Interview with Claire StansfieldMarch 1999
Bitch of Rome: Before I get to my Xena. questions, I gotta ask about The Swordsman. You made that comment [Interviewer’s Note: in an email previous to this interview] on not wanting to remember and I was unfortunately unable to make a copy of it.
Claire Stansfield: Okay, well its a dreadful movie. It was my first movie really, where I had a, the lead and then they called me about four years later and told me about part II.
CS: And that they were going to have a dream sequence and that I was gonna be in the dream sequence and was that okay? And they were going to pay me like, four thousand dollars and I said, "Sure! For a dream sequence? Sure!" A year later I went to the video store and I’m the lead in Swordsman part II [Interviewer’s Note: This movie was re-titled Gladiator Cop]. They just used the out takes from Swordsman part I. So, it’s really bad in Swordsman part II (laughs) because I’m not even in the movie. When Lorenzo Lamas or whoever it is, is talking and I’m responding, I’m not there. (laughs)
CS: It’s four years prior. Yeah, so we tried to sue them, but the, an actress told us to "Get in line." So, um, ST Entertainment, which was a Canadian company, can go to hell.
CS: At least that’s what I think.
BoR: Sounds fair.
CS: (laughs) So I rallied a lot of Canadian actors and producers and so on, so far against but there’s not much else I can do. I can just leave it at that, so when people mention Swordsman I get a little uptight.
BoR: Got it. won’t mention it again.
BoR: All right.
BoR: So Drop Zone. You got killed with a photocopier. What was your opinion on that?
CS: [It] was a wonderful experience. I love it. I worked on it for like, three months and, you know, so much more ended up on the cutting room floor which was unfortunate, but it was such a great experience. Being, well we kind of left it, we, you weren’t sure is she was dead or not, because had the film been more successful, they were going to do a part two. So she didn’t actually die. She just kind of looked like it.
BoR: Did you keep any of those photocopies though?
CS: I do actually have the original.
BoR: That’s cool.
CS: I have the original somewhere. You know, I should actually post that on my webpage.
BoR: Oh yeah. It was a really good shot. First thing I thought when I saw that was, "Did she keep one of those?"
CS: I have that.
CS: Me there with my head on the Xerox machine.
BoR: Yep. (laughs) Uh, there was a lot of blue screens in the movie, but did you do any skydiving?
CS: I did one tandem jump before, just to sort of get the feeling and then the rest was pretty much blue screen and I had a great double who did all the jumps for me.
BoR: In the scene where Yancy Butler jumps out of the plane, why did you act like your character cared when you’re trying to kill her everywhere else in the movie?
CS: Well see, a lot of the stuff got cut out. I was trying to make her a little more complex you know? And like, she liked her, you know what I mean? But I don’t just like to play evil, evil and hating everybody. I think it’s just s boring choice, and so, she has an immense respect for her and also the fact that, you know, in the movie she’s suppose to be the best skydiver and I’m like the second best female so there’s sort of like competitiveness that I think, you care. And so, where you think someone’s jumped to their death, I think it’s an easy choice to snicker or be mean about it. I was trying to sort of layer the character a little more. There was a lot of other stuff that would have built into there was cut out. That’s just, you know, an actor’s fate. That you just don’t know what’s going to end up in and if what you’re doing is making sense or not.
CS: So. (laughs)
BoR: Ah, you had a very small part in Steel, but I loved that scene where you and yelled at the gun designer.
CS: Right. I uh, Judd Nelson’s a very good friend of mine and he was like, "Come and work on the movie for a couple of days." And so I was like, "All right."
BoR: But why’d you get killed so soon? You were the only good thing about that film. (laughs)
CS: I know. Apparently, I didn’t actually get to work with Shaquielle O’Neal, and apparently when he went to the screen he’s like, "Who’s that, and how come she’s dying?"
CS: And the producers are like, "Yeah, you’re (laughs) you’re telling us." So that was a big complement, but it was, that’s what the part was. I mean they literally, they just, you know said, you know, Judd was like, "Come work on the movie with a small part." And I said, "All right."
BoR: (laughs) Okay.
BoR: I was also very fortunate to catch you on a wonderfully written episode of Fraiser.
CS: Yes, that was really great.
BoR: What’s the difference on working in a half-hour comedy compared to a one hour drama?
CS: I’m not a big fan of half-hour comedy. Although working a show like Fraiser because it’s such a well oiled machine. You can kind of just, fit right in and go with the flow, but on a lot of half-hours, there’s a lot of tension, like the process of getting to the final taping of the show is very uncomfortable. I much prefer hour long drama, or even hour comedy, but half-hour sitcom, the whole situation is very uncomfortable. You come into a family of people that have been working together. You’re on outsider. They give you the material, and if it’s not funny, they go off and re-write it and then you memorize it and they give you new material the next day and you don’t know that material yet either. And, and there’s you know, like twenty writers and ten producers and fifteen network people and you constantly, you know, have to please all these people who are petrified of losing their jobs. It’s just a nightmare. Half-hour is not fun, unless you’re on a show that has great writers and it’s just instantly good, then there’s more of a relaxed atmosphere, like Fraiser. But a lot of the half-hours I’ve done, it’s different.
BoR: What did you think of Kelesy Grammer?
CS: He was amazing. Amazing man. Funny, warm, just amazing, amazing man. I loved being around him.
BoR: Although you didn’t have a speaking role in The X-Files, I love that scene with you and Mr. Duchovny.
CS: Yeah, I actually had worked with David [Duchovny] before um, uh, we did a commercial together years ago and we became good friends.
BoR: Oh really? What was the commercial for?
CS: His brother, Danny [Duchovny], is a commercial director and Danny put us in a commercial together for some oil company or something. I don’t know. And we stayed friends and we did yoga together over the years. He actually helped me learn how to play for a baseball movie I didn’t end up getting. (laughs) But he taught me how to play baseball and then when The X-Files was starting up, it was really like a scare and no body really knew anything about it and David just told Chris to hire me.
CS: I didn’t even addition. He just said, "Come up here and check it out." So, it was fun. And my mom lives in Sidney on Vancouver Island. And so we went over to the island on the boat and blah, blah, blah and she’d never heard of The X-Files or David or anything. But you know, now she tells all her friends.
CS: That she’s real good friends with David.
BoR: So what did you think of your X-Files experience?
CS: I had a great time. I really like to get into the character that I play and that was a really fun one. [I did] research ’cause when you become an animal, your different senses become heightened. And I was like watching my dog and going to the zoo and watching animals. Their sense of smell and sound is much more heightened. They go by their sense of smell. Its more instinctual then we are as human beings, I think.
BoR: Do you have any funny bloopers to tell about?
CS: Well, um, yeah. They hired a stripper ’cause Vancouver is renowned for having great strip clubs, to be my body double, or my stunt woman. Like when I climbed over the fence and when I did stuff that they thought I might get hurt doing. As an actor, you get, you know, you get really like, pampered and also for insurance reasons. If I were to get hurt, they can always get another body double or stunt girl. They can’t get another Claire. So...I prefer to do my own stunts, and I did the jumping over the fence, but she was there just in case. Well, she had a pretty rockin’ body. (laughs) And my wardrobe was really just a G-string and body make-up and hair and a robe, which I wore around the set, until I was working. Well she decided that she didn’t need the robe. She just sat around the set for (laughs) two weeks in her G-string, with her rockin’ body.
CS: She never worked once, but she needed to be there just in case. You know, so I was a little peeved at that, but you know, David and Chris [Carter] and all the crew they really, they didn’t mind.
CS: So. (laughs) So, I was like, "Goddamnit! Can’t that bitch get, go put her robe on or something?"
CS: You know? "Go tell her to sit in her trailer. She can sit in my trailer!"
CS: "Get her off the set!"
BoR: (laughs) How do you like filming in Vancouver? Do you prefer it over filming in the States?
CS: Oh totally ’cause I’m close to home, you know. My mom is there. I love the air. It feels like somebody’s taking your eyeballs out and cleaning them because, you know, you don’t have the smog that we have here. I love it. I love Canada I’m very loyal. I love it. I would love to get a shot at something in Vancouver. So yes I would love to do more work in Vancouver.
BoR: Okay, now some Xena questions. What do you think of the show? Why do you think it is the hit it is?
CS: I think that the show’s the greatest show on television. It’s the hit that it is because of the message that it has. The history, with the whole mythological and I think people are fascinated by that. Those stories and those characters that are timeless. And then I think it’s really down to Lucy [Lawless] and Renee [O’Connor].
BoR: Have you seen any other episodes?
CS: I’ve seen a bunch. I had never watched Xena when I got the part. Boyfriend’s a huge fan and just losing his mind when I got the part.
CS: But I had and I have to say that I was little snobby about it, thinking it was like some silly syndicated show and...whatever. And I have completely turned around and I really think that it’s a shame that they can’t get nominated for awards because they deserve it. I mean just wardrobe for one. There’s nothing like it on television that looks as amazing as it does. Art direction and so on and also, I mean Lucy’s just so great and she’s become one of my closest friends and I just think that that’s such a gift. And the make-up lady that takes care of Alti is a German lady, Linda Cooper and she and I have become very close. We talk all the time. I love New Zealand. Like Lucy called me the other night. She’s like, "Just come out here and visit."
CS: You know, "You can stay at my house!" I think a lot of it had to do with how talented Renee and Lucy are. And also, it’s real. I had heard that originally Vanessa Angel was supposed to play that part. I know Vanessa from auditioning and I think she’s a beautiful girl but I don’t think the show would be anywhere near as successful as it is, if it was her, because Lucy’s just so grounded and so real and you know there’s nothing fake about her. Not that Vanessa’s fake, but she just, looks like a Hollywood actress. Lucy just looks like a real strong woman, so you believe everything that she does. I don’t believe Vanessa with a sword. I believe her doing other things. She’s a great film actresses. But I don’t, I wouldn’t believe her with a sword. It’s like I don’t believe Pam Anderson with an uzi.
BoR: (laughs) So what was it like working with Ms. Lawless? Was it weird to see her jump in and out of character?
CS: It’s funny, you know? Somebody just asked me that question because we’re such good friends. And yet, on screen we...I despise her. So it’s funny. I don’t see Lucy. It’s Xena. When I’m working, I’m working with Xena and when they yell, "Cut." I’m hanging with Lucy. They’re two totally different people. And Lucy’s very, very business like and very professional and involved in a lot of other aspects aside from just her performance on the set. She’s really proud of the landscape and so on and so, even if someone like, drops a cup on the ground or a tissue, I mean, she’ll be hanging from a tree and she’ll point a mile away, "Hey! Somebody pick up that tissue over there!"
CS: "Let’s take care of our country here."
CS: Like, you know, and she lets go if they’re, if we’re behind schedule or somebody’s complaining or if there’s tension on the set. I mean, she’s really the morale, sanity wrangler, you know, as well as the, you know, the lead.
BoR: Though you didn’t work as closely with Ms. O’Connor, what was your experience like with her?
CS: Well she was preparing for her directorial debut. She watched "[Adventures in the] Sin Trade" one and two. So she was there everyday. So I did actually get to work with her in a sense that she was sitting behind the director for the whole month that I was there. And I have directed from short films and I’m just about to start my first feature and she, so she and I really got along on that level. We talked a lot about actors being directors and so I got to know her really well with that experience. Then working with her in "Between the Lines" was awesome because she’s so great.
BoR: So how do you like filming in New Zealand?
CS: New Zealand is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. I miss it terribly when I’m not there and I just love being there. It’s just so great. It’s beautiful and clean and it reminds me a lot of Vancouver.
BoR: How’s you get the part of Alti?
CS: I read for the part of Morrigan on Hercules. And I guess Rob Tapert saw something on the scene that I did where she shouted with her sword and blah, blah, blah. So a couple weeks later they called and said, "You have an offer to do Xena." I was like, "Great!" So, I always tell this story at the conventions (laughs). So they sent over the script but they didn’t send the part and I figured, "Oh, I must be playing Queen of the Amazons. I wonder who’s playing that old hag, Alti."
CS: Well, yeah, (laughs). We all know what, how that turned out.
CS: They offered it to me ’cause they had read me for Hercules which was really great.
BoR: So, which of Alti’s costumes do you like the best?
CS: I think I like the first one better only because the second one was synthetic and I got allergic reactions to things that are like cotton or leather or, so I get a rash on my chest from that synthetic and it takes forever to get all those belts and all those gauntlets and chains and jewelry on; whereas the "[Adventures in the] Sin Trade" outfit was just these great big, leather or suede pants and suede smock and then the big coat and then last minute they would just tie on the intricate bone, crusty blood-like I had on top. But it was an easy costume and comfortable.
BoR: (laughs) You had that fake blood on your head the entire time during the filming of all three episodes. Did that get annoying?
CS: It was annoying and Linda [Cooper], the make-up artists and I were begging Rob to not have it in "Between the Lines," but he was like, "Nope. You gotta have it."
CS: It’s in there in "Between the Lines," as well because he thinks that the black eye make-up and the blood is kind of Alti’s trademark. Like however many times she gets reincarnated, you always have the same eyes and the fake blood.
BoR: I know the filming of that episode was really miserable according to Ms. Lawless.
BoR: How was it for you?
CS: "[Adventures in the] Sin Trade" was freezing but as I said, I had such a great costume. I had layers of long johns and I just got really lucky on that episode. I was never there when it was freezing or windy or rainy. I just never was. There was that one scene where we’re walking through the mountains and I literally had that one scene and so they had took me up on the mountain, I walked across beautiful, panoramic, volcanic, glacier, freezing cold. And they bused me back to the hotel. So, I got really lucky. The weather was miserable, but I didn’t deal with it.
BoR: That’s good.
BoR: You got any Xena bloopers to share?
CS: Xena bloopers? (pause) Well, just that in "Between the Lines" when I had to do all my sword fighting, I didn’t realize that all the stunt men were going to be so amazing and start screaming and shouting.
CS: Like that was really my one memory where everyone started laughing. They were like, "Cut!" because I just panicked.
CS: And there’s always like, I don’t know. Lucy and I get the giggles. Like when, Vicky Pratt and I had to do our little kind of vibe-off. We were like, glaring at each other. It was really hard because you’re just like, "Errrrrrent."
CS: It feels like you’re trying to go to the bathroom. So Lucy would make fart noises.
CS: So then we couldn’t stop laughing because, you’d be like, "Errrrrrent," and Lucy’d be like, "Ptttthhpth."
CS: So then we couldn’t stop laughing and that’s the worst on the set, ’cause you’ve got a crew of like a hundred people waiting and you can’t stop. And it’s just terrible. Like take a time out and then Lucy gets all furious, (laughs) and like, "Come on now, everybody."
CS: So that’s it pretty much.
BoR: I know scenes get cut out of the final version. Can you tell me of any you know were removed from "Adventures in the Sin Trade" and "Between the Lines"?
CS: "Adventures in the Sin Trade," I was bummed out because when I say, "Xena’s coming. Do you idiots think I didn’t know that already?" I say, "Send for the Berserker." and they cut it and that was my favourite line. ’Cause I kiss the guy and I smile then I go, (as Alti) "Send for the Berserker." They cut it and I was like, "What are you talking about?" Call the Berserker or something and I was like, "Damnit! They cut my line!"
CS: But pretty much everything is in there. And in "Between the Lines," for sure, everything’s, yeah. Nothing gone. All in there.
BoR: Though you had a fight scene in Drop Zone it wasn’t as complicated as the Xena fights.
BoR: Was it hard to learn the routine?
CS: Yeah, but I did a lot of dance and ballet when I was younger so it’s kind of like, you just remember the choreography and you just kind of stick with it. Somehow I go on autopilot. You give me a step to do and I’ll just do it.
BoR: It has to be hard delivering your lines with a gigantic battle raging behind you. How’d you focus?
CS: That again, I just sort of tune that out. The fire sometimes is a little bit like, "Whoa. I can feel that heat on the back of my head."
CS: "Are you sure I’m close enough?" You look back and you see all those poor stuntie guys and they’re like, in the fire practically, so, no it just adds to the power that you feel ’cause there’s so much going on that you can’t help but get completely caught up in it. So I think it’s not off putting, it definitely just adds to it.
BoR: My favourite Alti scene is the fire scene from "Adventures in the Sin Trade."
BoR: I really love how you delivered the monologue there.
CS: Well, thank you.
BoR: My question is, what do you think drives Alti? Like, what made her the person that she is?
CS: I think, and I’d love them to eventually put this in there, that she was really, really hurt at some point, and has just hardened. Has hardened so much so that it would have to take something so immense to anywhere scratch the surface of whatever pain that is, because she is just turned off and is just a hard ass. There’s just no getting underneath the surface of Alti to any kind of emotion. She’s totally heartless, has no soul, and is just driven. And I think underneath there, there’s something lurking and I’d love for it to come out at some point but, I think she’s just driven to cover up. I think we’re all really defensive in reality and underneath there’s things that are painful to us and so we react accordingly. And I think that Alti is just a huge reaction to something horrible that’s happened to her and she’s just hard.
BoR: Was it hard acting when the computer generated images are added later?
CS: Yeah, it’s a little off putting but you know what? I think Alti the character is so focused in what she’s doing that it doesn’t really matter is you’re staring at somebody or nothing. It’s just a focus and the energy. And TJ [Scott] was so great in "[Adventures in the] Sin Trade," and also [Rick Jacobson] in "Between the Lines," because both directors would help, really help. They would be standing by the camera and miming and shouting and really, really being involved in making me not feel like I was alone out there. But in a bunch of scenes, it’s just me and I’m supposed to be reacting to these flying chakrams or spinning spirits and there’s nothing. There’s nothing there. It’s just me all by myself. And they really helped.
BoR: In the dance scene you talked with your hands a lot, but then I noticed that you never did it again. Why is that?
CS: I think that was when she was calling up the spirits and he wanted me to pull them out of the fire and so I used my hands to try to call them. I think because that was such an incredible power and it was difficult to do, she needed her hands. But in general, I don’t think that Alti, she only uses them to sort of indicate or lure, but the rest is all in her eyes. Whereas I don’t think her eyes would have been enough to pull spirits out of a fire. Nope. She needed some help.
BoR: Did you like your head on the spider in "Adventures in the Sin Trade II"?
CS: I thought that was pretty wild. That was pretty crazy ’cause Lucy was so fearless with the spider on her face, you wouldn’t believe it. Real spiders and she was just like, "Woo! This is fun!"
CS: While I’m like, "You’re out of your mind. Get that thing away from me."
BoR: Do you ever getting hoarse playing Alti?
CS: Totally. Especially when I have to go and loop, you know, later on. Especially in "Between the Lines." I had to pretty much put all of my dialogue in later on. Here, ’cause of the sound of the fire and the horses and the fan. There’s a fan blowing constantly when Alti comes back and there’s wind. It was so loud that we knew that we were going to have to do it later on. So when you have e to go into a little studio and match your mouth movements and do it over and over and over. It gets really bad. I start coughing and my throat starts to get really irritated but they always have water and juice and lozenges and I’ve worked with those guys now so much, the guys that do all the ADR, they call it, here in LA, that we try to spread it out over a few days. But on the set, it’s not so bad though.
BoR: How do you prepare yourself for playing Alti?
CS: I think I just get really focused. I know my lines backwards, so I can let them go and I don’t need to worry about them and then I focus on how much I want my objective and that depends, that’s different in every scene, but the main objectives is to have the power. I really revel in how much I want it and how much I love it. I just stay focused on that. Hopefully it translates that I will stop at nothing. It’s nice as an actor to have a main focus like that, ’cause you always know where you’re going. Pretty much that. Yeah, just always knowing my lines like backward and forwards.
BoR: Did you like fighting in the trees and flying?
CS: That was really fun. Really fun. Lucy and I had a blast doing that. It’s a little uncomfortable with the harness in there and it kind of cuts into your legs and it’s not comfortable hanging ’cause your whole body weight is all in this little harness. Some sort of diaper.
CS: It’s uncomfortable and all these people and stuff, but once you’re up there and you’re swinging around, it’s hilarious. It’s like a ride on some fair. How can you not get into it? Jumping around.
CS: It was really, really fun. I loved it. It was one of those moments - just like in Drop Zone - hanging from stuff where you just think, "Oh my god. Look at me. I mean, look at me, what I’m doing. Nobody gets to do this. This is great. I mean, this is fun and this is like, it’s momentous." Like you look, you have a bird’s eye view of the world and that’s amazing.
BoR: I absolutely love Alti’s wicked laugh.
CS: Ah. (laughs)
BoR: How did you decide on it?
CS: It just came out. When I started committing to her and the, the situations that came. She just loved when Xena’s down and when she’s not the great warrior Xena. I think Alti just beside herself, she’s so full of life.
BoR: Are you willing to do a live demo of the laugh?
CS: Sure! What do you want me to say? Oh you mean—
BoR: To hear the laugh.
CS: Oh! (laughs) I think I need to get a build up.
CS: Maybe if I have a line. What’s my line? Let’s give Alti a line and then I can probably give you a laugh after the line. I don’t know if I can just—
BoR: I have to think of a line off the top of my head? I’m pulling a blank. Uh...
CS: Okay, so what can I say?
BoR: The only line I can think of right now is, "She’s responsible for your death!" (laughs)
CS: Oh, but no, I mean something like to do with the website or Canadians or—
BoR: What, you want to laugh wickedly at us? (laughs)
CS: No! I love—
CS: (laughs) Um, I don’t know. What can we say?
CS: (laughs) I don’t know.
BoR: I know, I can’t think of it either.
BoR: Okay, well, we’ll work on that later, right?
CS: Uh, yeah.
BoR: Okay. In "Between the Lines"—
BoR: Naima delivers the line, "Her soul is not destroyed." Does that mean Alti will be back?
BoR: Oh, so she will be back?
BoR: Do you know when?
CS: Once they figure out where and how. They had booked me originally to do, to be there now, or the cliff hanger at the end and then the first two of the next season. And they couldn’t figure out how to make Alti work, ’cause there’s not much back story and there’s not much history between her and Xena. So they had to postpone it and they booked Hudson [Leick] instead. Um, ‘cause she has a lot more history. So she’s over there now doing the part that I was supposed to do.
CS: But they said, you know, "Don’t worry." They love her and the fans like her, which I’m so grateful for and we’re bringing her back. We just don’t know when."
BoR: Oh, I can’t wait. So what do you think of Xena fans and your convention experiences?
CS: Creation's just booked to do San Antonio and Minneapolis and then I’m going over to London to do another one. It’s the funist thing in the world. I have so much fun going up there and interacting with the fans and just seeing, just meeting everyone. And also, it’s like live theater. I get to get up on stage and talk and try to make people laugh and have people get a sense of who I am and like, I was petrified the first time and now I love it. And then they called yesterday and booked me for the next two conventions and I was just ecstatic. I can’t wait. I’m like planning on what I’m going to wear.
CS: I can’t wait. You know and Lucy will be here, she wraps, and she’ll be here in LA so hopefully maybe we can get into some trouble and then I’ll have some more stories.
BoR: What made you decide to become an actress?
CS: Well, I was working on a model, believe it or not, a long time ago. It just sort of happened. My agent said, "Claire, you know you do so many commercial and you’re great in front of cameras. You want to teach a class? Teach some of the younger models of being in front of the cameras." So, I just kinda fell into it and ended up moving here. My father lives here now and I’ve been working ever sense. It’s great.
BoR: Who’s your greatest inspiration?
CS: (pause) I think my father. He’s a real intellectual. He’s from England and he’s a teacher and written books and now he writes screenplays. He’s been really successful and then nothing. He’s just constant. He’s just so smart and creative and I love, I can call him and ask him anything and he knows the answers. (laughs).
BoR: (laughs) Which actor or actress impresses you?
CS: (pause) Which actor? I really like a lot of English actors and actresses. I’m a big fan of a (pause). Who do I really love that I was so...ah damnit!
CS: When you go to the CD store and you know you need a million CDs and you go in there and you draw a blank.
CS: I’m drawing a blank right now. I love (pause) Who do I love? (pause) Oh my god. (pause) Who do I like to watch?
CS: I really like Harrison Ford.
BoR: Well, there you go. (laughs)
CS: I think he’s really great, but as for as actors (pause) some of those young English girls I think are really great. You know what? Maybe I need to email ya that one. I can’t think right now.
CS: I know I’m just going "Ah shit!" later on.
CS: "I love her!" Her! Who am I thinking? (laughs)
BoR: All right, we’ll get you to email it later. (laughs)
[Interviewer’s Note: Ms. Stansfield emailed me later and informed me that some of her favourites include Brenda Blethyn, Robin Wright Penn and Sean Penn.]
BoR: What has been your favourite experience as an actresses?
CS: Just being able to work. ’Cause it’s so hard out there and I have so many great actor friends. I think my greatest experience is some of the scripts that have come my way and some of the work I’ve done in acting class. It’s being able to take great pieces of materials and make it come alive. That’s a great feeling and the more I’m in the business, the more that I realize that it’s not about getting the job or getting famous, because that can happen or it cannot, you know? It’s in the moment. I just auditioned for an amazing series and I didn’t get it, but you know what? I loved the character and I just got so into her that I had a great time with it and that’s gotta be what it’s about; the end result. Plus being happy all the time. So none of my actor friends are miserable ’cause they’re not working and you gotta be grateful for whatever you get. I just love acting, so I think my greatest thing being fortunate enough to have read and adapted a lot of great material.
BoR: Before you go, can you deliver your favourite Alti line, as Alti?
CS: Oh, I say (as Alti) "Xena’s coming. Do you idiots think I didn’t know that already?"
BoR: (laughs) You sound so different.
CS: That’s my favourite. I nearly said it in Santa Monica at the convention ’cause she was coming on after me, but I thought, "I can’t call these people idiots!"
CS: "What if it backfires on me!?"
CS: I didn’t. I think I said (as Alti) "Xena’s coming." But I didn’t say, "Do you idiots think I didn’t know that already?" ‘Cause I was, I got afraid. I got afraid. I wasn’t Alti-like. I got afraid!
BoR: I just want to thank you Ms. Stansfield for this interview.
CS: Oh my god, thank you so much for the interest. And I just want to say, "Hi." to all my Canadians out there.
CS: Proud to be a Canadian. I am very proud.
BoR: And we’re glad that you are.
CS: Well, thanks so much.