Beyond Xena

February 2005

Bitch of Rome: Looking back four years ago, what are your thoughts now on playing Livia/Eve?

Adrienne Wilkinson: It was one of the best working experiences of my life. I will always be grateful for the adventure and challenge of the work.

BoR: The tenth anniversary of Xena is coming up this September 15th. How do you feel being a part of this phenomenon? Are you surprised that there are still so many conventions each year?

AW: I am happily surprised that the fan base has stayed so loyal and interested. It proves how intimately the audience related to and connected with the show and the characters.

BoR: Speaking of conventions, what factors make you decide what conventions to attend?

AW: I don't have a specific list of requirements. Of course the convention organizers/companies are wanting to supply new experiences to new fans - so they try not to duplicate locations etc. I am selective about the conventions I attend. I want to have a fun time with interesting people and know that they enjoyed my visit.

BoR: Now that you're no longer a 'convention virgin' what are some of your most memorable experiences?

AW: I think the Pasadena convention at the end of the series was my favourite event. It was great to be surrounded by so many of the cast members and in a true celebration of what was created. The Cabaret was so much fun with the 12 piece band and back up singers. The enormous audience had such energy and enthusiasm - it was a fantastic weekend.

BoR: You've been doing a lot of voice acting lately with video games. What made you choose to do that?

AW: I was introduced to voice over work about a year ago and a half ago. It is known as the hardest area of the business to break into, but I have been lucky to have worked on a few really fun and exciting projects.

Voice over work is VERY specific. A job can usually be accomplished quickly, but you have to be at the top of your game at every moment. It is a new kind of challenge, but a challenge all the same as you have to give an animated character a full personality and complete acting performance using only your voice. It can be freeing and a bit daunting too.

BoR: With Eyes hopefully airing soon, do you have any future plans to do more television roles? Are you looking for guest star or leading type roles (ie: lead in a series)? What is it you most want to do as an actor?

AW: I'm certainly working on expanding my film and tv work. I have been focusing on Nite Owl for quite a while and I now have the time to again tackle my acting career with 100% of my energy. I'm excited to see what new projects will come my way.

BoR: You've filmed a few independent films (Girl Next Door, Pomegranate, Scavenger Hunt) - any idea when these movies will be available to the public?

AW: Unfortunately with independent films there is little or no known details as you are filming them. You make them for the joy of the experience, hoping that you will eventually be able to show them to a wide audience with full distribution. I have no idea when the public can find them...but as soon as we do know we will put the information on the website.

BoR: What were your thoughts on As If being cancelled after only three episodes? Do you think that networks are judging shows too quickly without really giving them a chance to find an audience?

AW: By the time it happened we weren't really surprised. It was unfortunate because the cancellation had little to do with the show. Our network had been purchased by a larger company and they would make more money showing their own programming, rather than our new show. So, they had actually made the decision to cut us before we had ever aired. We realized afterwards that we were lucky to get our 3 episodes on the air.

It was one of those strange learning experiences when the actor realizes that none of the deciding factors about a show's future were in the actor's hands. I will always be thrilled to have that experience. The cast was amazing; the filming process was one of the most challenging I've ever had. We were lucky enough to receive copies of all of our work, so I will always have those memories available to look back on.

BoR: What do you look for when you select roles to audition for?

AW: Like most actors I take what I can get. This is an incredibly competitive field. And while I have very specific ideas of what I feel I am perfect for, producers, directors, casting directors and so on have their own opinions that may or may not match my own.
The actor's journey is to be open to opportunities and do whatever you can with whatever you are given. There is a lot of trust in fate involved in this career. It's important for me to trust that good work will bring the benefits, rewards and future roles that I'm wanting.

It never feels like it comes soon enough but you have to trust in the journey.

BoR: If you could pick an existing role or create one to play, what would it be?

AW: I have so many. I feel that my theatre and class credits reflect my work far more than my professional resume is able to at this point. I love everything from playing Alice in Closer to Hedda in Hedda Gabler to Tracy in The Philadelphia Story and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire.

I love drama as much as I love comedy, and I would certainly like to have more comedy opportunities on screen in the future.

BoR: As an actor, what are your thoughts on reality television that seems to dominate more and more air time every year?

AW: There is some reality television that I am a huge fan of (The Amazing Race, Project Runway, some design shows etc.) These are shows that have real human drama and real human talent, and I think there is a very valid place for these things on TV. I think it can be very exciting television.

That said, I am not a fan of exploitative television - TV that exploits either the participants in the show, or the audience that is watching it. Regardless of the ratings or income that a reality show generates for a network, I would like to think that there should be certain standards we have for ourselves and our culture.

It amazes me that the FCC and our culture has so many issues with language and non-explicit sexual situations and yet has no problem with - and hence doesn't put any restrictions on - shows that can negatively effect how people (children especially) learn to relate to love or their self image or violence.

I think we all know that there is certain TV [show] that is called 'reality' but is completely manipulated behind the scenes. This makes it manipulative to the audience and I just think life is too short to waste your time polluting your mind with something of no value.

But all that said, I do acknowledge that there are a wide range of interests and standards amongst our population, and who am I to judge? If you are old enough to watch it and to choose for yourself - then I suppose these can all be valid shows.

BoR: You've said that you wanted to direct. Have you thought anymore about sitting in the director's chair?

AW: Hmm, good question. I do have a love of producing and I do think that eventually I would be game to try directing. I am certainly still intimidated though. I know that I can direct actors and scenes and that I have a very specific vision....but I do not yet have confidence about the technical side of things. So, I'm still debating that journey.

BoR: In our last interview you said you had plans to become a producer; now you're a producer with Nite Owl Productions. How did that come about? You also talked about a dream project you wanted to work on during our last interview: to tell the story of Mata Hari. According to the Nite Owl website, you are currently producing Sins of the Flesh. How is the film coming along?

AW: I have been in one of the most exhausting, challenging, potentially wonderful adventures of my life for the past few years - Nite Owl Productions. We are a talented group of industry renegades. We're people that have huge vision and a desire to think outside the box to accomplish our goals. We've had incredible good fortune and support and also trials and complications that we never would have imagined.

We are still working on fully realizing our vision and being able to accomplish our dreams. This includes a Mata Hari project, which yes - is still a story that I absolutely love and would hope to one day complete. But no, I do not yet have information available about this project that I can share with you right now.

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A big THANK YOU to Ms. Wilkinson for the interview!