We got the chance to sit down with Elise Bauman, the star of the web series Carmilla, and upcoming feature film The Carmilla Movie, to discuss character growth, Harry Potter references and the show’s impact in the LGBTQ community. You can watch the video of the interview below.
What do you think of the growth of Laura from Season 1 to season 3? How do you feel about how the character evolved?
Elise: Yeah, the evolution of Laura Hollis. When we first meet her she’s very bright eyed and bushy tailed, and has a very naïve view of the world. In order to get her to the point that we saw her at the end of Season 3 and the film, in order to get a character out of nativity, you kind of have to throw them under the bus a little bit, and make them go through situations where they accept that not only is the world not the picturesque view that she thought it was, but also herself does not match that view. What we saw in season 2 was her labeling that as bad. I think what we saw was her beating herself up about that instead of accepting it as human and accepting that once I know these things then I actually have a choice of whether I want to continue behaving that way or if I want to move into a different behavior. I think that’s what we get to see in the film. We get to see her a little more grown up, and still running into the same problems a lot of the time, but maybe dealing with them in a more mature and conscious way.
What’s your favorite or most memorable scene from the first episode to now?
The first thing that came to my mind was the fight choreography in season 3, we also got to do a bit in the movie. I would like to do that a lot more, that was really fun. It really is such a cliché thing to say but it is difficult to pick a moment because we had so many special moments throughout the years and it really has felt like the growth of a family and you know its kind of like asking someone to say “What was your favorite Christmas?” They were all wonderful! All the scenes where we get to be together as a big cast, those were fewer and far between to be able to be with everyone on screen at the same time, but those scenes are amazing. And then also scenes that are more intimate with Natasha where there’s no camera on us, or no vlog camera on us, we get to really see the characters as how they are private. I love those scenes as well. So, all of it.
You had had such short amount of time to film the series, looking back at the first three season, is there anything you would have liked to have redo?
All of it in some ways. But then in the same way I think it was such a gift of learning how to let my work go. Learning that what went out, went out. There was no editing, or very, very minimal editing. We didn’t get to splice shots together and splice coverage together. So really, what was shot was out there. Similarly to Laura, learning to let go of perfectionist was really important. I don’t think I would really redo anything because I think everything that went out was really meant to be and really led up to the next thing.
Do you have a favorite pop culture, or Harry Potter reference, from the series?
I also love Harry Potter, I will be honest, there were a lot of pop culture reference that went way over my head. Things that I have never watched before or never read. But there was this glass that Laura makes when she’s stressed out in Season 3. So she’s crafting and she makes the heinous Hermione cup, and she’s like “What would Hermione do?” and she looks at it and it’s just the most ridiculous thing ever. Little things like that were really fun.
Was there a different approach to shooting the film versus a web series? What was the biggest change for you guys in the filming structure.
Just being able to see the characters outside of the public’s eye. A lot of the stuff that we captured Season 1 to Season 3 was really in front of a camera that we knew as characters was going to a broader audience so there was always an element of holding ourselves back from how we would really be in private. I think we get to see these characters a little more relaxed, a little more themselves which was great. In terms of technically how it felt to film it, it was awesome to be able to have coverage to be able to take a bit more time, although we still shot the feature in 14 days which for a feature film is pittance, a very small amount. To live in the world a little bit more too all these great costumes that our amazing costume director had it was a wonderful, wonderful experience.
So Dominque Provost-Chalkley (from Wynonna Earp) was in the film, what was it like to have cross fandom within the LGBT community?
Dom just fit in like an old shoe. She really did come in and just seamlessly fit into our world and really was there to serve our story and to tell this story from what she was able to offer and she plays something very different than what she does on Wynonna Earp and it was great to see her fit into that. I think we have a lot of similarities, and a lot of similarities between our characters on Carmilla and Wynonna and seeing her live outside of that was so fantastic. But we talked a lot about the importance and responsibility of the shows we’re a part of and connected on that level and I don’t think it’s something that either of us take lightly. You can tell that the fandom and the importance that her show brings to people really means a lot to her. So, it was great to have that same energy brought into our set.
What do you think about how the LGBTQ fandom has embraced the show, and did you expect that outpouring of love that fans have shown for the show especially when TV and series are struggling to find their place within that world.
None of us were really expecting it to have the success that it did when we were filming it three years ago in a tiny little house with one bathroom. I don’t think anyone expected us to be at New York City Comic Con right now. But I think it sheds such a light on the misrepresentation of queer characters in media. The fact that people were so starved for accurate and positive representations really speaks volumes to where we were at even three years ago. I think media has moved forward and we are taking the right steps but there’s still so much further to go and I’m really thankful that I was able to be a part of a show that had such a positive impact on people’s lives and that started to shape peoples perspective of what is marketable too. That was a big big lie that studio heads were saying for such a long time that this wasn’t marketable. That this won’t make money. I think that’s bullshit and I’m hoping that our film starts reaching a broader audience now and that people are able to see it who maybe have never seen a love story between two women on screen and go “oh, this is just a love story”, or “this is just a mystery thriller vampire rom-com” and not separate the two.
The Carmilla Movie will be released October 27, 2017. Click here to see the official trailer.