Tuesday, December 9, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: My Interview with Emily Fonda

I had the chance to interview the lovely Emily Fonda who plays Martina in Fifty Shades of Grey.

Michelle Reed: You had intended on pursuing a career in Journalism. What made you want to become an actress instead?
Emily Fonda: It wasn't really a change. I have been acting since I was little and always been involved in theater. When I graduated high school and I was deciding if I was going to study at a University for acting or not, I've always enjoyed journalism and communications and so I ended up deciding to go ahead and study journalism instead of acting. And I actually did do that for a couple of years and then I moved to London and was working in theater in London and then I moved to Vancouver and film and television is huge here so I sort of made the decision to pursue acting rather than journalism. But after a few years I still craved that education and so I actually went back to University and got my degree in communications. That's something I work on the side with. I have my own consulting business and I work with corporate companies doing public relations. 

MR: Really?
EF: Yeah, that's kind of giving me the freedom to have the best of both I suppose. 

MR: Well that's cool I didn't know that.
EF: -laughs- Yeah.

MR: You're from Sydney, Australia. Do you visit there often?
EF: Yeah. I moved out of Sydney over to London when I was nineteen so most of my life has been spent in Australia and I return home probably once a year if not around every eighteen months. 

MR: That's nice. How is it over there? I've always wanted to visit.
EF: You should! It's beautiful. It really is and I think being away you kind of appreciate it more. I feel really lucky and fortunate that I can still go home because I have a lot of family and friends still there so I kind of touch base every year and get my sunshine fix.

MR: That's good you still have something to go back to.
EF: Yeah, I always have something to look forward to for the next year.

MR: Along with Big Eyes, which is also another movie I'm excited for, Fifty Shades of Grey is one of your first feature film debuts. What was your reaction when finding out you got the part of Martina?
EF: It was pretty shocking -laughs- I think as an actor when you get any kind of role you get this surreal sense of accomplishment and pride but obviously when it's attached to such a big production  it kind of amplifies that by a million. So I was really, really excited when I found out. I have a funny story actually. I was in Australia when I found out that I got the part. My brother had just got married and so I was in Australia when my agent called me and told me I booked the role and I ended up having to come back from Australia to Vancouver for the filming and my family was ecstatic but my mom made a comment that I was not to come back to Vancouver to film unless I went home for Christmas so I went back to Vancouver to film then I went back home for Christmas and then came back to Vancouver after the new year. It was a lot of flying.

MR: That's a lot of back and forth.
EF: Yeah but it was definitely worth it.

MR: At least it sounds like it was fun.
EF: It was a lot of fun.
MR: After the first trailers release your line "Mr. Grey will see you now." was all over the internet. What was your reaction to fans being so excited to hear that? 
EF: I was really honored. I didn't know at the time of filming that that line was going to be used for the promo materials or have the response from fans that it has had. Again, it's just really exciting. Kind of amplifies a lot of it just for me personally as an actor and the response from the fans has been really, really positive. Sorry, I'm rambling.

MR: No, keep going. I don't mind at all.
EF: -laughs- It really is an honor, you know. A lot of iconic films that have iconic lines so to kind of have the opportunity to be one of one of those people saying one of those lines is really amazing.

MR: Yeah, that was one of the highlights of the trailer. Well, before auditioning had you read the books or were you just aware of them?
EF:  I hadn't read the books prior to auditioning. But as soon as I booked the role, because there really isn't a lot of time between when you get an audition so you really only get like a nights notice and so I wasn't aware that I was even auditioning for Fifty Shades of Grey at the time. So when I booked the role I had a sixteen hour plane ride to read the book. 

MR: That's definitely enough time. 
EF: Yeah by the time I got here I was well into the story of Christian and Ana and it was fun to be a part of something that's bringing it to life.
MR: I've seen throughout your work that you've been on various television shows but one of you're most recent was on the popular television show Supernatural. What was that like? 
EF:  Supernatural was amazing. They're in their tenth season now and a lot of the crew has been together for the past ten seasons so just being there is like being part of really big happy family. The atmosphere on set is really welcoming and friendly. My character appeared in the season ten premiere. It was a big honor because season ten is a really big milestone accomplishment for a television series. Being a part of that and the celebration coming up to the 200th episode as well is just really fun and the energy on set you would have never expected that. The character, Ann Marie, she had a really good response from the fans and they really enjoyed her which is also very flattering for me as an actor to get that from an epic fan base that is so loyal to the show. It's really nice to be able to bring something that has such a good response to it. 

MR: Personally, I've been a fan of that show for a while so it must have been great to have joined the show especially when it's been on so many seasons. 
EF:  Yeah and I was really nervous when it was premiering because I wasn't sure of the response but it's always a nice thing to hear from the fans. She has an impact on the show and having any character that has such a memorable impact is awesome for an actor because you know that you achieved what you went into it for. 

MR: Do you have any projects coming up that you're excited for?
EF:  I have a couple but they are in very early stages so I can't talk about them yet but aside from those I have Big Eyes which premieres in Christmas Day. That's with Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams. So that one is gonna be really exciting. I'm really looking forward to seeing that one on the big screen. 

MR: I really want to see that one. I've seen the trailer and I love the concept of it. 
EF: Yeah and Tim Burton is directing so all of that combined I think it's gonna be a big one. Actually, tomorrow I appear in an episode of Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce.

MR: Really?
EF: Yeah, it's on Bravo.

MR: I'll have to check that out.
EF: I'm only in it for a second but I'm still in the early stages of my career so it's nice to have all these projects on the go.

MR: Well I'm sure you have a lot of good stuff coming up.
EF: Yeah, it's an exciting year ahead. 

MR: In the future is there any kind of character would you like to play that you haven't yet? Something you've always wanted to try?
EF:  That's a good question. I don't know. I think a lot of female artists want to work with strong female characters just because a lot of what you see and get as far scripts and roles, it's finding the right combination of struggle, conflict and power. It's just strong female traits you can bring to the characters. It's not to say that I haven't played those, I think Ann Marie was one of those examples where as much as she's struggling, she's still got her strength. Those are the kind of roles I tend to lean towards. As far as playing something I haven't yet, I don't know. I guess I'll see it when it comes. Maybe a superhero? 

MR: Oh that would be cool. But yeah with film when it comes to strong females I can understand what you mean. There's different kinds. It's not just the kind who can just fight. There's different kinds of strength which is where I can see where you're coming from with that.
EF: It's really amazing within the last few years how strong female characters are really starting to make an impact whether it's network television or film or even independent film there's a quality to the writing that's coming out now for women that's really starting to stand above and beyond what there has been in the past. So I think the industry itself is steering towards that which is really exciting to see and seeing how many female leads there are in shows and female ensemble cast. 

MR: I've been noticing that a lot lately. As film progresses that there is more of those leads and that must be for you exciting to be a part of that. 
EF: Definitely. I'm still early on in my career but seeing that evolution happening is really exciting because there is more opportunities for women in the industry. You know it is still a male dominated industry. But there are some strong females really pushing the boundaries from directing to writing. 
MR: Is there anything you'd like to share for the Fifty Shades of Grey fans like what they can expect from the film?
EF: I think it'll be really exciting to see how the world that E L James wrote for Fifty Shades of Grey comes to life through the eyes of the director, Sam Taylor-Johnson. It's really going to be pretty neat and I myself am really looking forward to seeing the film because from what I've seen from the trailer, it's such a good trailer. 

MR: It really is.
EF: I think from every component from the cinematography to the direction to the actors . . . its testament to the amazing people behind it the crew and even the soundtrack as well you know it's all coming together in a way that will really bring out the world of the books that people fell in love with. I wish I could talk about it more with you.

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