Emily starred alongside Catherine Elizabeth in the Canadian horror film "Ginger Snaps." This interview came out around the time that the first sequel, "Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed" was released to video in the states.
I was really curious about what she was going to do now, because she's lost her whole world.
First I'd just like to say thanks for sitting down with us.
Oh no problem at all, I really like your website.
That's cool, thanks. The original "Ginger Snaps" was really the first direct-to-video film that I had seen that I thought was really good. It kind of opened my eyes up in that respect.
Well I'm glad you thought so. I guess it's kind of hard for Canadian films to get theatrical releases in the states.
So what were your thoughts when you first heard there was going to be a sequel?
Well I was really happy, because the first one ends with Briggite in sort of an unusual position (laughs). I was really curious about what she was going to do now, because she's lost her whole world. Her sister was her whole world, so you wonder what's going to happen to that character. So I was just really curious to find out where they would take her in the sequel.
Did you see the script before you agreed to do it, or were you pretty much just game for whatever they threw at you?
Well I saw the script before hand, and I did get to be in on the process of working out what the final draft would be like. So I got to be in on a lot of changes.
What kind of changes were made?
Well there's some plot changes and stuff, and some character things like between Briggite and Ghost. We really revised a lot in the last two weeks before production.
Cutting it down to the wire huh?
Ya (laughs), but it turned out a lot better. I think I liked Briggite a lot more... when I first saw first draft for the sequel I really didn't like Briggite all that much. I think there were some important scenes that got developed late in the process between Ghost and Briggite, with some of the dialogue, where you first see the human side of Briggite. The first draft that I saw she was pretty nasty, she was a little bit more like Ginger. So I was glad, she ended up being more unique.
I had gone back and watched some of it earlier today, and the one scene that popped out to me was between you and Ghost in the attic, when she's showing you her comic book stuff, there was a real human moment going on there.
Ya, ya, and that was one of the things I had asked about, I was like 'why doesn't Briggite get rid of ghost? Why is she encouraging her to stick around?' I think there had to be some kind of protective, big-sisterly thing happening there. It makes Briggite more dimensional.
Was it at all intimidating here that your character played a more prominent role in the sequel, that you were kind of the one returning character?
Well it was in a way, but I really liked the Ghost character, so it wasn't like I had to be there alone. And Tatiana's really great, she's really fun to work with, we got along really well. And also, I sort of had that feeling of being lonely and scared, missing Katie to share the burden of carrying the film with me, but I just tried to use that energy, because it fit with the character.
It's probably hard for you to choose, but out of all 3 Ginger Snaps films including the prequel, which one's your favorite?
Hmmm... well it is kind of hard for me to say (laughs) because it was a totally different experience making each one, and they are really different films. They have a different tone, a different feel. The first one I really liked, it had a certain amount of levity and humor that the second one didn't have. That wasn't something that I didn't like about the second one. I liked the fact that it (the second one) was dark because I think it reflected the character, Briggite's character. And I haven't seen the third one yet so I can't really say if I like that one the best. Ya, it would be really hard for me to choose.
One thing I did notice was that your character, even in a lot of visual ways like the way that she dresses, was shown to be a lot older. Were those subtle changes something that you guys planned out?
Ya, well I think they had to show her trying to blend in, to not stand out, so she couldn't wear the same kind of clothes. She's really on the run, so she's got to wear really a more kind of 'action' style (laughs)... But ya, she has grown up a little bit, I think that's definitely a conscious effort.
Do you have a favorite part, or a particularly favorite sequence in "Unleashed?"
Well I really like the stuff in the hospital. I liked all the action stuff, I really liked that, and the chase sequences and stuff. I think with the director, we really shine in those areas because of his editing background.
The third one's different from the first two. It's really romantic and gothic, and because it's a period piece, it has it's humor elements too but it's more subtle than the first one.
I love the whole thing, but if I had to name a favorite I would say the opening sequence, that was really intense. Especially when the librarian guy gets attacked by the werewolf.
Ya, Brendan Fletcher's really great, he's actually in the third one too. He's got a bigger part in the third one. He's a Canadian star. You guys probably don't know him down there, but he's a big star up here
I actually recognized him from "Freddy Vs. Jason." I was wondering, did you see "Unleashed" in theaters? I was wondering what was that like for you, being the star of a film that got a wide release in theaters?
Um... well nobody really knew that it was me that was there (laughs), it wasn't like anyone there really knew that it as me. It was kind of embarrassing, I'm not really that good at watching myself and I can't really be objective so it's a little bit uncomfortable for me. But I really just tried to focus on the other stuff, I really just watched it out of curiosity to see how all the other different elements came together, like the sound and the music and stuff like that. I don't know (laughs)... it's very surreal, sort of an out of body thing.
You said you haven't seen the prequel yet, but from what you've seen in production, how would you compare it to the sequel?
The third one's different from the first two. It's really romantic and gothic, and because it's a period piece, it has it's humor elements too but it's more subtle than the first one. And it doesn't have the kind of social commentary of the first one that was appealing... well for me any way because I like that. I like films that are a little bit critical, that have that edge to them. So it doesn't really have that, but it's very beautiful. It has a different look, it doesn't have a gritty look. It's got a real fairy tale kind of atmosphere. So it's kind of drawing on elements that were in the other two, and drawing off them, but in a different way.
Ya, I was talking to Brett last week and one of the things he said about the prequel was that it was really beautiful, it just looked great.
Ya it does, it's really pretty. Really pretty... but in a dark way (laughs). It's not pretty like 'sweet little girl pretty' (laughs) It's 'evil girl' pretty.
(laughs), ya, gotta remember you're talking to horror fans here. So, I didn't even realize that you starred in "Stephen King's IT" until I saw it on your filmography. You were pretty young, did you have any idea who Stephen King was?
Well I had an aunt that was a huge Stephen King fan, so I actually read the book after I got the part. I hadn't read any Stephen King cause I was kind of young, but I read the book and it was really creepy (laughs). I don't know if you noticed but I was like the one girl, so the boys would sit around in their trailers and like read the sex parts out loud (laughs), like they're all having sex with Bev. And they would like tease me about it and stuff. 'Hey Emily, they're writing this scene in'... and I'd be like 'what!' (laughs).
How do you think the book stacks up to the movie?
Um, well... I think it captures some elements of the book really well, like the friendships I think, I think that part was pretty convincing. But the special effects and that kind of stuff, obviously it was a TV movie so we really didn't the budget to do that kind of stuff. They didn't have any computer animation or anything. So in that way I don't think it's a really scary movie, but I think it captured the psychological elements pretty well.
Tim Curry is really creepy as the clown though.
(laughs) Ya, he's totally creepy (laughs).
Well, he's kind of creepy in real life though even without the clown makeup (laughs).
Ya, he is, he was always chain smoking and we were all terrified of him.
Oh my god that's hilarious... he was chain smoking in the clown costume?
Yup, in the clown costume. He had like one of those director's chairs on the set (laughs), and they'd put all of the actors chairs together but it would always be like just him cause nobody else would be sitting around him. Especially when the kids were on set cause we were all totally scared (laughs). Some of the guys totally worshiped him, I didn't know who he was but the kids worshiped him and everyone was just like way too intimidated to talk to him.
Wow, that's possibly the best story I've ever heard... um, I also noticed that you have some fan websites on the internet, what's that like, isn't that surreal?
Oh yeah, I went to one that's on a Yahoo group. It's pretty rewarding, but I mean obviously it's not like any reflection of me as a person it's just people responding to the characters. And it's also a character that I really care about too, and it was a real joy for me to play that character because I was a lot like that myself when I was a teenager. A lot of times I felt really lonely and alienated, the kind of feelings that a lot of teenagers have. So it's just so rewarding to find out that other people felt the same way and can relate to that. It just makes me feel like not quite so alone in the world, not as a person, but just to know that people connect to the character.
Do you ever get recognized from your "Ginger Snaps" character?
Um, I have a couple of times yes. It's usually when I've just rolled out of bed in the morning and I didn't brush my hair or anything (laughs). Like I'll go to the drugstore or something and someone will recognize me. Cause that's when I'm really looking my best (laughs).
My last question for you is just what's next. Is there anything on your plate acting wise?
Well I have a recurring role on a Canadian series, and so that's basically the only thing that I have planned, lined up. Other than that I have a really hard time getting auditions here, because a lot of the stuff that's shot in Vancouver tends to be American TV shows, and I don't really have the right look for those shows. They're looking for the cookie-cutter, really polished sort of girls. So when I go to those auditions it's like walking into a room full of models (laughs). If you can imagine Briggite in a room full of models (laughs), I'm not going to get the part. So I don't tend to get a lot of auditions for that kind of thing.
I don't know... I might go back to school. I have two kids now, I'm adopting my cousins. I've had them for two years now so it's not really feasible for me to move to L.A. where I'd have more opportunity to audition for a variety of projects. But, some day down the road I may decide to do that.
It's ironic that you mention it being hard to get acting roles in Canada because of the U.S. shows that film there, because I know in some areas it's hard to get work as a crew person for television and film because everything gets shot in Canada these days because of the tax cuts they offer to productions.
Right, well I think that's starting to slow down now. I think that's been the trend for the last 20 years or so, but now it's just totally dying. I guess there's sort of a nationalistic feeling down there where the people in charge of the productions are saying "no, we have to stay here." And then also, there's some problems internally with the way the tax breaks are given that is making it hard for productions to get the tax breaks. So increasingly it's not worth it for productions to come up here. So we're losing a lot of business I think.