Published: Monday, 08 November 2010 01:25 | Written by SciFi Vision
Felicia Day is probably best known for her quirky comedic roles, such as her leading role as Penny in Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog, and of course for her role of Codex in the web series she herself created and writes for, The Guild. She has also appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Vi, and has had guest spots on such popular shows as House M.D. and Lie to Me. She continues to take on more serious roles with her role of Mag in Dollhouse, and now as Virginia in Red: Werewolf Hunter, which premiered on Syfy in October.
Red: Werewolf Hunter is a modern day take on the Little Red Riding Hood story, where Day her descendant, whose family secret is that they hunt werewolves. The Syfy original movie also stars Kavan Smith as Day's fiance.
Day was also recently involved in the video game Fallout: New Vegas, where she voiced the role of Veronica. She currently is also part of the voice talent in a new mobile game for Syfy's new web series Riese. Day can also be seen as Dr. Holly Marten on Eureka sometime next year.
Day sat down with the digital media to discuss the new Syfy original movie, Red: Werewolf Hunter.
QUESTION: And my first question to you is what drew you to the part?
FELICIA DAY:So I got the script in around February or March of this year and I was in the middle of writing Guild season 4 so I actually wasn't even taking auditions at that time because I was so busy. But they sent it over and I read it and I really felt like it was such a different role for me that I never played before and I really felt attracted to that as well as I'm a huge fairytale fan.
I actually took several folklore classes in college and I tried to minor in it but my dad said that was ridiculous and he stopped that. But I always actually had the idea myself that it would be fun to update some fairytales and so it was kind of like one of those projects that I thought was kind of tailored to what I was looking for at the time.
It's much more dramatic than the things that I usually do and it's slightly - it has a lot of horror overtones as well. So I thought it could be a really fun challenge and it was just such a privilege to be considered for a lead in one of the Syfy movies. I just thought that was really flattering so I carved out my schedule and it was just a really - I had such a good time making it.
QUESTION: Is it a character that you want to revisit again?
FELICIA DAY: Yeah it was really fun. It was definitely something that was a lot different from what I usually play. It was such a relief almost since I produce and write and act and everything that I do to just be an actor on the set and be able to really concentrate on, doing all the physical challenges as well as the more horror aspects. It was definitely something that would be fun to do again.
QUESTION: Cool. Well so from what we read, this is - Red is sort of a descendant of the original Little Red Riding Hood so I'm just curious about the family business and how the whole story works.
FELICIA DAY: Yeah it's a secret so really the whole movie pivots around the idea that I've been - I've left my family to sort of find myself outside of the obligation of werewolf hunting. And I'm bringing my fiancé back to introduce to my family hoping that I will be able to get permission to tell him this secret part of my life which is something that I inherited in a sense.
So really it's kind of a struggle between family and my obligation that is - that was handed to me versus chosen and the idea that I could have a happy life outside of that with my fiancé. And, he gets bitten and it's sort of a struggle to try to save everything I want would love in the movie. So, it's a lot of drama and a lot of blood which is fun too.
QUESTION: Are we really going to sort of see the origin? Are we going to get any sort of info about the original Red?
FELICIA DAY: There's a brief moment of flashbacks but really the main thrust of the movie is in the modern times dealing with the family and the local, sort of localized conflict between the werewolves and that specific clan. So yeah, it does have some - a couple of flashback moments though.
QUESTION: I notice in the past you were on Buffy and you've done The Guild and I was wondering what you thought the biggest challenge in making a horror film was versus what you were used to doing.
FELICIA DAY: I guess the biggest challenge for me was, I mean, there were a lot of physical challenges on this. I did definitely work out and like train a lot for this role just because it required a little more toughness and more grounded attitude. I guess the role that is most close to what I've done in the past is the role that I did on Dollhouse in "Epitaph 1" and "Epitaph 2" when I played Mag.
She was definitely the most similar to this character in that there is not as much humor and it's certainly a person who's living in high state as well as using a gun properly.
I actually had my dad take me to the shooting range for the first time. He's been bugging me like a decade to go shooting with him because we're from Texas. And when I called him up he was like oh this is the best father-daughter moment I could ask for.
QUESTION: So which do you enjoy more -- the acting or the producing/directing?
FELICIA DAY: I don't actually direct. I do write everything on The Guild and I do produce it creatively. I definitely work a lot with the director on all the creative that gets on the screen. It's really two sides of the coin.
I really do love acting. I love having - to be able to inhabit a different character and also train. I love the fact that I said I did the guns and I did a lot of fighting here. It's always fun to actually have something very specific for a character that I get to learn about that's sort of the R&D side of acting I love. But I can't ever see myself completely giving up the producing and the writing because I find it so fulfilling.
And really my whole past that led to having a big role in a Syfy movie was not because of as much, you know, just being an actor but it's because you're kind of forging a path with The Guild and participating in Dr. Horrible, things that are outside the box. So it feels like a big reward in a sense to end up doing this movie.
QUESTION: The question I had about the show, because it's a little hard to get an exact feel for it, the other Syfy movies that we've seen like Tin Man and Alice, they had a sort of mix of kind of real a bit maybe and then fantasy. Does this one got any of that in it or is it just regular day except that we're werewolf hunters?
FELICIA DAY: Yeah I know, I see your point. I think the paranormal sort of - it's a bit of big resurgence in paranormal fiction and entertainment. And it hasn't, other than Twilight, hasn't crept over into a movie like this before which I think is another reason why I wanted to do it because I'm a huge fan of paranormal fiction and romance, paranormal romance and all that stuff. So that was really attractive to me.
This setting is definitely set in modern times like the real world, the everyday world and the werewolves are actually something that our family is tasked keeping from the real world.
So that's a big pivot - a big thing the movie rides on is having the conflict between revealing that they're actually werewolves to my fiancé is a big deal with my family and it sort of snowballs from there. So yeah, we're not in a fantastical world necessarily although there're fantastical creatures in the real world.
QUESTION: is it a lot harder to not do comedy?
FELICIA DAY: I mean, it definitely is a switch in gear. It was definitely a little more, I mean, I definitely took it seriously to be serious. The movie is very dramatic in tone and definitely like I said has a lot of horror elements to it.
But, if you see in the trailer I'm shooting a harpoon at werewolves. So there is some fun to be had in that sort of aspect of the movie that, there is - it is a little - there are certain things that are over the top in a really fun way.
So definitely it's not the same tone as all the recent Syfy movies but I think it definitely balances all those things perfectly. And to air right before Halloween is kind of the perfect place to watch it.
QUESTION: Basically all the girls that you portray have been really good at heart. I mean, you know, they're nice. Do you ever think about stretching a little bit and maybe being a little bit of a bad girl, smoking, drinking, that kind of thing?
FELICIA DAY: As a person am very good hearted and I feel like that's kind of an aspect that sort of shines through when I act. And I bring that with me because kindness, it's funny that the Internet is my place and I hope to spread kindness there because sometimes it's lacking. But it also has a lot of the fandom and things are the other side of that coin.
To be honest with you, it would be really fun to play a villain. I would love to play an evil villain even if it's a comedy, a comedy villain, that would be really fun. And that's actually one of the things that I put on my list like dream roles.
And if I don't get to them, if somebody doesn't like the part for me or offer it or I get to audition for it, it's on my list to write for myself in the future. Because, being empowered and being able to make opportunities for me, it's like the thing that I'm most proud of in my career.
So yeah, I cross fingers somebody else would think of me for a villain part but if they don't I definitely down the road would love to just kind of sink my teeth into something a little more edgy and not so nice.
QUESTION: Can you tell us anything about your character on Eureka coming up?
FELICIA DAY: Yes, actually I play a scientist that has come to Eureka to work on a secret project. Her name is Dr. Holly Martin and I have a very antagonistic relationship with Fargo, Douglas Fargo played by Neil Grayston and Dr. Isaac Parrish who is played by Wil Wheaton is a factor in that. My attraction to him creates a lot of conflict.
And I guess I'm in eight episodes. I have to go back up and finish the finale this week. And I've got to tell you that not only are the scripts fantastic but just working on the set is just an amazing opportunity. I feel like that show is really run by geeks in a sense so they know their science and they really - you could see the passion in the scripts and they're just so funny.
I've been a show, I mean, a fan of the show in years past so when they called me to be on it I was just ecstatic. And I have to say that this season has definitely raised the bar over all the other seasons. They're really innovating and doing some just really fun things with the characters and with the dialog and I'm just really happy to be a part of it.
QUESTION: Is there any lines to whether you'll be back next year as a regular?
FELICIA DAY: I have no information on that. I just take it one episode at a time. If they keep calling - they kept calling me back and I was just happy to be there.
QUESTION: I enjoyed the film and I had actually some technical questions. Where was the film shot?
FELICIA DAY: It was shot in Toronto in March so every scene of the film I'm wearing at least four pairs of tights underneath my jeans because I was so cold.
QUESTION: Any of the actors that you were paired with, Kavan, Stephen, (Carlos), I mean, had you worked with any of these people before?
FELICIA DAY: No I hadn't. I believe all the other actors were Canadian. But the funny thing is that I'm working with Kavan Smith on Eureka so we're on the same set because he plays the robot, the Android. So that's - it was really funny to walk on the set and see him there. It's the other side of Canada and I was like whoa, we're working together again.
But it was really fun because we definitely, you know, it was a very small cast so we worked together and we were kind of on location an hour away from town every day so we really did work well together. And it's always - it always means a lot to create a little family when you shoot something. So the little Red family was definitely a very supportive, fun group to play with.
QUESTION: The house that you shot your interiors in was really something. Do you know anything about the house or did you ask about, you know, whose house that was or what the history of it was? It was a really cool home.
FELICIA DAY: Yeah it was actually - it was a very old house that had been recently renovated and in fact half the house had not been renovated so most of the rooms were not - were in the process of being renovated. So the kitchen was done, the dining room was done, the living room was done but other rooms were just gutted.
And the - it went on forever. And if you - a couple of scenes that take place on the roof which is like above the third floor and then as far as the last, some of the fight scenes completely utilized all the architecture inside that house.
QUESTION: I noticed on your blog you're quite involved in doing voiceover for games and are you a gamer?
FELICIA DAY: Am I a gamer? Yes I'm definitely a gamer. I would define myself solely as a gamer if you had to tell me I had to pick an adjective. Yeah, I actually - that's my first love.
The Guild, my web show is about gamers and online gamers and I wrote it because of my past has always been online gaming and interacting with people online even when it was - before the Internet was the Internet really like on Prodigy and .
I would dial up when I was six years old to get Kings Quest tips and things like that. So I feel like I was definitely weaned on the Internet and gaming is the thing that I do in my past time.
It's just - it's been a huge privilege to be a part of some of these games that I've done the voices with. I did Rock of the Dead with Neil Patrick Harris and Fallout which I played for eight hours yesterday and finally recruited myself which is a really - that was very odd to recruit myself and have myself talk to myself to me who is a player but play with my character. But my character is so good in that game I have a pneumatic gauntlet...she's completely overpowered in a wonderful way and she has great one-liners. The writers told me that they definitely were inspired by Joss Whedon when they wrote the character so I have the best clips in the game, I have to say not modestly.
QUESTION: You've been involved with some projects that have an avid fan following both for the project itself and for your characters. Do you see this particular project Red as eliciting the same response from the fans?
FELICIA DAY: I would hope so. I can't predict what fans, I mean, that's what I think that I come from a background of the fans are doing me a favor. Their support is completely voluntary and what sparks with them sparks with them. And I don't come from the idea that I try to make people like something.
So I feel like I did a lot of really good work and I feel like the movie is really fun so I can only hope but you never know how people receive things. So I know that I really enjoy it and I would be a fan of this or I wouldn't have done the project.
QUESTION: Talking about the fans and the fan response, I read on your blog that you have a little movement going where you're trying to get Red to outdo Sharktopus and which by the way was a lot of fun so I can hardly wait to see Red. But how has the response been to that so far?
FELICIA DAY: I mean, that was kind of a teasing thing. I'm not going to do a campaign about it. But yeah, it would be nice to at least equal Sharktopus because Sharktopus, they're definitely two different kinds of movies and I think that's cool that Syfy is doing different genres of this kind of movie.
Like I said, Red is much more dramatic and horror based. But at the same time you could definitely have fun with it when there's just some over the top things. And we were talking about werewolves too so I feel like the same sort of that guise is underneath it all.
And if I could beat Sharktopus - I feel like I could probably stab Sharktopus myself because I trained really hard. So if we were in a tussle together, I don't want to bet but at least I'd put up a good fight.
QUESTION: What was the main differences between Toronto and Vancouver because you - from the series to the movie? What sort of differences were there?
FELICIA DAY: That's interesting. Well first of all I shot in Toronto in the winter so it was extremely cold. And from what I understand Vancouver doesn't actually get that cold so that was - it was kind of an interesting contrast. I had never been to Canada before I went to Toronto so it was definitely an eye opening experience.
I felt like the crews in both places are very friendly and supportive and I like the idea that the actors kind of interact with the crew on a more work level basis. Everybody is just there to do their work. I felt like that was kind of a commonality between working in Vancouver and working in Toronto. There's less separation between the actors and the crew which I kind of thought was really nice.
The Red crew was much smaller because even though there [were] lots of actions and stunts it was just I guess a lower budget and a smaller production. So we were moving as fast on Red as we were ever on The Guild really. It was a whirlwind. And being able to do the stunts, you get one take and we'd move on. And at the end of the day we'd just be always - it's always the film making mantra is you never have enough time to do what you want.
But, there were some really cool locations we shot on versus in Vancouver we're shooting mostly on the stages. That - if you see some of the stills there is like an old shanty town that where we walk through and that town actually just exists. It's an old set that just kind of deteriorated which really provided awesome production value to I think what - to Red.
QUESTION: And you will be doing season 5 of The Guild hopefully later in this year. Do you think there could be a sequel to Red?
FELICIA DAY: We don't know. Season 4 just wrapped up just like two weeks ago so we're still between seasons. Whether we're going to get picked up by Microsoft and Sprint again, I would hope so. If you saw the cliffhanger I definitely at least know a little bit of what is going to go on next season so cross fingers about that. We should hear around the beginning of the year probably.
And, you never know with projects whether they're going to have - go on to have a further life. It would definitely be fun to put my knives back on.
QUESTION: Season 5 of The Guild will pick up at the convention?
FELICIA DAY: I can't - I'm not going to confirm or deny that. I don't want to promise something before I have sat down to, you know, I'm actually in the middle of writing the comic books. I'm doing five more issues with Dark Horse so Zork is coming out at the end of December and I just turned in the script for Tink and then I'm moving on to Bladezz that I'm co-writing with The Guild director Sean Becker which will be very cool.
And, Dark Horse has lined up some amazing cover artists for this sequence so I'm very excited for people to see them and also to enjoy kind of a little more back story with the characters we don't know quite as much about.
QUESTION: I have always thought of the Syfy movies as sort of a recess for actors in a way. So I was wondering, since this is not something you're known for and it's something brand new and something you could really cut loose, did you have a feeling that you could just really go for it and do things you hadn't done before?
FELICIA DAY: Absolutely. Like I said, I really was on a short availability window during this period when we shot Red. And I had turned down a bunch of other - a couple of other things just because I was so busy, because writing takes up so much of my time and it's very important to me to get my script really, really refined before I produce it.
So this was something that just kind of - it came out of left field but it definitely was an opportunity to stretch my acting legs and also just focus on being an actor for once. It was definitely something that I felt like was an interesting challenge.
I always look at a project and am I going to learn from this and am I going to learn a new skill from this and is it something that I don't think I'll get the opportunity to do again in the future? And this project definitely was check, check, check on all those levels because I'm not the stereotypical action star. So just the opportunity to be able to do that was just - it's very flattering and just a great experience.
QUESTION: So whether or not it was a - it would be a sequel for Red or something else as interesting, would you definitely be up for another Syfy movie down the road?
FELICIA DAY: Yeah absolutely. I just - it would just depend on the role and the timing but I - obviously Syfy likes what I do which I feel is very flattering and we're in the same worlds in a sense. And it feels good to know that this is all kind of the result of all the hard work that I do on my web show every day. It definitely is one of those true Hollywood stories in that hard work does get - beget work. So I really love that.
QUESTION: Bouncing back to your upcoming guest spot on Eureka, when we had talked to Neil Grayston a couple of months ago he said that he thought that your character of Dr. Holly Martin would be involved in a love triangle with Wil Wheaton's character.
And then when you were shooting over there, there was a curious tweet from Colin Ferguson about him saying something about him standing in front of you naked for two hours. What can you tell us about this and is there a love triangle between your character, Wil Wheaton's character, and Colin Ferguson's character?
FELICIA DAY: No no, the - my primary storyline is between Fargo and Wil Wheaton although I do have the privilege of working with the other actors in many, many different scenes throughout the season.
Yeah that was just a coincidental situation where somebody was unclothed in a scene that I was in and brandishing his bicep weapons at me. And I couldn't stop giggling even if we were rolling so that was - he was just harassing me.
QUESTION: Is Fargo the third leg of that triangle?
FELICIA DAY: Yes he is.
QUESTION: Oh my goodness, I'm so glad that Fargo is getting, you know, some action.
FELICIA DAY: Yeah, no I'm sure he - yeah no, it's very funny. It's a tumultuous situation. It's definitely a lot of tension between the three that I can't tell you where it culminates.
QUESTION: In your episodes does Stan Lee also guest star in the same episodes?
FELICIA DAY: I was in the - yes I was acting in the episode that Stan Lee was in, yes.
FELICIA DAY: So that was exciting because I know him from the conventions, just meeting him there. So I had actually seen him the weekend before at a convention and it was like a reunion with him. He is one of the most charming, nice people I have ever met and just a sweetheart.
I've never seen actually anybody on a set more - people - the crew who are just usually kind of not really excited about actors because that's the job. They were fan girling and fan boying out over him getting pictures with him. And he was so gracious; he posed for probably like 60 photos just for the crew. I mean, just a class act.
QUESTION: I've been seeing in the news that a lot of the younger generation are less inclined to choose a career in math and science these days. And I know that you mention in your blog that you were home schooled and that you didn't necessarily like experience the stigma of being, you know, like a geek or, you know, too smart or something.
And even though being a geek is chic like amongst our generation, I don't know if it's evolved past that in, you know, regular everyday schools for kids today. What would you say to them to encourage them not to be afraid to be intelligent?
FELICIA DAY: I think it's very complicated and nothing that - I don't think there's one thing that could change all children to love math and science.
But I do feel like the thing that made me as a child want to be good at math and want to know science and math was that my parents were both scientists. My dad was a doctor, my mom was a microbiologist, my grandfather is a nuclear physicist. So in our family there was no question whether you would be educated in that area, it would just be which topic and how good are you.
So there was a big motivation and I think it all comes down to mentors. And, those are things that we in the public eye, I think that it's interesting. Geeks are a little bit chic but it's more underground.
Like if you think of just the typical woman that a 12 year old girl would emulate and admire right now, I don't know that it's going to be a woman who's necessarily known for her brains or for her scientific acumen or any of that. Not to insult anybody but I'm just - it's more about looks and about what purse you have and more reality TV based. And I feel like the thing that you can do as a creator is to create roles that are not stereotypical like that, that just don't base on looks.
And, one of the things that's a byproduct of what I do on the Internet that's the thing that I'm most proud of is that girls are much more proud of saying that they're gamers or sort of coming out of the closet as gamers. Because they were there the whole time but it was just considered weird or unless you look like some kind of really, really hot over the top stereotypical "gamer girl" that you shouldn't say that you're a gamer.
So to me it's all about mentors and making it acceptable and having people that you want to emulate and admire who are interested in those things. So, I mean, I don't know what the quick solution is but it's just encouraging mentors in a sense will make people, that's really what people and kids want to drive themselves toward achieving in.
QUESTION: Can you talk about working on Dr. Horrible? I would love that.
FELICIA DAY: I mean, there's a lot to talk about. It was an amazing experience. I don't think that I'll ever have a job to top my experience on that set. Really, it was about working with fantastic people but every single person was really there for the love of the project.
It wasn't really a job because clearly it was done on such a low budget and nobody was really getting paid an advance for it like a normal TV show or movie. But everybody knew that - there was like a crackling creativity on set that everybody knew that they were making the best thing they possibly could with no interference and their vision was going directly to the screen without having the typical steps that you do when you develop something.
So, it definitely was just an amazing experience and clearly lives on. I hope that in the future they re-explore the universe of it whether, you know, I don't know if I would be involved or not but I could only hope.
QUESTION: You talked a bit about your dream role and wanting to play a villain and all that but is there someone specific that you really want to work with in the future?
FELICIA DAY: Wow, there's some fantastic directors I would love to work with, Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson and, I could go down the list of directors that I would love to work with. I'd love to work with Ron Moore and Bryan Fuller. There are certain people that just really make me, you know, Simon Pegg, I would love to act with Simon Pegg.
I definitely have a little dream list of my own going on. Who knows if that would ever happen but those are the people that definitely make me squeal if I ever was even in a room with them. I think I saw the back of Tina Fey's head once and I almost fainted.
QUESTION: You mentioned a lot of directors. Have you ever considered directing yourself since you usually do the writing?
FELICIA DAY: I've never directed anything and I think that my experience writing comic books made me appreciate it on a different level. I agreed to do the comics with Dark Horse for The Guild without really thinking through what a comic book writer really, I mean, I appreciated it but unless you do it you don't appreciate what a comic book writer really does.
And a comic book writer is the function of what is on screen that a director would do, a DP would do, a writer, and production designer really. I mean, you really do - are the master of that domain in a world - in a way that I didn't really appreciate before I started.
So training myself to think visually in order to write the comics was definitely a training wheels experience. But I feel like that is definitely something that would contribute to my interest to direct in the future. Right now I'm really concentrating on developing the ideas that I want. I'm working on a couple other web series right now to do between Guild seasons and as a creator I'm really driven to get the stories I want to out there.
But I definitely won't rule out the idea of trying to direct in the future. Everything I have always tried to do it just raises my appreciation for what those people - the experts in that field do.
QUESTION: I love that you mentioned King's Quest because I haven't thought of that in forever. How are you feeling today?
FELICIA DAY: I'm good. You can actually download King's Quest on gog.com, g-o-g.com. It's a site that I just got this little alien wire notebook and I've been downloading all these old games that I played as a kid like Masquerade Vampire and all the King's Quest and Space Quest and Planescape Torment and all the old - yeah so they have a great list of old games they have adapted for modern use and I've just been wasting a lot of time on that...It's a great website and it's only like $6 for them so it's like a total deal.
QUESTION: From the trailer, your character seems very tough, very gritty. Can you talk about how you relate to Virginia's personality?
FELICIA DAY: Yeah, it was definitely something that I worked on a lot to be able to ground her. And, it's hard - you can see somebody sometimes acting tough and I wanted to make sure that it was something organic.
I have a perception of myself as being tougher in my head than I know that I look so that was definitely something that I had to work on. And, as an actor I just worked to ground her and try to find some traits that we had in common.
She's a character that really cares deeply about everybody and is torn and really wants to make everything work. And I definitely feel that in myself that not only do I get together, but people to put together a Web show and almost no money.
So I feel like there is a commonality in that, and I always love bringing out the best in people. That's something that really I realize makes me happy in life and I feel like that's sort of a commonality in this character. She's definitely thinking of other people before herself in a sense.
QUESTION: Will you be watching this with friends live on Syfy as it airs or anything?
FELICIA DAY: Yeah absolutely. I think the producer has a screening planned for Saturday and I think I'm getting back into town from Eureka just on Saturday morning. So I'll be tired but I definitely will be watching. I think it's just so cool. I didn't know that it was supposed to air so on this date and when I heard it I just thought, it's a perfect time to air it because who doesn't want to kill werewolves on a Halloween weekend?
QUESTION: And will you tell us what you're going to do for Halloween?
FELICIA DAY: I actually have no plans. I actually specialize in the complaining about having no costume at the last minute even though I should have planned ahead.
A friend of mine actually gives out - has a really big Halloween party every weekend so - or every year so this Sunday I'll be at her house handing out candy because I like to not give candy to kids who don't have a costume on. I'm sort of the candy administrator of the block so that's pretty fun.
And somebody on Twitter actually this morning gave me a really good idea for a costume. They suggested that I dress as my Fallout character Veronica the scribe and I thought that's kind of fun. If I could just get a pneumatic glove though before Sunday I'll be there.
QUESTION: Or you could do something for the candy administrator like a button and some kind of hat, I don't know.
FELICIA DAY: It's true. Maybe a mustache.
QUESTION: I've just got a question about your character in Red. You know, on a show like Buffy which, you know, it's kind of obvious to me is a (unintelligible) being a werewolf slayer and whatnot. On Buffy she's kind of like, you know, all the (unintelligible) because she's chosen one. You know, she's kind of a natural in so many ways. Is that the same for your character in Red?
FELICIA DAY: I think it's interesting because in Buffy, Vi was chosen to be a slayer and kind of found herself in being chosen and I think it's actually almost the opposite. It's taking that idea of being chosen and showing the dark side of it really in this movie because my character Red does not feel settled with the idea of being trapped by destiny in a sense.
She was chosen before birth because the family is obligated to fight werewolves but it's not something that she definitely - she wanted for herself. She didn't want that to be her only aspect or to trap her into not living her life fully. And really that's the core of the conflict, trying to fight fate in a sense.
So yeah, I feel like it's almost the opposite of Vi. I mean, like I said, I think that the role that most closely, you know, performance wise and just personality wise that I have played before, the most similar would be my role in Dollhouse when I played Mag because she was sort of out of her element in a sense and fighting, tired of the world breaking down in a sense and feeling helpless and just trying to get day to day.
QUESTION: is kind of with The Guild in some ways because, you know, I'm aware The Guild is a completely independent production that you've done yourself and I actually have a friend who is embarking on his own web series. I'm just wondering, what advice would you give to people out there that are planning to do their own Web series? You know, what would you say the pitfalls are?
FELICIA DAY: I would just say that, shooting it, it's like every film, really shooting it and getting it made is only like 20% of the work. The work with the Web series is being smart about how you find your audience, about how you interact with your audience, and how you retain your audience.
We are very privileged to have very loyal fans that carry us through with no advertising whatsoever. Microsoft puts us on their portals but we don't have billboards, we don't have ads, we don't have anything really to publicize this and yet we still have millions and millions of views, we sell a DVD in stores, we have - so it's completely word of mouth.
And I think that you always have to operate - at the end of the day you always have to do the work yourself so any extra help you get from your distributor or the places you upload, it's only going to - you always have to rely only on yourself and everything else is kind of bonus.
I guess also I would say please make sure that you take time with the script. I know a lot of people who have written a first draft of a script and they think that's writing but really I discovered that the first draft is merely a roadmap and you have to really, really work so hard in order to make the script go.
Because if you have a great script it doesn't matter how much you pay your actors or how nice a camera you have or if you have money to do special effects. Like if you have a good story it will definitely shine through and the problem is that some people are a little hasty and think that just having a script equals let's just go shoot it.
I think being careful about what you present is the most important thing because the Web, you know, you can find an audience for anything. So if you make sure your story is something that just a small segment of the population will like you'll find an audience and that's the beautiful thing about the Web.
QUESTION: When you talk about Syfy stuff on Syfy Channel and stuff like that, can you ever see yourself playing a role in Dr. Who if it was actually offered and if it was, what kind of role would you like it to be?
FELICIA DAY: Oh wow. I mean, yeah, I mean, I could definitely see myself doing that. I mean, like I said earlier, like it would be fantastic to play somebody evil to be honest with you. That would be kind of a treat for me. But, there are certain iconic franchises like Dr. Who that, I mean, honestly just a walk-on part would just thrill me to the bone.
QUESTION: So when you said...that most of the cast on Red was Canadian, were you aware of Stephen McHattie when you went up there? Had you been aware of his work since he's a bit of an icon as far as sci-fi and Canadian work in general?
FELICIA DAY: Yeah, well I think he's one of those actors that you don't know that you know him until you see his face and then you're like, "Oh my gosh, that's that guy..." - Yes, what a great actor, like really just immersive really in the part. Sometimes I didn't know if he was in character or not off the set. He is just - he is definitely inspirational in that he took what was on the page and just kind of made it his own in a way that you could never have scripted honestly.
So he's definitely an icon and working, I found in the past that you definitely - there are certain actors that raise the bar for the other actors and definitely make them better at what they do. And he is one of those guys that you never see the actor in him, you just see the truth of the character. So he was actually pretty frightening to be honest with you.
QUESTION: You are involved in so many different types of activities and types of work. Which one sorts of feeds you the most, which one do you wake up the most excited about being able to do for the day?
FELICIA DAY: I think that I'm a little ADD in the sense that I love everything I do. I love the waking up to write something, I love working on a new project, I love actually giving notes. I'm producing a couple of web series with my co-producer and we're developing the scripts and just being able to help people on their scripts is really fun for me. I love being on set, I mean, I love taking around the craft service tray to make sure that everybody has a carrot or a cupcake.
So to me the collaborative nature of film making is something that I love so no matter what role I'm playing I really enjoy it and I feel like I'm really doing something that is fulfilling in life.
Even waking up and spreading the word about a new episode, like that is kind of a thrill. That's something I would never want to give up being able to release stuff into the wild onto the Web and see all the feedback good and bad. That's just what goes with the territory when you have millions of people at your fingertips. So it definitely toughens you up but it definitely makes me - it keeps me going.
QUESTION: So are you one of those folks that can go on like four hours a night? It sounds like you just have full days.
FELICIA DAY: No no, I'm a big sleeper so I trade sleeping for social life mostly.
QUESTION: You did mention other web series projects. And you probably can't talk about them but are you going to stay in the comedy realm, are you going to try getting into some of the dramatic roles that you were talking about, some of what you've done with Red?
FELICIA DAY: I can't really say anything but I would say a couple of each. I am working on something a little more dramatic but we'll see. It's a long development process. Like I say, I will not take one step forward unless I think the script is good enough to step forward on. It's just as long as there's no deadline I will spend as long as I need to make sure that I'm proud of every word that comes off the page.
QUESTION: And then holiday videos, you guys are known for creating some very memorable holiday videos. Is there one in the works for the remainder of the year? Will we see one?
FELICIA DAY: No not for the remainder of the year because there are some production conflicts with some people. But I do - I am looking toward early next year to see what holidays are there in the first quarter or couple of quarters of the year to definitely do one. We're going to release our Halloween video that was only on the DVD perhaps to YouTube this year. So that would be a good idea I think. But nothing for Christmas because we did Christmas last year, I don't want to ever do the same thing.
QUESTION: Hey, move back to a discussion of Red a little bit. We touched on a little bit the fact that you've got some guns and some other things going on in the role. Can you talk a little bit about the physical demands? Were there some stunts you got to do or fun stuff like that at all?
FELICIA DAY: Yeah, I did a lot of stunts. They did have a stunt double there to do some of the things but I definitely - I requested to go up early just to be able to train with some things. And I definitely got in better shape than I've ever been in my life for this. I worked out every single day. And it makes me admire the other mainstream actresses who are known for their physicality.
Like it's a full time job just to stay in shape for things like this because you're working 12 hours a day. You have to find time to physically stay in it as well as this character is a little more mature and also Kavan, I wanted to make sure that the back story with Kavan and I was believable. So, the way I did my hair, the way that I dressed, it was all things that I got to collaborate on with the director and the producers.
It definitely was one of those things where I would really just wake up and go to set and go to bed. And by the end of the week we had like 7:00 pm calls so I didn't - my body had no idea what day it was. I would go out to brunch and they were like it's Monday, you can't have brunch because we were working on 18 hour days.
So yeah, it was very physically demanding and made me appreciate working on Buffy with Sarah Michelle Gellar, working all day every day, being first in, last out. It definitely seems glamorous on the outside but somebody like Colin on Eureka even, he's working every single day all day in every scene and it's a lot of hard work. It's definitely something to admire.
QUESTION: Good, thanks for taking the time to meet with us. I just had a quick question I want to know. I mean, obviously you're very passionate about the acting and the writing, producing and everything. I mean, what sort of got you into it? Have you always been into it or what just sort of I guess made you follow that path?
FELICIA DAY: No no, not at all actually. When I decided to film The Guild and put it online, I was terrified. When I sat down to write a script for the first time ever and actually complete it, it was kind of a terrifying experience.
And I think that sort of inhibits a lot of people from actually following through with something they think they'd like to do but they're afraid, they're afraid that it's not going to be good, they're afraid that it's going to be too hard, they're afraid that nobody will watch it. There are just all these fears that I think prevent people from creating.
And, the best - the most rewarding things that I've gotten out of this whole journey in the last three years is that setting your fears aside and just plowing ahead no matter what will happen reaps the most rewarding and gratifying things in life.
So yeah, I just - it was a situation where I was just frustrated with the roles that I was getting. I was being typecast more and more as kind of this quirky secretary role who would just have a walk-on. And it just got very frustrating and I didn't think that was all that I had to offer and I didn't see any other option other than to quit and do something else with my life or just really forge ahead and try to invent something myself.
Not to say that I have this grand vision, I just was trying to be creatively fulfilled and just doing that and getting talented people to work with me, we all made this every single day for no money, and this has come out of it.
It really is gratifying that hard work, and it is very hard work. I'm on the Internet all day every day doing what I do. But it does pay off in a sense that I've opened the door to do something like Red where I'm in the lead and I'm not behind a desk being a secretary.
QUESTION: Have you always wanted to be an actress? Have you always wanted to go down that road? Or when you were growing up is there something else you thought you wanted to be?
FELICIA DAY: I mean, when I was growing up yeah, my aunt was the one who encouraged me. She actually had a theater degree and she encouraged me to start acting when I was like 8. I did community theater, I did Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.
But, I was primarily a violinist. I had been playing the violin since I was 3 and it was really sort of - I went to college early, I was 16, I got a full scholarship and I did a bunch of competitions, I did solo work, and I won all these things and I performed in front of orchestras.
So, really the plan was to be a violinist but when I got into college when I realized what the options were with that, I didn't really necessarily want to play in an orchestra for the rest of my life. So I knew that being a performer, being creative would always be part of my life and acting, it sort of as I went through college became the thing that I definitely wanted to try to do. And I moved to LA right after I graduated.
QUESTION: I want to know how is it working with Kavan because you worked with him not only on this but also as W.D. Andy on Eureka.
FELICIA DAY: Yeah, it's so funny when I walked on the set and I saw him there. It was really funny. We worked together several times during the season and it's just like a homecoming being able to work with actors. It's a very small, tight group and it seems like especially when you go to conventions you know everybody there and you learn to know everybody through that.
So I had - it's just a great time being able to reunite with him in a completely different role. We don't have to have the chemistry necessarily on Eureka that we had to have on Red.
QUESTION: And working in radio I have to ask, if you were to press "shuffle" on your iPod right now what would be the most embarrassing song that would play?
FELICIA DAY: Oh boy, like that new shoe song. I mean, honestly I listen to really bad stuff. I mean, it's the worst 80s music the better. There's probably some, Cool Sunglasses, what is that one? That's a terrible one. Duran Duran...It's not bad but, I mean, there are levels of bad. I love - personally I love Roxette. I'm a big Roxette defender.
QUESTION: The Look.
FELICIA DAY: People put them - yes, The Look is right here. I'm looking at it right now. It sounds like somebody is playing somebody in the background there. Is it Hall & Oates?
QUESTION: No right now it's Lee Ann Rimes' I Need You.
FELICIA DAY: Oh okay, that's pretty embarrassing but good.
QUESTION: You had mentioned something about like you're a fan of paranormal romances. Like which ones?
FELICIA DAY: Oh all of them. If you check my goodreads.com, account/feliciaday I have hundreds of books on the vaginal fantasy and vaginal urban fantasy shelves.
I really love, I mean, I'm a huge fan of Ilona Andrews and Richelle Mead and Rachel Caine and Lisa Shearin. I mean, I literally probably have read all of them. I'm not kidding. There are some others that I'm getting to. I'm reading like a really cool steampunk novel right now by Meljean Brooks, Meljean Brooks.
And I guess - oh there's a great urban fantasy series that I just discovered that I'm obsessed with by (Caroline Kane) which is Doubleblind. It's fantastic. It's like a neurotic superhero urban fantasy. It's like my favorite thing going on right now.
QUESTION: Oh gosh, that's awesome. And I don't know if you've ever read what was it called, Sunshine by Robin McKinley.
FELICIA DAY: Yeah Robin McKinley?
FELICIA DAY: Yeah, I love that book. It's actually one of my top favorite books. I wish she'd do a sequel but I guess that would not really work out but I love the world that she created, that's for sure.
QUESTION: I had talked to Charlaine Harris who did the True Blood inspired books and she has even requested a sequel for that and it's just not going to happen.
FELICIA DAY: Why? Oh that's so weird.
QUESTION: Well it's because Robin McKinley is very, you know, she's like that's a contained book.
FELICIA DAY: Yeah I love her work. I've read all her other fantasy stuff, I love it...I always make sure that it's all listed on Good Reads.
QUESTION: So you are in a movie with, you know, the werewolf thing and you've done the vampire thing. Do you have a preference which is sexier?
FELICIA DAY: Well from a dating standpoint definitely I think vampires because the whole hair thing doesn't work for me.
QUESTION: No, okay. You like them less (resute).
FELICIA DAY: Yeah I like the genteel vampire is definitely one that I'm a fan of. I definitely am a fan of Jean Claude from the early I Need a Break novels. I feel like he was kind of the paragon of that in the early ones like 1 through 5.
QUESTION: The early ones, right. It gets a little dicey later on.
FELICIA DAY: Yeah.
QUESTION: And then when you were doing your stunts, did you have any injuries?
FELICIA DAY: I had bruises all over my body all the time but no injuries because I did work out a lot. I think the worst thing you can do is go and do something really physical and not be in shape. So I went to my gym and I took like old lady weightlifting classes and like little cheerleader girls would go Lift and Lift and they would play like Pump It Up. And you know what, it got me in shape so I can't complain about it.
QUESTION: You've mentioned okay guns and knives and a harpoon. What are all the weapons you're going to be using in this movie?
FELICIA DAY: I mean, there are a lot and I think that's where the fun comes in. This is a very serious movie but you can definitely laugh with it on some of the parts that it takes very seriously but where I have a harpoon in my hands. I feel like there is that sort of element that it's a little over the top which I think is fantastic. It definitely infuses a fun spirit underneath a lot of drama and horror.
So I use an array of weapons. I have knives and various - some of the other cast members have some great like cyberpunk Tommy gun looking things. So yeah, there's some really fun things. It's definitely something you can have fun with looking in the background at all the things that are on the wall.
QUESTION: Oh oh, sorry one more. When is Eureka starting? Do you know?
FELICIA DAY: I don't know that. I don't know that Syfy has announced when the back ten of the season has been - will air. I'm not sure. Sometime next year I'm sure.
QUESTION: Hey Felicia, going back to Red, you were talking a little bit about the mythology of her family and the story of how we get to the storyline of Red coming from the fairytale.
At the end of the Grimm version of Little Red Riding Hood, Riding Hood and her grandmother do actually set a trap for another opportunistic wolf and, you know, as they have learned from their first experience. Does Red take that and kind of progress it to a werewolf kind of hunting modernization of the story?
FELICIA DAY: I think that was definitely the inspiration from it. Like I think the fairytale itself was only like a jumping off point about the idea that if the first Red Riding Hood killed the first wolf then what if they felt like the responsibility was to kill all wolves forever and keep them away from the world.
So, I mean, it's not so much a literal I think interpretation as just a jumping off point of the idea that you have werewolves joined with that fairytale which I think is kind of a clever thing.
QUESTION: Are you more of a werewolf person or a vampire person? Because I know that usually people are one or the other.
FELICIA DAY: Yeah, I mean, I think there has been really fun stuff on both ends as far as literature. I love Mercedes Thompson or Mercy Thompson. Those books are fantastic ones that made me love werewolves in a way that I didn't like before.
So I have to say that vampires are definitely my preference but there are certain books that bring werewolves to life really, really well and hopefully that will kind of continue into Red be a sort of humanization or anthropomorphize them, is that the word?
QUESTION: Well I'm an old Vampire the Masquerade lover so I'm friendly in the - that's my little geek secret.
FELICIA DAY: Oh that's very cool. I just downloaded that on - the old game on gog.com.
QUESTION: What was the most fun you had in that role?
FELICIA DAY: It was fun like at the - I love doing the fights things, I really did. Being able to run and jump on people and like slash and learning how to use a gun. Like I said, I actually went and trained and went to a shooting range and shot real guns to do that because I didn't want to look like I didn't know how to handle a firearm which was really fun.
Those are the fun things in acting when you can learn something new and you take that through. It changes you. Those things just add to who you are and what you know how to do.
QUESTION: I was reading your book list. You've read a lot of books.
FELICIA DAY: Oh yeah, that's not even all of them. Somebody - I just - some of them I don't have listed so yeah, I read a lot. I love my Kindle, I read a lot.
QUESTION: Well I suggest Nina Bangs for paranormal romance. That's who I like.
FELICIA DAY: Oh I've never picked her up because of her name but I guess I'll try it.
QUESTION: Yeah actually they're really good. They're funny and got the romance so I like it. Can you talk about maybe your favorite scene in Red the film without giving too much away?
FELICIA DAY: Yeah I don't know if I can give a lot away. I do - I feel like there are some dramatic things when I'm - I think the more - the scenes - there are a couple of scenes if you take one where I'm very disempowered. It's sort of - that would be with the bad guy Steve McHattie.
And there's definitely a scene there that has a lot of subtext and I think was kind of dramatically shot and it was just really fun to be able to act like that. And then of course the ending, the finale, I don't want to give anything away but there's some really fun things that happen in that and there was a lot to coordinate.
But I can't wait to see it. I haven't actually seen some of the final, final wolves so it was always something where it was what do the werewolves look like and it was always oh they're going to look like this. And to see them come to life now in the post phase was kind of a thrill for me.
QUESTION: Since we've been talking so much about Sci-Fi and fantasy and everything -- if you could have a superpower what would it be?
FELICIA DAY: I always thought - I've been playing Fallout and the pleasure that I get stealing things from people, I think that I would want to be invisible because then I could sneak around and eavesdrop and steal things. I have to say that's probably what I would do...Yeah those are my favorite video games where I get to steal stuff out of drawers.