuide.com: Do you watch Dancing with the Stars?
Dewan: [Whispering] It's kind of bad, the obsession I have. I watch it all the time.
TVGuide.com: You and a few million other people.
Dewan: Take the Lead is a ballroom-dancing movie, so now when I watch [Dancing], I can't even do it as a spectator because I get wrapped up in all the details and technical aspects. I actually know Stacy [Keibler] she and I used to dance together in Baltimore, where I lived as a kid and she's an amazing dancer, so I'm rooting for her.
TVGuide.com: Do you think Kelly Monaco deserved to win Season 1?
Dewan: I do.... She's cute and she tried hard. She got really good. I liked her.
TVGuide.com: As your film career gets into gear, do you look forward to putting behind you the whole "maybe she broke up Justin and Britney, maybe she didn't" thing?
Dewan: Yes. Yes. Very much so.
TVGuide.com: Who do you think got the better catch out of that, Cameron Diaz or Kevin Federline?
Dewan: Who got the better catch? Oh god, I don't know. Justin and Britney are both good people. [Laughs]