Carlena Britch – You Killed My Mother
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects you have been working on?
A) I recently wrapped a psychological thriller titled Stillwater, shot in Minnesota and Los Angeles. Everyone involved was fantastic; the entire cast and crew. In addition, you’ll be seeing a familiar face in the new season of The X-Files, premiering January 3rd on FOX.
Q) What was the breakdown for your character and how were you able to get into her mindset?
A) As with most auditions, there isn’t much given away from the start. This one in particular was incredibly last minute; I only had 30 minutes with it! As someone who’s experienced a lot of trauma in her own life, I was able to connect to the character immediately. I’ll never forget getting the call Monday morning from the executive producer, Pierre David. I just thought to myself, “Are you sure? I only had thirty minutes with it!” [laughs]
Q) Talk about your portrayal of her.
A) Essentially, I play a character with a split personality. She has these walls and this edge to her and allows her to go through seeking vengeance for what is rightfully her’s. Then, you have these other softer moments where you sympathize with her and her experiences growing up.
Q) There is such great chemistry between you and costar Ashley Jones since you are at such opposite spectrums.
A) There is something to be said that it isn’t until the very last scene of the film that Ashley and I share the screen together. Jo loses her mother at the very beginning of the film and Ashley plays an incredible mother; it is intentional to not have them in the same place at the same time because Jo’s entire drive is to get vengeance for what she lost. I remember feeling love and longing for Ashley in the final scene as she plays a mother so well.
Q) Was there anything else outside of your own experiences that being in that mindset for Jo made you more aware of?
A) Being a child who suffered through similar trauma, there isn’t anywhere to put it sometimes. This performance allowed me to revisit the idea of being a kid again.
Q) What was the challenging aspect of moving from being a dancer to actress and did that background in dancing help you with the crossover?
A) My entire professional mindset has been built from dance – fifteen rehearsal days and performing in front of 100,000 people has taught me that I always have one more shot left in me to give. It’s built resilience, character and reminded me to always, always, trust my instincts.
Q) Is there anything else you want to be sure we share with our readers about your film You Killed My Mother?
A) I hope this film sparks a healthy, open conversation about mental health. So often it is swept under the rug with blame and shame placed on it. We need to shine light in these areas through conversation and artistry so that we can continue to help.