Dichen Lachman is best know for her work in Joss Whedon’s science fiction drama TV show “Dollhouse” as Sierra. She also played Suren in Syfy’s hit series “Being Human”. Her latest film is “Lust for Love”, which is directed by Anton King and reunites her with a lot of cast from “Dollhouse”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat about the film with Dichen and what was it like working with friends.
Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved to star in “Lust for Love”?
Dichen Lachman: I don’t know if a lot of people know this but Anton (King), the writer/director, and I used to be in a relationship. We moved to LA and were together for a very long time. Anyways, life happens and we went our separate ways. He went off to Vietnam to write scripts. We kept in touch and he ended up sending me “Lust for Love” and I really liked it. It was really fun, clever and quirky. He suggested that maybe we could make it. I thought that would be great but making a movie is very complex. Even though I have been working in the business for so long, I didn’t even know where to begin. All of the cast from “Dollhouse” all became very close friends over the two years we worked together and then on. I was invited into that “Whedon” world through Joss and my work on the show. So, I thought if we did it with our friends it would be fun.
MG: Tell us about funding the film on Kickstarter?
DL: Anton mentioned Kickstarter and we decided to look into that and we were able to raise some of the budget there thanks to the fans. The first and most important part was if our friends even wanted to be involved at all. I always thought that Fran (Kranz) would be great as Astor. I thought that he could bring something that wasn’t on the page. So we asked him to read it and he really liked it and it just grew from there. Our first table read was so much fun and it gave us the energy to keep going. Once we brought on a group of people, who thought it was a fun script, that is when we proceeded with the Kickstarter. If our friends didn’t respond it would have diminished the desire to move forward. Since they enjoyed it so much, we knew we had to do it!
MG: What was it like get back together with your crew from “Dollhouse”?
DL: It was so much fun. We would always hang out together after the show but it felt like we were hanging on to something that we lost. We got so close during our time on “Dollhouse” that it was extremely fun to revisit that place. The feeling that you have when you are on set with friends and collaborating, don’t get me wrong it was extremely difficult making this movie, but it was also very rewarding. Those moments you catch where you are doing a scene and you can’t get through it because you are laughing are wonderful.
MG: Yeah! I was going to ask, when you are working with friends like Fran; do you find it harder to focus especially for the dramatic scenes?
DL: Working with Fran is an experience that every actor should have the privilege of. He is a wonderful actor and person. It is just an extreme amount of fun. It is very difficult to get through a scene with Fran without laughing. There is one scene in the movie when we are sitting on the steps and trying so hard not to laugh. He is just riffing and bringing this life to the character that wasn’t there and because I didn’t read it, it is unexpected and spontaneous. It is so wonderful.
MG: What did you enjoy most about playing Cali?
DL: She was a great character because she is not typical. She is rather resistance to the whole romantic side of things, which I liked. She is also very practical. So acting while also producing on this project was probably one of the hardest things that I have ever done. You are trying to inhabit a character and then at the same time worrying if the caterer is going to arrive on time. I don’t know if that helped my performance since it got me out of my head and just made me do it. I didn’t have the distraction of doing too much acting. She was a really fun character and I liked her relationship with Fran a lot. She is also not a girl’s girl either and I liked that. She was like one of the guys and it was really fun to be in that place.
MG: You mentioned producing, is that something you plan to do more?
DL: I would love to, yeah! I have so much more respect for people that do that job now. It is one of those things that you have to understand every department. It is extremely difficult. We did have an incredible team though, Jack Wylson was so key and worked so hard with the other producers as well in terms of making this flow right. So I would like to do it again but I am not sure I would do it the same way though. I am excited and I hope that this opportunity will help me do more.
MG: I am not really a huge fan of romantic comedies but I was really surprised with this film and enjoyed it a lot!
DL: You can’t imagine how happy that makes me. It is definitely different and quirky. I think for people that ordinarily don’t enjoy rom-coms, there is something about this one that will speak to them.
MG: What can you tell us about your role in The CW’s “The Hundred”?
DL: I can tell you that how it came about because two writers from “Dollhouse”, Liz (Craft) and Sarah (Fain) asked me if I wanted to come play on this show. I said “Of course”. Jason (Rothenberg), the creator, is super talented and such a great writer. I spoke with him recently and he told me that “People have been asking me about your character on the show, make sure that you do not tell anyone about who you are playing” [laughs]. So in terms of that I guess I can’t say much. But I think people are really going to really respond to the show and that everyone involved is really excited about it. It is very dark, especially for The CW. I know they have stuff like “The Vampire Diaries” but this takes it another step further. After the pilot, it takes some really exciting turns, so I would say stick with it. I am very lucky to be a part of it.