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Charisma Carpenter - "House of Bones" Tv Movie - 411mania.com Interview

dimanche 17 janvier 2010, par Webmaster

Charisma Carpenter, the beautiful young actress from Las Vegas, will always be associated with Cordelia Chase, the role she played on both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. After getting her online masters degrees programs, and living in Europe, she spent the next six years in noteworthy roles on shows like Veronica Mars. Charmed, CSI, Big Shots, Greek, and Legend of the Seeker. She stars in tonight’s Syfy original movie House of Bones and has a role in the upcoming all-star cast action film The Expendables.

Al Norton : I want to start by telling you that in the years I’ve been doing interviews the biggest response I’ve gotten from male friends and co-workers was when I dropped your name this morning.

Charisma Carpenter : Really ? Still ? After all these years ? That makes my day.

Al Norton : What was it about House of Bones that appealed to you ?

Charisma Carpenter : I liked the idea of doing the first original movie since the network became Syfy. I like the genre but this one was more straightforward and gory. I liked it.

Al Norton : While the made-for-the-network movies are always entertaining, some are a bit, or a lot, more cheesy than others. How do you make sure the projects you choose is going to be on the right side of that line ?

Charisma Carpenter : To be honest with you I have no control in how it ends up. There are so many components that go in to making a movie that as an actress the only thing I have control over is me and how I perform. The sad part about this film is that it was the fastest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It was like doing an episode of Angel ; it was that short. It had special effects, gags, elaborate make up…it was just a big enchilada and sometimes there just isn’t enough time. The producers are looking at their watch, they’re losing money, things are taking too long.

You just have to give the best that you’ve got in the moment you have to give it and after that you’re done. I try to put myself in good hands, that’s really the only control I have. If I like someone’s work, if I love the network like I do Syfy, you’ve just got to put your trust in hope for the best.

I don’t think House of Bones is really my movie. I think the standout of the movie is Corin Nemec ; he got all the best lines (laughing).

Al Norton : Is part of the fun of doing a movie with a lot of special effects that you have to watch it when it’s on to see how it all turned out ?

Charisma Carpenter : That’s probably the biggest nightmare (laughing). It’s hard because you are putting your trust in people you don’t know that well. When you are working with Joss Whedon, with people who have done this time and time again, it’s much easier. The only element I knew on this project were the people at Syfy and so I really took a leap of faith. The waiting to see how it turns out is never the fun part. I will watch it Saturday at 9 pm with the rest of the audience.

Al Norton : Do you watch Ghost Hunters or any other of the ghost shows that are all over cable these days ?

Charisma Carpenter : I have seen some of those. I have to admit, I get sucked in really quickly.

Al Norton : This question is right out of Cheesy Interviewing 101 but I have to ask…

Charisma Carpenter : …Do I believe in paranormal ?

Al Norton : That was perfect.

Charisma Carpenter : Yes, I do believe the paranormal exists. Do I think there could be a house made out of bones that eats people ? No (laughing). I do believe that it’s possible that there are spirits that are not rested, energy that can be trapped somewhere that can be harmful.

Al Norton : How has being a Mom changed the way in which you choose your roles ?

Charisma Carpenter : That’s a good question. Usually location is a big deal. I try to stay close to home as much as possible but now that he’s in school it’s a little bit easier. I haven’t ever been asked to do something that would make me uncomfortable, nothing that has made me go, "oh, what is my kid going to think when he gets older ?"

I had a job in New Zealand and I was gone for a month. I had a job in England and I was gone for a month. When I was in England it was for a movie called Psychosis and I really had to way it out. Ultimately the part meant so much to me that to be a human being as well as a Mom I needed to be happy, and if it makes me happy it makes me a better Mom. It’s got to be something I really want to do to take me away from my kid.

Al Norton : Tell me about The Expendables.

Charisma Carpenter : It was a memorable part, for sure. I just heard that Sly (Stallone, who directs and stars in the movie) broke his neck. I knew he got hurt so much during filming. He was in and out of the emergency room so many times. It was a really, really intense shoot, very physically demanding. He is so 120% he would do things over and over again even though he had an injury and then when it was done and it was after work he would go in and get stitches or whatever it was he needed to get worked on. I don’t know how one does that job with a broken neck. It blows me away but he was crazy that way.

Al Norton : Was the full cast (Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger) in place when you got hired ? We are talking about the biggest names in action movies from the last 30 years.

Charisma Carpenter : They were all in place. I was very well aware of how good this movie would be because of all the people who were in it. That’s what made the audition that much more nerve racking, knowing how much fun it would be to get the part.

I have to give props to my friend Julie Benz who was very instrumental in getting me in the room to be seen for the part. She had worked with Sly before and he was having trouble finding the right person for this part. He wanted someone soft and the readings he was seeing were too angry. I had the privilege of getting that information beforehand. I had a meeting with him and didn’t know if he was going to offer me the part right there but then he said, "I really like you but you still have to read."

We ended up having a really long conversation and I said something ballsy that I had never said before, which was "look, you have to give me a chance. I know exactly what you want. I want to go get a scene from my house. It’s right around the corner and I’ll be right back (laughing)" And my kid was with me because when he wanted to meet was after school and I wasn’t about to ask him to change the time. It was a very once-in-a-lifetime kind of moment and he was ok with waiting. I showed him my final scene on the 100th episode of Angel.

Al Norton : I know it well. It’s an amazing scene.

Charisma Carpenter : That’s probably one of my favorite pieces of work. It was just a magical, magical thing. It wasn’t just acting and I am very proud of that. I wanted to show it to him so he could see tenderness from me. I showed it to him and he looked at me and he didn’t punch me in the arm but it was like a "hey, look at you" thing. Then I read and I didn’t know this at the time and they stream it right over so he was getting it as I was reading.

The next morning I am dropping my kid off at school, with a bun in my hair and wearing really big boyfriend jeans, and I get a call saying Sly wants to see you in his office right now. I said, "I just dropped my son off from school, it’s 8:00 in the morning, I don’t even have any make up on ; I can’t go to his office." I pulled over and called my manager and told her Sly wanted to see me in his office. She said, "wait, what ? What if you didn’t get the job ?" What was I going to do, not go ? (Laughing).

When I went in the office there was Sly and another guy who had a camera in his hand and was looking at the digital LCD frame. I thought he was a producer watching my scene but he was taping me the whole time. Sly sits me down and asks me how I thought I did in the audition and I told him, "it really doesn’t matter how I think I did, what did you think ?" He pushed me and said he really wanted to know what I thought so I told him, "I think I nailed it." He said, "I think you did, too. You got the part." I said, "don’t fuck with me, don’t fuck with me. This would be really, really mean. Are you punking me right now ? He said no and I gave him a huge hug.

That guy with the video camera was filming all throughout the movie so my guess is the DVD will have some sort of super cool extra documentary thing about the making of it.

I knew what kind of a movie I was getting in to. I wasn’t stupid (laughing). These are 30 years of the biggest actions stars ever. It was a really special thing to be able to do.

Al Norton : You were on two very popular television shows and you play that part on reruns throughout the world every day and you seem to be pretty ok with that, which I guess is my way of asking why some people seem to run from the parts that made them famous ?

Charisma Carpenter : That’s a really good question. I don’t know. I don’t know why people aren’t grateful (laughing). I really don’t know. I think that maybe the feel that they will be limited because casting directors can only see you in one light. I really have to marvel after Hilary Swank ; I don’t know how you go from The Next Karate Kid and 90210 to being able to capture the imagination of the casting director who put her in Boys Don’t Cry.

I think it’s super rare for people to be able to break out and it has nothing to do with people not having the ability to do it, and that’s why every time it happens I celebrate. They have no idea what people are capable of doing but they still say they don’t want to see them because of a preconceived idea. You either have to have a really good agent (laughing) or you yourself have to follow up and have the desire to knock on the door until they see you. I don’t know that would actually work. It’s so delicate and I think that’s why some people run from those parts.

I think I was lucky because when I played Cordelia she evolved so much. It was also a very demanding show and it asked a lot of an actor ; you had to be able to be funny, to be serious, to be looking at a green screen and reacting to a monster that wasn’t really there, and all of that is kind of major. It was a very demanding show and maybe that’s why I am ok with it, because I had the opportunity to do all those different things, to show those other sides.

Al Norton : I was wondering if you could talk a little about what it was like to work with Andy Hallett.

Charisma Carpenter : Working with Andy was the biggest ball of fun ever. He had the funniest expressions ; he wouldn’t say "shit", he’d say, "oh, balls." He just was not the average bear. He was a total original in the way he saw things and his expressions were totally unique. He laughed a lot when I was there. I wasn’t there for the last year and I understand there were a lot of physical issues in terms of his make up that created problems for him. All I remember is a really genuinely funny guy. One time I was having a get together at my house and he came and brought me these really beautiful shoes. He said, "I bought these for you because I thought you should have them. They would look so beautiful on you so you should have them." That’s not a normal guy. He was a really special human being.

Don’t miss House of Bones, tonight at 9 pm on Syfy


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