Well Creampuffs, the countdown to goodbye is on for Carmilla. Laura Hollis, Carmilla Karnstein, and friends are on an adventure that doesn’t just involve vampires. No, try an ancient creature out to destroy Silas University and all of its residents, our resident investigative squad included. But will Laura and Carmilla’s love story fizzle out like the Silas campus is in danger of doing? And how will the appearance of Laura’s father (played by Enrico Colantoni) complicate things?
If you haven’t had the chance to watch this amazing webseries, there’s two weeks to catch up before season three comes to a close. I chatted with Laura and Carmilla themselves, Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis, on what scenes have been their favourites over the last two years, what the filming experiences is like, and how they’ve grown as actors. (And as Elise promised us during the interview, there will be lots of Harry Potter references for the eagle-eyed fan to spot in season three!)
Because this is your little bit of Carmilla, what have been some of the most fulfilling scenes for you to film over the course of the series?
Elise Bauman: For me, the last–I guess, what is it–six episodes of season three are some of the most special for me. I feel like it really wraps things up so beautifully. And we really get to peer into the hearts of Laura and Carmilla, deeper than we ever have I think, so those are so special. And it was also like, the end of the series for us, and it was the last thing that we shot. So it was so emotional, and it was just a really really special moment to share with everyone. But some of it … some of the funnest moments are when everyone is together. Like some of those big group scenes from season two and season one were so fun, when everyone is in such a little enclosed space together, and we’re all working so diligently and still having so much fun together. And just getting to share the experience with all of the cast–those are definitely some special memories for me.
Natasha Negovanlis: I will say that the first and the last days of shooting are really special for me. I can’t really pick one scene over the other. There’s always this–I mean season one, the first day was really exciting, and season three, the first day feels like coming home. And then the last day of shooting for all three seasons–I am just this giant softy and I always cry. Cause I never take for granted how lucky I am to a.) even be working as an actor, and b.) working on something that is so meaningful to not only myself, but this huge community of people. So it’s really special, and I always, I always bawl on the last day. It’s so funny, I’m not even a big crier, but for some reason, my emotions run so high on the last day.
EB: We’re just so under-slept and tired that we’re all just [mimics crying].
NN: That sense of family is a gift.
EB: I think also this season–
[Elise and Natasha burst out laughing]
EB: This one episode, we were all pretty tired and our energy was starting to drop a little bit–it’s really funny now that I’m saying it–Natasha and I farted at the same time and Kaitlyn was in the middle of us!
NN: I don’t even know how to describe that moment … We were very in sync all the time.
EB: It was really funny! [Laughs]
A lot of the action in Carmilla takes place off-screen, but it still feels really palpable. How do you two–and the rest of the cast–generate that same energy and excitement and engagement when you’re filming the post-action scenes?
NN: I think we all have vivid imaginations and that really helps. We all really love–we’re professional pretenders in a way. Part of being a actor is living things through play, but part of it is also being a creative person. But the exciting thing about season three is that there is quite a bit of action on-camera this season, which you’ll see shortly. So that would definitely be really exciting.
EB: I think everyone’s really invested in believing that this is the world that exists and no questions asked. That is the charm of the show a little bit too, that all of the characters–in season one, there’s a bit of a moment like, “Oh there’s vampires here?!” And there’s weird mushrooms floating around campus, and it is a bit of a shock. But at the same time, it’s accepted pretty readily, and I think that adds to the quirk of the show. And we, as the actors, did that as well. We said we’re all just in it, this is the magical world we’re going to live in while we’re filming for the next five days. And let’s just do that.
So no play-fighting between scenes?
NN: Sometimes on lunch hour. [Laughs]
What have you two learned from each other personally over the course of the series?
EB: I think a big thing this year is, it’s better to do things together. And that despite being scared, it’s better to go to that deeper level of love, instead of the frustrations–Laura and Carmilla had these frustrations with each other in season two, and I think a lot of that came from both of them being scared of what they had. That’s definitely something I’ve brought into my life this year. And that’s something that the scripts in season three have had, that love is worth the risk. I’m starting to live my life that way, and I think that getting to go through that scene with an actor as open and honest as Natasha–I really got to feel that this year. Big kudos to Natasha for going through it with me.
NN: Well, thank you! I feel the same way, and I’m just so impressed with the amount of growing you’ve done too. It’s just been really cool to watch you, and you’re such an inspiring actor, and I’ve learned a lot about acting and that process from Elise as well. And you know, she can be a little stubborn like Laura, so it’s been nice to surrender to each other sometimes. Much like Laura and Carmilla, you know, were assigned to the same dorm room, we were very much assigned to each other, and maybe would have not engaged with each other had we not worked together. We’re very different, but we have very common goals and are equally as passionate, and I love the same things about our craft. So, I think finding similarities has really allowed us to have a much deeper connection and we’re just very honest with each other. I think that’s something we both learned–
EB: To say the truth right away.
NN: Yeah. To say things right away and communicate. Communication is the biggest thing. So even when we’re really stressed out, we make sure to check in with each other, and that’s really cool. Before we shoot things, we always meet up and even just check in with each other on a personal level like, “Hey, how’s your life going? How’re you feeling?” So bringing that into our work really helps.