Crash's Clare Carey
She's the tough Brentwood mom on the new Starz series Crash and a denizen of that netherworld called Jericho. Clare Carey takes your questions here.
- Q: Is there anything in your personal life that you bring to bear with your character in Crash, who is a Brentwood mom? - Erik Meers
- A: It was good timing for me, and I think I had enough in common with the character. I think it’s about the American dream, right? It’s my part in it. About people having a vision of a higher place in society–more money or whatever. Our family structures are lacking in substance. All of us, in some ways, our families are like this–this is an extreme version. People who are not connecting to each other at all–there’s a lot of love, but also a lot of dysfunction, too.
- Q: Jericho, the CBS drama you did, turned into a surprise cult hit before it was finally cancelled. Were you surprised by that? - EM
- A: I am such a huge fan of the show. Obviously, there’s an episode here and there that didn’t jell. By season season two, we knew what the show was. It struck a cord because it was one click away from the truth. There’s a story about a huge corporation that gets a no-bid reconstruction contract from the government. I thought, ‘Did CBS approve these scripts?’ I was kind of shocked. It was very close to the truth, especially for people who think about this stuff. And those are the people who are online.
- Q: Do you think the show would ever come back? - EM
- A: There’s clearly an audience for it. If I had a million dollars–it’s clear that there’s a ready-made audience and the story is so amazing. We get these letter from fans saying, 'I’ve never done this before, but you are the best people ever.' It generated a lot of love because it was made with so much love.
- Q: Did you feel any responsibility to be true to the movie, which won the Oscar for Best Picture? - EM
- A: The show’s only really in the spirit of the movie. It’s obviously structurally so different. The spirit is of people who are going to the edge. I wanted to feel that I went to my emotional edge. People looking into the abyss and maybe even jumping over it. I wanted to feel like I went to my emotional edge each day. I come from a large family. It’s very loving and it certainly has its dysfunction and that’s what’s easiest to relate to. Who do you know comes back from Thanksgiving and says, 'You know, I had a great time with my mom, dad, brothers and sisters and we all got along great’? Do you know anyone who says that? Having bizarre relationships with each other is how we learn to be in the world. And then we go and repeat those relationships. It’s subtle aspect to the American Dream that keeps us in not a good place.
- Q: With such heavy subject matter, what was the atmosphere on the set like? - EM
- A: Oh, it was the opposite. Of course, people gave respect if the subject needed concentration. It was a really cool set. We were having fun.
- Q: Is the L.A. that the movie depicts–fractured and racially torn–still as valid today? - EM
- A: My personal opinion is that there will always be pockets of prejudice. I live in a very open community in Los Angeles. The racial thing is not that big a part of the series. What we did on the set is to make as many racially crude, offensive, Archie-Bunker references as we could so nobody could be offended. We'd sit around some times and have joke-offs. One night we went out and laughed for five hours straight.
- Q: When did you first start acting? - EM
- A: I acted in school in community theater, and I always did it after that. I had a teacher who helped me find an agent. I never really understood how difficult those things were to do. I was always taking singing or dance classes.
- Q: Can you tell us about the projects you have coming up? - EM
- A: I am getting my directorial feature debut made. It’s a sci-fi comedy, experimental film. We are in the midst of it all, so I don’t want to say much.
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