Posted: August 10, 2011
Lilja: I call Vinessa during a break in her filming of season 2 of Haven. Right now she is shooting a TV show called Being Erica and she is about to return to the set of Haven the next day. Vinessa has been on Being Erica for 4 seasons and it’s with a bit of shame I have to admit to her that I have never seen the show…
How did you get a part in the TV series Haven?
Vinessa Antoine: Well, I auditioned for it I Los Angeles and they called me back to see my chemistry with Eric Balfour who plays Duke and we got on great and I got a great audition and we had great chemistry and they called me back again and told me I got the part.
Lilja: What did you know about the series prior to your audition? Had you followed season 1?
Vinessa Antoine: I had seen about one or two episodes and I had seen it advertised but I hadn’t actually been following the show until I got the audition and said, “Let me go and check it out”. I watched it and that is how I got into it. I didn’t really know that much about it before I auditioned for it.
Lilja: What drew you to audition for it? Was it something special or was it just another audition?
Vinessa Antoine: Well, as an actress you audition for so many roles and I try to audition for roles that are going to challenge me as a person and challenge my work so when I got this I was intrigued because she is so not like the other characters I have played. She is a con artist, she is a little deceiving, she uses her sexuality to get what she wants, she’s very smart but then there is also a very good heart underneath. There are many layers to her that I like.
Lilja: What is the name of your character?
Vinessa Antoine: Evidence Ryan, Evi for short.
Lilja: Will it be a reoccurring character or is it just for a few episodes?
Vinessa Antoine: Right now it’s a reoccurring for season 2 and then we don’t know what’s going to happen. There are some big twists and turns as we gets closer to the end of the season so there is going to be a lot of surprises. We don’t know who’s going to be around.
Vinessa Antoine: Yeah, we kind of learn as we go so a lot of the actors will be surprised. We don’t know until the day we get the script, they don’t tell us too much.
Lilja: How much in advance do you get the script?
Vinessa Antoine: Sometimes we get it two days before we shoot or maybe a week before but then it might change three or four times before we actually shoot it. They are always rewriting, always perfecting.
Lilja: It must be hard to learn you lines when they keep changing them?
Vinessa Antoine: Well, I have never had any problems learning lines; I have always been that way. I can look at them very quickly and memorize them but I always want to know what’s going on in a scene. As long as I know where I am, who I’m talking to, what we are talking about and what’s happening in the story that’s really the basis for me. Learning words is just another thing, one that I do very easily.
Lilja: In season 1 there were a lot of scenes where they used a greenscreen and then added the background and stuff later. Is it the same this season?
Vinessa Antoine: Because were we shoot we have such a beautiful exterior, a beautiful backdrop, the city of Haven itself. It’s almost like the city of Haven is a character on its own because it’s so beautiful with the water and the boats and the beautiful homes. It’s very much like Maine. So we don’t use greenscreens much for that kind of things but they will add special effects in post editing if things are happening that are too crazy.
Lilja: Is it hard to act in front of a greenscreen?
Vinessa Antoine: Sometimes it’s the times when I feel the most silly [laughing] as an actor. Because you study for your character and try to be in the moment and being so real and then at the end of the day your reacting to the sky or a wall that is exploding or snakes coming out of the door and there are no snakes so you are reacting to nothing and this is where I feel the most silly. It’s like children pretending “Oh, my God its coming” but it’s nothing. But then that’s the beauty of our special effects team.
Lilja: Have you read the book, The Colorado Kid, by Stephen King that the TV series is loosely based on?
Vinessa Antoine: I haven’t actually read it. I have it to read but I’m going to wait until after I’m done with this role to read it because I don’t want any knowledge about what’s happening with this character Lucy because I don’t know what’s going to happen with my character so I want to be surprised along with the audience.
Lilja: I think you’re going to be surprised when you read the book because it’s quite different from the TV series.
Vinessa Antoine: Yeah, they did say that as well so I don’t want to involve one with the other right now with what I’m doing.
Lilja: What are your fans reaction to your part in Haven? I guess they haven’t seen anything of it yet…
Vinessa Antoine: No they haven’t seen anything yet, what they have seen is what I have posted on Twitter. I won’t tweet any spoilers or any storylines but we will tweet pictures or introduce new characters. So I’m finding that a lot of fans of Eric Balfour, who plays Duke, a lot of ladies are now following me and they are saying “Oh my gosh, you are so lucky” [laugh] so it’s been fun in that way and hopefully they won’t hate me too much.
Lilja: Both Eric and Emily are quite active on Twitter and I have noticed that you are as well.
Vinessa Antoine: Yes, yes.
Lilja: Do you feel it’s a good way to connect to the fans?
Vinessa Antoine: Oh, it’s a great way. It’s wonderful. I don’t think there is any other avenue where you can have a spot, an image. If something happens on set I can immediately tweet about it or send a picture about it and it really keeps the fans up to date on what’s going on. And not only that, I can really stay updated on what causes I’m involved with and immediately I get a larger response, more than any other avenue.
Lilja: Do you have a lot of contact with the fans personally or do you have employees that handle things like that?
Vinessa Antoine: Well, I don’t have that much of a fan base that I need people yet, hopefully I will one day but now it’s one on one contact. When you message me or talking directly to me I’m always writing messages back and respond to every single fan. I never not respond.
Lilja: That’s nice. As a fan it’s always nice to talk directly to the person and not to someone in between.
Vinessa Antoine: Yeah, I find that as well because I’m a fan of people myself and I’m always hesitant of sending messages because I keep wondering if it’s going to an assistant and if they won’t get it at all. But I obviously have a lot of time on my hands because I sit there and write back to everyone [laugh].
Lilja: Speaking of the other cast members, was it hard to enter a group that had already worked together for a season or was it easy to blend in?
Vinessa Antoine: Well, I have to say it was a little difficult. Not that they aren’t lovely people and very nice to me but you know. It is what it is when you go onto a show where they already have a connection, where they have already had a whole year to bond. They know their characters very well and they know each other very well. So in that sense it was a little bit difficult to blend in plus I’m playing a character who we really don’t know what her intentions are, good or bad. So just coming in fresh to a show that has already been going on for a year to play a character that is totally different from the three of them, I’m sure is a bit off-putting but they were very sweet and very nice to me and I’m finding my way now.
Lilja: How far into the season are you?
Vinessa Antoine: We are shooting episode nine.
Lilja: You are almost finished.
Vinessa Antoine: Yes, we’re almost finished.
Lilja: And it premiers July 15. Are you going on any promotion tours to promote it?
Vinessa Antoine: I haven’t heard anything about that. I know they did last year and that they went to a few places in Europe and I’m always elbowing and nudging our publicist and saying “Are we going again?” [Laugh] because I’d love to go and promote this and see what’s out there. I don’t know if we’re going to do that this year. Maybe just a smaller promotion but I think we will do something.
Lilja: Maybe your character will make a big impact on the show.
Vinessa Antoine: I hope so. I hope the fans like it and say “We wanna see her” [laugh].
Lilja: In how many episodes will we see your character this season?
Vinessa Antoine: I’m in ten of the thirteen episodes. Almost all of them.
Lilja: And you have two guest actors this season as well; Jason Priestley and Edge. I guess you got to work with both of them?
Vinessa Antoine: I have had like a couple of scenes with Jason but I haven’t had any scenes with Edge yet. And Jason is going to be directing this episode we’re about to shoot so I’ll be seeing him every day and he is very, very funny and lovely and a really wonderful man.
Lilja: Sounds great! I want to end with thanking you so much for taking the time to talk to me.
Vinessa Antoine: Thank you.