Interview with Brittany Curran of "The Magicians" on Syfy - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Karl

Brittany Curran

Interview with Brittany Curran of "The Magicians" on Syfy 3/27/19

Karl: You had said that you keep a journal as Fen, and youíve talked to your therapist in character. I was wondering, do you ever interact with the writers regarding any of this?

Brittany: Like, get their input?

Karl: Maybe just... sharing what you do, or just finding out what they think of it?

Brittany: Oh, yeah, itís funny because whenever I start my journaling for the season, or when I had my therapy session with my therapist about my character, I didnít do it fully in character. I didnít pretend that I was Fen. I more so talked about where her psychology was coming from, so it wasnít fully as her, it was a therapy session about her. But before I go into every season I will usually have a conversation or send some emails back and forth with the creators, just to get their insight on if my motivations with Fen align with what their motivations are, and they are really collaborative. So we usually start the season with that, and me clarifying why Fen is doing this, or why she is doing that. They get a kick out of the fact that I did the therapy session for Fen. I know they like it and that itís not a standard thing, so I think they are amused by it in a positive way. I donít talk to them specifically on what I say in the therapy session because I treat it like a real therapy session, with deep private thoughts kept private.

Karl: To expand on that, when you are talking with the writers, do you ever give them suggestions, and do they ever use them?

Brittany: Yeah, sometimes the actors will have a discussion at the end of a table read to figure out why a character is doing something, or if we really really think a character wouldnít do or say something, we might say something. I do that very sparingly, though, because I like to respect the writers, because I bring Fen to life, but theyíre the ones that gave Fen life, and theyíre the ones that created her. I definitely have suggestions sometimes... sometimes Iím half joking, but I think they are a very receptive and collaborative group.

Karl: Yeah, thereís not too much known about Fenís back story still.  Youíre still finding most stuff out along the way, so it is pretty open to having suggestion with finding out new unexpected things, like how the farm girl turned out to be a good knife and sword fighter.

Brittany: Yeah, totally, and I think... I and the writers and everyone are figuring out Fen as we go along. I donít think Fen was meant to be as big of a character as she is, and so itís been this process of discovering Fen as she grows and becomes a more significant character on the show. Itís funny because Iím not actually 100% sure what Fenís backstory still is. I should probably have a deeper conversation with the writers about that, and more so find out the things I need to know in order to play her, or honor her as a character. A lot did come out in seasonÖ What was it? When Fen came out to be a FU fighter. That was a really big thing for me, as an actor, to learn that she used to be a FU Fighter. Because when we first meet Fen, yeah, sheís like a peasant girl, and sheís in an arranged marriage to a man who doesnít love her or really see her as an individual.  Thatís the way that Fen feels about it, that she doesnít really feel recognised by her husband in any way. And so, to find out about this girl thatís really quiet and goes along with the arranged marriage, and with being ignored all the time, that she actually was a fighter and that she really does care about Fillory to the point where she will physically fight for it...

Karl: Do you think her gullibility is part of that?

Brittany: Yeah, I think that part of her gullibility is due in part because most of the characters we see her with are children of Earth, and sheís a Fillorian. Itís just a thing, like going into a foreign country that youíve never been to and is culturally really different. I was just in China a couple weeks ago, and itís such a culture shift. I was reading an etiquette book about China because sometimes you go to another country and there are things that you think arenít rude are actually incredibly rude or vice versa.  And so for Fen, I think the children of Earth just know things inherently, and Fen doesnít know because sheís a Fillorian, and so I think if it was from a Fillorian's point of view, the other characters might end up looking a bit more gullible. I think, also, part of her gullibility is her belief that people are inherently good, and she just always believes the best in people. I mean, she gave Eliot a million chances as a husband, and I think she just believes that people are good, and thatís healthy. I mean, Iím like that myself in real life, but that can lead to being a little naive at times.

Karl: What about with Napster and some of the other magical creatures?

Brittany: Yeah, I think with the Napster, she was obviously conning them, and Margo knew from the start. I think that goes along with Fenís belief about people telling her the truth, but with the Napster, specifically, I think she just wanted... sheís just been pushed aside so often in her life, that since itís finally her quest, she just wanted to believe so deeply that she had a purpose and she had a quest, and so when she met the person she thought was going to give the quest to her, she just wanted to believe it more than anything, that it took over her common sense. Fenís smarter than that, like dealing with the fake Napster... Wait, sorry, I just realized youíre talking about the real Napster -- youíre not talking about the lady in green who was pretending to be the Napster?

Karl: Well, a little of both, because with the real Napster, she is telling you to kill Margo.

Brittany: The thing with that was that it was a real quest, and she is a real magical creature. I guess Fillorians are just used to magical creatures, and if you are sent on a quest, and that person tells you what to do, itís just a part of the Fillorian world. Fen ends up, obviously, not wanting to do it and wasnít going to do it, and Margo told her to banish her. I think, for a while, Fen was really stuck because she wanted to honor the premonitions.

Karl: Yeah, when I was thinking of this question, I wanted to put myself in your point of view, and think that maybe some of the magical creatures can be vengeful if you donít do what they say, like in the case of Pennyís hands, so I figured maybe youíd be more willing to follow her because of certain stories you might have heard in your time living in Fillory.

Brittany: Yeah, I think so... thatís just the world that Iíve lived in. Also, the whole purpose of this woman is that she can see the future, and she can see what the most correct path is. The only thing that confuses me is when she said to kill her, or ďdrench the crown in her blood.Ē Iím wondering if she said that, knowing that I wouldnít actually murder Margo, but that I would dethrone her, because I had to do that, so she wouldnít be a Fillorian so could go into the desert for her quest.

Karl: Yeah, if you are prepared for the worst, maybe you would do something less bad.

Brittany: Exactly. Make it so bad that the next worst thing is like, oh, thatís actually not too bad.

Karl: The show deviates from the books, and it doesnít show as much of Fillory, and I was wondering if there was anything that the book had that you wished, as a Fillorian, that the show would incorporate or expand upon.

Brittany: Yeah, actually, there is something in particular that Iíve always really loved in the books is that Fen can do magic.  She is a magician; she just chooses not to use magic, and she is a warrior instead.  And my Fen isnít a warrior, sheís just really good at using knives, which actually she might be, weíre just at the beginning of starting to see it now. So I would love it if they incorporated that into the show, that Fen has been able to do magic this whole time but just hasnít told anybody and chooses not to use it until she really has to. But, yeah, I think they are starting to play up her warrior background a bit, which is what Fen in the book has, and Iím trying to remember parts of the book that are different from the show. but I canít think of any right now.

Karl: Weíll probably get to more in Wednesdayís episode.

Brittany: Yes, for sure. Definitely actually.

Karl: So you just went to a singing audition, and the next episode is going to be a musical..

Brittany: Oh, yeah, I didnít think of that...what a coincidence.

Karl: So I assume itís going to incorporate some of the 80ís music on the iPod?

Brittany: Yeah, it will, partially...

Karl: Do you -- or, I guess it would be Margoís hallucination of you -- do you get a chance to sing anything?

Brittany: I do, actually, yeah. I think I can say that. Yeah, I do sing in it, which was a lot of fun.

Karl: I was wondering, because Fen originally wasnít a recurring character, and she was originally played by another actress. What was the story behind that?

Brittany: I donít know, actually. All I know is that she did the last episode in season one, and when I came in to audition, I didnít even know I was replacing somebody. I read the script, and I was really confused. I was like, it really feels like this character has already been introduced, and it took me so long to find out that she already had been introduced. Iím not sure what the story behind it was, and no one has told me, and I havenít really asked. But, yeah, I came in, and I was supposed to only do seven episodes, then they ended up putting me in twelve episodes of season two, and then they made me a series regular. So the character unexpectedly grew from what was originally written, which is good for me because I love playing Fen.

Karl: So youíre done shooting now?

Brittany: Yes, we wrapped in November and we start up again in June for season five.


Recently returning for its forth season and having already been renewed for a fifth, Syfy's "The Magicians" makes its powerful return to television to once again enchant its audience. Breakout beauty and talented actor Brittany Curran returns as 'Fen,' the acting High King of Fillory who is charged once again with ruling over and maintaining her beguiling kingdom and its subjects. We would love to arrange an interview with you and Brittany to discuss the wildly popular television and book series, as well as what lies ahead for the High King of Fillory in the upcoming season
In the newest season of "The Magicians," the adventure continues for everyone's favorite millennial magicians. Described as "hotly anticipated" by Variety and "terrific" by Forbes, the series is based on the New York Times best-selling trilogy of the same name by Lev Grossman, looking at magic through a dark lens and following a group of oddballs and misfits on their unpredictable adventures. Facing many hardships last season, including the discovery that the girl she thought was her daughter was a fairy spy and that her true daughter died during childbirth, Fen was seen in a dark place all the while trying to maintain peace in her kingdom. In the new season, the audience can expect to see a new side to Fen who is more determined than ever to find her own destiny and truly rule the land of Fillory.

Born and raised in Weymouth, Massachusetts, Curran was introduced to the world of entertainment and acting at the age of 9-years old when she went to a Britney Spears concert and saw an ad for an acting convention for kids in Los Angeles . After attending the convention later that year and acquiring a manager and agent, Brittany and her family moved out to Burbank, CA when she was 11 to pursue her dream full time. Brittany made her television debut on the hit FOX comedy skit series "MadTV," before booking roles in films such as 13 GOING ON 30, GO FIGURE, and LEGALLY BLONDES, as well as hit TV series including TNT's "Men of a Certain Age," FreeForm's "Twisted," and NBC's "Chicago Fire," to name a few.
When Brittany is not busy in front of the camera trying to save the world, she loves to donate her time to various charities and events giving back the community. Curran has recently participated in events with both the Los Angeles Children's Hospital, and the Boston Children's Hospital, and is also very interested in getting involved and potentially starting her own foundation focusing on organ transplantation; more specifically heart transplantation, a procedure that hits close to home with Brittany as her longtime boyfriend received a heart transplantation over 5 years ago.

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