The Arrow Interviews
By: John Fallon
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this interview, allow me to “come clean” with some of the details that made this one a lot more strenuous than my usual one-on-ones.
You see, I interviewed the incredibly charming Emmanuelle Chriqui (of “Wrong Turn”, “Crow 4”, “Ricky 6” and “On The Line”) a month back and it was easily one of the best interviews I’ve ever conducted. She was the sweetest girl ever and the fact that we’re both around the same age, turned the phoner into a lively chit-chat session, as opposed to a more standard interview.
Once done, I couldn’t wait to put it all up on the site, but when I went to transcribe it off my digital recorder, I learned the hard way that something was amiss and that I could hear my voice just fine, but little of Emmanuelle’s. After playing with the sound levels and purchasing software to help me clean the sound up failed miserably, I gave up, cussed to high heavens and decided to write out what I “caught” off the recorder and my big ol’ memory.
Needless to say, there was way, way, way more to this interview than what you will read below and yes, I’m still very bummed about the whole affair, but I guess “shit happens” as they say. Incidentally, that recorder is now at the bottom of a river, swimming with the fishes, where it freakin’ belongs! Now here’s Chriqui!
With Emmanuelle being busy on The Crow 4: Wicked Prayer shoot in Lake City Utah; it took a while for this interview to happen. Her schedule kept changing and so did mine. After a couple of weeks of trying to find a time to hook up, we finally coordinated a free day, but alas, the poor gal got sick and we had to postpone again.
Then it happened. She was free, I was free, it was “on” baby! I called Emmanuelle at her hotel and it began. I first inquired as to how she was feeling. She told me that she was finally feeling great. I then asked if bad burritos were the culprit in terms of her recent sharing of her lunch with the floor, to which she laughed and answered “No”. She said that she didn’t know what happened there and that she must’ve caught some “bug” or something. I guess along with Carrot Top’s fame, Emmanuelle’s spewing will forever remain a mystery. Where’s Mulder when you need him?
I then slyly moved in to the more “official” line of questioning. The first question up to bat was about acting: had it always been long-term goal or did she just fall into it? It seems that “acting” had always been in Emmanuelle’s blood since she was a wee girl and that she always knew she wanted to take that route. I told her that was a beautiful thing because lots of people out there have no idea as to what they want to do and never feel passionate enough about anything to go full speed ahead with it. My little statement sparked a moment of reflection on her part, as she agreed and told me that she “felt lucky”. Being that she was born in my hometown of Montreal, I shared with her that I too was from that fair city and that I was calling her from there at that very moment. She got excited there with a happy “Oh yeah!” ringing in my ear. I then asked her if she had started acting in Montreal (like I did), but she actually moved out of here pretty early on (at around 6 years old), but still had family up here. I can also tell you that Emmanuelle speaks great French…yes, I tested her and she passed with an admirable 75% grade. Good for you, M!
I proceeded to ask her about how how it was living in both LA and New York. She was initially taken aback that I knew she had a place in New York. She asked me how I knew that and I told her that I did my research and had caught that somewhere (to be honest, my second job is stalking her….just kidding). She then went on to share that she felt at home in New York City and that the town just talked to her. L.A, on the other hand, was a rougher deal where the lifestyle didn’t fully click with her (she doesn’t even own a cell phone…you gotta respect that!) She went on to say that when in L.A. she often wonders “what she’s doing there” to herself. I told her that what she was doing there was kicking that ass with her career shifting into high gear. I propped her on it and told her that she should be proud– all the hard work was finally paying off. She laughed and humbly thanked me for my my encouraging words.
Note on the positive Chriqui “joo-joo”: I have to share this. If there’s one thing I picked up about Emmanuelle during our talk, it was that she had a genuinely positive and kind energy about her. When talking to her, I could feel her radiant smile from the other end of the phone and when she laughed, it sounded like a soothing “mermaid” swan song. Yes, she totally wooed me and made me feel very at ease from the get-go. She had me at hello. A class act! End of Note
Wrong Turn was next on the tip of my tongue as I recounted how most horror fans loved the film and how her death scene was definitely one that we all remembered. She was happy to hear that, but showed some disappointment in regards to the film not getting the marketing push it should’ve gotten. I addressed the flip side of that coin by letting her know that the film did make its money back and that it would definitely be seen by even more gore hounds on home video/DVD. I then asked her about the shoot, which she said was very “physical” and that she actually almost dislocated a shoulder (an old injury). Luckily, she wound up being okay. If the shoulder would’ve popped out fully that would’ve meant lots of physical therapy for our gal. I asked her how the energy was on set and she said that the whole cast and crew had lots of fun with lots of laughing and joking around in tow. We then came to the conclusion that she wasn’t a method actress. She’ll meditate sometimes before a scene to be able to reach that required emotional level, but she won’t brainwash herself, think of a childhood trauma or bang her head on a brick wall to attain it.
Crow 4: Wicked Prayer was next up on the menu. She first shared her immense love for the original “The Crow” starring Brandon Lee and went on to say that Edward Furlong was amazing in this third sequel and that he would blow us all away with his performance. She believed that it will be his come back. I asked if the lad was pumped up (I heard he hit the gym for the role) and she answered that he’s all around awesome guy and that we’d have to wait and see for ourselves.
“KNOCK KNOCK”…somebody is at Emmanuelle’s door, she politely asks me to wait. Her lunch has arrived. She returns and I inquire as to what she’s gobbling on. Winds up that the girl is on a healthy diet of cereal and fruits. I tell her that her diet sounds like mine, where I won’t eat any carbs to keep my body tight. We then side-tracked to talk about “meat” and how although not a veggie, she only recently had a hamburger and that she hadn’t had one in years. I told her that the power of McDonalds is strong and that it can break anybody– who can resist? She laughed it up…yes, that laugh again…
So what about her about her role in Crow 4? I take a wild guess and say: “You play the girl that gets murdered and that The Crow must avenge, right?” She laughs and tells me that I’m right again! We then determined that her part is mostly present in flashbacks (as per the previous films). She then went on to share a really kool story as to how her character was somehow connected to her in an odd way, pointing out how she got the role with a “meant to be” vibe behind it. Sadly, I can’t “catch” the full story on the recorder, so I won’t blindly write it down in fear of getting some facts wrong (damn you to hell recorder…DAMN YOU!). Her little tale sparked a side-step in our conversation though, where we spoke about signs and how in life there are no coincidences, everything happens for a reason, etc… She told me how strongly she believes in that concept and how she lives by it. This block ended with me recommending her to see “The Crow: Salvation” for Eric Mabius’ performance alone (she hasn’t seen the sequels). The man was great in the film, in my opinion.
I then tell her that I have two last questions, to which she replies that there’s no rush and to chill. I jokingly answer that I’m in an “Arrow Interview” machine mode and to go with it. She laughs and we continue. I ask her if she has any other movie biz related aspirations apart from acting and she says that “right now” acting is it for her, but that one day she’d like to make films that she’d like to see herself…more intimate films. I tell her that the magic of acting is that no matter what level you’re at in terms of experience, there’s always something to learn. She fervently agreed on that. I then asked her what she does to relax. I mean, she’s on a roll these days “bada bing- bada boom”. She said that nowadays she liked to watch movies because while growing up she wasn’t allowed to have a TV. I tell her that this was likely a “wise move” on her parents’ part and that TV is garbage and that she didn’t miss much.
So now she’s on a movie-renting spree. I ask her if she’s seen “East of Eden” starring James Dean and she said that she did and liked it. I ask her if she’d seen all of the James Dean movies and she said that she hadn’t. I then told her to go rent them, like…RIGHT NOW! She laughed it up and said that she would. We ended the conversation with her expressing her need to take it easy after “Crow 4” in terms of acting; the girl wants to relax a bit…nothing wrong with that…she’s earned it. We then went “off the record” and talked some more. When I hung up, I had a huge grin on my face. Emmanuelle Chriqui was a pleasure to talk to and yes, the words “One Class Act” popped into my noggin. Wow…now that was an interview!