Today audiences around the world will probably recognize actress Erica Deutschman best from her role as Beth in the dramatic fantasy series Being Human, where she transforms from the innocent girl next door to an eerie hauntress who makes the main character’s life unbearable. Never failing to captivate her audience, Deutschman’s impressive range coupled with her drop dead gorgeous looks have made her a leading lady for a long list of film and television productions across genres including The Howling Reborn, Hidden, Reign, Fatal Vows, Blue Mountain State, Sex Addict/Love Addict and others.
Earlier in her career Deutschman starred in Christos Sourligas dramatic feature film Happy Slapping, which premiered at the Montreal International Film Festival in 2011.
According to The Hollywood Reporter the film was the world’s first feature length project to be shot entirely using Apple’s iPhone 4. Happy Slapping revolved around five suburban teens that roam the streets at night attacking random victims and recording the assaults with their phones. Deutschman’s character Belle, who’s the polar opposite of most of the characters the actress has taken on over the years, was the antagonizing one of the bunch who continually eggs the other four, upping the ante and leading each action to be more atrocious than the one before.
Shortly after the release of Happy Slapping Deutschman went on to guest star on the hit television show Lost Girl, as well as A Stranger in My Home, before landing the recurring role of Beth on SyFy’s multi-award winning series Being Human. This year Deutschman wrapped production on multi-award winning director Deepa Mehta’s film Beeba Boys, which was chosen as an Official Selection of the prestigious 2015 Toronto International Film Festival where it had it’s world premier on September 13.
While Deutschman has undoubtedly made her name known as an actress in hit film and television productions, she has also proven her capacity to command the stage through her roles in high-profile theatre productions including “Nutcracker,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Coppelia,” and “The Comedy of Love and War.”
With a collective body of work that spans the gamut, Deutschman has displayed herself as the kind of actress who can take on virtually any role with ease and natural finesse. The actress is currently working on the upcoming comedy series Cross Rhodes where she will take on the starring role of Erica Rhodes.
To find out more about her and what’s next on the horizon for this talented Canadian beauty make sure to check out our interview below. You can also find out about more of her work on screen through her IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4264669/
Where are you from?
ED: I’m from Montreal, Canada.
When and how did you get into acting?
ED: I always knew I wanted to be an actress. I must have been 6 when I decided that it was my dream. But I was first a ballet dancer, and so I waited on the acting thing until I was 18, which is when I got an agent and really started doing it professionally.
Can you tell us about some of the film projects you’ve done?
ED: One of the film projects that I am most excited about is an indie I did in Montreal called Happy Slapping. It was the super gritty project with some really well developed and troubled characters. I played Belle; one of the five leads in the film. She is a party girl with a troubled family life, who turns to her vices too often for solace and definitely has a lot of issues but, she is also very charming and lots of fun.
Playing Belle was crazy, it’s sort of like exploring a side of yourself that doesn’t exist but when you think of certain scenarios, you wonder if it could really come out. I got to play and have lots of fun, but I also had to find this darkness and this trouble within and I really enjoyed doing that work. She completes part of the puzzle in this story, she is a bad influence on the kids around her and she pushes them into doing things that they might not be completely comfortable with—things they may even regret.
Mostly all of the shoots during the production were night shoots and we were exhausted a lot of the time, so by the time of the wrap party, I was passed out by midnight. I just couldn’t wait to sleep through the night again. But I wouldn’t change my experience for anything and I made some lifelong friends in the process. I look back on it really fondly. Look for Happy Slapping on IMDb and iTunes!!
My latest project was Academy Award nominated director Deepa Metah’s film, Beeba Boys. I played one of the boy’s girlfriends at the beginning of the film. First of all, what an awesome movie! It’s about the Sikh gangs in British Columbia and it follows their intense pursuit for power no matter what it takes. It was so exciting to work with Deepa Mehta, she’s insanely talented and I’m a really big fan of hers. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and that’s something that I’m really proud of.
How about television projects?
ED: My favorite television project I’ve worked on has to be Being Human. It shot in my home city of Montreal and it was an awesome set to be on and a really cool project to be a part of. I recurred in seasons 2 through 4 and I played a ghost who was killed by Aidan, the vampire, and I come back to haunt him throughout the rest of the series. Not only was it a really fun and sassy role to play, but it was also great to get to know all of the amazing cast and crew we got to collaborate with. It was a really excellent experience.
You get approached all the time to work on projects with people, what makes you pick one role over another?
ED: What I look for in a project is first and foremost an interesting character. The parts that I enjoy playing the most are characters that either have a sordid past or interesting personality. Of course that requires good writing, but when I read something and think I can really make it my own, that’s when I get the most excited.
What as been your most challenging role?
ED: I think my most challenging role was Belle in Happy Slapping. She had so many dimensions underneath and it was definitely challenging to be able to portray all of that. I find that it makes a character so much more interesting when you give them layers and as challenging as it can be, character development is so important for the general outcome of the film.
What is your favorite genre to work in as an actor?
ED: I would have to say that my favorite genre not only to watch but also to play in is comedy. I am currently working on a really funny series called Cross Rhodes. I would say one of my favorite things to do as an actress, and in general, is to make people laugh! And in comedy, I get to laugh and make people laugh. I just get so much joy out of it, as you should.
Can you list some of the theatre projects you’ve participated in up until now, and the roles you’ve played? From your perspective how does performing in the theatre differ from performing in on camera projects?
ED: I haven’t done theatre in a little while but as a young dancer, I did productions of the “Nutcracker” for eight consecutive years. I actually snagged the lead role of Clara when I was in high school. I also got to perform on stage a bunch when I was in school, which was a really awesome experience. I got to play the leading lady in “Commedia dell’arte,” the leading part in our Christmas Wishes Play, since I am bilingual, I also got to perform in all the French productions that we put on and in my last year, and I won the school’s drama award! As much as I enjoyed theatre though, my real passion is in film and television. I love the realism it captures and it’s also nice that you get to do more than one take so you can try different things.
What separates you from other actors? What are your strongest qualities?
ED: I think to be an actor, first and foremost, you have to have really tough skin. You have to let things roll off your back because with all the amazing parts you do get, there will also be a lot of really cool parts that you don’t get. The most important thing is to believe when one door closes another door opens and that some amazing opportunities are right around the corner. I think the fact that I’ve never lost sight of why I’m doing what I’m doing is also another key to surviving in this industry. Because at the end of the day, no matter how competitive it gets and no matter how critical some people can be, it is what I love to do so that’s really all that matters.
I’ve also been training for a really long time. A quality that I possess is that I really love going to class, learning from others and a desire to continue to grow as an actor. I think I’ve grown a lot over the past few years and I also know that I will continue to grow as an actor in the future. I think it’s really important to stay sharp by continuing to work, and I think that’s what really gives me my edge.
Have you been in any commercials?
ED: I have been in a bunch of commercials over the years. Actually, my first real project as a professional actor was a promo video for D-Box, you know, those movie theatre seats that move. That was so cool, because I didn’t have to audition. My agent called me up and was like ‘The D-Box people saw your demo on my website, they love your enthusiasm, they’re going to get you in the union.’ It was awesome, thank you D-Box!
I also did a PSA to raise awareness about rape for the Canadian Women’s Foundation, and commercials for Tax Free Credit Report, Samcon condos, as well as a couple videogames with UB Soft and Gameloft… I’m pretty much all over the map.
What projects do you have coming up?
ED: I am very very excited to announce my upcoming series Cross Rhodes. We just got the green light on it and we actually start shooting tomorrow! I play a character named Erica Rhodes (which is where the series gets its witty title) and she plays an actress who is followed by a documentary film crew. It’s a mockumentary, which is one of my favorite types of comedy so it’s basically a dream come true. My friend Jesse and I have been working on it becoming reality for about a year now, so the fact that it’s actually happening and we get to work with so many amazing actors as well, is just so fantastic.
What do you hope to achieve in your career as an actor?
ED: I’m headed to LA for my next round of pilot season in January and I’m psyched because I also get to work on a really cool indie film while I’m out there called Ice. I can’t say much more than that about the project, but I think it’s going to be really cool, no pun intended. I just want to go out and work on as much as I can and continue to learn from some more great directors and fellow actors. It’s hard to put into words how much I would like to achieve, but at the moment the sky is the limit and I am very excited to see what kind of projects will be coming my way. I would love to do a funny movie next, seeing as that is my favorite genre and I think I have a knack for it.
Why is acting your passion and chosen profession?
ED: Before I had ever acted professionally, I knew it was what I wanted to do. There was something about the way movies and television made me feel that made me decide I needed to be a part of the magic. Every since my first job up until now, there is no better feeling for me than being on set. I love the environment, the people and the whole process. As an actor, you work so hard on your off time, it is so exciting when you also get to show the world what you can do. There is no better feeling than booking that big part you wanted and once you do have it, challenging yourself and pushing yourself to be the best version of that character that you can be. I could go on, but that’s basically it in a nutshell.