Saturday, 31 January 2015

An interview with actress, Adrienne Wilkinson.

Adrienna as Captain Lexxa Singh, leader of the Renegades &
winner of the title of 'gorgeous gal of the galaxy'.
THE PREAMBLE 'IT'S ALL ABOUT ME, ME, ME', BIT

I guess I'm not alone in this. There are no doubt an incalculable number of TV shows and films that I've liked over the years, in fact far too many to mention on here. In addition to that number, there have been a significant number that I have well and truly loved - again, probably too many to bore you with here today. There are also a select number from the world of television and cinema that have left what con only be described as an absolute indelible mark on me, so much so that for one reason or another I have developed something of an obsession with them. This obsession often begins immediately  at the time of release, sometimes that obsession simply appears and grows as the years pass.

I would like to add at this point that this obsession should not be regarded by those involved in the relevant productions as something to be worried about - I'm talking in the sense of them thinking they might be the recipient of a Stephen King Misery number 1 fan type of scenario. They'll be glad to know that my medication over the past few months is now working fine and the voices are no longer advising me to write my 100 emails a day to Helena Bonham-Carter. In addition, my therapist has now convinced me that it was time to dismantle my seven of nine mural that adorned my living room wall - apparently it could be construed as obsessive stalking or something......well at least that was what the restraining orders stated. No, I'm much better now.

So you could imagine my delight  at some news this week (and with it, my therapist and overworked legal teams level of dread thus increased). Indeed, it was news that could probably have only been surpassed if i'd received an invitation to judge a Princess Leia slave girl competition. ......I said I was better, not completely cured.

Erm, lets just sit here & look at this picture for a while.........
The reason for my delight was managing (thanks to new BFF of The Fifth Dimension, Ellen (hottie) Dubin, to snag an interview with another actress who during her career has had her fingers in enough Sci-Fi & fantasy pies to make even the most hardened geek dribble at the mouth with excitement. If that wasn't enough, one particular TV role of hers was certainly more than capable of fuelling the fantasies of many a male viewer (or female viewer for that matter). The series was Xena: Warrior Princess and ranks as one of my aforementioned obsessive televisual viewings. The actress concerned is the talented and gorgeous Adrienne Wilkinson, who played the duel characters of Livia and Eve, the daughter of Xena.

If that isn't enough she also plays the part of Maris Brood, the sexy female Jedi in the Star Wars video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Finally - and I may well be leaving the best until last (so breath, Stuey, breathe), but the actress in question is also to take a pivotal role in the new Star Trek production  - Star Trek: Renegades, a professionally produced television pilot to be presented for a possible online series and will also feature such Trek luminaries such as Walter Koenig, Robert Picardo, Manu Intiraym and Tim Russ.

Take a look at one of the official teaser trailers for Star Trek: Renegades.......



So let's see; that's Greek myth/fantasy, Star Wars and Star Trek nerds catered for - and if like me you fall into all three of those camps, well, need I say any more?.....


Let me provide you with a few bites of information about the lovely Adrienne....



"Adrienne Wilkinson may be best known for playing Livia/Eve, the sometimes warrior, sometimes saint, daughter of Xena on the TV series "Xena: Warrior Princess," the most widely watched show in the world during its six year run. She started on television in an episode of "Sweet Valley High," and moved on to "Saved By The Bell: The New Class," "Chicken Soup for the Soul," and had several guest appearances on MTV's show "Undressed." She starred as Nikki on the US version of the dramedy series, "As If." She has appeared in guest spots on the series "Angel," as a cheeky flapper from the 1920s; as Linda Browning in NBC's popular soap opera "Days of Our Lives;" 'Phoebe in disguise' on the eighth season premiere of the WB show "Charmed;" Melody on the ABC show "Eyes;" and was the love interest of Dr. Ray Barnett on the hit NBC drama "ER," where the plot of a spectacular building collapse nearly killed her character. Her most recent projects include playing Captain Lexxa Singh in "Star Trek: Renegades," as well as series regular roles in the sitcom "Goodnight Burbank" and the soap "Venice: The Series." Adrienne has also recently starred in "The American Failure," "Cyril," and the action/horror film "Raze" as well as as radio series "Suspense."

Her film career includes the lead role in "Reflections," (directed by Barry Caldwell and starring Zoe Bell, James Morrison, Louis Lombardi, Jim Beaver, and Matt Long), and "Lakeshore Drive," (written and directed by Michael Grais and starring Adrienne and Peter Dobson). She also appeared in the film "Pomegranate," was the female lead in the Sci-Fi channel film "Alpha Force" and Missy Blue in the film "The American Failure." Adrienne's producer credits include the films "Perfection" and "Seconds," which showcases a woman's triumph over depression and self-injury.

She is sought after for her voice over work, which includes more than 50 characters in video games, cartoons, and commercials. She stars as the voice and on camera likeness of female Jedi Maris Brood in the "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" video game franchise and can be heard as the character 'Daughter' in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."

Adrienne is also known for her charity work, which includes a focus on literacy programs, animal welfare, and children. Her website (www.ADRIENNEWILKINSON.com) hosts an annual charity auction each November which helps to support families dealing with medical expenses."


THE INTERVIEW BIT.......


OH. MY. GOODNESS.
Q) It's safe to say no doubt that Xena: Warrior Princess hit something of a chord on so many levels. What are your memories of playing the deliciously dangerous hellcat that was Eve?

She was a hellcat, wasn't she!  I have what feels like endless memories of that adventure...memories of the cast and crew and of New Zealand in general.   To this day it is one of my favorite jobs.  I loved getting to shoot such an epic show, in such an extraordinary location and nothing was better than getting to work with that cast.  I remain friends with most of them to this day.  It was a truly wonderful experience. 


Q)  Besides the obvious reasons why we guys loved the show, it also reasonated strongly amongst women. Why do you think this was so? 

I think Xena was ground breaking television.  It was rare at the time to have a show helmed by a woman, and even more rare to have her be a bit of an anti-hero or 'not perfect', and rarer  still to be a woman of action.    I think the show resonated mainly because of the performances that were able to capture the nuances of humanity and the journey of redemption the lead character was on.   Sure, everyone  likes to watch a beautiful woman kick some ass...but if that was all the show consisted of, people would have grown bored in one season.   What kept people interested was the emotional journey the characters were on and the obstacles they were facing and challenges they would overcome.    Xena was a heroic figure...but also beautifully flawed and human and that made her someone so many people could relate to as they were on their own journeys of love and redemption and survival.


Q) So how many Xena swords/costumes did you manage to keep & do you secretly wear them when the mood arises?! :-)  

I wish I could have!   At the end of the show all of the props and costumes were auctioned, so sadly I was unable to keep anything.   I think almost everything is owned by the fans at this point.   There are 2 items in particular that I wish I had been able to keep - one was the helmet, which was so cool, and I also loved the wrist gauntlets. 

Q) Fans of Star Wars: The Force unleashed game will know you as the voice of Maris Brood. Was the character modelled on you? Because the resemblance is noticeable.  

Yes, myself and the other 4 main characters were the physical models as well as the voices of the characters.   We not only recorded the material but did all of the motion capture and filming required to create the game.


Q) How do find the process as an actor doing work such as that and did they film your mannerisms/expressions as well as put the voice to the character? 

I loved working on that project.  We recorded the voice work over a period of about a year and half, but the majority of it was filmed over the course of about 3 weeks at The Presidio in San Francisco - where LucasArts was located.    We filmed it inside their large voice studio - but we were not only recording voice, we were all set up in our motion capture gear and we were performing the scenes as full scenes with physicality and not just voice - and we were able to record with each other (where most voice work is done alone).  The sessions were also filmed and all of those pieces were married together to create the final product.


Yup.
Q) You will be appearing in the upcoming Scifi series NOBILITY alongside a friend of The Fifth Dimension, the lovely Ellen Dubin. What can you tell us about the series & your role in it?   

Yes, so thrilled to be working with Ellen on this project.  She and I play 'Eujins' which is a futuristic and superior race of humans that is at odds with 'regular' humans.  I play Lt. Ara Eris, her second in command and  am a bit of a 'bull dog'.   My job is to protect her and I take it very seriously.  


Q) I asked Ellen to dish some dirt on another friend of The Fifth Dimension, Bill Oberst Jr, but she couldn't. So how's your chance to give me the real insight on Ellen Dubin. Queen Diva, right??!! 

Love Ellen.   Can't say a bad word about her.   Working with Ellen is like dancing or playing jazz - we just naturally gel and are able to coordinate with each other effortlessly.    It was an absolute blast to get to work with her.


Q) The upcoming brand new Star Trek series STAR TREK: RENEGADES is getting all us Trekkies in a bit of giddy excitement.  Are you ready for just how serious Trek fans take this stuff?! 

"Boldy going" etc etc etc.......
I think I am.  I feel like the Xena  and Star Wars fans were a great way to prep me for the inevitable attention that this Star Trek project will receive.   The property is so beloved that I know we won't be able to make everyone happy - but we are certainly working hard to make this project sizzle on screen.   It is a darker Star Trek than has ever been on screen.   It is entirely loyal to the world of Trek, but also shows parts that have been unexplored by now.   The great part of production is that 1/2 of the cast were Trek veterans and 1/2 of us were new to the franchise - so it was this great mix that created this potential new series.


Q) How much  can you tell us about the character of Lexxa Singh?   

Lexxa is a decentness of Khan Noonien Singh.  She is genetically gifted and has a very complicated backstory that has left her full of anger and with revenge on her mind.   She is the captain of what is essentially a black-ops team.   Doing the missions that have to be done, but that can't be publicly acknowledged.
Standing room only for a radio show...

Q) I've been lucky enough to have heard a number of episodes of the excellent radio drama series SUSPENSE from Blue House Productions. I believe you appeared in about 18 of the 24 episodes of season 1. How does your acting, in terms of how you use your voice, differ when doing a radio piece than say, TV?
  
On radio you can be far 'bigger' than you would be on screen.   Suspense is especially fun because you are free to be so over the top and dramatic.  But aside from that, I don't find that I change how I use my voice.   I think the voice is one of the strongest elements that creates a character and I pay close attention to how I use that with any character regardless of it being on camera of off. 


Q) I have to congratulate you on the COOL AIR episode in particular , as a H.P Lovecraft 'freak' I was pleased that it remained relatively faithful to the source material. Had you read the story before? 

No, that particular story was new to me, but I loved it.   So alternately creepy and compelling.  I love that SUSPENSE is a mix of old material revisited and new material with a retro flair it gives us a lot of themes to play with and multiple perspectives on those themes.



Q) So what does the future hold for Adrienne Wilkinson? 

I hope everyone will follow Star Trek Renegades - it will be released later this year.  And there are many fun projects on my plate at the moment including a fun guest-star appearance on Star Trek Continues as well!    The best way to keep up with me is to visit:  www.AdrienneWilkinson.com  and www.imdb.me/adriennewilkinson




I'd like to say a huge thank you to Adrienne for taking the time out of her incredibly busy schedule to chat with me, and in the process, make a long-time Xena-phile very very happy.


So check out her official Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AdrienneWilkinsonOfficial?fref=ts

Adrienne's Twitter link is @Yo_AdrienneW

The website for the Nobility series can be located HERE

The Blue Hours Productions website, which produces the Suspense radio series, can be found RIGHT HERE

The website for the much anticipated new Star Trek: Renegades can be found RIGHT HERE








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