Interview with Clea Duvall from "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles" on Lifetime - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Clea Duvall

Interview with Clea Duvall of "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles" on Lifetime 3/24/15

Clea is an amazing actress! She does a fabulous and understated job in this show. It was so nice to speak with her. She was great!

Moderator: Sony Publicity
March 24, 2015 1:00pm CT

Sony Publicity: Welcome to the Sony Pictures Television and Lifetime Television Press Conference Call for The Lizzie Borden Chronicles with Clea Duvall. Clea reprises her role of Emma Borden, Lizzieís sister, based on the hit Lifetime and Sony movie Lizzie Borden Took an Ax, which aired in January 2014.

The eight part limited series premieres on Sunday, April 5 at 10:00 pm ET/PT. Operator, please proceed with the call.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen participating, if youíd like to register a question please press 1, 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has already been answered and you want to withdraw your registration, please press 1, 3. Please be sure to lift your speakerphone before - Iím sorry. Be sure to lift your handset before entering your request.

I see our first question comes from the line of (Jamie Ruby). One moment here. (Jamie Ruby), your line is open. Please proceed.

Jamie Ruby: Hi thanks for talking to us today.

Clea Duvall: Thank you for - thank you.

Jamie Ruby: Iím really enjoying the series so far and also (unintelligible) in the rest of your work, too.

Clea Duvall: Thank you.

Jamie Ruby: I think I mostly remember you from The Faculty, I think. Thatís quite a while ago.

Clea Duvall: Yes.

Jamie Ruby: But anyway, my first question is do you think that Emma is generally safe from her sister or do you think that if she becomes kind of unnecessary, that Lizzie would take her out as well?

Clea Duvall: I think that Lizzie needs Emma more than Emma needs Lizzie. I think that Emma is the only reason why Lizzie has been able to survive as long as she has been - or as long as she has, because Emma is kind of her greatest enabler. Thatís true.

Jamie Ruby: All right. And then as a follow-up, can you talk about the costumes, you know, the period clothes and everything?

Clea Duvall: God yes. Our costume designer was so incredible, (Joseph). He, I mean, so creative and so beautiful and was able to make everything that Christina and I wore from scratch and, I met him in LA before we went out to shoot and he just had these bolts of fabric in this room just stacked up and would just go, ďDo you like this? Do you like that? Do you like this?Ē And then when I got to Halifax, there was this rack full of incredible, incredible clothing. And it really, you know, the second you put it on it was hard to not just kind of slip right into character and slip into that time.

Jamie Ruby: Thatís beautiful. All right well thank you so much.

Clea Duvall: Thank you.

Operator: And our next question comes from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation magazine. Your lineís open. Please proceed.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi. Such a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you for your time.

Clea Duvall: Of course. Thank you.

Jamie Steinberg: I was wondering was there anything you added to this role that wasnít originally scripted for you?

Clea Duvall: Well I think something that happened very naturally -- and it happened during the movie -- was just that as much as it is this kind of fun thriller, kind of horror series, what it really is, is a story about a family - these two sisters trying to survive. And thatís something that Christina and I both really kind of fought for and tried to keep at the forefront of everyoneís minds, just in terms of always what we were thinking about when we were approaching our scenes together.

And I think there were definitely elements of myself that I brought just in terms of, you know, I think weíve all had those dynamics, whether it be with a partner or a parent or a friend or a sibling that werenít necessarily good for us. But there was something we were getting out of it based on where we were in our lives at that time and I think that Emma definitely goes through such a huge change in that dynamic throughout the course of the season. And it was really a fun thing to play and I got to do a lot of really cool stuff.

Jamie Steinberg: Well you and Christina have such great chemistry together. Did you spend some time to bond or did you guys - were you familiar with each other before filming?

Clea Duvall: Weíve known each other for god, well I think I met Christina when I was 20, so she would have been 17. Iíve known her for a really long time and we ran in the same circles. We werenít necessarily that close when we were younger, but thereís just a level of comfort there that just really came naturally to us.

And we got along very well during the series - during the movie and then coming back, we spent a lot of time together offset and I really care about her. I think sheís a really special person, a really smart person and such a good actress. Like it never - I was never not impressed by her. There were days where I was just like, ďGod, how are you even doing that? How are you just acting totally normal with me and joking around and then the camera turns on and thatís what youíre doing?Ē Like no wonder.

Jamie Steinberg: No wonder.

Clea Duvall: No wonder youíre a movie star. It was pretty exciting to be a part of.

Jamie Steinberg: Great. Thank you so much again for all of your time.

Clea Duvall: Of course.

Operator: And our next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with the The TV MegaSite. Your lineís open. Please proceed.

Suzanne Lanoue: Good morning, Clea.

Clea Duvall: Good morning. How are you?

Suzanne Lanoue: All right, thanks.

Clea Duvall: Good.

Suzanne Lanoue: I enjoyed watching both the movie and the two episodes of the Chronicles I saw. I actually re-watched the movie last night to remind myself. Itís very - theyíre very different in a way because, you know, they expand so much more and the TV show is kind of more like a fantasy thing. And...

Clea Duvall: Yes.

Suzanne Lanoue: ...I was wondering your character - all the characters are more flushed out, it seems. I was wondering if they gave you any additional information besides whatís in the script about how your character is and going forward and all that kind of thing, background?

Clea Duvall: I think the movie was really trying to straddle the line between reality and fiction, and that, itís a tricky thing to do. And the movie to me felt a little more straightforward, a little more serious. And in the show, weíre able to have more fun with it and take way more liberties and create a whole different world.

And I think that was really - it just gave us so much more room to play and it was really, really fun. And we didnít really know what was going to happen because we would get the script so close to when we were shooting that we didnít always know what was coming next. But...

Suzanne Lanoue: Iím very glad that your character seems smarter this time around.

Clea Duvall: Yes. I think that it was - the show definitely has a clearer point of view I think. I think we really - it found itself a lot more in the show, just because, being able to tell a story over eight hours as opposed to two hours affords you a lot more luxury in terms of creating a character and arcs and stuff.

Suzanne Lanoue: Right, and make so much more creative (unintelligible)...

Clea Duvall: Yes. I love...

Suzanne Lanoue: ...not based on reality.

Clea Duvall: Yes. I love, I mean, I also just love the format of series. I love growing a character over time because you just donít get that luxury when youíre making a movie. Everything is so compressed and you get to really just let things breathe a lot more in the series.

Suzanne Lanoue: Right. Well I enjoyed it and I hope itís a big success.

Clea Duvall: Thank you so much.

Operator: Ok our next question comes from the line of (Eric Kavan) with Fire Down Below. Your lineís open. Please proceed.

Eric Kavan: Hi Clea.

Clea Duvall: Hey (Eric).

Eric Kavan: So this year marks the 15th anniversary of But Iím a Cheerleader, which I want to say thank you for being a part of such an iconic LGBT film. Was there any - can you offer - was there any memorable moments you can share from like the filming?

Clea Duvall: My god so many. There were so many memorable moments. I canít believe that was 15 years ago. Way to make me feel super old on a Tuesday morning. So crazy. Yes I mean, Natasha is still one of my best friends, as is Melanie Lynskey.

That movie was such a huge deal for Natasha and I as actors but also in our friendship. And we were very much like siblings in the filming and, you know, fighting all the time and I would just get so mad at her and (Jamie) is one of my oldest friends too and it just - I donít know if I can think of any one anecdote -- certainly not one that I would share publicly, or should.

But there was always Cathy Moriarty who was so incredible in that film and like the den mother for all of us. When we were shooting out at the house, that was a big house out in Palmdale and we were all staying out there and she was so cool. And at night, she would bring us all into her room and just talk to us and tell us stories. And we would all just sit and listen like little kids at story time and that was really fun.

It was such a great experience and, you know, Iíve been doing this for such a long time and the most vivid memories I have are of that and I think itís because, (Jamie) and Natasha and Melanie are still such significant parts of my life that, we all share those memories together and it really feels like just sort of like family experience. Iím so grateful that I got to be a part of it. I think itís certainly one of the most important things Iíve ever done in my career.

And still people come up to me all the time and kids, you know, like teenagers who are teenagers now who probably werenít even alive when it was made, that A, make me feel super old but also grateful that itís still relevant for people now and I just love that idea that itíll just continue on and keep being as meaningful to people today as it was 15 years ago when it came out.

Eric Kavan: Yes and then you also got to work with RuPaul in that.

Clea Duvall: Yes.

Eric Kavan: Have you ever been asked to be on her show as a judge?

Clea Duvall: No sheís never - weíve never seen each other again. I think she and Natasha have had contact since then but I donít - Iím not really sure.

Eric Kavan: Yes Natashaís been on. Cool thank you.

Clea Duvall: Thank you.

Operator: And our next question comes from the line of Megan Schaefer with International Business Times. Your time is open. Please proceed.

Megan Schaefer: Hi Clea. Really (glad) to be speaking with you today.

Clea Duvall: Thank you. Iím excited to be here.

Megan Schaefer: I was wondering in this first movie, your character seems like she assumed her sister committed the murders and...

Clea Duvall: Yes.

Megan Schaefer: ...she leaves the town.

Clea Duvall: Yes.

Megan Schaefer: But in the upcoming series youíre back. What happened? Did Emma forgive her sister or did she think thereís no way Lizzie could have done this?

Clea Duvall: Well we really approached the series as though the movie was a very separate thing, for us, it wasnít connected. It kind of created a different history and so I think that in that story there was a lot more questioning. And I think in this story Emma believes her sister and all of the doubt is so subconscious. And thereís this element of her that wants everyone to like - she wants their to - I mean I donít know what Iím allowed to say -- what doesnít ruin anything.

But I think that sheís still holding onto this idea that her sister is good and her sister is innocent, even though thereís the part of her that knows that isnít true. But that is buried so deep under the surface. And I think it was just a lot closer to the surface in the movie.

Megan Schaefer: Ok that makes sense. Thank you very much.

Operator: And as a reminder everyone, to register for a question or a comment please press 14.

Our next question comes from the line of (Nat Bremmer) with Your line is open. Please proceed.

Nat Bremmer: Hi Clea.

Clea Duvall: Hey (Nat).

Nat Bremmer: When you were working on the movie, was there any talk of a follow-up series at that point or did it all develop after the movie premiere?

Clea Duvall: No I was totally taken by surprise. I had no idea that was going to happen. I donít think any of us did.

Nat Bremmer: And one of the previous (parts) of where Emmaís at this point was accepting - you talked about this a little bit but (unintelligible) were with what her sisterís done and who she really is?

Clea Duvall: Can you - Iím sorry. I didnít hear the first part of what you said.

Nat Bremmer: So at the start of the new series...

Clea Duvall: Yes.
Nat Bremmer: ...whereís Emma at with accepting her sister?

Clea Duvall: Where is she at, at accepting her sister.

Nat Bremmer: Yes.

Clea Duvall: I think that there is - Emma is in a place of just blind acceptance. And itís not, you know, she canít face any other reality than her sister being innocent. That really motivates her to stay with her and to protect her, because ultimately Lizzie is the only family she has left.

Nat Bremmer: Ok thank you so much.

Clea Duvall: Yes.

Operator: And our next question comes from the line of Trish Bendix with AfterEllen. Your line is open. Please proceed.

Trish Bendix: Great thanks. I was wondering, youíve done so much horror in your career Clea.

Clea Duvall: Yes.

Trish Bendix: What makes you drawn to that, or what do you think it is about you that people want you to be playing in their scary movies?

Clea Duvall: I donít know why anybody wants me in their scary movies. I mean, I really like it because itís a lot of fun, and especially in an environment like this where I get to play this interesting, complicated character. And then thereís also that really fun, kind of heightened reality that comes with horror. And I love watching horror movies. Theyíre so fun to make. Itís when you really feel like youíre making a movie in the way that like, you know, when youíre a kid you imagine all that like make believe, and...

Trish Bendix: And do you get to do anything evil or creepy like your sister does in this, in the series?

Clea Duvall: I donít know. Youíll have to wait and see.

Trish Bendix: Ok thank you.

Operator: And our next question is a follow up question from the line of (Eric Kavan) with Fire Down Below. Your line is open. Please proceed.

Eric Kavan: Hi. So going along with the question just asked about your horror genre, do you have any plans to return to American Horror Story?

Clea Duvall: I mean, I would love to. I donít know where theyíre at. I donít know what theyíre doing. I think itís going through a lot of changes, right?

Eric Kavan: Yes.

Clea Duvall: Yes.

Eric Kavan: Yes and you worked with Ryan Murphy before too, right I thought?

Clea Duvall: Yes, on Popular.

Eric Kavan: Yes.

Clea Duvall: Yes I would...

Eric Kavan: (Unintelligible) on there.

Clea Duvall: Me too.

Eric Kavan: Yes.

Operator: And our next question is a follow up question from the line of Megan Schaefer with International Business Times. Your lineís open. Please proceed.

Megan Schaefer: What scene are you - not scene, but what are you looking most forward for fans to see in The Lizzie Borden Chronicles? I saw the first few episodes and itís jam-packed with some brutal, gruesome stuff, but is there anything youíre like, ďI canít wait for you guys to see thisĒ?

Clea Duvall: I really think the last two episodes are - I mean, they were my favorite. They were my favorite scripts and my favorite to shoot. And there are two really great actors who come in at the end. And then also Michelle Fairley comes in at the end and there are just some really exciting actors that I really want people to see that I was so blown away by when they got there.

And I think there are some really - I would say the last three episodes, there are a lot of changes.

Megan Schaefer: Exciting stuff.

Clea Duvall: Yes.

Operator: And as another reminder if you would like to ask a question, please press 14. And Iím showing no further questions at this time. Iíll turn it back to the speakers.

Sony Publicity: All right. Operator?

Operator: Yes?

Sony Publicity: Any other additional questions?

Operator: Iím showing no further questions at this time.

Sony Publicity: Ok then we will end the call. And we thank everyone for participating today.

Operator: All right. Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our interview for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines.


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