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Interview: Luciana Carro

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When actress Luciana Carro was in high school, she had plans to become a hairdresser. Her high school drama teacher Gerry Campbell, who is the father of actress Neve Campbell, convinced her to give acting a try. Luckily for us, she ended up taking theater and found her true calling.

She has built a successful career in Hollywood with no signs of slowing down. She’s made appearances on television shows such as The L Word, Everwood, Caprica and Smallville. Her big screen credits include White Chicks, Blades of Glory and Dr. Doolittle 3.

Luciana became a household name with her role as Louanne 'Kat' Katraine on the hit Syfy series Battlestar Galactica. That led to an impressive run on the TNT series Falling Skies were she played the tough and gritty Crazy Lee. Most recently she played the spirited Anana on Syfy’s Helix which was renewed for a second season and will premiere in January of 2015.

Luciana sits down with the Pop Culture Principle to talk about working on several of these series, the importance of really fleshing out your character and why choosing strong, independent roles is important to her.

At the end of the interview, you will also find links to her social media sites where you will able to follow her and get all the latest up to date information.

Pop Culture Principle – How did your character Anana change from the beginning of Helix to the season finale?

Luciana Carro – At the beginning it is clear that Anana wants answers; she’s a woman on a mission and the missing children are her number one priority. It seems like she’s driven by a desire for revenge, but by the finale, I think it is clear that Anana is driven by the love - love for the children, love for her people, and love for her family. Initially she is very suspicious of Balleseros, but by the end she sees the good in his heart. By the finale Anana taught me that love is a more of powerful motivator than vengeance. She is focused on her objective, but also has faith in people despite all the evil things that she is confronting. In the end, Anana shows us that she wants justice, but also believes that people are good at heart.

Pop Culture Principle – With all the problems that were going on with the base, the virus and the deaths, Anana always seemed to be the hope or the light of the series. Would you agree?

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Luciana Carro – I do agree with that. She’s the best big sister you could ever wish for-in more ways than one. She’s a big sister figure to Danielle and Tulok, but also a big sister figure to the missing children and her people. If Anana were an idea or a concept, she’d be the best big sister a brother could ask for. She’s the type of sister who will hunt you down if you mess with her family or her people.

Pop Culture Principle – One surprising relationship that has started to form is the one between Anana and Sergio. What are your thoughts on that relationship?

Luciana Carro – At the beginning, there is a lot of physical attraction between the two. Even though they may be at odds with each other in terms of their objective, the chemistry builds quickly as they get to know each other as people. She recognizes that she needs him, but also sees his good intentions. She doesn’t take for granted the fact that he saved her life and that he saved the village. Anana sees the good in him and that is what she is attracted too.

Pop Culture Principle – Why do you think Anana won’t give up on Sergio?

Luciana Carro – She really has so much faith in people despite of all the tragic things that have happened in her life. She shows us that a conniving, dangerous murderer like Balleseros can still have a heart. Also, at the end of the day, she needs him for her own objective, which is to find the missing children. He’s got the tactical skills, he’s a born leader and most importantly he knows the Ilaria Corporation and their methods; he’s an asset to her mission which is major a factor.

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Pop Culture Principle – You had some great scenes with Meegwun Fairbrother who played both twins on the show. What was it like working with him?

Luciana Carro – Meegwun is amazing. He’s a very talented actor. His work on Helix was so powerful and heartbreaking. Meegwun treated me like a sister on and off set right from the beginning. Playing his sister came so naturally and it was just a joy working with him.

Pop Culture Principle – Having finally found one of your twin brothers and then to lose him again has to be traumatic. How do you see this affecting her in Season 2 if she returns?

Luciana Carro – Based on how I’ve gotten to know Anana in season one, losing a brother is only going to strengthen all those characteristics that have been driving her in the first place. Now that Miksa is dead, I think revenge may become more of a motivating factor for her.

Pop Culture Principle – What can fans look forward to in Season Two?

Luciana Carro – We haven’t started shooting season two yet and I haven’t received any scripts. Your guess is as good as mine, but I think perhaps we can all look forward to seeing how the story unfolds in places other than the Arctic. Season one was about the viral outbreak at Arctic Biosystems, and the vectors, and it seems like season two will center more on the Ilaria Corporation and the five hundred immortals. I really look forward to seeing how Anana fits in to all of that.

Pop Culture Principle – Battlestar Galactica is considered one of the best television shows of all time. What has being on such an iconic show meant to you as an actor and as a person?

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Luciana Carro – It was such an honor and a privilege to be a part of something that has had a huge impact on so many people. It made me a better actor and challenged me in ways I had never been challenged before. I worked with a lot of green screen and had to really use my imagination and react to things that weren’t there.

It was the first time that I had to do any of that kind of work. It was such a wonderful cast and crew. Our writers were some of the best in the business. The talent level and professionalism on the Battlestar Galactica set really raised the bar for me as an actor. I am really proud to be a part of that show and its legacy.

Pop Culture Principle – Was there a scene or an episode of Battlestar Galactica where you thought to yourself, we really have something special here?

Luciana Carro – As an actor I knew it was going to be something special as soon as I read the script. The writing was just so phenomenal; I knew it was going to make an impact on a lot of people. I think it really dawned on me how special Battlestar Galactica was going to be after season one had gone through post and I saw everything put together for the first time.

Pop Culture Principle – You shared some very intense scenes with Katee Sackhoff. What was it like working with her?

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Luciana Carro – Katee and I are very similar in that we both have A-type personalities and the writing really brought it out of both of us. I really had fun working with Katee. She’s a fantastic actress and very talented. We really pushed each other as actors every step of the way. I am very proud of the work we did together.

Pop Culture Principle – Your character Kat had so many layers and we were just starting to learn more about her before her death. Do you wish you could have explored her background even more during the series?

Luciana Carro – Of course it would have been great to explore more about Kat’s past early on in the series, but it was such a great way to send her off as a character. They really treated Kat with dignity and the writers paid tribute to her. Despite her shady past, she died a hero and I’m happy with how it ended. They could have just blown me up in my viper and made it a really quick death without exploring her background at all. They gave me a really beautiful death and the scene between Eddie and I at the end was just gold. Getting that kind of material is what you dream for as an actor. I love the way it ended and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Pop Culture Principle – You had another great character Crazy Lee from Falling Skies. What was it like working on that show?

Luciana Carro – It was a wonderful experience. I love doing post-apocalyptic stuff- getting dirty and blowing things up. I had a lot of fun preparing for this role because it is such a character role and I got to do some really fun stuff. I got to play a wild woman and an outlaw. I worked with an acting coach on some animal work, exploring primal impulses- it helped me act and react in new ways. I really love that part of my job- the prep work and research. I tried to capture Crazy Lee’s outcast spirit by modeling my body movements and energy after a hyena. I felt like a hyena was a good spirit animal for her. She’s a pack animal and a true apex predator.

I choose to give Crazy Lee a deeper, raspier voice than my natural voice and also gave her a specific laugh, kinda hyena like. Crazy Lee had a very traumatic life and I tried to create a really rich backstory in preparation to play her. It was a lot of fun- I love doing background work on characters and with Crazy Lee, I had so many ideas of what her life must have been like before the alien invasion.

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Pop Culture Principle – Crazy Lee was definitely a bad ass, but there was also a soft side to her. How do you enjoy playing that dual aspect in your character?

Luciana Carro – I love these two sides of Crazy Lee; the vulnerable side and the badass side. Music was really important for me in bringing these two sides out for specific scenes. To channel her badass side, I listened to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Jay Z. For me the lyrics really describe who she was and what she felt. Tapping into her softer side, especially during the death scene, I listened to Judy Garland’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” For most of the show Crazy Lee was shown as a fighter and an outlaw. I felt like that song represented surrender. Crazy Lee wanted what everyone wanted deep down inside. She wanted to stop fighting and wanted to experience peace for once in her life. I don’t think she really had much of a childhood and I thought it was interesting that on her deathbed she fantasized about going to Disneyland with Pope and Matt. She wanted to be part of a family but this is the side of Crazy Lee that we only see when she has no more reason to fight.

Pop Culture Principle – How would you describe her relationship with Pope?

Luciana Carro – I think Pope and Crazy Lee respect and understand each other. I like the way Pope took Crazy Lee under his wing and looked out for her. Because I made her a hyena, which is a pack animal, she doesn’t have to be the pack leader. She belongs with The Berserkers and there is safety in numbers.

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Pop Culture Principle – Some of your more recent roles have been very strong, independent women. Is that something you are looking for when picking roles?

Luciana Carro – Yes definitely. I am attracted to those types of characters. First and foremost, this is a reflection of the kinds of female characters that writers are creating these days. I think there are more stronger and independent women on television today, which is so exciting. I really enjoy playing those types of characters. I like to figure out what makes them tick and explore their struggles and desires.

Pop Culture Principle – What advice would you give to up and coming actors?

Luciana Carro – Work hard and believe. There are a lot of ups and downs in the industry, but ultimately to make it, you have to stick through the tough times and not give up on yourself. You have to work very hard. I dedicate 8 hours a day to my craft even if I am not working on a series. I surround myself with very talented and creative people who keep me inspired and creative. Many actors hit a really rough spot and they think they have to do something else with their lives because the money isn’t coming in. I believe you have to stick that out because eventually it will come around.

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Pop Culture Principle – What do fans of your work mean to you and what is it like meeting them at conventions?

Luciana Carro – The fans mean the world to me! I love interacting with them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Meeting them is one of the most rewarding things about working on these amazing shows. I love the passion that they have for the characters and the shows. I also love catching up with my cast mates at conventions; it’s like a family reunion.

Pop Culture Principle – What projects do you have coming up that you can talk with us about?

Luciana Carro – I have a really cool indie that will be shooting in London in the works. I also have some television stuff that is in the works, but I can’t talk about them at the moment, but you can keep up with me on Twitter and Facebook. I’ll keep you up to date.

LINKS

Official Luciana Carro Twitter

Official Luciana Carro Facebook page

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