Felicia Day, Queen of the Geeks Talks RED, Comics, More
Felicia Day, Queen of the Geeks Talks
Yeah, we know. You're already in love with geek goddess Felicia Day. How could you not be? Well, she loves you too. She gave Newsarama a shout out during our conference call to promote her new SyFy film, Red: Werewolf Hunter. We got the scoop on the project, which has Day as a descendant of Little Red Riding Hood who's fiance gets bitten by a werewolf. Not a good thing if your family has hunted the furry beasts for generations. Plus, Day gets to use a bayonet on them. We learned about her campaign to get Red to beat former SyFy film Sharktopus and who would win if she got into a tussle with him. We also got some info on her guest appearances on Eureka and of course, The Guild. And not just the web series. Day gave us details about the upcoming Dark Horse comics!
Newsarama: How did you get involved in the project?
Felicia Day: I got the script in February or March of this year and I was in the middle of writing The Guild Season 4. I actually wasn't even taking auditions at that time because I was so busy...but I read it and I really felt like it was such a different role for me than I'd ever played before. And I think that's what attracted me, as well as, I'm a huge fairy tale fan. I actually took several folklore classes in college. I tried to minor in it but my dad said that was ridiculous, and he stopped that. [laughs] But I always had the idea myself that it would be fun to update some fairy tales. It was kind of like one of those projects that I thought was tailored to what I was looking for at the time. And it's much more dramatic than the things that I usually do. And it's slightly...it has horror overtones as well. So I thought it could be a really fun challenge and it was just such a privilege to be considered for a lead in a SyFy movie. I thought that was really flattering. So I carved out my schedule and I just had a really good time making it.
Nrama: Is it a character you want to revisit?
Day: Yeah, like I said, it was definitely something that is much different from what I usually play. It was such a relief almost since I produce and write and act and everything that I do, to just be an actor on the set and to concentrate on doing all the physical challenges as well as the more horror aspects. It was definitely something that would be fun to do again.
Nrama : From what we've read, Red is a descendant of the original Little Red Riding Hood, so I'm curious about the family business.
Day: Yeah, it's a secret. The whole movie pivots around the idea of...I've left my family to sort of find myself outside of the obligation of werewolf hunting, and I'm bringing my fiance back to introduce him to my family, hoping that I will be able to get permission to tell him this secret part of my life, which is something that I inherited. So really it's kind of a struggle between family and my obligation that was handed to me versus chosen, and the idea that I can have a happy life outside of that with my fiance and he gets bitten. It's a struggle to save everything that I love in the movie. It's a lot of drama and a lot of blood, which is fun too. [laughs]
Nrama : Are we really going to see the origin here? Are we going to get a glimpse of the original Red?
Day: You know, there is a brief moment of flashback, but really the main thrust of the movie is in the modern times, dealing with the family and sort of the localized conflict between the werewolves and that specific clan. Yeah, it does have a couple of flashback moments though.
Nrama: I know in the past you've been involved in Buffy and The Guild, so I'm wondering what the biggest challenge of making a horror film compared to what you're used to doing.
Day: I guess the biggest challenge for me was...I mean, there were a lot of physical challenges...I did definitely work out and train a lot for this role. Just because it required a little more toughness and a more grounded attitude. I guess the role that is most close to what I've done in the past is the role I did in Dollhouse. In “Epitaph One” and “Epitaph Two” when I played Mag. She was definitely the most similar to this character in that there's not as much humor in it and it's really a person who's in high stakes. As well as using a gun properly. I actually had my dad take me to the shooting range for the first time. He's been bugging me for like a decade to go shooting with him because you know, we're from Texas. [laughs] And when I called him up, he was like, “Oh, this is the best father/daughter moment I could have asked for.”
Nrama : So which do you enjoy more? The acting or the producing and directing?
Day: I don't actually direct. I do write everything on The Guild and I do produce it and creatively I do work a lot with the director...you know, it's really two sides of a coin. I really do love acting. I love to be able to inhabit a different character and also love the fact that I did the guns and the fighting. It's always fun to have something very specific for a character that I get to learn about, sort of the R&D side of acting. But I can't ever see myself completely giving up the producing and the writing because I find it so fulfilling. And really, my whole path that lead to having a big role in a SyFy movie was not because of just being an actor, but it's because of kind of forging a path with The Guild and participating in Dr. Horrible and things that are outside the box. So it feels like a big reward in a sense, to end up doing this movie.
Nrama : Other SyFy movies that we've seen like Tin Man and Alice, they have a sort of mix of real and fantasy. Does this one have any of that in it or is it just a regular day, it's just that we're werewolf hunters?
Day: Yeah, so this...I see your point. I think the paranormal sort of...there's a big resurgence of paranormal fiction and entertainment and other than Twilight, it hasn't crept over into a movie like this before, which I think is another reason why I wanted to do it, because I'm a huge fan of paranormal fiction and paranormal romance and all that stuff, so that was really attractive to me. So this setting is definitely set in real time, the real world, the everyday world, and the werewolves are something that our family is tasked with keeping from the real world, so that's a big thing...having the cult revealing that there are actually werewolves to my fiance is a big deal to my family. And it sort of goes from there. So we're not in a fantastical world, necessarily, but there are fantastical creatures in the real world.
Nrama : Is it a lot harder to not do comedy?
Day: [laughs] It's really a switch in gears. It was definitely a little more...I definitely took it seriously. [laughs] You know the movie is very dramatic in tone, and definitely like I said, has a lot of horror elements to it, but if you've seen the trailer, I'm shooting a harpoon at a werewolf. So there is some fun to be had in that sort of aspect of the movie. There are certain things that are over the top in a really fun way. Definitely the same tone as all the recent SyFy movies. It definitely balances all those things perfectly. And it's airing before Halloween which is definitely the perfect place to put it.
Nrama : In your blog you have a movement going to get Red to outdo Sharktopus...how's the response to that been so far?
Day: [laughs] I mean, that was kind of a teasing thing. I'm not going to do a campaign about it. I mean, it would at least be nice to equal Sharktopus, because...they're definitely two different kinds of movies, and I think that's cool that SyFy is doing different genres of this kind of movie. Like I said, Red is much more dramatic and horror-based, but at the same time, you can definitely have fun with it. There are just some over the top things, and were talking about werewolves too, so I feel like the same sort of zeitgeist is under it all. And if I can beat Sharktopus...I feel like I could probably stab Sharktopus myself because I trained really hard. So if we were in a tussle together...I don't want to bet, but at least I'd put up a good fight. [laughs]
Nrama : I know you've finished Season 4 of The Guild. Do you know if there will be a Season 5?
Day: Season 4 just wrapped up like two weeks ago, so we're still between seasons. Whether or not we're going to get picked up by Microsoft again...I certainly hope so. If you saw the cliff hanger, you at least know a little bit of what's going to go on next season, so cross fingers about that. We should hear around the beginning of the year, probably. And you know, you never know with projects, whether or not they're going to go on to have a further life. It would definitely be fun to put my knives back on. [laughs]
Nrama : So Season 5 will definitely pick up at the convention?
Day: I don't want to confirm or deny that...I'm actually in the middle of writing the comic books. I'm doing five more issues with Dark Horse, so Vork is coming out at the end of December, I've just turned in the script for Tink and I'm moving on to Bladezz. I'm co-writing with The Guild director Sean Becker which will be very cool. You know, Dark Horse has lined up some amazing cover artists for this sequence. So I'm very excited for people to see them, and also to enjoy a little more backstory with the characters that we don't know quite as much about.
Nrama : About your upcoming guest spot on Eureka, [Neil Grayston said] he thought that your character, Dr. Holly Martin, would be involved in a love triangle with Wil Wheaton's character, and when you were shooting over there, there was a curious tweet from Colin Ferguson saying something about him standing in front of you naked for two hours. What can you tell us? Is there a love triangle between your character, Wil Wheaton's character and Colin Ferguson's character?
Day: [laughs] No, no. The love triangle storyline is between Fargo (Grayston) and Wil Wheaton although I do have the privilege of working with the other characters in many many different scenes throughout the season. Yeah, that was just a coincidental situation where somebody was unclothed in a scene that I was in, brandishing his bicep weapons at me. And I couldn't stop giggling while we were rolling. So he was just harassing me. [laughs]
Nrama : I'm so glad Fargo is getting some action.
Day: Yeah, it's a tumultuous situation. It's definitely a lot of tension between the three. I can't tell you where it culminates.
Nrama : Does Stan Lee appear in your episodes?
Day: Yes, I was acting in the episode that Stan Lee was in, yes. That was exciting because I know him from the conventions. Just meeting him there. I had actually seen him the week before at a convention. It was like a reunion with him. He's one of the most charming people I've ever met and just a sweetheart. I've actually never seen anyone on a set more...the crew, who are just usually not really excited about actors...because that's the job...they were fangirl-ing and fanboy-ing out on him. And he was so gracious. He posed for like sixty photos for the crew. I mean, just a class act.
Red: Werewolf Hunter airs October 30th at 9/8c on SyFy.