The Ladies Speak! Corri English and Laura Ortiz Dish on Everything Holliston
Adam Green has done an amazing job creating "Holliston". Perhaps his greatest stroke of genius, though, is assembling the perfect cast to bring this comedic gem to life. The lovely ladies of "Holliston", Corri English and Laura Ortiz, talked to Dread Central about the show.
If you enjoyed our Adam Green interview from last week (Part 1 here and Part 2 here), you're sure to love seeing what these two beauties have to say about creating the show from a feminine point of view.
Corri English began, talking about the new season of "Holliston": "I definitely felt that going into Season 2, not only were we much closer as a cast, I think we really kind of hit a stride in terms of playing off each other and there was a comfort zone with trying things. Nothing is really off limits on the set. Sometimes we throw something out there and it doesn't work. Sometimes it does. We just had a lot of fun with it and trusted all of our instincts more."
Laura Ortiz added, "When we went into rehearsals for Season 2, everything was a lot faster, a lot sharper. All the time that would normally go into figuring out what the tone of the show is was already done. In Season 2 we actually got to play much more than we did in Season 1 and just have fun and go for it. We knew who we were and we trusted each other. Like with any relationship, at first you're kind of testing the waters and seeing what you can and can't do. And then there are things you do because they're automatic."
English concurred and felt the trust the actors feel on set comes from the close relationship they share. "My favorite part about doing "Holliston" is the atmosphere on set. We are like a family," she effused. "From the cast to the crew to everyone involved and our family at FEARnet. It's just rare to get that feeling where everybody's got everybody's backs. And it's rare to have that much fun and be making something you're really proud of. It's incredibly hard to find that combination. Sometimes you have a great time on set and then the product doesn’t come out like you want it to."
The ambitious nature of the cast also helps add to their chemistry. "The whole cast is willing to do whatever is funny," Ortiz said. "In the first season there would be things we would be asked to do, but Adam would ask us like, 'Do you mind...' or 'Maybe... we were thinking... it might be funny if you or Corri... if you fell here. You don't have to do it, but if you want to do that...' In Season 2 now it's like, 'All right, you're going to run into a wall and then you're gonna do this.' All bets are off."
English added, "We start with an amazing product. Adam is such a great writer and such a creative person. Then nothing is off limits. And that's the great thing about the world of "Holliston", too. Anything can happen and there's an alien living in the closet, too. There's really nothing that can't happen. So Laura or I will be like, 'What if I'm so scared I vomit on myself?' or 'But what if I don't just throw get thrown outside; what if I get attacked by a raccoon? What if I pee myself?' Sometimes we're torturing ourselves. There's nothing you can say or do that we feel is wrong, and when you have that kind of place that feels like a safe zone to be able to do that, there's no limit on the creativity that comes out of it."
Since the end of Season 1, viewers have noticed that the show's emotional depth has increased dramatically. "It feels like the Christmas episode was kind of like a Season 1.5," English said. "Season 1 was six episodes and it was a lot about just getting to know these characters, and I feel like having the Christmas episode, then having 10 episodes in Season 2, Adam really dove deeper into the characters emotionally. When I got the Christmas script, I got emotional just reading it, let alone shooting it. So it was really fun to get to see more of an arc with these characters. And reading it I felt like this makes me excited and I hope the fans feel the same way."
"It's just enough of everything that I think anyone can relate to," Ortiz said. "It's just enough emotion that I think we've all felt. We've all been heartbroken and we all love our friends this much. And instead of the monster-sized episodes we had last year that were 40 minutes long, now that they're 22 minutes, I think the flow of the show leaves you wanting more and gets you really excited. They're just that much more fun!"
When asked what makes the show so funny, Ortiz answered simply, "Adam. His writing." She then expanded on the response. "Also the cast. We're friends. We're willing to do anything and Adam's a great writer. And both he and Joe, the teamwork. That is so 100 percent them. If you watch the show, you know them." And as for her character on the show. What exactly is up with the terrifyingly adorable Laura? "A lot of people say, 'Oh, you're such a cute, kinda dumb character, right?' And I'm like, 'I don't play her as dumb. She's not dumb.' She knows exactly what's going on and she knows what she's doing. She knows what's up, and she's very confident about it. So in her own way she's just so chill and laid back and has her own little world. She obviously loves Joe more than anything, and you'll see that more in Season 2. And as mean as I am to Corri, my relationship with her on the show is definitely one where I'm probably going to be the first one to talk shit about her, but if you do it, I will cut you! Laura is just in her own little world, but I think she's watching and seeing and definitely steps in when needed. I think she's like this little genius if anything."
English agreed that the camaraderie plays a huge part in the chemistry of the cast. "We're also close in real life and I think that translates. One of the reasons why we're able to make the show and one of the reasons why we can shoot it so quickly is because it's a family. It kinda feels like going to summer camp for the couple of months we're shooting. Beyond getting to do what I love and dive into these characters, it is so much fun! We spend time together off the set. We spend 24-7 together during rehearsals and shooting, then be like, 'Who wants to go to dinner? Who wants to go to Universal?' It's just so much fun."
Fans of Corri English are also familiar with her other gig as lead singer of the band Brokedown Cadillac. She talked about the similarities between working with the band and working with her castmates on "Holliston": "Playing with Brokedown Cadillac, you have to trust each other implicitly, and when you're onstage, you have to know everyone is going to rise to the occasion. And also, if something goes wrong, if suddenly a mic goes out or anything happens, you've got to rely on your bandmates. And you spend a ton of time together, and when you're in a creative environment, it can sometimes be a little bit volatile and you have to find a way to balance that. I think the way you do that is with trust. Knowing you can throw out any idea and no one is going to put you down, knowing it's a safe place. And that's exactly how it is with "Holliston". We spend hours rehearsing, hours together. Adam Green is amazing at creating this environment. It really starts with him and he gives us these scripts and gives us an open forum to throw out ideas."
In addition to the thrills they have shooting "Holliston", English also spoke on the excitement of meeting the fans: "It's fun for us to go to conventions and meet the fans in person because then they can see how close we are in life. And we also feel that connection with our fans. I feel that people have gotten really connected with these characters and sometimes the lines are a little bit blurry because we have our own names on the show and the story is based on Adam's own life. But that means there's a sincerity to it. That it's really real. Absolutely 100 percent real."
"Holliston" can be seen on Tuesday nights at 10pm on FEARnet. Each episode also streams online for a limited time at FEARnet.com, but you can watch Episode 2.01, "Suicidal Tendencies - Part 1," below if you hurry!
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