No rest for the wicked : an interview with Katharine Isabelle, star of 88
It is a sincere thrill and honour to welcome my guest at this time to horrornews.net the star of ’88’ Ms. Katharine Isabelle. Katharine I’d like to go on record as stating that ’88’ is one of the most surreal, lucid, compelling thrillers in recent times. In all of my years as a film critic ’88’ is only the second movie in which I’d awarded a full five out of five tombstones.
What was the main appeal in reading the script for 88 ? What was the pivotal point in which you’d said to yourself this is a project I have to be a part of ?
– It’s not too often that I come across such a well written character, or, two of them, actually. When they give you a script that is interesting, funny, heartfelt, suspenseful, clever, and then they also say they’re going to give you an automatic weapon and let you loose on the streets of Niagara Falls, there’s not much more convincing required.
– What was the overall mood and atmosphere like on the set of 88 ?
– It was way too much fun. We had a young crew who was enthusiastic and talented and we had an amazing location and we had guns. It was actually far more fun than anything should be.
– What was shooting in Niagara like along with the Falls own April Mullen ? I’d readily recognized many of the landmarks in the back drop, being a resident of the area such as the historic store fronts on Queen Street in the police department scenes, the Basel’s diner in the Cyrus confrontation scene as well as the creepy old 3 story red brick house next to the Beer Store on Bridge Street, the house in which was shared with Aster. I walk by many of these attractions on a daily basis I may never look at them quite the same, mind you.
– Niagara was a great place to shoot, the community was welcoming and it had everything we needed for this movie, all the locations, inside and out were right there. Plus dinosaur mini golf. I mean…. Seriously. It has dinosaurs.
– What provisions or inspiration did it take to get into the role of Gwen/Flamingo ? Which character can you personally relate to more ?
– I only read the script the day before we started shooting. So I had to rely heavily on Tim and April’s deep understanding of both characters. Can’t say if I’m more of a Gwen or a Flamingo, I’ve never dipped into a fugue state. That I can recall.
– Although your scope of work can be described as diverse and eclectic when considering genres, one cannot deny your formidable presence in horror. From ‘Ginger Snaps’, ‘American Mary’, ‘See No Evil 2’, ‘Hannibal’, etc. do you have a natural magnetism towards the genre ? Is there anyone you aspire to work with in the future ?
– I’ve been incredibly lucky to be embraced by the horror community as I have been. It just so happened that’s where I’ve found some of the best characters. Even though you wouldn’t think it. And they’re also more fun to shoot than almost anything. Except like, maybe a western, cuz I love horses, and guns.
I’ve just wrapped a Wes Craven produced film called ‘The Girl In The Photographs’. So meeting Wes was a check mark off my list of awesome people to work with, for sure.
DG: What was it like working with two cinematic icons such as Christopher Lloyd and Michael Ironside ?
– Both Lloyd and Ironside are legends. It was an 80’s kids dream to be on the same screen as them. They are true gentleman and absolute professionals. A girl couldn’t ask for better co-stars.
– There is some definitive symbolism and subtext within the content of ’88’. It goes without saying the representation of the number 88, Flamingo’s fascination with milk are a couple that come to mind. Describe the significance of each of these. I’m curious as well. Were you a smoker prior to the shooting of 88 and if not how difficult was it to quit afterwards ?
– 88 signifies a whole lot in this movie. But the number 8 is also an infinity sign and the looping between the two timelines and the two personalities is expressed through that. I hate milk. Hate it. I was drinking die milk. Which I haven’t had since (laughs). And I don’t smoke. And I had to power through packs a day so when it was over I had nooooo problem not smoking again (laughs).
– Just wrapping things up I’d like to say thanks once again for such a wonderful interview. Audiences of course get to see 88 in all of its full screen splendor premiering in select Canadian cities. What can fans anticipate at the post screening Q&A with April Mullen, Tim Doiron along with yourself ? Last but certainly not least what’s next on the horizon for Katharine Isabelle ?
– The Q & A…(laughs) oh I’ll be my usual self. Trying to string together a sentence and not fall over. Season 3 of Hannibal starts June 4th. I’m in a really fun comedy called ‘How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town’ released later this year. And ‘The Girl In The Photographs’ probably early next year. And then who knows, back to the Carnie life for me.