Saturday, July 16, 2011
FROM SEXY DEMON TO SOFT ANIMATION: CHRISTIE LAING CAN PLAY IT ALL
Whether she's left unmasked in her natural caramel skin or camouflaged in the form of a drawn cartoon, Christie Laing can wear any character well - especially the naughty ones. She became a sultry demon on Supernatural, a lewd monster with dangerous moves and dangerous curves, so to speak. Now, she represents a form of human monster, if you buy the stereotypical queen bee (sans magic and keeps dangerous toned curves), along with a movie like Tucker & Dale vs Evil due in theatres September 30, 2011. The feature film stars Tyler Labine (Breaker High, Boston Legal) and Alan Tudyk (Transformers). And if you missed it, last week on Nickelodeon, Christie portrayed Janice in the Movie of the Week entitled A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner alongside Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Jay Leno. Here, in our exclusive interview, Christie talks about mean girls, sexiness, and yoga (and being a sexy meanie doing yoga!)
V.B. Why did you decide to make the switch from dancing to acting?
C.L. Dance was a huge part of my life for a long time. I loved how emotion, movement and music could tell stories. I think I gravitated towards acting, because it was a new form of expression. Many of my auditions have incorporated dance, and I'm still hoping that one day I can have a role that showcases both.
V.B. You were on two episodes of Supernatural. You once played a demon, the Demon of Robert Johnson? How do you put your mind into unrealistic characters like those, characters you cannot empathize with? Or do you believe in any supernatural myths? Are you very superstitious?
C.L. I am so superstitious! It drives my friends crazy. One of my most annoying superstitions is that I will never toast with a glass of water. I also used to be terrified that someone would be hiding in the back seat of my car after hearing the Hookman myth. That was years before I even auditioned for Supernatural, so I was very excited to book a part in their Hookman episode. The thing I like most about playing characters such as Robert Johnson's Demon is bringing a sense of humanity to them. I feel like these characters are real, and the more realistic they are, the scarier they are as well.
V.B. You made the lists of "The Sexy Women of Supernatural" and "The Beautiful Women of Supernatural." Which characteristics of outer and/or inner beauty do you find most appealing - in yourself or others?
C.L. It was very flattering to be included on these lists, especially since I was dead or covered in blood in the episodes. The most beautiful characteristic to me is being able to laugh and make others laugh. There's something so magnetic about people who are in a great mood, and being able to laugh your way out a funk is the best feeling ever.
V.B. You play Naomi, a preppy college girl, in Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (alongside Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk). Is it more fun playing a stereotypical "mean girl" or a supernatural "cruel monster"?
C.L. That's a tough one. I hate the idea of being "mean," but most mean girls are usually so insecure themselves that you can't help but feel badly for them. Cruel monsters are similar, because they're usually tortured souls who aren't able to move onto the afterlife. Although neither of their actions are typically kind, I have a lot of sympathy for both of them. I think that's what makes both of them equally fun to play - is they're a tough nut to crack.
V.B. You're being featured in a famous sketch (for "Movie of the Week") in Nickelodeon alongside Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm), and Jay Leno. What was it like working with such revolutionary comedians, let alone as a cartoon? How would you describe your sense of humour?
C.L. The first table read everyone had together was the most memorable. I had watched the cartoon and was amazed at every one’s ability to bring The Fairly Odd Parents to life. When you watch the film, you will literally see your favourite characters jump from animation to reality. Most of my work on was with Steven Weber who played Hugh J. Magnate. It was a great learning experience working with him.
V.B. You keep trim with dancing, yoga, running, hiking, and the Tracy Anderson Method. Would you consider yourself a health nut, or do you only yearn for moderation? What's your take on young women's issues with body image today?
C.L. I really believe that balance is a necessity. I have phases where I just feel like watching movies all day, or the other extreme, where I'm going on a hike and then to yoga. But I feel the best when I do a little bit of something I love every day. I always run because my dog needs his exercise, and then after that, I usually do what I'm in the mood for that day. Sometimes a run is all I do, and other days, I'll hop on the trampoline or dance around to Tracy Anderson Method. I think people focus too heavily on the immediate results instead of making being active a social, fun, everyday activity.
V.B. You love to write. You've already started planning your screenplay and eventually hope to write a book. If I asked your family or friends what kind of non-fiction book (autobiographical, self-help, etc.) you'd write, what do you think they would say? If you need an example to better illustrate your answer, take a gander at this question: Which celebrity would you cast to play you in a film about your life, and why?
C.L. Remember those “choose-your-own-adventure books” where you could choose a direction and get a different ending? I think, right now, that's my kind of book. I love writing and have numerous ideas started on my computer; the difficult part is bringing everything together. I feel like I keep learning and changing every day; I can't quite put the finish on anything yet.
V.B. You support a charity called Just A Drop, which cause is to lower child death due to unhealthy, contaminated water. Where can we best preserve healthy and clean water?
C.L. We are extremely fortunate in North America, because we have some of the cleanest water. Still so many of us choose to use bottled water. Roughly 1.1 billion people in the world don't even have access to clean safe water, and over 2.5 million die every year of disease from unsafe water. The best way you can help is by going to www.justadrop.org and educating yourself about the different donation options as well as the shocking statistics.
V.B. Your passions are fashion, food, home decor, and travel. What advice can you give us based on any or all of those four areas? Do you find yourself talented in any of those areas, and why?
C.L. Fashion and home decor are great ways to have fun and express yourself. My advice would be to stick with what's true to you. I don't know how many times I've been distracted by someone constantly adjusting their outfit. Buy clothes that fit you properly and you feel confident in; you will always look good in these items. And take little risks now and then; otherwise you'll end up with a closet of the same things.
Home decor has always been a passion of mine. I remember as a kid, I got a book on Feng Shui and stayed up all night rearranging the furniture in my parents’ house while they slept. Your home should be your oasis, and I believe that cleanliness and organization goes a long way.
Traveling and food go hand in hand for me. I love taking mini trips around my own city to search out new restaurants, but when I'm vacationing the focus is defiantly on food. I don't know how many times I've ended up somewhere less than visually appealing and had an amazing experience. My advice would be to try new things often and don't be afraid to leave after just an appetizer, if it's not what you were looking for.
V.B. Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years, acting and/or non-acting wise?
C.L. I am really looking for a character I can grow with. I grew up watching television, and would love to spend some time growing and developing a character for the next few years. Since I love to travel, I would welcome any job that takes me somewhere new as well.