“Creepshow was so much fun to be a part of,” she said. “I remember sitting on set at 3 a.m. in the morning, crouched in a small ball underneath a scaffolding waiting for my next take, covered in fake blood, dirt, and dust. Crammed next to me, in this very small place in this underground scaffolding, were two of the country’s most renowned effects puppeteers animating their creatures above us from below.”
She continued, “We’re all together down there, I’m trying not to get all my blood on them and we are laughing, drinking coffee and telling stories between takes. Then I’m called to position for another take, scream my head off in terror, they yell cut, and we’re all laughing all over again. I didn’t care how late it was, I never wanted to leave set.”
“John Harrison is a wonderful, generous director who took great care of us, and Greg Nicotero is quite simply a horror genius,” she said. “Working with David Arquette was a delight. He is so completely real and down to earth. If you watch him in interviews, you’ll see his completely refreshing candor. He’s so playful and up for anything.”
On being a part of Bosch and Preacher, she said, “These are both such incredibly well-done shows, and it was honestly an honor to be on both of them. One of the cool things about Bosch is the team’s commitment to absolute realism and having everything in the show be as factually correct and as true to life as possible.”
“When I shot Bosch, they actually had a DA from the police department on set, and I got to talk to her about what a professional in my/her position would do in the circumstances of our storyline. This greatly informed how I approached playing D.D.A. Laura Tribe,” she said.
She continued, “The whole Preacher team was absolutely inspiring to me with how they created this whole comic book world the audience could just completely lose themselves in. I got to speak with Mary Laws, one of the main writers for my first episode, and collaborate with her about the history and origins of Dr. Lois Slotnick. I also spoke with the director, Wayne Yip, and we picked out Dr. Slotnick’s glasses together, which really made the character come to life.”
“One of the things I love so much about this show is that all of the characters, no matter how far-fetched they are, actually seem so very real and humanly relatable. I really enjoyed playing a character that is so out there, but yet, is hopefully completely believable in this unique and fascinating universe,” she said.
Regarding her inspirations, she said, “The humanity, the beauty, the brokenness, the anonymous heroism, the vulnerability of people I meet or observe every day out in the world. I want to make movies, TV cartoons for them, tell stories for them and about them.”
“Also, great artists in any medium can deeply inspire me, be it an actor, writer, dancer, poet, painter, musician, graffiti artist, master gardener, photographer, or a brilliant counselor to at-risk youths. Somebody who is able to drop so deeply into their souls, into another world, and touch on poignant and stirring pieces of humanity, of life and bring us with them. They inspire me,” she said.
For young and aspiring actors, she said, “Firstly, only become an actor if you can’t possibly imagine doing anything else. The business can be brutal, competitive, exhausting and can actually wear on your soul. Only do it if it is truly a calling that you can’t silence. You can also act as a passionate hobby so you don’t have to deal with all the exhausting aspects of the business.”
“If it is a calling, something you can’t imagine not doing, then immerse yourself in the art,” she said. “Don’t get caught trying to be a good actor and pleasing people (I got stuck there for way too long). Commit yourself to the truth. To tell the truth in each creative moment. Listen to your heart and instincts and be true to them. When you choose an acting teacher or an acting school, make sure it’s a really good fit for you, and if it doesn’t feel right, trust yourself and get out of dodge. Listen to your creative yearnings and follow them,” she said.
Digital transformation of the entertainment business
On being an actress in this digital age, she said, “Technology can really make stories come to life like never before and compliment the acting, beautifully. Be it in a video game or a movie, I’m kind of blown away by what is possible.”
Regarding the impact of streaming services on the entertainment business, she said, “There is so much more content available and a lot of it is very high quality. That means there are more opportunities for people involved in any aspect of this business.”
She listed the following actors as her dream acting partners: Jessica Lange, Helen Mirren, Bryan Cranston, Mark Rylance, Glenn Close, Redford, Annette Benning, Patricia Clarkson, Brie Larson, and Viola Davis.
For her fans and supporters, she concluded about Creepshow, “Creepshow was envisioned by its creators as an homage to some of their favorite classic horror. When you watch it, I think you will be able to feel this approach and really enjoy it as a horror art form,” she said.
To learn more about actress Karen Strassman, check out her official website.