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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
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?
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.
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.
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
Brittany: Yeah, I think with the Napster,
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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Page updated 3/27/19