During the month of April, we are interviewing the incredibly talented women behind the horror thriller Quarries. This time, we are got to talk to actress/producer Carrie Finklea, who truly left a lasting impression in the film and brought her character to life. We discuss how she got involved with the film industry, details about her character in Quarries, and more.
PopHorror – Thanks for talking with us, Carrie. Let’s get down to business! How long have you wanted to work in the industry?
Carrie Finklea – I am not sure anyone “wants” to work in the entertainment industry once its true colors are revealed: it’s 99% psychological warfare and 1% glamour. The industry finds you, really. Once you are in its wake – you either have the so-called ‘bug’ or you don’t. If you do, its glue binds you to this world of making movies.
My first day on a theater stage I was hooked, but my first day on a film set – I knew I was addicted. I just can’t imagine my life without this overwhelming desire to create images that will outlive us.
PopHorror – I can imagine it’s not for everyone and takes a lot of hard work and dedication – deciding to stick with it and continue to do what you love despite the obstacles. I’m glad you found your calling. What was your first film ever?
Carrie Finklea – The first film I was in was Elephant directed by Gus Van Sant. I was one of 12 leads cast in the film out of a casting call of 3,000 teenagers. While waiting in line, in between phone calls screaming at my parents to get me out of this ridiculous cattle herd, someone buying a Popsicle accidentally dropped it beside me. I picked it up for him and then he told me to come see him when I got into the room. He happened to be the producer of the film. I owe the start of my career to a Popsicle.
PopHorror – (Laughs) Well, I can say I honestly say I never heard that one before. Speaking of your career, how did your new film Quarries come about?
Carrie Finklea – My friend Nicole, the writer/producer/actress of the film, and I were creating a web series at the time. It was a social commentary about the absurdity of LA Girls. We had a lot of fun together and when she told me the script for Quarries was finished, she asked if I would come go on board as a producer. It’s difficult to find good friends in LA, but when you do, you can always rely on them. I was grateful for the opportunity. At the time, it was my first experience in producing. I trust she knows that I would have also asked her if the roles had been reversed.
PopHorror – That’s awesome! She definitely seems like a good person to have on your side on and off the screen. In Quarries, you play the role of Wren. Could you relate to your character at all?
Carrie Finklea – Yes, because my character is a complicated but an honest mess. I think everyone can relate to that side of themselves.
PopHorror – This is true. Each character had their own personal battles, but yours was highlighted more. Do you think her weaknesses ended up making her stronger in the end?
Carrie Finklea – I tried to convey an arc in the movie that aimed towards strength, but it’s up to potential viewers to decide if I achieved it. Wren’s weaknesses were not the product of her past. We all have subjectively painful histories and it is our reaction to these painful experiences that define us. Wren was selfish, absorbed in her guilt, and projected all this anger onto anyone she could.
Throughout the film, emotions she had carefully coffined away begin to seep up. Death is the inescapable leitmotif for Wren and it isn’t until witnessing Madison’s death that she finally surrenders to it. When Wren kills Zeb right before he is about to “make her his bride,” I think it was this subconscious will to live that drove her to fight like a beast for herself. The fact that she killed Zeb means she does want to become a fighter and hopefully, once the girls return to civilization, she will start fighting for a more genuine life – one that accepts her past as part of her present identity. It’s not about justifying her past, but helping understand the motivations that led her to become who she is.
PopHorror – Personally, I think you conveyed it perfectly and I really liked seeing her shine and be a total badass. What was it like to be a part of such a powerful female-driven story?
Carrie Finklea – It felt like my experience of real life. Women are powerful and I am in constant awe of every woman I meet that strives to make the life that she wants. Working as a full-time producer now, I try to surround myself with as many driven women as possible. They are just awesome, inspiring, and endlessly fascinating. A bond with an inspiring woman is one of the most enriching aspects of my life. Being surrounded by powerful females is a culture, a camaraderie that you don’t often get from the opposite sex, but maybe that’s just my experience working in such a male-dominated industry.
PopHorror – I feel the exact same way – being around inspiring women has helped me grow immensely. Are you excited by the audience’s response to the film?
Carrie Finklea – I am very appreciative of the unwavering support from friends, family, and our film community. It’s really wonderful to receive so much support from everyone we know, especially fellow filmmakers. Targeted festivals have also been extremely receptive to it, which makes me feel that we achieved what we set out to do. And that is no easy feat; more often than not, things go awry in this business.
PopHorror – It definitely can and I’m glad it’s doing so well – it deserves the recognition. Are there any other projects you’d like to talk about?
Carrie Finklea – Yes, I have a few that I am really excited about. I recently tried on the directing hat and that is as addictive – or more – than acting. I really love it. I have three short films so far, with one still in post, that I directed while studying abroad in Italy. One of them is a comedy, Spaghetti Romance, and it was just accepted into competition at the 2017 American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival. I am beyond excited –not bad for a budget of 100 Euros.
On the producing side, I now work with Elizabeth Stearns (the Producer of Still Alice). We have a few projects in development. All of them are unique, compelling, and incredible stories begging to be told. One is based on an unbelievable true story and we might be making it with Mandalay Pictures. And I recently started a job as a Production Manager at Ayzenberg…
So all in all, very exciting things ahead! I am grateful for all the wonderful things that are happening in my life, and grateful to Quarries for all the things I learned from this invaluable experience.