IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Emmanuelle Chriqui Talks 'A Short History of Decay' and the 'Entourage' Movie

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 16:21 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Emmanuelle Chriqui Talks 'A Short History of Decay' and the 'Entourage' Movie

Do you know who Emmanuelle Chriqui is? Of course you do! 

She is the beautiful and talented actress that has appeared in small but pivotal roles in such films as the KISS movie Detroit Rock City, Wrong Turn, The Crow: Wicked Prayer, Adam Sandler’s Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Women in Trouble and its sequel Elektra Luxx, as well as 13, and 5 Days of War. Chriqui has also had important story arcs on popular series like The Borgias, and The Mentalist, as well as the animated series TRON: Uprising, Thundercats, and Beware the Batman

But she is probably best known as Eric’s on-again off-again girlfriend Sloan on the HBO series Entourage. No matter the size of the role, Chriqui always makes the most of her talents and gives a realistic and memorable performance. Next summer she will be seen as Sloan once again, this time on the big screen, in the feature film adaption of Entourage. But first, she can be seen in another great performance in the new movie A Short History of Decay, which is currently available on DVD. 

A Short History of Decay was written and directed by first time feature filmmaker Michael Maren. The movie is a about a failed Brooklyn writer named Nathan Fisher (Bryan Greenberg), who begins to start his life over when he visits his ailing parents (Linda Lavin and Harris Yulin) in Florida. Chriqui plays Erika Bryce, Nathan’s successful writer girlfriend who admits to an affair and breaks up with him right before he leaves on his trip.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the absolutely lovely Emmanuelle Chriqui about her work on A Short History of Decay, as well as the upcoming Entourage movie. The talented and accomplished actress discussed her new film, how she is able to make her small roles so memorable, what she is looking for when choosing projects, working with Bryan Greenberg, the challenges of acting into a phone, writer/director Michael Maren, the upcoming Entourage movie, reuniting with her HBO series cast members, and how large Sloan’s role will be in the new film. 

Here is what Emmanuelle Chriqui had to say about A Short History of Decay, and the Entourage movie:

IAR: To begin with, you are the type of actress that appears in a lot of small roles but always stands out in whatever projects you are featured in. Whether it’s You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Entourage, or your arc on The Mentalist, and now A Short History of Decay, you always hit it out of the park. As an actress, how are you able to make these small roles so memorable when you're on screen?

Emmanuelle Chriqui: Aw, that's too nice! That is so lovely, let me just say again. I think at the end of the day you just choose roles whether they're big or small that you feel like you can do something with. Like The Mentalist, that was an incredible role. It was just a nuance role that was so well written. There was so much history there. What I had to do was just be as honest as possible in telling it. I feel the same with A Short History of Decay. I think it’s about knowing that I'm sort of the catalyst to this guy whose life is about to spiral out of control and then I had to totally be that. I had to be that frustrated woman. I had to be unhappy and ambitious, and just be that. Then if I'm doing something with Adam Sandler, that is just a school of training itself watching a comedy master. That is something I would choose to do with my eyes closed, but I guess all the while taking each part really seriously and putting in the work for whatever it is. For me, working on Dalia in Zohan was about doing major work with a dialect coach and really tapping into what it would be like to be a Palestinian woman. That's the fun of acting I suppose, which is getting to dig in. 

What are you looking for when you're choosing projects to be a part of? Are you just looking for a role that you can sink your teeth into, no matter the size? Is that what you found with A Short History of Decay?

Chriqui: Yes, definitely. I really wanted to do that film for a multitude of reasons. I really liked the script. Bryan Greenberg and I are very good friends and it was fun to go work with him for a few days in North Carolina. When I read something, especially A Short History of Decay, which is much more then a cameo, but if I do a cameo then it needs to be impactful and pack a punch. I don't want to just be the girlfriend that doesn't have much to do. But this film was definitely different. 

Can you talk about about working with actor Bryan Greenberg? 

Chriqui: Bryan is such a pro. He's so great. He's a thespian. He went to school for theater. He asks all the questions and he takes his work seriously. It’s always fun to go on a journey with an actor who doesn't just call it in, but really does their work. He does and it shows. He's such a good actor. He’s so natural, and so good.

A Short History of Decay is written and directed by Michael Maren. Is it easier to work with a director who also wrote the screenplay and really understands the material, as apposed to a filmmaker who is just hired to direct a particular project?

Chriqui: 100%. I actually love working with writer/directors. Sebastian Gutierrez from Electra Luxx and Women in Trouble is a great writer/director. I've worked with so many especially on independent films and I love it. I think it's super personal that way and there's a real personal investment in it. What's so nice about Michael is that he was open to our playing and figuring it all out. He didn't have any preconceptions about his work. You know, like a line had to be said this way or that way. He just really wanted us to take it and make it our own. He was so collaborative and so lovely. 

In the movie, your character breaks up with her boyfriend. I think everyone has at some point in their lives been on both sides of that situation. Were you able to connect and relate with what your character is going through in the film?

Chriqui: Yes, I related to that. There's a bunch of facets to my character that I related to such as the notion of ambition and how much it will cloud your judgment. Quite personally, I'm very turned off by overly ambitious people as much as I admire them; I find it to be a real turn off. I find it super abrasive, super narcissistic and it's not something that I ever want to be. I think we need healthy doses of ambition, but I think too much ambition is really ugly. I think that my character is really shadowing those lines and is a bit too cocky. 

I once heard the great Marlon Brando say that the hardest type of acting to do in a film is acting over the phone because you're by yourself performing with an inanimate object. You have a couple of scenes in A Short History of Decay where you're acting on the phone. How do you approach that and do you agree with Mr. Brando?

Chriqui: That's actually really funny. I think it's very personal. I don't know if I agree or disagree. That's definitely not for me the trickiest thing to do as an actor but maybe it was for him. For me, in the same vain, I find what someone like Angelina Jolie does to be incredible. She is often able to really be acting without saying a word. When you have to have so much come across without saying anything, I think that is a real skill. 

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Entourage movie set on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles. I had a chance to talk to all of your male co-stars but I was disappointed that you were not there that day. What was it like for you to reunite with everyone from the series for the upcoming film?

Chriqui: It was amazing. It felt like no time went by. We literally picked up where we left off. It was unbelievable really. There were a couple of scenes where we were all together and it was instantaneous. Everyone fell into his or her roles and it was like here we are, this is the family. It was amazing actually. I loved shooting the film and being with the guys again. It was such a fun time. 

Finally, does Sloan have a pivotal role in the movie? Or is more of a supporting role like on the series?

Chriqui: It's supporting. The project is exactly the television series in a film. Nothing different. It's the guys together and then the girls are in supporting roles. That's what it is. But that's okay. That's exactly what the show was. I could have come up with a thousand story lines for my character, but it was never about my character. 

I think Sloan needs her own spinoff!!!

Chriqui: Yeah a spinoff, that'd be great! It's a great part and I think you'll really enjoy what happens with Sloan in the movie. 

A Short History of Decay is currently available on DVD. 

The Entourage movie is scheduled for release on June 12th, 2015.

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