Quint Interviews Emily Perkins
Hey folks, Harry here with Quint’s interview with exactly half of a pair of sisters from GINGER SNAPS, a horror film that I howl about like a hound dog at a moon in a sweaty July sky! LONG… LOUD… AND OFTEN!!! This is the film that I just egiddy about showing to people (and I can’t!)!!! The film has just been released in Canada… and hopefully we’ll see some sort of domestic release in the United States! In some countries the film is already available on Tape… Sigh, MUST SEE WITH A CROWDED THEATER!!!! Must have arm around your gal or guy for all the jumps and thrills and chills… This is the film that made my knee burst with blood… WAY FUN!
Ahoy there, squirts. ‘Tis I, the floating seaman… we all float down here… Quint here this time with a fun interview to share with you fine folks out there. This bit of scar-sharin’ is between me and Emily Perkins, who you folks might remember from Stephen King’s IT, that damn cool TV mini-series that aired in the early ‘90s, where she played the young Beverly Marsh. Well, she’s also just appeared in a really cool werewolf flick called Ginger Snaps and that’s where we start off… but in typical Quint Interview fashion we wander to other topics at random. But don’t let that dissuade you. It’s a ton of fun. So, without any further adieu, enjoy.
Quint: HOW ABOUT WE START OFF WITH A LITTLE RUN DOWN OF GINGER SNAPS FOR THOSE OUT THERE THAT HAVEN’T SEEN IT
Emily Perkins: OK. Well, the story is about two girls, two sisters and they’re both 15 years old. Their names are Ginger and Brigitte and basically they’re freaks. They’re social outcasts, they don’t fit into any particular subculture. One night, they decide to do a little trick on the school bully. So, they go out to play the practical joke and while they’re out in the woods, Ginger gets attacked by a werewolf. After she’s bitten she starts to turn into a werewolf and it’s Brigitte’s job to do something about it and try and stop the werewolf virus from taking its full effect on her… And to prevent her from killing people, too. (laughs).
Quint: I SAW THIS FILM AT SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST AND LET ME TELL YOU, IT WORKED BIG TIME. PEOPLE WERE SCREAMING IN THE THEATER.
Emily Perkins: Really?!? That’s amazing. I’m glad it had that effect ‘cause to me it’s not… you know, I can’t watch it and be scared… I was there, so…
Quint: YEAH, YOU’RE NOT WATCHING IT AND SEEING A WEREWOLF, YOU’RE REMEMBERING THE WIRES COMING OUT OF THE FEET AND THE TEAM OF GUYS MAKING IT WORK.
Emily Perkins: Exactly. And the guy wearing the costume. (laughs)
Quint: ARE YOU A FAN OF THE HORROR GENRE AT ALL?
Emily Perkins: Um, I like movies that are disturbing more than sorta just the traditional slasher flick. Those tend to offend me because they’re so sexist. Girls running around in their underwear screaming is not my idea of a good film. But there are certain ones I like. I mean, I like Cronenberg films and I like suspense movies. I like smart movies… Like, I really like Memento. I wouldn’t call that a horror movie, but, you know, it’s kind of a thriller.
Quint: YOU MENTIONED CRONENBERG. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITES OF HIS WORK?
Emily Perkins: Um, The Naked Lunch and Dead Ringers and I really liked Crash, too.
Quint: JOHN (FAWCETT, GINGER SNAPS DIRECTOR) SAID YOU AND KATIE (ISABELLE) AUDITIONED TOGETHER.
Emily Perkins: We did. We have the same agent, so we were put on tape together and then the tape was sent to Toronto. After that, both of us were flown to Toronto to audition, so we had to shoot again there. But we’d also actually known each other for years. We were born in the same hospital, we went to the same preschool, the same elementary school and the same private school after that, then we’re also with same agency, so… kinda like real sisters, but 5 years apart. I’m 5 years older than Katie.
Quint: WHAT DREW YOU TO THE BRIGITTE CHARACTER INITIALLY? WAS IT JUST A ROLE OR DID YOU ACTUALLY FIND A CONNECTION?
Emily Perkins: I definitely did ‘cause I always thought of myself as an outsider in high school, too. But, like Brigitte, I didn’t really mind ‘cause I sorta had the idea that most people weren’t worth associating with. I really relate to the line “High school’s just like a hormonal toilet,” because I use to make fun of girls for being so hormonal and stuff, with my best friend in high school. We use to make fun at how overtly sexual they were and we were both kinda dark and covered ourselves up like Brigitte and Ginger did.
Quint: I HAVE TO GET INTO SOME OF THE WEREWOLF STUFF.
Emily Perkins: OK.
Quint: I’M A HUGE WEREWOLF GEEK… I MEAN, AS I’M SITTING HERE DOING THIS INTERVIEW WITH YOU, I’M IN MY KITCHEN AND I’M STARING AT MY ONE-SHEET OF AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON UP ON THE WALL…
Emily Perkins: (laughs)
Quint: I’M A PRETTY BIG WEREWOLF JUNKIE.
Emily Perkins: Really? It’s amazing to me because I never really saw a bunch of werewolf movies. Actually, I had never seen American Werewolf in London ‘til I did Ginger Snaps and I finally rented it. I thought it was OK. It’s about guys. I like movies about girls. (laughs)
Quint: YOU HAVE EFFECTIVELY MADE A GOOD GIRL WEREWOLF MOVIE. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE ACTUAL LOOK OF THE WEREWOLF WHEN YOU SAW IT FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Emily Perkins: Um, I thought it was pretty neat. It was not at all what I was expecting. I was shocked. I thought it would be hairier, ‘cause there was hardly an hair on it. Actually, the feel of it was one of the best things about it because it was slimy. It was sprayed with… I don’t know… glistering stuff, so it’d feel like sweat. It was just cold and clammy and eerily skinlike. It was what you would expect a real creature that was like that to feel like. I thought it was good. It definitely looked dangerous.
Quint: SPEAKING OF DANGEROUS, DID IT EVER , LIKE, COME TO LIFE AND HURT PEOPLE ON SET? ANY ACCIDENTS DURING THE WEREWOLF STUFF?
Emily Perkins: Not that I was there for. I think it went pretty smoothly. I mean, I know the suit was, like, really heavy and hot and the guy that was in there had to come out of it every 20 minutes. That was as long as he could be in it, otherwise he would die of heat exhaustion. They were just trying to pump him full of fluids and keep him hydrated all the time. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in there.
Quint: DID YOU HAVE TO CHOREOGRAPH YOUR SCENES WITH THE “WEREWOLF”?
Emily Perkins: Yeah, definitely. Like when I’m actually attacked, when we’re in the bedroom and the wolf jumps on me and stuff. Yeah, we had to practice that for sure with the stunt coordinator to make sure no one got hurt. There were a lot of things you could fall on, like corners and the edge of the bed and the wolf was actually pretty heavy, so you had to be careful. I was wearing lots of pads and stuff. It was pretty safe.
Quint: ONE OF THE THINGS THE FILM KEEPS GETTING COMPLIMENTED ON IS THE WEREWOLF ITSELF, THE TOTAL AVOIDANCE OF CGI WORK AND IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A GUY IN A SUIT.
Emily Perkins: Yeah, I think they were purposefully trying to get away from the guy in a wolf suit look. I think that is the reason why the wolf… I mean, it’s kinda alien looking. It does look like a supernatural being. It’s not like a Sasquatch or something. I think that look is just so expected that as soon as people see that they’re thinking, “Oh, God. Guy in a wolf suit,” and it just takes them right out of the movie. But I didn’t get that in this film. The werewolf does not look anything like an expected werewolf.
Actually, the word werewolf isn’t really used in the movie. I say it once. I say something like, “See werewolves a lot?” But I don’t think we ever come to the consensus that it is a werewolf. I mean, that’s the closest thing to it, but it’s not a werewolf in the cinematic sense of werewolf. It’s something supernatural, something alien.
Quint: THAT’S INTERESTING. I GATHERED THAT THE WHOLE WEREWOLF MYTHOLOGY CAME FROM THIS NATURALLY OCCURRING VIRUS.
Emily Perkins: Right… Well, it doesn’t really go into where the werewolf came from. I always thought that was interesting and I was always trying to get Karen Walton, the writer, to tell me where did this thing come from? What made the first werewolf that attacks Ginger? Did it come off a boat from, like, Egypt or something? (laughs) It’s just so strange. It’s nothing like… There’s those kids that are in the circus in Mexico or something and they have a genetic thing that makes them grow hair all over their bodies… But it’s radically different from that, right?
Quint: YEAH, DEFINITELY. WELL, I GOTTA ASK YOU A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT A FILM YOU DID THAT I’M A BIG FAN OF. I GREW UP WATCHING STEPHEN KING’S IT…
Emily Perkins: (laughs… a lot)
Quint: WHAT? YOU LAUGHING AT ME NOW?
Emily Perkins: (laughs) It’s just so weird when people bring that up because it was so long ago and to me it was so cheesy.
Quint: NAW, I LOVE IT! HAVE YOU READ KING’S BOOK?
Emily Perkins: Yeah, yeah. I love the book, actually. It’s great.
Quint: AWESOME. ARE YOU A STEPHEN KING FAN OR JUST THAT BOOK?
Emily Perkins: Um, just that book. I mean, I like Stephen King stories and movies and stuff. I think I read Stand By Me (SEAMAN SIDENOTE: WRITTEN AS “THE BODY” IN DIFFERENT SEASONS), I read some of his short stories, but never any of his long novels.
Quint: HOW WAS IT READING THE BOOK AFTER YOU PORTRAYED ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS? OR DID YOU READ IT BEFORE? I WOULDN’T IMAGINE YOU DID, YOU WERE PRETTY YOUNG.
Emily Perkins: Actually, I read parts of it during… You know, I’d go through and look for all the parts about my character and read them. It was kind of like a big joke on set among all the boys that… I don’t know if you remember the scene in the book where Bev, like Young Bev, has sex with all the boys. They liked to tease me about that.
Of course I was just starting to go through puberty. (laughs) So, I would just blush every time they’d bring it up and just kinda look away, which was exactly the response they were looking for, I think.
Quint: I HAD ACTUALLY SEEN THE TV MOVIE FIRST. I MEAN, I’M ONLY 20 NOW, SO I WAS 9 OR 10 WHEN IT CAME OUT. I HAVE SINCE BECOME A STEPHEN KING MANIAC, BUT IT WAS STUFF LIKE THE IT MINISERIES AND SOME OF THE MOVIES THAT GOT ME INTO KING IN THE FIRST PLACE. WE ACTUALLY TAPED “IT” WHEN IT CAME ON, SO I HAD SEEN IT MANY TIMES BEFORE READING THE BOOK. I REMEMBER READING THE BOOK AND GETTING TO THAT SCENE… IT WAS LIKE… OOOOKKAAAYYY… I DIDN’T EXPECT THAT ONE TO HAPPEN.
Emily Perkins: (laughs) It was kinda bizarre. Like, what was that suppose to mean?
Quint: I GUESS IT WAS THE FINAL… CONNECTING OF ALL THE CHARACTERS BEFORE RUNNING OFF INTO ADULTHOOD… COMING OF AGE TOGETHER OR SOMETHING.
Emily Perkins: Uh-huh, but they’re supposed to be, like, 11… which is pretty early. Well, for a girl, that’s really early… Eleven’s very young. That was really shocking. I like that about that book. It’s a really creepy and shocking thing in it. But I’m surprised you were allowed to watch it when you were 9 or 10.
Quint: WELL, MY PARENTS STARTED LETTING ME WATCH THE MORE ADULT HORROR FILMS AROUND THE AGE OF 8. R-RATED FILMS AND SUCH. THERE WERE A COUPLE THAT WERE OFF LIMITS, BUT AT THAT AGE IF IT WAS TOO SEXY IT WAS MORE EMBARRASSING FOR ME THAN A TURN ON, SO THEY KNEW I WAS SAFE WITH THAT KINDA STUFF.
Emily Perkins: Right. (laughs) Well, it makes sense if your mom was a horror fan.
Quint: YEAH, I DEFINITELY GOT MY LOVE OF STEPHEN KING FROM HER. ALTHOUGH SHE PERPLEXES ME SOMETIMES. SHE’S A HUGE FAN OF MODERN, POST-SCREAM HORROR FILMS AND DOESN’T SEEM TO LIKE THE EARLY STUFF, LIKE FRANKENSTEIN, WOLFMAN, ETC, LIKE I DO.
Emily Perkins: I like old monster movies. I really like Godzilla movies, like Godzilla Vs. Mothra. They’re just fun. They’re campy. They’re good for a laugh, good party movies.
Quint: I’VE ONLY SEEN THREE OR FOUR GODZILLA FILMS, BUT THOSE THAT I’VE SEEN I’VE GOTTEN TO SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN AND I’VE REALLY LIKED THEM.
Emily Perkins: Yeah, they’re good.
Quint: HEY! MAYBE WE SHOULD GET BACK TO THE INTERVIEW, HUH? HOW ABOUT THAT? (laughs)
Emily Perkins: (laughs) Yeah, we kinda went off on a tangent there.
Quint: THAT’S COOL, THAT’S KINDA WHAT I’M KNOWN FOR… LET’S SEE, HAVE YOU EVER MET STEPHEN KING?
Emily Perkins: No, I haven’t. I was really hoping that I’d have a chance to, actually. When I did “IT” I was just hoping he’d show up on set one day.
Quint: DO YOU KNOW WHAT HIS OPINION OF THE TV FILM IS?
Emily Perkins: I heard that he liked it, actually. That he was quite pleased with it.
Quint: YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THAT YOU GOT TEASED A LOT ON THE SET OF “IT”. WAS THE FRIENDSHIP ON-SCREEN A RESULT OF A FRIENDSHIP OFF-SCREEN… OR WAS IT JUST… LIKE… ACTING?
Emily Perkins: I think the group of boys were really close, but I kind of was separate in a way, I think because I was a girl and just the age that we were. I mean, we were to a certain extent, but they also made fun of me a lot… Like, they’d call me a “Dyke” and stuff and I didn’t even know what that meant, but I knew it wasn’t something good. (laughs)
I guess at times we were. We use to get in trouble a lot for being really loud. We were pretty loud and telling lots of jokes and stuff and then the camera girl goes, “Aren’t you guys supposed to be acting?” I think that helps to really portray that close knit group we were supposed to be.
Quint: SO WAS IT JONATHAN BRANDIS OR SETH GREEN WHO CALLED YOU A DYKE?
Emily Perkins: You know what? It was all of them, except for Adam who was the little guy… he played Eddie. He was a total sweetie, but the rest of them were such… like, “Oh, you’re fat! You’re totally fat.” But I had a crush on Jonathan Brandis. I think it was partly a test tube thing, but I thought he was pretty cute. He became, like, a teen heart throb after that, I think.
Quint: THE BIGGEST DRAW TO “IT” TO ME IS TIM CURRY, BEING THE TIM CURRY FANBOY THAT I AM. I HAVE TO ASK, HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH THE GUY?
Emily Perkins: It was good… He’s definitely scary. There was no problem acting afraid of him. He just had a creepy presence, actually. He’d sit around onset in this crazy clown makeup, smoking cigarette after cigarette and every time we’d walk by he’d kind of scowl at us and leer at us with this huge, creepy clown grin. Other than that, he didn’t really talk to us too much. I think he was trying to get us into character. We were all pretty much in awe of him. I was freaked out by him. I wouldn’t go too close.
Quint: AWESOME! YOU’RE PSYCHIC. THAT WAS MY NEXT QUESTION, IF HE WAS AS SCARY IN PERSON AS HE WAS ON THE SCREEN.
Emily Perkins: Yes, he was! He was scary.
Quint: MAN, IF TIM CURRY, IN FULL CLOWN MAKEUP HAD SCOWLED AT ME… THAT WOULD BE A LIFE DEFINING MOMENT RIGHT THERE.
Emily Perkins: What’s your favorite film that he’s done?
Quint: JEEZ… I’M A HUGE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW FAN. I LOVE CLUE AND LEGEND. HE DID A GREAT TV MOVIE THAT VERY FEW PEOPLE HAVE SEEN CALLED THE WORST WITCH, WITH FAIRUZA BALK AND DIANA RIGG, WHERE HE HAS A CAMEO AS THE HEAD WARLOCK. HE SINGS THIS AWESOME EARLY ‘80S SONG ABOUT HALLOWEEN.
Emily Perkins: Really? I want to rent that because I love Fairuza Balk, too.
Quint: YEAH, IT’S FAIRUZA BALK IN THE RETURN TO OZ ERA… BUT IT’S BIT LIKE THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS.
Emily Perkins: Oh, yeah. I love the Harry Potter books! I love Harry Potter! They’re so, so, so amazing. Awesome, fantastical ideas.
Quint: HE ALSO DID A REALLY COOL MOVIE WITH BILL PAXTON CALLED PASS THE AMMO WHERE HE PLAYS A SOUTHERN TELEVANGALIST.
Emily Perkins: Cool! Thanks for the recommendations.
Quint: NO PROBLEM. BACK TO THE INTERVIEW… MY FIRST EXPOSURE TO LOVE POETRY WAS THAT GREAT LITTLE POEM IN “IT.” IT’S ALWAYS STUCK WITH ME. “YOUR HAIR IS WINTER FIRE, JANUARY EMBERS. MY HEART BURNS THERE, TOO.” IS IT JUST ME, OR IS THAT ONE CATCHY LITTLE POEM?
Emily Perkins: I like that poem, too. It’s come into my head a lot of times since I’ve done the movie. I’ve thought about that a lot of times. I don’t know why it stuck with me, but I’ve thought about it a lot, too. It’s a good poem. Maybe Stephen King should write poetry! (laughs)
Quint: MIGHT AS WELL. HE’S TRIED HIS HAND AT JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE NOW.
Emily Perkins: Yeah. Why not? He can do anything he wants now!
Quint: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE JOKE, DIRTY OR CLEAN?
Emily Perkins: Oh, my God! I don’t know any jokes… Do people ever tell you that?
Quint: YEAH, I’VE BEEN GETTING THAT A LOT RECENTLY.
Emily Perkins: I always rely on… For some reason I always have people around me who are excited to tell jokes all the time, so I’ve never bothered to learn them. I’m always the person who just, like, laughs. I get told them over and over again and I still think they’re funny ‘cause I don’t remember the answers. (laughs) Oh, my God. I have no memory for jokes at all.
Quint: THAT’S ALRIGHT…
Emily Perkins: I know some dirty limericks, but I can’t tell them to you.
Quint: WHY NOT?
Emily Perkins: It’s too embarrassing!
Quint: AWWW, I WON’T EMBARRASS YOU! GO FOR IT!
Emily Perkins: No-no-no-no. I’m not telling! I can’t repeat them, too much of them are crude.
Quint: CRUDE? I GOT A GOATFUCKER JOKE FROM ELIJAH WOOD, YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING CRUDE…
Emily Perkins: No, no.
Quint: OH, OK. IT WAS WORTH A SHOT.
Emily Perkins: I’m sorry!
Quint: IT’S ALRIGHT. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT… LET’S SEE… HAVE YOU GOT ANYTHING COMING UP?
Emily Perkins: Well, I haven’t had any auditions in two months until last week because my agent forgot I existed. I did go to Spain for the film festival and Ginger Snaps actually won some awards there. It was really cool.
Quint: I THINK THAT SHOULD JUST ABOUT DO IT, UNLESS YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO ADD.
Emily Perkins: Hmm… I’m really bad at the spontaneous! (laughs) I’m an actor, I need my lines to be written for me! (laughs) Give me something to read and I’ll sound like I made it up.
Quint: NAW, YOU DID FINE. HOPE I DIDN’T EMBARRASS YOU TOO MUCH.
Emily Perkins: No, no. (laughs). You ask good questions, too.
Emily Perkins: I haven’t talked about IT in so long. It’s so cool that people actually remember it. If you write about it, there’ll probably be people that go, “Yeah! I remember that movie!”
Quint: YEAH, I’M CURIOUS TO SEE WHAT THE REACTION FROM PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE ON THIS. YOU’VE SEEN THE SITE, AND THE TALKBACK FEATURE.
Emily Perkins: Yeah, that’s such a neat feature! I was like, “Wow, I can’t believe these people, like, actually saw a movie I was in and are talking about it.” It’s so neat.
Quint: WELL THEN, THANKS FOR PUTTING UP WITH ALL MY “IT” QUESTIONS.
Emily Perkins: Thanks for calling and doing the interview. It was fun.
Quint: WELL… THANKS FOR MAKING AN AWESOME WEREWOLF MOVIE!
Emily Perkins: (laughs) All right. I’ll try and keep it up.
Well, there you have it, squirts. I had a lot of fun with that interview and I hope you did, too. Bet you didn’t think an interview about werewolves and killer clowns was gonna end in a war of “Thank You”s did you? hehehe
That’s it from me, my fellow seaman and adoring mermaids. I got some other pretty damn cool things coming to you soon; a big catch to show off, if you will. ‘Til that day, folks… ‘ti that day… This is Quint bidding you a fine farewell and adieu.