Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, and Annie Briggs visited ClexaCon London
Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, and Annie Briggs visited the press room of ClexaCon London to discuss their Carmilla characters, queer representation, and stereotyping, among other things. I have uploaded the video of this interview during the con but I had not had the time yet to write down the interview. So, here it is. One question is mine, the others are from some of the other press members present. We discussed more, which you can find in the video below this image.
Two different characters for Annie Briggs
Annie, how was your role in Carmilla challenging as you had to play both Lola and the dean? Did you prefer one role over the other?
Annie Briggs: “I don’t know if I can answer which one I prefer. Honestly, I think the gift in that was that those two characters, the dean versus Lola, were so drastically different.
The most challenging aspect for me was in the second season when I was playing Perry who was beginning to show signs of possession. There is a sort of grey area. There is a much subtler line between the two.
But between like full-on deanie-dean and Lola, they are so different. It was such as joy to play and it was fun. The writers gave me a great gift by creating very, very different character voices. So, half my work really was done for me.”
Queer representation in media
Me: “What is the number one thing content creators and the entertainment industry should do to improve queer representation in media?”
Elise Bauman: “Listen to the queer community. Hire writers of the queer community. Not that I am saying that straight writers can’t write roles for queer people, I don’t think that’s the case.
But I think if you do that, then you have to confer with people who are from the community. I think that is a really important step. If we are going to tell different stories, then we need a diverse writing room that is going to be able to tell those stories accurately.”
Natasha Negovanlis & Annie Briggs simultaneously: “Absolutely.”
Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, and Annie Briggs face stereotypes
Do you ever come across stereotypes in your career or personal lives?
Annie Briggs: “When do we not?”
Natasha Negovanlis: “All the time. It’s constant. Even when I started doing more comedy or when I did Clairevoyant, a question we got asked a lot in interviews was ‘was it weird working outside of your comfort zone?’ Annie would just cackle: ‘Do you know Natasha? Have you met her?’ Or ‘was it weird doing comedy?’ I don’t know if it is because I have dark hair or sharp features. People assumed very much I was this Carmilla type, which… There are so many elements in my personality in her, absolutely.
I think we face it all the time. Especially with female characters, whether they are straight or queer, they are often two dimensional. Women are there to support the men. I think we have all been really lucky with Carmilla and to have characters that actually have agency and are doing things.
I think one thing as well is once you start playing queer characters, I find that at least for me personally, I almost never get auditions for straight roles anymore, which is really interesting to me. In my day-to-day life, I have a lot of straight passing privilege.”
Elise Bauman: “Everything comes down to stereotyping. We do it on a day-to-day basis. Think about Tinder. Literally 0.2-second judgment. […]
Something that I’m playing with right now is that I think it’s perhaps the conflicting nature of something is what makes it interesting. Because I am petite, the fact that I box seems really weird to people. That’s what’s interesting to me. That I look a very specific way but then I have this other energy within me and that’s interesting.
I kept thinking for a long time that I had to be my face. My face is a very specific thing and so I thought I had to act the way that my face looked to people. But maybe it is interesting if I am not what my face looks like.”
Annie Briggs: “Right. Like when people find out that one of my hobbies is knitting. They’re like WTF?
[…] I think the best I can offer is on my side of things as a content creator when I am creating roles, is incorporating layered human lives and making sure that that exists across the board.
Also, on a very simplistic level, breakdowns go out to actors and they are always required to dwindle it down into 3 words of the top that is [covering] this complex human life. And that’s not helpful to us on the receiving end.”
Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, and Annie Briggs visited ClexaCon London discussed more
As said, Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, and Annie Briggs talked about a few more things. You can find those in the video. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and share the videos you like with your friends. That helps me more than you can imagine.
PS here are my interviews with Kat Barrell, Jamie Clayton, the team behind I Can’t Think Straight, Nicole Pacent, Mandahla Rose, the writer and producer of Different for Girls, and the directors of ClexaCon.