By our guest blogger, Joel Crabtree
Charlotte Ross, a veteran actress who spent several seasons on “NYPD Blue,” took on the role of Candy in “Drive Angry 3D” for the opportunity to work with people she admires who inspire her, such as Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage and frequent Wes Craven-collaborator Patrick Lussier -- whom Ross lauded as a “visionary” director.
And then there were the challenges the role presented, the foremost of which was a full-frontal sex scene/gun fight in 3D, no less. It might seem like a stretch for some actors to go from Det. Connie McDowell to the “extra-horny” waitress who seduces Nicolas Cage’s Milton in “Drive Angry,” but for Ross, that sort of change of pace is what she thrives on as an actress.
“I would like to, in a perfect world, deem myself as a character actress,” Ross said in a recent phone interview with WeekinRewind. “I was shooting Candy in Shreveport, Louisiana, when I was in the middle of shooting Judy Fabray on ‘Glee,’ who's like Ann Coulter times a thousand. It's probably polar-opposite from Candy.”
Although on the surface Candy may appear to be a shallow and somewhat crazy character, Ross said she was drawn to the damaged side of her. “She actually comes from a place of needing love. [Candy is] kind of one of these people who puffs out their chest, but when you break it down, they're really insecure.”
Of course, there was also the appeal of doing a movie that embraces its campy side, which Ross said was one of her favorite things about the movie. “I love comedy when it's based in the darkness of truth.”
Ross said that while on set, working with both Lussier and Cage was an actor’s dream come true.
“My personal working experience with Nic, all bulls****ing aside, honestly, was one of the best working experiences I've ever had. Mainly because, at the end of the day – for him and for me it's a dream come true when this happens – it's all about the work.”
She likened working with Cage to an artistic dance between two actors, and said that he encouraged her with ad-libbing -- something that Ross is fond of as an actress.
“He loved it. He'd get really excited and spur me on, saying 'That's awesome,' 'Keep going,' 'Oh my gosh, how'd you think of that? That's just insane.' So I think he really appreciated the fact that I was trying things that were crazy and dark.”
Ross described Lussier as a director who was collaborative and open to ideas, “which makes everybody, from the crew to the DP to the actors, feel like they’re really a part of it.”
The result was an experience that Ross considered fun, enjoyable, and technically challenging as, “Drive Angry 3D,” is a stunt-heavy movie.
“There was probably 15 to 35 stunt guys on the call sheet every day. I’ve never been in a movie that had so many stunt people on a daily basis.”
Ross also stars in the upcoming Fox release “Street Kings: Motor City,” opposite Ray Liotta, which is slated for a Blu-ray and DVD release in April.
Below are the trailers for “Drive Angry 3D,” currently in theaters and “Street Kings: Motor City.”