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The Hottie Stop Interviews Kerry Bishé star of Rupture & Halt and Catch Fire

05.15.2017by: JimmyO

Kerry Bishé has had a pretty impressive career. She started off in the independent drama THE HALF LIFE OF MASON LAKE (2007) and she has worked consistently ever since. With her time on the series Scrubs, and a few cool flicks including RED STATE in 2011, ARGO in 2012, GRAND PIANO in 2013 as well as the series Halt and Catch Fire, she continues to delight. Add to that, she also takes on a very different type of role in her latest feature, RUPTURE, starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis and Peter Stormare.

I had the honor of chatting with this lovely actress for this weeks Hottie Stop, and she charmed the hell out of me. This intelligent and lovely lady discussed the kinds of genre pictures she enjoys being a part of, and the kind she doesn’t. She also talked about her love of traveling and some of the exciting places she has been. She also opened up about one of her own personal inspirations. Either way, make sure you check out RUPTURE, and of course, catch Halt and Catch Fire because she is absolutely terrific.

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Hi Kerry.

Hi! How’s it going Jimmy?

I’m good, how are you doing?

Doing really well. I’m ready to talk about this movie.

Well now I’ve known your career for a bit and this doesn’t seem like your typical role.

You know what, when I read it, it didn’t seem like that for me either. And then I talked to Steve Shainberg on the phone, and I think he is a genius. And I’m just fascinated by the way he works and how he feels about what he does. He got me so wildly enthusiastic about what he was trying to do with this movie.

It’s funny because coming from a film like SECRETARY - a film which many, myself included, consider a classic - this is such a different tone and feel. 

Yes, absolutely.

I saw the trailer and I couldn’t imagine it was the same director.

I know, I know. I love that too. Some of my favorite filmmakers are ones who make wildly different movies. I’m so excited that Shainberg has turned out to be one of them.

How did you get to that cold place with this character?

So that’s what was really interesting to me about this. I remember thinking about this movie, and I generally play the woman who gets in a tough spot and is victimized kind of. It was so much fun to kind of flip the script a little bit and be the person who is kind of inflicting the psychological damage - and in this case physical damage on others. So that’s one thing that I was really excited about to explore in this role, that detached, calm, exacting, kind of icy certainty.

To me what the movie is about, and one of the things I think Shainberg was kind of playing with, is it’s a movie about learning to face your fear. And then what happens on the other side of facing that fear. I think there is this idea that, I play Dianne, and these other characters that are part of this group, they’ve transcended some way this idea of human fear and that kind of cold detachment is part of what they’re saying happens to you when you get on the other side. And there is a way to look at it like they are terrifying people, but you could look at it as a sort of enlightenment also. And as people find that, like human beings who are subject to all of the natural fears we are subject to, find the people who have transcended the human sense of fear and frailty, would find them to be wildly threatening and dangerous. They would seem so “other” to us. They are reaching out trying to help us overcome our fear, but they seem like terrifying alien beings. So we ourselves can also transcend that barrier and achieve this sense of enlightenment and understanding. So what I love about it is, they seem like these threatening and dangerous alien beings, but there is a rooted sense of maybe they could be the good guys. Maybe they are there to help us. And maybe this should be our goal.

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Now you’ve had a bit of a history with horror, is there something about the genre that excites you?

When you say I have a history with horror, what are you specifically thinking of?

I was thinking RED STATE, then there was GRAND PIANO. Not necessarily your typical horror films.

That is kind of how I feel about it. I don’t have a particular interest in horror. I scare really easily. I have a really great imagination, so it’s too vivid for me. I don’t like getting scared [Laughing]. So these movies, I find them to be sort of off-center kind of horror movies. They are in the genre but they are sort of playing with the genre. That is something across all different genres, that is something that really appeals to me. So people that are in it, and talking about the genre while they do it, they are using it to get to something different or deeper. It’s kind of an amalgam of different things. Like RED STATE is, I think, kind of a cheeky horror movie. I don’t really think it’s a horror movie, it’s using that to get to something else. Which all the good horror movies always do.

Speaking of fear, what scares you? Have you ever had to face your fears in some major way?

Yeah, yeah. That’s how I think about my job as an actor. It’s like cultivating fear in order to overcome it. 

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You work a lot I’ve noticed. You’ve got the series Halt and Catch Fire which is really cool. How do you take a break because you are always working?

[Laughing] That’s a really good question. I’ve been really, really grateful to be so busy and it is also definitely stressful to be at home so little. I just did season three of that Netflix show Narcos down in Columbia, so I was in Columbia for six months which was crazy trying to get back home to New York. I love traveling so I get to travel for work and I like to build in trips around that. So I really try and take advantage of the opportunities that this job provides you. I try and think about it as a chance to do something cool and unique instead of like I’m destined to never live at home or see my friends [Laughing].

I get to do some great things though. We shot ARGO partly in Turkey, and it was phenomenal. And I stayed for a couple of weeks and traveled around Turkey and got to see some really cool things. So that is how I kind of think about it.

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What did you see in Turkey? What blew you away?

The Hagia Sophia is a really famous building. It’s a famous building for human history. It was a church and then it became like a Mosque. So there were these layers of history in the building that you can see and feel when you are there because Istanbul was this nexus point of a power struggles over time in the geopolitical landscape. So the Hagia Sophia is this fascinating and beautiful building that has so much to do with human history. We shot there one day for ARGO, and they emptied it out completely. It was beautiful and it was warm and it was golden and empty, and I just got to wander around this incredible, unique place because we were making a movie and we wanted to tell a story, and we wanted it to be really magnificent and accurate. So we got to shoot in the Hagia Sophia.

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Wow. That’s incredible.

It blew my mind. It really was like a testament to, I think, how powerful movies can be that we were allowed to be there.

Now you’ve been in this business for a bit, who are some of the actors that you grew up admiring? Who was your inspiration?

Oh man, you know, I was a theatre actor at the beginning for a long time. And I’m trying to think. I saw this British actress, Zoë Wanamaker, do the Greek play Electra when I was thirteen-years-old. I remember sitting there and not moving a muscle the entire time when I was in the theatre. And I was shocked when the play was over. It was like there must be twice as much. So that is the first thing that comes to mind when you ask that.

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I will say that is one of the most original answers I’ve heard and I dig it.

[Laughing] I wasn’t prepared for that kind of question. The first thing when I think of is being a kid and being inspired by an individual actor as opposed to… I always really loved that it is like a team. It’s like a great community of teamwork. It’s such a collaborative art form. There are so many other forms of art with writers and painters, and you kind of have to go it alone. A movie requires so many people at the same time exerting their art - people you never meet you know? The whole work of movies is what editors do, they are doing so much of the storytelling in the cuts. And they work with you intimately but actors almost never meet the editor and that is so fascinating.

It is crazy how many people you never meet on a set while working on the same project.

Yeah, and it’s so great. And I love to talk to the crew, and what I like to talk to them about is what makes a good job for you. Is it that you work short hours or if you get along with the people you work with. And it always comes back to they want to make something that they like, they want to make something that they are proud of and can believe in. The guys that are rigging the lights want to make material that  they can point to and feel good about later on. It is just incredible to get that diverse group of people together to work towards the same goal. I think that is a really fascinating and beautiful task.

RUPTURE hits DVD on May 30th.



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