PRUNE: You star in Mainframe Picture’s upcoming thriller, Long Lost. Talk to us about this film.
CATHERINE: Without giving away too much, Long Lost tells the story of two estranged brothers who reconnect one weekend at the elder brothers multi-million dollar estate. However, the reunion isn’t entirely what it would seem particularly when Abby (the live-in girlfriend, and character who I play) throws wrench into all of that.
The film itself is a really well paced psychological thriller, which harkens back to a lot of the thrillers of the 90’s. It has a feel much like ‘Basic Instinct,’ or ‘Fatal Attraction,’ but also has an updated feel, and a slightly different twist that I don’t think most people see coming.
PRUNE: Long Lost takes you on a psychological journey. What can people take away from this picture?
CATHERINE: It definitely does! Still, I’d hate to dictate what anyone would take away from their own viewing experience. I think- in all stories, but particularly this one- it’s important to allow the audience to have their own encounter with the characters, the story, etc and take what they will from that experience.
That’s not to say that there aren’t instances that I hope will happen. I hope that audiences will want to watch the film a second time to search for clues and nuances, once they understand the twist. I hope that cinephiles will appreciate how quickly the film was shot (ten days…seriously!) and the long, voyeuristic style of some of the shots (our director of photography, Thomson Nguyen is unbelievably talented). Selfishly, I hope that audiences appreciate the performances.
Still, I’d prefer that the experience of the story itself remain pure. By nature, everyone who watches a film, or hears a story, takes away something different from that experience. They take whatever that “something” was with them, renewed with an understanding that they may not have known prior to the story’s telling. I think that the more we encourage this unbiased, authentic understanding, the stronger our stories become; because then they have the ability to incite genuine change.
PRUNE: Do you relate to your character, Abby?
CATHERINE: Haha, I’d like to hope not, but I know that isn’t true.
I think a lot of people –women in particular- secretly wish that we could approach life much in the way that Abby seems to. Upon first look, Abby’s life and her business are filled with this cold apathy. Emotionally, she unfazed by most things. She’s nonchalant about sex, money and the psychological states of those around her. That can seem incredibly freeing, but I believe that anyone who is projecting that much heedlessness is only attempting to mask the exact opposite.
I think the really telling moment of this comes at the end of the film, when she’s asked how she even got into the business that she is in. Abby responds, “There’s only so much you can do with a BA in Theatre.”
It usually gets a laugh, but I think what she is really communicating in that line, goes a lot deeper than the joke might let on. Abby is the ultimate chameleon, the ultimate performer. Daily, she manipulates reality to levels beyond what anyone in this industry or with a “BA in Theatre” could imagine doing. There’s a power in that idea- that somehow Abby has risen above the daily struggles that we deal with as performers. She’s free of the psychological turmoil of auditions, of the need to make a production “like you,” or want to work with you, of the limited career options and financial stability. From a “Me Too” perspective, perhaps she is even free of the control, and often-violent manipulations of power that women experience in this industry. Though, I don’t believe that she is.
Abby still has to appease the needs of her wealthier clients, create fantasy versions of herself to seem enticing, and while she is the agitator for change, she really isn’t in control of the outcome (as we see in the film). I think (likely stemming from her past experiences) Abby may want to project a feeling that she has “beaten” the system, but really (and quite literally) she’s still getting screwed.
PRUNE: How did your acting career begin?
CATHERINE: I started performing as a child. My mother was a dancer and my father a chef, so there was definitely an encouraged sense of creativity growing up. I did a lot of musicals- particularly when companies needed a child for a show. Then as, I got a little bit older; I started becoming more interested in acting as a craft.
At around twelve or so, I actually spent an entire day researching acting agents in New York (I’m from Philadelphia) and cold-calling them myself. [Laughing]. Most hung up the phone on me (they probably thought that it was some sort of prank) but one woman did answer, and listened to me. She recognized the area code and sent me to her husbands acting school to take classes on weekends. She ended up coming to meet with me there, and the two of them not only gave me an incredible acting and professional education, but were my first reps. They sent me out on castings and we just kind of went from there. I am still so incredibly grateful to them and their team.
PRUNE: Who are your role models in the industry?
CATHERINE: Oh wow, where to begin! From an actor perspective, I only hope that I can live up to some of the actresses whose performances that I have been lucky enough to witness. Helena Bonham Carter, Viola Davis, Marion Cotillard, obviously Meryl Streep set the bar so high that I only hope to someday glimpse the mastery that they have. There’s also some artists who go beyond skill, who are incredible humanitarians as well. Leonardo Dicaprio and Angelina Jolie are also unbelievable actors and humans.
I really admire Darren Aronofsky and Peter Jackson as filmmakers who really take risks and push the boundaries of what it means to tell stories.
Still, I think that the professional who I admire most are some of the creators and filmmakers that I’ve had the privilege of working with. Lloyd and Pat Kaufman really gave me the best introductory understanding of filmmaking that I could have ever asked for. Erin Cahill is one of the most gracious and giving actresses that I have ever met, and I really admire her generous spirit and genuine care for each team that she works with. Jenna Kanell is not only an unbelievable actress, but also an incredible director and filmmaker, who sets a precedent for storytellers everywhere. I really admire the stories that she tells and her fearlessness in what she stands for. And of course, there’s the ‘Long Lost’ team. I am so grateful to them for seeing me and encouraging me because it truly was a creative corner-turn for me.
All of these people are so giving and supportive of fellow artists and filmmakers. I only hope that I can have the ability to pay that same creative generosity forward.
PRUNE: If you could costar with any actor or actress in the business, dead or alive, who would it be?
CATHERINE: Heath Ledger. Hands down. He was the first actor who I really followed for their technique and nuance, and I would love to have been able to learn from him.
PRUNE: Hobbies outside of acting?
CATHERINE: I’m honestly pretty mellow. I dabble in painting and sculpture, when I have the time. I’m a big environmentalist and health-nut, so I’m always working in my garden and spending time with my puppy, Luna.
PRUNE: Favorite song to jam out to?
CATHERINE: It changes on the regular but this week, I’ve been going between ‘Psycho Killer,’ by The Talking Heads (it’s a rotating classic, for me) and ‘How Soon is Now’ by the Smiths in anticipation of seeing Morrissey, this week (and, of course, because ‘The Craft’ is one of my favorite movies of all time).
PRUNE: Where can we follow you on social media?
Instagram: @instacatherinec Twitter: @cathercorcoran
Model: Catherine Corcoran @instacatherinec
Photographer: Gabriel Barreto Bentin @gabrielbarretobentin
Stylist: Haile Lidow, The Lidow Archive @hailelidow, @lidowarchive
Hair and Make-Up: Mirna Jose @mirnajose
Location: Make Believe, Sixty Hotel LES @makebelieve.jpg
Creative Direction by Model, Catherine Corcoran