Your new movie Postpartum
- in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your
character in it?
follows the story of Alice, a woman struggling with
her perception of reality. On one hand she is a devoted mother who would
do anything to protect her children. On the other handÖ well youíll
have to watch the film.
To what an extent could you actually
relate to Postpartum's
I certainly donít relate to the storyline - if I did, I
couldnít admit it here. Thatíd get me in some troubleÖ
In all seriousness though, itís necessary for me to connect to
the story in order to do my job. I can certainly relate to protecting
what matters most to you and having to come to terms with your past
What did you draw upon to bring such an
over-the-top character like yours to life, and honestly, how much of Jenny
Curtis can we find in Alice?
My favorite part about
acting is diving into scenarios that are far removed from myself. The
character of Alice is everything I as an actor long to play in. The
dichotomy and extremes of her emotional state from scene to scene is like
a playground for being everything that is not Jenny Curtis. Yes, these
places Iím accessing are a part of me, but in my mind acting is the
exploration of ďwhat would it be like to be this other person?Ē not
ďhow can I fit myself into who this character isĒ.
How did you get involved
with the project in the first place?
remember getting the sides and getting really excited because right away I
could tell this would be my Girl, Interrupted moment.
What can you tell
us about Postpartum's
director Richard Bakewell [Richard
Bakewell interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
Rick is a champion. He takes care of his cast and crew in ways
that are often rare in indie filmmaking. He does his best to make sure
everyone is happy and comfortable. Even in the high-stress moments when
time was tight and shots were getting cut, heíd be checking in to make
sure people were OK.
We met several times before shooting to talk about Alice. He gave
me information about his inspirations and sources, he gave me music he
listened to while writing, he told me about what he envisionedÖ I took
it all in and then put my spin on it - which is exactly the kind of
collaboration I love. Rick is clear on what he wants but he gives actors
space to do their thing. And from there, if he needs to steer in another
direction heís to the point and respectful.
Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set
It was quick! An intense and exhausting
three day shoot. Two of the shoot days were at an abandoned animal
shelter. Being on location somewhere like that immediately drops you into
the vibe of the film. It was a creepy place, to say the least. The cast
and crew were all awesome and professional. We had a lot of fun and
accomplished a ridiculous amount in the short time we had.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
one of the leads in a western feature, Any Bullet Will Do, which
will be hitting festivals this year - keep an eye out for it! Also (for
something completely different) if anyone local to LA likes a good laugh,
Iím a member of an improv group, The MaD JaCKRaTS. We perform every 3rd
Sunday of the month and you can get more info at
got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
Iíve always considered myself an actress, but I canít really
tell you why - for most of my life I didnít really act. I just knew, thatís
what I was. Itís who I am. As I grew up, I didnít think it was
possible to follow that path so instead I went to a liberal arts college
for a couple years. The summer after my sophomore year I had the gift of
interning as a personal assistant for a major Broadway actress while she
performed an iconic role in NYC. Standing in the wings night after
night, I realized this was where Iím supposed to be. I threw
everything I had into chasing my dreams and got my BFA in Acting from
CalArts. It was the best decision I ever made.
Can you still remember your
first time in front of a movie or TV camera, and what was that experience
I grew up riding horses. When I was 8 or 9 the
childrenís barn I took lessons at was asked to participate in a
sing-a-long video Kathie Leeís Rock ní Tots Cafe: Rockiní
Roundup. A group of us rode, fed, and groomed horses - I donít think
at the time I really even grasped what it was for. Though, I do remember
being excited because I was picked to point from a map up to the
mountains. I acted the hell out of that pointing.
What can you tell us about your film- and TV-work
prior to Postpartum?
been blessed with some incredibly fun roles. One of my favorites would be
my first TV appearance as a juror on an episode of Modern Family. That
crew was a happy, kind, well-oiled machine. Iíve also been blessed to be
able to shoot on location for several of my projects. We shot the digital
mini-series Ride The Lightning in a western town in Arizona. The
post-apocalyptic short Who We Are Now was filmed in a fully
abandoned neighborhood out in the desert. The first horror I was in, Friends
Donít Let Friends, was shot out in Joshua Tree. We shot Any
Bullet Will Do in the snowy mountains of Montana - it was wrapped a
few months before we shot Postpartum. Iím looking forward to them
both making their way through the festival circuit!
movies and TV, you've also done your fair share of theatre acting, right?
So do talk about that aspect of your career, and how does performing on
stage compare to acting in front of a camera? And which do you prefer,
Theater is my first love and it will always
be a home I come back to. I crave the kind of creative process that tends
to be more common with theater than film. Having a live audience feeds
performance in a way that canít be beat. That being said, film has
become a medium that sets me on fire. Itís a different form of
exploration and creation. The camera becomes your audience and it can feed
you just as much. I love it I love it I love it. I honestly canít tell
you which I prefer - I think anything that is creative and interesting
lends itself to making other facets of creativity richer. So being a
theater actress makes me stronger on film and vice-versa.
How would you describe yourself as an actress,
and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
Me as an actress really stems from who I am as a person. I like to
understand people - where they come from, why they behave the way they
do, what drives themÖ Acting is just taking that another step deeper.
I lean towards roles rife with inner turmoil. I love swimming
around in the sea of emotions that characters like Alice provide. Iíve
always had an active imagination and I can jump into the world of a
character fairly quickly if I have done the preparation. I donít have
a set technique - how I get into each character changes from role to
role. However, having a hook that drops me into character is always
helpful. Music is a huge tool for me. For Alice, because she is so
extreme, I would alternate between listening to a string quartet and
Marilyn Manson depending on the scene. A physical action is also a quick
way to drop in. As Alice, I would rub the palm of my right hand with my
left thumb. Immediately Iíd have a tactile connection to my emotional
state. No matter the tools I use, everything starts from the willingness
(and indeed actors) who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Oh the list is
never-ending! But the one that always jumps out at me is Cate Blanchett in
Iím Not There. In a group of men playing versions of Bob Dylan,
no one came close to touching her. She WAS Dylan. And she made it seem
effortless. Thatís the kind of work I look up to. And Nina Arianda, who
is a beast. I was lucky enough to see her on stage in both Iveís Venus
in Fur and Shepardís Fool for Love. Sheís going to be this
Again, how do you choose? Iím a big fan of
movies that try to be different. Movies about passion. Movies that move me
to laughter or tears. Anything that is bigger than regular life, really.
Anything from Jurassic Park (God, I love dinosaurs) to Eternal Sunshine to
The Princess Bride to Birdman. Hot Fuzz is always at the top of the list.
Oh! How to Train Your Dragon! I donít know. If you can get me to
sit down and watch a movie Iíll probably have some kind of strong
feeling about it.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
lets just say, the ones that are the opposite of that. Clichť, obvious,
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
answer is 42.
for the interview!