Brittany Curran – The Magicians
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) The show that I am on right now is “The Magicians.” I shot the second season of that in Vancouver last year. Season Three starts again this summer. I also have a couple movies I did such as The Man From Earth: Holocene, which is a sequel. It is a science fiction cult hit from ten years ago. Then, this horror film that I did is called Captured.
Q) Where did we leave off with Fen this season?
A) There is crazy stuff happening for Fen right now. Fen was not left on the best note. She was captured by the fairies because they wanted her baby. So, she was taken into the Fairy realm and while there she found they were going to attack her home of Castle Whitespire, which is where her husband lives. So, she had to get out of the Fairy Realm. By doing so, she had to give something up to the fairies to let her out and so she gave up all of her toes. So, right at the end of Season Two you see her hobbling into the castle in a burlap sack just covered in dirt. She tells them that they are about to be under attack and they have taken her baby. When she turns around, the fairies are there and about to attack. Shit is going down right now for Fen! [laughs]
Q) What is it about Eliot that Fen sees in him that makes her so devoted?
A) I think it was definitely not immediate for her. It was definitely a development of feelings over time. I think in the beginning…Fen’s whole life she knew she was destined to marry a high king so she knew she would be set up for a marriage. It could have been anyone, but she is like, “Thank God he is young and handsome. He seems like a pretty good person.” But as they got to know each other, I think Fen found him maybe a little shallow and she probably thought maybe he didn’t have Fillory’s best interest in mind because he was obsessed with making champagne and he wasn’t worried about feeding the people. Very, very quickly Fen finds out that there is a lot more to Eliot. He is way more complex than that and really does Fillory. He really sets up to the plate and he knows about farming. He teaches Fillorian things actual practical things from Earth. He sacrifices his life on Earth to be in Fillory and rule this kingdom. All that comes out and she realizes he is such a good man. She realizes that even if he is not in love with her she realizes he is doing his best. She gets deep affection for him in that way and I think as the season goes on it starts to wain a little bit for her since she is always put on the back burner and Eliot (Hale Appleman) pushes her aside a lot of the time. With her duties in being a wife, she starts to realize she is worth a lot more than being brushed aside all the time. Because of that I’m curious to see what happens in Season Three because he left her in the Fairy Realm. I mean, he didn’t even go look for her. Margo (Summer Bishil) did! She saves herself, but Margo kind of saved her. It’s pretty interesting what is going on now.
Q) She does seem to be doing a lot of sacrificing for Eliot.
A) Exactly! Margo and Fen both had to lose body parts and they are the ones that went to the Fairy Realm. So, when Fen walks into the castle in the last Fillory scene Eliot is like, “Oh Fen!” She’s like, “No, no, no.” She just pushes him aside and goes for a glass of wine. When I read that, I was like, “Yes! Thank you Fen for realizing Eliot just pushes you aside.”
Q) Talk about working alongside Hale Appleman. There is such great on screen chemistry between you two.
A) Thank you! I really, really love working with Hale. He is one of my favorite people I’ve ever worked with. We had never met. The moment we met was when I had flown up to Vancouver a few days before I started filming. There was a cast dinner a couple of nights before the beginning of shooting Season Two. We were at a restaurant and in this other room. Then, I saw him and when he walked in I said, “My husband!” And he said, “My wife!” I was like, “Thank God this guy has a sense of humor! I like him already.” So, we just kind of hit it off. We both like to rehearse before even being on set. So, we’d get together in his apartment and talk about our characters. We’d go over scenes together. And we’d even go over scenes together that only one of us was in just to help each other out. I just think we both have a deep understanding of our characters and a respect for each other’s characters. So, with all of that…We would improve a little bit on our own in his place. I remember we had this one heated scene where we were arguing and we ended up improving it. We were really yelling in each other. So, I was like, “Cool, we’re really invested in each other’s characters.” [laughs] And Hale is such a nice person and such a supportive actor to work with. He’s such a great TV husband. [laughs]
Q) With such a large cast, is there someone you haven’t had many scenes yet with or worked with at all that you’d like to have as a costar?
A) I really bonded with Jade a lot over the season, personally. But we never had any scenes together. So, I would love to do a scene with Jade [Tailor]. I kind of was in a scene with Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) and Quentin (Jason Ralph), but not really. So, I’d love to do more stuff with them or Julia (Stella Maeve). I’m in Fillory the whole time so all I’m really interacting with is Eliot and Margo and a little bit of Penny. I’d love more acting with them.
Q) What were some of your favorite scenes to film this season?
A) It was so cool and so film! I loved the Les Miserable I was so excited when I found out we were doing an actual musical number on the show from Les Mis. That was super fun! We had a choreographers and a rehearsal day. Singing…It was just so much fun so I loved the Les Mis day. Then, I loved the scene where Arjun [Gupta] and I are wielding crossbows. I was so excited when I read in the script that we were going to wield a crossbow. I wanted to mess some people up more with it. I didn’t really get to mess anyone up with it, but it was so cool to feel like a badass holding that crossbow. [laughs] Our wardrobe is incredible. Our costume designer Magali [Guidasci] and her team make everything from just spools of fabric. Everything they create is form their own minds and I’ll come into wardrobe one day and they’ll just lay some fabric on me that is not made into a dress yet. A week later I come back and they have made it into this gorgeous dress and they put it on me and work on it more. All of a sudden it is different! It’s just so amazing. I love coming into work every day and wearing princess dresses. It’s just so cool!
Q) The wardrobe and scenery are so amazing on the series. It seems almost like they are characters because they seamlessly fit you into these worlds.
A) Totally! That’s a good point. Definitely walking on to set…Most of my stuff is in the throne room, but already having that wardrobe on and the way they do my hair and makeup just makes me feel like a product of my surroundings. I feel like this makes sense. I do feel like a Fillorian, which is a big part. Fen identifies as a Fillorian before anything else I think so it makes sense that I fit in so well. Aesthetically that is… [laughs]
Q) Tell us a little bit about Fen’s relationship to Margo this season.
A) I guess what I would say is first of all Margo is such a strong woman. Even if she is misguided at points, she is trying to do her best and she makes strong choices and hard choices. I think even though her and Fen butt heads a lot (because they are the two women in Eliot’s life) and it is kind of difficult for them for different reasons. I really loved how as the season went on they started to bond a bit. I think they both saw in each other the strength and love for Eliot that the other person has. Then, of course Margo goes and steals my baby. Obviously, Fen is pissed off about it. Margo was making a very hard decision though and just trying to do what she thought was right. So, I’d be really excited to explore Fen and Margo’s future together because I think it could go a lot of different ways, depending on how things go in Fillory.
Q) What do you think it is about the show that continues to make it such a fan favorite?
A) Right? I know, I love that! The best way I can judge that is when I booked Fen I knew of the show, but had never seen it. The first week we were in Vancouver a couple of days before we began shooting I just holed up in my hotel room. I got DVDs of the first season and just binge watched them. So, before even connecting with it and being on set I just fell in love with the story. I think it’s because it is alike a grownup Harry Potter. It has that fantasy, it’s magical and fun, but also feels grounded in reality. I think that a lot of people would love if magic was real and I think this story makes people think, “Oh, it is real.” It seems more possible. If magic were real, I could see this happening because it is real people finding out they have magic and dealing with it in real people ways. I think that is endearing and I think it makes it easier to identify with these people. Then, crazy shit happens. And it’s fun to watch crazy shit happen that doesn’t happen to you. [laughs] The characters…it’s so well written. Everyone just plays their characters so, so well. Their characters are all extensions of them, myself included. And I think it is just fun to watch.