Be­hind the Scenes

Where Dallas - - WHERE NOW -

Wise, bub­bly and full of laugh­ter, Hol­ly­wood vet­eran El­iz­a­beth Mitchell—known most re­cently for “The Purge: Elec­tion Year” and 1980s-era sum­mer camp hor­ror TV se­ries “Dead of Sum­mer”—is as gra­cious and level-headed as she is tal­ented. We caught up with the Dal­las na­tive to talk about chan­nel­ing her for­mer sum­mer camp days in the Texas Hill Coun­try, her foray into act­ing and what she loves most about com­ing home.

The “Dead of Sum­mer” fi­nale airs this month on Freeform. How do you think au­di­ences will react to the fi­nal episode? I’m so lucky be­cause I just fin­ished read­ing episode nine—and it’s the most ter­ri­fy­ing episode of TV: Non­stop ac­tion, twists and turns … af­ter read­ing [the script] it is by far my fa­vorite episode; it’s scary, sad and chal­leng­ing be­cause it’s like a mys­tery or puz­zle you’re try­ing to fig­ure out. You played a vil­lain­ous snow queen in “Once Upon A Time” and in “Dead of Sum­mer,” you’re a mys­te­ri­ous sum­mer camp leader with a few po­ten­tial dark se­crets. What in­ter­ests you about these types of roles or char­ac­ters? I think I’m drawn to strong women. As my mom would say I have a “do-no-harm rule” and I try to walk softly, [but] when it comes to peo­ple [or char­ac­ters] who have these ob­sta­cles or things in their lives that they can’t get out of their way—I find their drive so fas­ci­nat­ing and in­ter­est­ing; I think maybe I’m [also] drawn to the adren­a­line. As a Camp Longhorn alum, did you draw upon any­thing from your camp ex­pe­ri­ence for your role as Deb in “Dead of Sum­mer”? I feel like camp is such a comin­gof-age thing. I don’t know if I al­ways loved it [laughs], but it did some great things for me; at the end of it I was strong, tan and ready to take on the world! My last year I gained an un­der­stand­ing of lead­er­ship, which I learned from watch­ing coun­selors and camp di­rec­tors; [there was] no cod­dling, and that part was re­ally in­ter­est­ing. In “Dead of Sum­mer” I think I kind of took from that idea, but with Deb I had the ob­sta­cle of some­one who is in­cred­i­bly emo­tion­ally in­vested in the camp, which isn’t al­ways the best be­cause you’re think­ing more about your­self and your own mo­tives. What’s been the best part about film­ing “Dead of Sum­mer”? Well, the 80’s are great, and so the mu­sic is great! I like the char­ac­ters I’m work­ing with; they’re neat kids and I love see­ing how ded­i­cated they are. Even the crew says they can’t wait to “be back at camp” ... Ev­ery­body gets a lit­tle bit more re­laxed and peo­ple eat their lunches by the wa­ter ... I find the woods re­ally com­fort­ing. The lights they put up at night make our camp­site in­cred­i­bly beautiful. At seven, you made your de­but on stage at the Dal­las Theater Cen­ter. What sparked your in­ter­est in act­ing at such an early age? My mom was an ac­tress when she was younger, so I think it was her love of the art form then her put-

ting me through theater school… I was such a dorky, funny lit­tle kid, but then be­ing on stage I felt like, this makes sense to me; this is a

world that I un­der­stand. I al­ways felt at home there and was drawn to the other ac­tors. I found the com­mu­nity to be so in­cred­i­ble—so dif­fer­ent than the peo­ple I’d met with my par­ents (both are lawyers)—friendly, in­clu­sive, cre­ative. Even­tu­ally I’d be sneak­ing into shows and watch­ing the ac­tors work; it felt mag­i­cal to me. How would you de­scribe the essence/cul­ture of Dal­las, and what do you love about com­ing back? It’s so vi­brant! My mom has a lit­tle stu­dio and works down­town (she’s an in­cred­i­ble artist), and the town has re­ally flour­ished and changed since I was a kid—the arts, the food. And the peo­ple are friendly and fan­tas­tic! I like the wide open streets, run­ning at night, all the lit­tle bou­tique ho­tels ... and you get a Texas wel­come! Do you travel home to Dal­las of­ten to visit your fam­ily? I try to come back ev­ery few months. I love see­ing my par­ents, love to hang out in Mom and Dad’s back­yard and I love to go to Javier’s, one of my all-time fa­vorite places! (I al­ways or­der the chicken na­chos.) Then, I’ll usu­ally go run White Rock Lake with my dad, who runs with these group of guys ... they say they’re slow so it should be easy for me to keep up, but they’re ly­ing! I work out and run for three months be­fore­hand ... but they’re su­per sweet and never call at­ten­tion to it. Javier’s is a clas­sic. Any other restau­rants you’d rec­om­mend? You’re go­ing to hate me [laughs], but El Fenix, On the Bor­der (on Knox Street)... ba­si­cally Tex-Mex! Also Toulouse (also on Knox) and Rock­fish (in Mock­ing­bird Sta­tion). Do you have any ad­vice for vis­i­tors about what to do and see or where to go in the city? Go get out and get around! Go to Greenville [Av­enue] and lis­ten to live mu­sic ... [or visit] Klyde War­ren Park, the Dal­las Mu­seum of Art, White Rock Lake and Deep El­lum. How would you de­scribe your own per­sonal style, as well as the fash­ion/shop­ping scene here in Dal­las? I am, on most days, in boots and a belt, but I soften it a lit­tle bit with cash­mere or cot­ton ... It’s great to go to lunch at Neiman’s and watch them do their fash­ion shows. There’s some gor­geous fash­ion and great de­sign­ers in Dal­las that my mom knows about—RioRitz on Routh Street (the owner has great style; not hor­ri­bly ex­pen­sive but su­per cute), Asel Art Sup­ply, E.G. Geller (shoes), NM Last Call, Northpark Cen­ter, the “last call” sales at Stan­ley Kor­shak and The Shak in Cres­cent Court. Mom is a fan­tas­tic shop­per and al­ways looks amaz­ing. Are you work­ing on any new or up­com­ing projects? I do the strangest thing: I work for six months and then I’m a full-time mom. Given that “The Purge” and “Dead of Sum­mer” came out at the same time, I’m prob­a­bly just go­ing to be a mom now. It’s good to have bal­ance. I’m al­ways grate­ful for work but I try to live a full, well­rounded life, as hon­ored as I am to have had the op­por­tu­nity to do this kind of work at all.

Mitchell (right) as Deb in Freeform’s ‘Dead of Sum­mer’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.