An established performer before she was even in her teens, Katharine Isabelle is best known for her lead role as Ginger Fitzgerald in Ginger Snaps and its sequels, but has also appeared in The X Files, Stargate SG1, Supernatural and worked with Christoper Nolan on his early film Insomnia. She recently undertook a hectic tour of Britain in the company of the Twisted Twins, directors Jen and Sylvia Soska, in support of their collaboration American Mary, and was gracious enough to spare a brief few moments with Geek Chocolate.
Geek Chocolate – The Twisted Twins, Jen and Sylvia Soska, wrote the role specifically with you in mind, so they obviously knew your work. Were you familiar with them at all?
Katharine Isabelle – I had not actually heard of the twins before getting the script for Mary – but, once I read it, I loved it! We met for sushi to discuss it – supposedly for just an hour – but we ended up hanging out until about four in the morning…just talking – and becoming new best friends.
GC – It’s very unusual for women to write and direct horror, in fact, I can’t think of another example. Was it something they and you wished to do with American Mary, break preconceptions?
KI – Anytime you have female directors and a strong female characters, the assumption is that you’re trying to “prove a point.” In reality, we’re just trying to make movies that we would like to see and that have characters that we can relate to, which just happen to be strong females. Of course, we would like to have an impact and have people view young female directors in a different, more positive light but, at the end of the day, the work should speak for itself – regardless of whether you know who directed it.
GC – As if you didn’t have enough time to bond over filming, you’ve just taken a mad dash around Britain to promote the film. How did it go, what was the reception like, and did you manage to get anything touristy done while you were here?
KI – The tour of the United Kingdom was amazing, exhausting, and loads of fun. It was so great to meet people who support films like this. The UK audience really ‘gets’ this film. They get the humour and that’s important to us because we think the movie is hilarious!
GC – Although Mary is a very strong character, there are also moments of extreme vulnerability, some of them when she is at her most terrifying. Do you feel that it was easier to get to that place with the sisters there, knowing they could see the character from the same perspective as you and support you as a performer?
KI – Having the girls on set and being as close with them as I am meant that anything I had to do was never uncomfortable. They are so supportive and encouraging that I gained more confidence as we went along.
GC – The film has a parade of fantastic people in supporting roles playing your clients, all of them proud of who they are. How aware were you of the body modification culture before you took the role, or was research required?
KI – Body modification is not something I had much experience with at all before this film – but the twins would compile info and pictures and research for me so I didn’t have to wander through the internet alone, lost in confusion.
American Mary is available now on DVD and Blu-ray and is reviewed here
Special thanks to Josh Murray for his kind assistance