Shannen Doherty was a huge part of this writer’s teenage years. Even though for most of America it was her work as Brenda Walsh on “90210” that made her a household name and an icon to legions of teenagers, for me it was always her performance as Heather Duke (or the Blue Heather for those who may not be as well-versed in the Heathers universe) in the 1988 cult flick Heathers that made her one of my favorite actresses working at that time.
Now, hot off her appearance on this season of “Dancing with the Stars,” Doherty is gearing up for an entirely new path in her 29-year-long career (I know, right? Who could even imagine?) with the brand spanking new FEARnet animated series “Mari-Kari.”
Inspired by the Japanese anime style, “Mari-Kari” begins with Mari’s return to school after the recent and unexplained death of her sister, Kari. Calamity and hilarity ensue as the revenge-minded Kari unleashes her wrath on everyone who torments and teases her sweet-natured sister. Set in the ordinary world of Mari, viewers see how her supernatural sisterly bond affects her life at home, at school, on the bus, at the mall – and how her life and her sister’s lack of one make them a very scary pair. Their close relationship has a dire effect on anyone who has the ill fate of coming between them.
For Doherty “Mari-Kari” marks her first real venture into the web series entertainment arena. The actress discussed what attracted her to the project.
Doherty said, “The last time I did voiceover work, it was in 1982 for The Secret of NIMH so it was awesome to get to come in and do this same kind of work again, but in an entirely new way. FearNet offered me the show, and when I read the script, I liked that even though it is a horror series, it’s not just focused on horror. It’s dark, it’s hilarious and it’s entertaining, and it was a combination of all those things that attracted me to the project.”
“I’ve never really had any exposure to web series before this so Mari-Kari is an entirely new world for me. I think, though, that with where the entertainment industry is right now, the Internet is the future for certain kinds of storytelling, and this series is a prime example of where the industry seems to be headed,” added Doherty.
While there are certain perks to doing off-camera work (less grueling schedules being the first), Doherty talked about how the new FEARnet series challenged her in ways she wasn’t expecting when she signed onto the project.
“You wouldn’t expect doing voiceover work to be challenging, but it really was in a lot of ways,” explained Doherty. “Part of it was due to having to play two different characters so nailing down their distinct personalities and voices was probably the thing I worked hardest at.”
Doherty added, “This was the first time ever in my 29-year career that I went in blind on a project. I wanted the characters to feel fresh so I didn’t really do any prep work or dig deep into myself, which is something I usually always do. When we’d go in to do the voice work, I tended to feed off the energy in the room so I think having different energies each time really gave my performances a little something extra.”
With “Mari-Kari” premiering this week on FEARnet, I asked Doherty if she’d be back to play the titular sisters for more adventures in the future. The actress responded, “We have to wait to see how people respond to it, but I’d love to come back and do more work with Mari-Kari. I think there are more stories to tell about these sisters, definitely.”
Check out some stills and a teaser video below!
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