Ron Hollywood interviews Emily Perkins
Ron Hollywood: First off, let me say I really enjoyed Ginger Snaps: The Beginning. It was without a doubt the best of the three. In particular because this one is quite different in every aspect. How do you like it compared to the other two?
Emily Perkins: For me it was a lot less demanding because I’m not in every scene like I was in the second one. It was nice to have different characters and to take Brigitte in a totally new direction to have it be a period piece. She’s not quite as hunched over and her speech is more articulated. I loved having the costumes although the corsets were very uncomfortable. The setting and whole look was very neat. Like the whole Gothic undercurrent that runs through the first two movies is brought out in a totally different way. The look is more beautiful versus the gritty dark look of the first two films.
Ron Hollywood: What was your best and worst moment filming Ginger Snaps: The Beginning?
Emily Perkins: The worst moment was when I was doing the scene where I had to spit in Hugh Dylan’s face. It was really awful because we just eaten lunch and my stomach was making the weirdest noises and every time I messed up his close up, like every single time because my stomach was sounding like a cat. Poor Hugh, I felt really bad. I ruined like six takes of his. The best moment was probably the end. I loved shooting the end because the first two movies had such sad endings and the third one I see as triumphant. It’s definitely my favorite ending of the three movies. It’s more of a victory.
Ron Hollywood: Which is your personal favourite Ginger Snaps movie?
Emily Perkins: I think probably the second one ‘Unleashed’ because I got to be a really kickass sort of action hero kind of girl. It was really physically demanding and I tend to have this surplus of energy as an actor so it was real nice for me to have that physical element to pour myself into and the makeup. I really enjoyed that.
Ron Hollywood: With the sister theme that seems to run through all three movies it seems these are more coming of age story.
Emily Perkins: That’s what it is they are character driven movies that just happen to be horror movies to make them more exciting like what more could you ask for? The horror movie benefits from the character element because you are more afraid when you care about the characters. The character benefits from the horror movie because people are more engaged in the horror that’s internal, rather than it’s just implied. I think it helps you to appreciate what the character is going through reality is real to you and sometimes the only way to communicate that is using film. To show you visually that it is real.
Ron Hollywood: You’ve done four movies with Katharine Isabelle now. Are you two feeling like sisters in real life? If so, describe a great moment where you and Katharine were like sisters. A real sister moment.
Emily Perkins: We’ve known each other since we were little kids. We were born in the same hospital, went to the same preschool, same elementary school, same private school and have the same agency and all five years apart because I’m five years older then she is so it was kind of cosmically ordained. We have that real sisterly relationship we’re a little bit competitive with each other. We have this sort of deep connection. I don’t think we would normally be friends if we hadn’t gone to the same school and were both actresses, because we have such different interests. We get along really well and totally love each other, but we also kind of pick at each other and get on each other’s nerves sometimes, so she is like a real sister to me. Like hanging out every day or when something funny happens sharing a laugh, or rolling your eyes “Get a load of this guy”. Those boots made our feet freeze and sitting on that horse bareback we were in agony together. Just sharing things like that brings you close together. She’s such a fabulous actress it would always be a privilege to work with her.
Ron Hollywood: Which actress would you like to work with the most?
Emily Perkins: One of my favourite actresses is Kate Winslet. She plays strong female characters and seems like she has a strong political awareness. I really like Naomi Watts, and Juliette Lewis. I’m a big fan of Woody Allen movies so I like all the actresses in his movies like Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow. I really like Scarlett Johansen.
Ron Hollywood: These are such successful movies for Canada. When did it hit you that Ginger Snaps was a real success? And followed by two more? How did it affect you as an actress on a personal level?
Emily Perkins: It never really hit me at one point but then I started to see more stuff on the internet. I started to see more fan sites pop up and it was like, ‘Wow, these characters really resonated with people.’ It’s amazing. Then some people wrote fan letters so I was really impressed by that. It sort of gradually dawned on me that it was becoming a cult hit. Then the phone ringing for two and three. I was really happy about that.
Ron Hollywood: Would you like to do more Ginger Snaps movies or as has it been suggested as a TV series?
Emily Perkins: I think a series is a really good idea because Buffy had a lot of fans and it was a real clever show so I think Ginger Snaps would lend itself well to that medium.
Ron Hollywood: If Ginger and Brigitte (as werewolves) were to fight Van Helsing who would win?
Emily Perkins: The girls would win for sure. That’s the only legitimate answer.
Ron Hollywood: I noticed you said your phone is not exactly ringing with a lot of offers even though you’ve been involved in a very successful franchise. Why is it so hard for Canadians to make it even in Canada?
Emily Perkins: Because our film industry is not very strong. Let’s just face it. It’s not really the happening place to be. You’ve got to be in L.A. There’s just not enough stuff made here. Especially since I’m not like the typical babe, I’m a little more a unique character I think. So in order for me to be working all the time I’d have to be somewhere where they’re making a lot of films, where there would possibly be parts for someone like me. When people see Brigitte in the ‘Ginger Snaps’ movies they might think, ‘That was a really cool character,’ or, ‘That was a good performance,’ but they don’t think, ‘That would transfer well into my film,’ because she’s a little bit different.
Ron Hollywood: How much of Emily Perkins are we seeing in Brigitte?
Emily Perkins: A lot of it was real for me when I was a teenager. I could really relate to Brigitte. She was a character I worked really hard to develop. Internally I experienced a lot of the same feelings as her. The transformation in puberty and all that. I didn’t express that part of myself. I was more a people pleaser.
Ron Hollywood: Is there anything the Canadian media could do to help improve the star system for Canadian actors?
Emily Perkins: The media could definitely play a role in supporting a star system in Canada. There are Canadian stars who appear over and over in Canadian films and TV, but people don’t know that. They’re not getting mobbed in the streets like they would be if it was in the states. The media does not give them the kind of support as they do in the states. It’s amazing how much coverage some celebrities get. Sometimes too much for their own liking. Canadian media has a responsibility to support us and so far I don’t think they’ve done their part.
Ron Hollywood: For the most part a Canadian celebrity magazine will usually put an American star on the cover anyway.
Emily Perkins: In some ways I’m kind of glad that Canadians are more interested in learning about politics. As a culture we read a lot more and have a higher quality of education. It’s a good thing. We should be proud of it.
Ron Hollywood: What’s your favourite fan moment. A heartfelt letter or gift or something that touched you that happened with a fan?
Emily Perkins: My fans have been so great. I’ll go on fansites and read messages they put and they all seem like really nice people. They’ll talk about how the character touched them or changed their lives a little bit. For my birthday a bunch of fans got together and made a donation in my name because they heard interviews with me and got the impression I was a good person. It was very sweet and rewarding.
Ron Hollywood: Who are you listening to in music lately?
Emily Perkins: My favourite band is Catpower and on their last album they had a song called ‘Werewolf’ which was pretty cool. So I listened to that in my trailer all the time. I was always listening to Catpower. It’s a woman named Chan Marshall she writes her own songs and plays guitar.
Ron Hollywood: Who’s your most inspirational Canadian icon (actor, musician, politician)?
Emily Perkins: I love lots of Canadian authors. Mordechai Richler is one of my favourites. I was very excited to come to Montreal because we went to one of his favourite hangouts Grumpy’s. I love Carol Shields and Margaret Atwood. One of my dream roles would be to play Grace in Alias Grace. Anita Rau Badami she wrote ‘The Hero’s Walk’. Rohintin Mistry. There’s so much great stuff happening in Canadian literature.
Ron Hollywood: As an actress where do you hopefully plan to see Emily Perkins in ten years from now?
Emily Perkins: I love independent films and hopefully get a chance to diversify and do some different genres of films and a play a variety of characters. Comedy I would definitely like to do. I would like to do more period kind of stuff. But I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to more horror. I am very interested in writing screenplays and have been experimenting with that and have been trying to come up with something concrete. It’s sort of a goal for me.
Ron Hollywood: What is your best advice to give to an aspiring Canadian actress on how to be successful?
Emily Perkins: This probably is going to sound real sad, but you’re going to have to move to L.A. I know a lot of people don’t like to hear that but it’s true. It’s such a struggle. There are a few Canadian actresses who can stay here and support themselves but very few. You’d have to be on a regular TV series. If you’re really passionate then go for it. You could definitely make a start here but if you want to be a star you’ll have to move. I’m pretty optimistic about our film industry here. Hopefully it will pick up and start expanding.