Hey everybody, so I had quite a fun time being able to interview a great actress from the X-Files series about her episode Plus One from the recent season of the show. For those that don’t know Karin Konoval, she has played on now three different episodes in different years for The X-Files series which is amazing. Karin Konoval also acted in the prequel Planet of the Apes movie franchise as the Orangutan Maurice who became a fan favorite to a lot of people in the prequel series. Here’s my interview with her:
Q 1) With not being on The X-Files for a long time now, what was it like to be brought back on as a different character?
I had a wonderful time playing Judy/Judy and Chucky/Chucky. A gift of a role(s), and I’m so grateful to Chris Carter and director Kevin Hooks for giving me the opportunity. It was a joyous experience throughout.
Q 2) What can you tell us about your new character for The X-Files series?
I play Little Judy Poundstone and Little Chucky Poundstone in the X-Files episode “Plus One.” They are twins, and each of them with split personalities, so in essence four roles.
Q 3) Out of all the cast members on The X-Files, if there are any, which cast member or members where you excited to see again?
I was delighted to return to the X-Files in every way. The creative team, the cast and the crew are all marvelous. It was a treat to do scenes with both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny again. The last time I saw them was twenty years ago when I played Mrs. Peacock, the woman under the bed, in the episode “Home.” It was fun to do something entirely different this time!
Q 4) If there was ever a role you would like to return to out of all the television shows you’ve played in, which role would it be and why?
Nice question! I have treasured playing Maurice the orangutan through the three POTA films and would always be happy to revisit Maurice. I especially loved playing Nasty Judy and Nasty Chucky in this episode of the X-Files, and would happily play them again. I’d actually enjoy playing a character like Chucky on an ongoing basis! I also had a really great time playing Frija Dengdamor on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency this season, and would love to return to that series either as Frija or as any other character. The same with the series Travellers — I had a very cool guest star role on that show two years ago and could have happily gone on playing Bloom (if she hadn’t been killed off). But when it comes to returning to things, it’s less the specific character and more about the joy in the filming experience that sticks with me. I’m happy to be working no matter what, and look forward to hopefully many more interesting characters and film/tv storytelling journeys in future.
Q 5) I know it’s a bit off topic from what I’ve been talking about but I’m also curious, what was it like playing as a orangutan that became a fan favorite character in the Planet of the Apes films?
Playing Maurice the orangutan was one of the most challenging and rewarding roles I’ve ever undertaken, and it means a great deal to me that my portrayal of him, that he as a character, has resonated so much with people. It was particularly important to me to portray him with orangutan integrity, and in honour and respect of the real life orangutans I’ve studied and had the opportunity to know — especially Towan, who inspired me as the heart and soul of Maurice. So I’m delighted that people have appreciated Maurice so much.
Q 6) Back on topic, what were some of the challenges that you had to face while filming for this episode of The X-Files?
To be honest? None. Absolutely none. I mean it! It was a joy to investigate, find and portray the double personality characters of Judy and Chucky, the entire experience from my work at home alone on the script and characters through filming the whole episode was pure delight. Truly. It stands out as one of the most joyous and easy film/tv experiences I’ve ever had.
Q 7) If you could choose any cast member from The X-Files to go out on a night on the town who would it be?
No answer for this queston, which is fine it was just a part of my curiosity that made me want to ask this question.
Q 8) Fans of The X-Files title the episode Home back in 1996 as one of the most thrilling and terrifying episodes in it’s television history, but what are your thoughts though on this new episode?
It’s a totally different kind of episode, and for me as an actor was a much more light-hearted filming experience than doing “Home” was. Mind you, it would have to be since filming “Home” I was trapped in a box under a bed! Which was very frightening for me, very claustrophobic, and hard to do. I think the underlying tone of “Plus One” is lighter — more ironic, more playful. I don’t really have further thoughts about it, I was happily busy in actor mind throughout, focussed inside each of my characters, and each of their double personalities.
Q 9) Did you have to do any research before acting in this new role for The X-Files series?
No, I didn’t — not external research beyond a lot of work at home on my own, finding for myself and landing each of the personalities of Nice Judy, Nasty Judy, Nice Chucky and Nasty Chucky. Before my casting was confirmed in the role(s), Chris Carter asked for me to do a sort of test tape — not really an audition, but to put a scene of each of the four of them on tape. He just needed to know that I could convincingly transition from one to the other, especially female to male. This was a real gift to me, to have to investigate and land each for myself first. I spent a couple days with eight pages of the script, a scene for each Nice Judy and Nasty Judy, Nice Chucky and Nasty Chucky. I learned the lines, and let the script lead me to the physicality of each personality, which led me to each of their voices, and then to the way each would dress and look. Nice Judy landed for me as a scared little person, afraid of the world and especially the other side of herself, sort of hiding from everything, very closed and careful, a light voice. Nasty Judy landed completely the opposite — wide open, ballsy and confident, relishing her power, full voiced and intense. Nice Chucky landed as a relaxed kind of guy who’s okay with everything, Nasty Chucky landed as an intense in-your-face guy who hates the world and is ready to attack at any moment, with a voice that barks and grumbles. All of this was inside the writing, I think. Chris doesn’t give huge character descriptions in his script, he brilliantly puts the character right into every word and sentence each character speaks — so it’s a treat to the actor to go mining for it and when you find it, land it for yourself, it’s like finding a bit of gold. The rhythms of the conversations between characters too is delightful, when you find it! I remember one particular exchange of lines between Mulder and Chucky in which Mulder says, “You’re going down, Poundstone” and Chucky replies “Tell it to the hand, g-man!” It’s like there’s a music inside the writing, you have to find it. Such a delight when you do.
Q 10) If you had to use one word to describe The X-Files episode Plus One, what would it be?