I recently got the chance to talk to Elaine Hendrix about her role in ‘General Education’. Here, Elaine talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Elaine. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘General Education’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
General plotline – coming of age with wackiness ensuing. It’s funny – there’s always a general plotline for the whole film, but really any one of the characters could give you a whole new plotline from their own point of view. I just did ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and our director told a traditional theatre story of someone asking the woman who played the flower girl in the original Broadway production what the play was about…she replied, “It’s about a girl who sells flowers.” Ha. I love that.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I’m the lead character’s (Levi) teacher – the one who will make-it or break-it for him. I’m not exactly mean or cunning, but I certainly don’t make it easy for him to navigate his challenges.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
It was really pretty easy actually. Casting called me up and asked if I wanted to do it. My old pal Janeane Garofalo was also cast and it fit perfectly in my schedule, so I said, “Why not?!” It ended up being so much fun, and I booked another gig from it – the fabulous AOL web series ‘Fetching’ - so it was all totally worth it.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
Hmmmm, I don’t know that I would say many films these days are different or unique – original stories are rare, but I can say the elements and the specifics of ‘General Education’ are really fun. How many films do you see the lead character dress up as a raccoon? And it’s quite colorful with very colourful characters. I think we’re gonna be seeing more films from this production team.
The film stars Chris Sheffield, Maiara Walsh, Sam Ayers, Skylan Brooks, Booby Campo, Seth Cassell, Federico Dordei and Janeane Garofalo – with Tom Morris onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
A nice mix of seasoned pros and fresh faces. We had a blast together – on set and off. One good anecdote – the first day I arrived we all went out after wrap. We were shooting in Chico, CA which is notorious for being the biggest party town because of Chico State College. So, we’re wandering around downtown checking out some places to have a drink, and we round the corner to find a freshly barricaded murder scene! Someone had been shot at point-blank range right inside one of the bars. The cops had the place surrounded and they were on foot chasing the suspect. He got caught and everything opened back up within the hour. It was quite exciting and pretty trippy. Can’t say that’s ever happened to me before.
Let’s talk a bit about you Elaine. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I plead insanity.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Don’t do it unless you absolutely LOVE the process of creation and can handle a lot of rejection. A good measuring stick: if you can envision yourself doing something else – do it.
You’ve been in a number of different films and TV series – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with and why? Any good stories?
Ooooo, that’s kinda like asking who your favourite child is. I have so many favs for so many different reasons. Lisa Ann Walter – my BFF from ‘The Parent Trap’, Kristin Bauer – my fellow animal advocate from ‘Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion’, Andy Dick – my comedic foil from ‘Get Smart’ and many other projects, Christopher Lloyd – my idol from ‘Anything But Christmas’ and ‘Wish You Were Dead’, Patrick Warburton from ‘Rock Slyde’, Lea Thompson from ‘Jane Doe’, Margaret Cho from ‘Bam Bam And Celeste’, Beth Grant, Debra Wilson, Tom Bergeron, Erica Ash, Sergio DiZio, Chris Sheffield, Judy Greer, etc… I could go on and on. I collect fellow actors and turn them into friends/family. I like to keep good people around and collaborate with them as much as possible.
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
Ha. There are staples you will find on me wherever I go – P!nk, Patty Griffin, Elvis, plenty of classic rock and the soundtrack to ‘The Mission’. Right now I also happen to be in an old school kind of mood and am listening to a lot of early 80s rap and hip hop. I’m particularly into “Doo Doo Brown” by 2 Hyped Brothers & A Dog. The bass line gets me moving every time and is a nice throwback to my beginning days in the ATL.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Well, for all the good and bad that’s been created in the name of religion, I sure would love to sit with Jesus and ask him what he REALLY said and did. I would also love to sit with Peter Singer and just listen to him talk endlessly about animal rights. And then finally, George Clooney, so I get him to fall in love with me as an actress (or a momentary girlfriend) and hire me for all his films.
On your off-days, how do you like to kick back and relax?
Off days? Hahahahahahahahaha. That’s a good one. I don’t have off-days, but I do have off-moments, and I LOVE to be with animals, friends and family. I’m constantly having impromptu gatherings and going out with people I enjoy. I”ll also sneak in a trip here and there and trips to the spa.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
So many exciting things. I’m shooting a TV movie called ‘Anything But Christmas’ with Sergio DiZio and Christopher Lloyd right now. Then ‘Streetcar’ is reprising in LA. I’ve got some wonderful projects in development with some wonderful companies. I’m up for some other projects that aren’t mine. And then, of course, there will be loads of animal rescuing to do! Oh, and my newly designed ElaineHendrix.com will be done soon. Plus all the usual unexpected happenings. Never a dull moment! =^.^=
Thanks for the interview!