I recently got the opportunity to talk to Schuyler Fisk about her role in Gus Van Sant’s new film, ‘Restless’. Here, Schuyler talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew and which three guests she would invite to dinner…
Hey Schuyler. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film ‘Restless‘.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
It’s a coming of age story about two teenagers that meet at a funeral. It’s a beautiful picture of an imperfect life and how we all have an expiration date.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play Elizabeth Cotton, a very mother-like and over-protective figure for my younger sister, Annabel (played by Mia Wasikowska). Our mother is an alcoholic and so I have to take on her responsibilities.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I heard about the script and got a chance to read it. I fell in love with it and immediately connected with the characters. I got the opportunity to audition and was thrilled to find out I got the part.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
Well, I think there are many things that set it apart. What I love is how all the characters are flawed. It doesn’t paint an idealistic picture of what we all want life to be. It shows a portrait of a family and the ripple effect that happens when life throws a wrench in our plans. Also how much first love affects us.
The film stars Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska, Ryo Kase, your good self, Lusia Strus and Jane Adams – with Gus Van Sant onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
It was a wonderful and relaxed atmosphere on set. It was freezing up in Portland when we were filming, so we all bonded because we would always be huddled up next to space heaters and hugging each other trying to keep warm! Mia, Ryo, Henry and I would hang out on our time off. We’d go bowling and get dinners and stuff. One time we accidentally wandered into “S&M Night” at a local bar. It was very unexpected and shocking. A real “ice-breaker” moment for all of us. Ha!
Let’s talk a bit about you Schuyler. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I was just always attracted to acting. I had the desire to be in school plays and always had aspirations to be in films. Maybe it was growing up on film sets. It was what I knew, what was familiar to me.
You’ve had a number of roles in different TV series and films – who have been your favourites actors/actresses to work with so far and which project has been your favourite to be a part of?
It’s really hard to answer that question because all of the experiences have been so different from each other. I really enjoyed making ‘Orange County’ because it was such a fun and funny vibe on set. I loved watching Catherine O’Hara work. Also Jack Black and Harold Ramis. When I did ‘Law & Order: SVU’, Mariska Hargitay was particularly good to me and I actually enjoyed diving into a dark place for that character. ‘Restless’ was great because I loved taking in the incredible people doing their jobs around me – Gus, Mia, Harris.
We should mention that you’re a singer/songwriter as well, and your music has appeared in various films – how did that come about?
I started playing and writing music when I was 14 years old. I just always loved singing and I had things I wanted to say. I remember my Mom told me I had to be careful doing cover songs, because usually it was hard to do the song better than the original. So, I figured that I’d make my own originals! I enjoy making music, because it’s something I can do whenever I want. On my own or with others. It keeps me busy.
How do you come up with the lyrics to your songs? Which artists have inspired you yourself?
I’m not sure how I come up with them, but I just try to stay inspired and stay aware of the world around me. I’ve been inspired by lots of artists! Everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Tom Petty to Adele, to Aimee Mann……to a million more!
Besides your own music, what is currently on your I-Pod right now?
The new Feist record, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Sam Cooke, The Avett Brothers, Dawes, Buck Owens, Middle Brother, The Bird And The Bee, Lucinda Williams….
If you could have dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
My grandma, Gerry, who I was very close to but who passed away about 10 years ago. I’d really love to catch her up on my life these days and just talk to her. And maybe she could make her beef stew and broccoli soup for me! I’d also love to meet my other grandmother, Mimi, who passed away before I was born. I have heard so many stories about her and I just feel like I want to know how my Mom got to be so amazing. I’d also love to meet my Dad’s father, Jack Sr, who died when I was 3. I want to know about what it was like to be at war and hear stories about my Dad when he was little. I want to see what his features were like. Family, that’s who I’d want to have to dinner with, because that’s where I come from.
What’s coming up for you in 2011/12?
In addition to touring for my second CD ‘Blue Ribbon Winner’, I have a Christmas record ‘Sounds Of The Holiday’ which will be coming out soon!! I’m really excited about it!! I’ve been wanting to make a holiday record for years and years.
For more updates on all that i’m doing check out – www.schuylerfisk.com
Thanks for the interview!