I recently got the chance to tak to Celia Finkelstein about her role in new comedy hit ‘Horrible Bosses’. Here, Celia talks about what it was like working on-set with Colin Farrell and about how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Celia. Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to talk to me. ‘Horrible Bosses’ is currently in cinemas worldwide.
Hi! Thanks for having me!
What’s the general premise of the film?
Our three heroes, Nick, Kurt, and Dale, are saddled with horrible bosses in a dismal economic climate. They decide their best option is to kill them all. Of course, this doesn’t go exactly as planned and hilarity ensues.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I auditioned. I was newly signed with my agents and it was the second audition they sent me on. First, I read for the casting directors, Lisa Beach and Sarah Katzman. A couple days later, I read for Seth (Gordon) and several producers. I found out I got the role a week later while I was in Century 21 in New York. I bought a dress to celebrate.
An IMDB user – MHMovieReviews has done a review of ‘Horrible Bosses’ and has said – ‘Finally a great movie idea hasn’t been wasted on a slapdash script, poor directing, and unworthy actors. Instead director Gordon and his screenwriters have contrived a new kind of buddy comedy so ridiculous that everyone can relate to it.’ – would you agree with this statement?
I do. I think we’ve all had a horrible boss or two. And I’m sure we’ve all had brief fantasies of what we could do if only we had access to a pair of pliers, a secluded warehouse, and diplomatic immunity. Of course that sort of opportunity rarely presents itself. Plus, you know, it’s illegal and wrong. The desperation, the complete impotence, the fear, the feeling of being trapped – I think we can all relate to those things. And I think it’s so well executed in the movie – the bosses are truly awful and the chemistry among those three guys just crackles.
Tell us a bit about your character in the movie…
I play Margie Emerman, an employee of Pellit Chemical and a co-worker of Kurt Buckman and Bobby Pellit. She gets beat up on a little by Bobby, but she can take care of herself. She’s a tough chick.
The film stars the likes of Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Donald Sutherland – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
It was truly one of the greatest working experiences I’ve ever had. Everyone was so funny and generous. To start a random Wednesday by working with a legend like Donald Sutherland or Colin Farrell and to improvise with Jason Sudeikis, it’s such a privilege. I tried to soak up everything that was happening around me. Everyone was really excited to work on this film and that excitement permeated the set at all times. There was so much laughter and a constant exchange of ideas. Seth was very encouraging and open. It was a joy.
Have you ever had a horrible boss?
I’ve had a few! Can’t name names, though! If this acting thing doesn’t work out, I might have to ring them up!
Let’s talk about you Celia. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
When I was five years old, I did a school play. Halfway through, I had a wicked bout of stage fright and ran offstage crying in terror and wetting my pants. So, at the age of twelve, when my friend, Kyndall, dragged me in to Ms. Fairbanks’ acting class, I didn’t have high hopes. For our final performance in front of the whole school, I had to do a monologue. Again, I ran offstage mid-scene. I did eventually get the courage to finish and when I was done, I felt pure joy. As a bonus, people seemed to like it. It was the first time ever that I felt like I belonged somewhere. During college and high school, I attended summer programs at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Public Theater/NYSF. After I graduated, I moved to New York and started auditioning. Now, I only cry when required and I rarely wet my pants.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
- Be patient.
- Be brave.
- Be honest.
- Don’t whine.
- Don’t apologize for who you are or for your work.
- Don’t ever forget this is a business.
- Don’t ever forget that you’re an artist.
- Study everything. Boring people are boring actors.
- Find a good survival job that doesn’t make you cry on the way in to work.
- Go to class. To say this business is difficult is an understatement. A class that fills you up can make all the difference in your sanity.
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
Well, I’m a bit of a politics junkie so I’ve been following this debt ceiling conversation happening here in the States. And of course, watching the Rupert Murdoch/News of the World hacking story unfold has been wildly disturbing.
You’ve had a number of different roles on a number of TV series and films – who has been your favourite actor to work with so far and who has given the best advice to you?
Truly, each working experience has been fantastic. I’ve been very lucky. Every single person with whom I’ve had the privilege of working with has been lovely. Colin Farrell’s generosity and kindness on the set of ‘Horrible Bosses’ was incredible. From the moment I met him at the read-through, he made me feel completely at ease. I learned so much from him. He works completely without fear or self-consciousness. He’s always listening, always present and brings it in every single take. He’s a gift. Lisa Edelstein, from ‘House, M.D.’ is also a total rock star. I’ve never met a more supportive actor. As far as advice, I haven’t worked with him (yet?), but the thing I repeat to myself when i’m working comes from one of my teachers, Jeff Perry: “Let it be this time.” It’s just a reminder for me to relieve myself of the pressure to “make something happen” and be present. To know that I’ve done the work and now I just have to live in this moment. Good advice for life, too.
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
I’m writing a screenplay and I’m hopeful that some theatre is coming my way. And, of course, auditions, auditions, and more auditions! Looking forward to whatever comes next!
Thanks for the interview!