I had the pleasure of being able to interview Brittany Curran, who currently plays Fen in season two of The Magicians on Syfy. She shared some insights into the show as well as answered a very important question about princesses.
How would you describe Fen in your own words?
“Fen is a fiercely loyal person who was originally, before she met Eliot, loyal to the foo fighters, her family, and Fillory. Her loyalty to Fillory is her biggest through line in her entire life, but now that she has Eliot and she’s pregnant Fan stands by her man and loves him so much and loves her baby. She’s just so connected to family and to her world. She’s also very aware of her duties. She’s willing to sacrifice her own personal needs sometimes if it means the betterment of Fillory or Eliot, but she also gets excited. Like when she enters the castle for the first time, even though it’s terrifying and there are dead Children of Earth there, it’s still exciting for her. She still gets to be a princess and she cares about people, she cares a lot. She’s starting to go through a rough time though.”
What is it like filming in Fillory?
“It’s so magical, I love the fact that going to work every day means that I’m going to a magical fantastical land. It’s kind of a dream come true. The first time I walked into the throne room set it was just so overwhelming. The set itself is just really huge and there are so many rooms and hallways cast off of it. When you’re in the set, unless you look up and see the soundstage, it really feels like you’re there. Especially when you’re in the wardrobe. When I walk in in my dress and my heels and I’m in this castle it really feels like I’m in this magical world. I did film some exteriors in a field in Vancouver, which is just so beautiful. Being outside in these exteriors in these open fields and half field, half forest areas it just feels so magical. I pretend I’m really a princess sometimes, I just walk around by myself and am twirling around in my dress pretending it’s real *laughs* I guess I do that as an actor ”
What have been some of your favorite scenes to shoot?
“I really loved the Les Mis scene. That was so much fun. It was so much fun to sing and twirl around and it was a really cool moment between Fen, Eliot, and Margo too. We’ve essentially had this love triangle that we’ve been dealing with all season and for all of it to come out in the open through song was a cool way to express it. Fen feeling lonely, but expressing it through music was really cool and fun. I also really like the scenes where Hale (Appleman) and I go head to head. Our characters are close, but we have a lot of struggles. Like the scene after I confess to him that I used to be a foo fighter and when we’re arguing, I really loved that scene. Hale is such a great actor and we’ll just go at each other. We were rehearsing at his place a week before that scene and we were really just getting mad and yelling at each other. It was fun, it was cathartic.”
For the Les Mis scene, had you done any big musical performances before?
“It was my very first one. I had taken voice lessons here and there in the past, but never anything like this. When the producers told me about it I knew that I could sing, but I did not know to what extent. I kind of surprised myself. I honestly didn’t know that I could sing like that, which I think came to everyone’s relief and it was great. I had a great vocal teacher Laura Dickinson who I worked with a couple of times when I was back in LA before I flew back to Vancouver. She worked on it with me so much. It was super fun, a little scary, but in a good way. I was really excited and now I just want to do more, I want to do musicals because it’s so much fun.”
Was that the most complex scene to shoot or have there been others that were more complex?
“For me that one was pretty complex because we had some crazy camera moves going on at that time. Then there was choreography and just a lot of bodies being moved around and being in sync. The funniest, it wasn’t difficult, but it was different than anything I’ve ever shot was the love scene when Eliot went back to Brakebills and started this love scene with Javier, then I woke him up in Fillory and we have a love scene. That was the oddest shooting because me and Jai Rodriguez, who played Javier, were on the Brakebills set and did a day of filming there, and we were on the Fillory set. We shot the scene four different times. We shot him in Brakebills and me in Brakebills, then him in Fillory and me in Fillory. We would just go back and forth on and off the bed with Hale, high fiving each other in between. *laughs* It was so funny”
What are some of your favorite on set/cast moments?
“I love this cast, they’re so nice. I got to Vancouver and we had a cast dinner in Yaletown one night, that’s when I met the whole cast. I remember Hale walked in to the room in the restaurant, we made eye contact, and I just yelled across the table, “my husband,” and he yelled at me, “my wife.” That’s how I met Hale *laughs*
The first or second weekend I was out there Hale, Jade Tailor, and I went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It’s this cool bridge in the middle of a forest and we hung out, walked around, and explored. We just do fun little adventures like that. Jade and I rented bikes one day and we took a two hour ride around this lake in Stanley Park. There’s just so much natural beauty out there.”
Where you a fan of fantasy or did The Magicians lead you into that genre?
“I was definitely a fan of fantasy before The Magicians. I read a lot of C.S. Lewis growing up, obviously Narnia, but some of his other works. One was Till We Have Faces, it’s a retelling of a Greek myth. I just nerded out so hard over that book. I’ve always loved fantasy. It all started because I grew up watching Disney Princess movies. I just never grew out of that childhood wonder I had when I was like 8. I still am there emotionally in terms of loving Disney Princesses *laughs* I was super psyched for The Magicians because I’d always wanted to do fantasy, I’d always wanted to do a period piece. While this isn’t exactly a period piece because Fillory isn’t real so we aren’t basing it off of history, it’s still a more archaic civilization I would say. So it still is like a period piece. Now that I’m in it I’ve been getting even more into fantasy. My boyfriend is also a huge fantasy/sci-fi nerd so I’ve grown to love it even more. My love has definitely grown.”
Now I have to ask, who is your favorite Disney Princess?
“That’s a great question, *laughs*, I’ve wavered over the years. I would have to say, I have two I guess, Belle and Pocahontas. I love both of them. I feel like I’m like Belle because she’s obsessed with books and cute libraries and I’m obsessed with things like that too. I sing “Colors of the Wind” in my shower all the time *laughs*”
What are some of your upcoming projects?
“I have a couple films coming out. One is The Man from Earth: Holocene. It’s the sequel to this science fiction film that came out about 10 years ago and became a cult classic. That’s coming out this year. The other film is Captured. It’s a horror film that’s about me and my band, I’m a punk rock singer. I go back to my childhood farm that I used to live on and there’s some crazy history that happened to me there and then stuff obviously happens to us when we go back. That also comes out this year.”
Thank you again to Brittany Curran for such a wonderful interview. You can watch her on The Magicians Wednesdays at 9 pm est on Syfy.
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*Images from Syfy and IMDb*