Interviews

Elise Bauman – Carmilla: The Movie – NYCC 2017

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By: Paige Zinaman

 

Q) What is the movie doing differently from the show?

A) Well, we get to see these characters outside of the vlog, which we were locked into the first three seasons. So, we do get to see them a little more privately behind the scenes from what we’ve come to know from them in the web series. We also have full coverage, which was incredible to be able to this story and set in a more present tense as opposed to past tense because a lot of the times in the web series the characters were retelling the action that happened as opposed to being in it in the moment. We get to see first-hand what these characters are going through and because of that there was a little more freedom with what we were able to tell and it’s really exciting. I think we made some pretty awesome stuff.

Q) We get to explore the dynamics between Ell and Carmilla beyond this mysterious past between them. What parts of Carmilla’s past come back to haunt Hollstein?

A) I think something that’s really important to say before the movie is it’s not about Ell (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) coming back to try and win Carmilla over again and it’s not set up as a love triangle between the characters. It really is about the past we already heard about in Season One about the betrayal that happens to Ell – you know Carmilla lures her in and it’s going to go like all the others have gone where she hands her off to her mom, but then Carmilla falls in love with Ell and Ell finds out she’s a vampire. There’s that betrayal of trust and that sends Ell directly into the mother’s trap despite that. She comes back feeling as though something has been stolen from her and something’s been taken from her, I think that deals with the issue of when tragedy happens or when bad things happen to us how we deal with that do we choose to view it as, “Well, this bad thing happened to me so I’m now entitled to everything or seek revenge and redemption and hold onto anger because I feel hurt then I’ll inflict hurt onto others or do I take that experience and heal from it and have forgiveness and choose love over hate.” Which I think is a relevant issue right now.

Q) We are five years later and Laura is still as journalistic as ever. Is she fully immersed back into her human life and staying away from any supernatural shenanigans?

A) For the past five years she’s really been going after her career. She wants to be an investigative journalist and she had this five-year plan and things maybe don’t quite look like how that five-year plan was supposed to go, which I think a lot of us deal with after college-vampires or not. She hasn’t been experiencing any supernatural elements, they really her and Carmilla they’ve been living a pretty domesticated life for the past five years until Carmilla starts showing these signs of revamping which is where the movie leads us into.

Q) What are some of the aspects of the show the movie does a better job at describing.

A) I think we really get to see the characters more first hand. So, we get to see them going through all the things they went through in the series, but in a first-hand present tense setting instead of retelling the adventure that happened after the fact. So, because of that we really get to see them more in crisis mode, which I think is when people really reveal themselves as who they really are and also where a lot of growth happens. It wouldn’t be a movie without conflict so there are things they have to navigate their way around and be able to do that with coverage and not just the single camera setting was very special.

Q) What is one thing Laura misses about vampire Carmilla and what is one thing she loves about human Carmilla?

A) Right. I think I’ve seen throughout the web series that there really is no difference. I think there are factual differences and there are circumstantial differences, but at the end of the day we are all human; meaning we all have the same humanity we all go through the same things. We all struggle through the same things. I think that’s what it really boils down to is that Laura loves Carmilla for Carmilla and I think there are so many parallels in this story fanatically the same thing as how we’ve dealt with queer characters in the media is like the same thing vampirism is can you just accept a person as who they are instead of what they are. I’m sure there are things they both miss about being a vampire but just in the same way you miss things about your old job and you know this is where you are in life instead. If that makes any sense.

Q) When you think back on your time being a part of both the web series and the movie, what has it all meant for you? What will you take away from both experiences?

A) The interaction I’ve had with fans has meant so much to me over the years of recognizing my job as an actor has importance in people’s lives and affects and changes people’s lives and that I’m not just telling a story I’m putting something forward in a political time in world and that’s my contribution. To be able to hear from people first-hand how the show has really shaped their lives I think is so important and from a political stand point as well I think the show really shed light on the lack of representation. One of the biggest reasons that the web series became so popular I think is because people were so starving for that representation, for positive and accurate representation. To be able to be a part of that shift I think media is shifting the way we tell these stories and I think there is a lot further to go, but I feel very grateful to be part of a story that has helped move things along.

Q) So the last time we saw Laura she died and then she came back. Do we any effects of her dying or does she have any hang ups about that or is it something that propels her forwards in her plans?

A) Mythology and “syfy-ish” there is nothing you know her heart was ripped out of her chest then it went right on back in there and just beating as per usual. I think from a personal stand point for the character, as with any tragedy when something like that happens, you really start to realizing you can’t take your life for granted. I think we as humans feel entitled to the life that we have and that is also a huge theme in this film is entitlement. I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who’s pregnant and she was talking about how she can’t even do basic things right now. Her body is really reacting she’s getting sick and she’s like, “All these things I thought I was entitled to like eating a meal when I wanted to or being able to look at a screen I when I wanted to, I’m not entitled to any of that.” I think that’s such an important thing to realize is that I don’t get to just walk through this life and do whatever I wanted to do. I have to know what I’m doing for the world and I think that definitely plays a part into Laura. But I think that also can invoke a lot of fear into a person to of the responsibilities of that then of like, “I have to get to everything. I have to do it all.” And instead of learning to just accept what’s happening and know that there’s nothing given that I can’t handle and to just take it with a breath and take it day by day and I think Laura is really definitely trying to rush a lot of things and trying to control her life.

Q) For Laura, what would you say would be her go to karaoke song?

A) [Singing] “Do you believe in life after love?” A little Cher why not?

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