411 Mania Interview: Brit Morgan (True Blood)
HBO’s True Blood is one of the most popular television shows today with a rabid fanbase that lives and breathes with every single episode. Needless to say, the show has opened up quite a few doors for Brit Morgan, who played Debbie Pelt on the hit show. She’s the star of the film, The Frozen, where she plays Emma, a young woman who is left all by herself in the woods and must survive horrendous conditions while also being targeted. Recently, I caught up with Brit Morgan to talk about her role in The Frozen, which is currently out on DVD, her time on True Blood, and what she’s looking forward to in the future.
TONY: Has anything you’ve ever done in your career ever been quite like this project?
BRIT MORGAN: No, definitely not. This project was completely unique and I had never done a film like this. I’ve never had a movie be all about a character that I was playing. It was a huge challenge and something completely new that I had never done before in a genre I had never really experimented with before, so this is new for me.
TONY: When you’re on set, you’re focused on the character. Did you ever how you would react in a situation like this?
BRIT MORGAN: Yeah, definitely. I think I spent a lot of the time thinking about it, especially being out there and being out there in the snow and the middle of nowhere. I would very often wonder in my mind, ‘Oh my god, what would happen and what would it be like if it were happening to me, Brittany?’ It would be quite terrifying and I would have such little survival skills to survive. It would definitely be pretty close to me. I don’t think I would even be able to figure out how to build a fire. I definitely thought about that a lot.
TONY: You mentioned all the different challenges filming this movie. If you could pinpoint one, what was the most challenging part about filming this movie?
BRIT MORGAN: Doing so much of the movie by myself. After my boyfriend’s gone, doing a lot of the scenes just me, just honestly living and surviving by myself, no other actors to play off of. I think that was the most challenging aspect, having to have all those private moments. Everything I was doing had to come from my surroundings. There was nothing to play off of except the situation. That was very, very challenging.
TONY: Being by yourself for a good portion of the movie, in terms of mentally, what kind of places did you have to go to get yourself into the mindset of your character?
BRIT MORGAN: The challenge of it is you are on set with all these people surrounding you and you have to be completely by yourself, so I would spend a lot of time blocking it out. I would spend a lot of time alone. I would put on my headphones and zone out. People knew when to leave me be, because I really had to create a space of solitude, complete loneliness. It took a tremendous amount of mental preparation every single day going to set, rebooting and getting into that lonely headspace.
TONY: Because the movie was so isolated, was it a hard movie to shake when you left the set?
BRIT MORGAN: Oh my god, that’s so funny you ask that. I had a surprisingly hard time shaking the experience of the movie. I remember I was in Target and I felt like so depressed. I had realized I had carried so much of that movie around with me for a few weeks that I really had to let go. I wasn’t quite expecting it, because the shoot was so short. It was definitely a hard movie to shake. You thrust yourself into the middle of the woods and really go to those places mentally and emotionally. It takes some time to get back to yourself.
TONY: You mentioned how you’re filming a lot of this movie by yourself and there’s only two other actors in the movie. Because of that, was there a certain closeness with the cast?
BRIT MORGAN: It was an amazing bonding experience because we were all in these extreme conditions but we all had each other to lean on. It was a difficult shoot. Whenever something’s difficult, you come out of it with very strong relationships. We bonded quite a bit.
TONY: The director Andrew Hyatt was a first time director. What was he like on set, handling his first film?
BRIT MORGAN: Andrew, quite honestly, is one of the kindest, most professional directors that I’ve ever worked with. I was so blown away by the way he handled the crew, the way he handled his actors. I think it’s amazing that this is his first film. I have no doubt he will go on to do so many more. I was nothing but impressed with him. I think a lot of the reason the shoot was successful was because of Andrew’s attitude. He made it so easy to come to work every day when coming to work every day was actually very difficult because of the cold. His attitude made everybody feel like they wanted to do their best because he was so kind and efficient and informative and helpful and all the things that you would want a director to be.
TONY: What kind of roles are you drawn to these days?
BRIT MORGAN: I’m just really excited to keep playing strong female roles of any kind. I like playing characters that are complex and layered and interesting. I like playing stuff that’s inspiring to me. So it’s continuing to challenge myself and find things that are a challenge and inspire me. That’s pretty much it. I have such a wide range of things that I would love to play. Anything that has a lot going on is what I always love.
TONY: How has True Blood changed your career?
BRIT MORGAN: True Blood changed my career in a really wonderful way. I feel like as an actor in L.A., the auditioning process can be very grueling and the auditioning process is a lot of it because that’s how you get work until you are an A-list star. What I think True Blood did for me is it gave me a lot of confidence going into the room and a lot of people watched the show, so I feel like I’m going in with a little something under my belt. It’s helped me book other jobs and helped me in terms of the way casting directors relate to me in the room. It sounds like small changes, but it’s actually a really, really huge step for me compared to where I was before that. I feel like I have something very meaty under my belt that really helps me continue pursuing the things that I would like to do.