Gregg’s Exclusive Interview with Megan Franich

Megan FranchinI think it’s safe to say that times are tough in this economy and it’s not easy to find work.  Now imagine being an actor or actress.  The odds are already stacked against you and then you’ve got these dire financial times to contend with.  Despite these odds, there are those who not only weather the storm, but become successful in the midst of it all. 

Take for instance, Megan Franich.  She may not be a household name yet but you know her from two wildly popular films; 30 Days of Night and Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.  The New Zealand native didn’t have to travel far for these two blockbusters as both were filmed in New Zealand.  In 30 Days of Night, the actress played a blood-thirsty vampire (is there another kind?) while she assumed dual roles in Narnia; the Dancing Nymph and a rather unattractive goblin.  It’s too bad this Kiwi beauty had to hide under the concealment of a costume as a goblin, but she enjoyed the role nevertheless and certainly expressed her appreciation being in the film. 

On October 18th, I got to sit down with Ms. Franich as we discussed everything from how she prepares for roles to my date from hell two days earlier.  Sorry folks, you only get to hear about Megan here.  My dating life is a completely other matter, though it would make for a good comedy should anyone be willing to pen a script for it. 


Gregg:  Do you find it easier to do actual acting with you, your face or behind a costume?

Megan:  They’re completely different beasts, you know, and I love both of them.  I think it’s probably easier to do characters with costumes and stuff because you’re given a license to just completely forget every part of who you are as a human and just completely become that creature.  Whereas, when I’m acting as a human being, there’s still such an element to it, you know?  It’s still dealing with human emotions and human behavior as opposed to like, being something that crawls around over the hills or flies through the night or whatever.  But I like both of them equally.  I wouldn’t choose one over the other.  I like to have a balance.


Gregg:  I often hear how an actor prepares for a role.  What does that exactly mean and how do you prepare for a role in a costume versus a role outside of one?

Megan:  Good question, actually!  The costume stuff I find, even just getting into the costume, helps me prepare.  Being in the makeup bus and even with 30 Days seeing the contact lenses go in was a huge thing for me.  That was when I would click over into character when the contact lenses went in and I looked into the mirror and saw my eyes and they were completely black.  That just completely put me in the vampire zone.  When I’m playing a human, I studied Meisner technique with Michael Sisintay (my apologies for any misspelling of the instructor’s name) in New Zealand and that’s all about emotional preparation.  So, you use elements of your imagination to get yourself to an emotional state that you need to be in for that scene.  It’s a completely different thing really and that’s something that you do on your own.  Creature work I find is very much a collaboration between you and your makeup artist getting you into that character.

 Megan Franich

Gregg:  How does it come about to be approached on a film?  Does somebody send you a script?  Does your agent contact you and say ‘so-and-so called, would you be interested in doing this?’ 

Megan:  Yeah, lots of different ways.  Mainly in New Zealand I always, well, I don’t have an agent here yet.  I just arrived in the States.  I’m kind of just a babe in the woods here at the moment, but in New Zealand my agent would sort stuff for me and see what I was interested in there.  But also it’s totally who you know.  Like I do a lot of stuff for my friends and will always; always have and always will, you know?  Close friends, if they’ve got a project, then I’m really going to work on it with them.  I’ll follow stuff I’m interested in as well.  If there’s a director that I really love, I’ll seek out working with their projects.  There’s no hard and fast rule really. 


Gregg:  Any directors you really want to work with? 

Megan:  Ah, absolutely.  Tim Burton would be my number one, David Lynch as well, Michel Gondry I’d love to work with, Jean Pierre Jeunet, maybe Spike Jones. 

Megan Franich

Gregg:  What’s in the works next?

Megan:  Well I had just got my work permit last week so I’ve just started looking around for roles.


Gregg:  Is that difficult to do, to go around looking for roles?  Is it easier to sit back and be approached?

Megan:  I’m not sure, I’ve just started.  I just arrived here, so I have no idea what the industry is like here.  I’m just waiting to see how it is.

Megan Franich

Gregg:  You had to have been excited when you were approached on Narnia because it was such a well known story. 

Megan:  Absolutely!  It was a story I loved.  Because I love magic and mysticism so much, that’s what I wanted to be working on.  It was a such an amazing scene and we were living in Narnia for the entirety of the film and it was so beautiful and that’s actually how I met Howard Berger, who is an amazing prosthetic and makeup artist who did all of those costumes…he’s gone to Australia to film the third Narnia


Gregg:  How long does the makeup take for something like the Dancing Nymph versus the vampire look?

Megan:  Um, well with the Dancing Nymph I was the prototype, so it took days really.  They were working out with what they wanted do to with it, having meetings with the Director Andrew Adamson who was saying ‘no I want this changed’ or ‘I want that changed’ so they’d go back and try different materials and different paints and different ways of doing things.  With 30 Days it was only a couple of hours to do that makeup each day.  Then when I got burned, that was about five or six hours to do all of the prosthetics.

Megan Franich

Gregg:  With the prosthetics, do you find it kind of cumbersome?  Does it inhibit your acting?

Megan:  It is cumbersome but I find that helps because it gets you frustrated.  If that’s the state you’re supposed to be in, then it’s really helpful.


Gregg:  Yeah, you don’t look too happy there in those photos (gesturing towards her 8×10 vampire glossies). 

Megan:  (laughs) No, if it was a lighthearted, cheerful character, maybe it would have been a different story.  

Megan Franich 

Gregg:  Does it get annoying having to sit there in a chair while they’re putting all these prosthetics on you and the paint and so forth?

Megan:  No, I’ve never had it be annoying.  I’ve always had really amazing makeup artists.  On 30 Days, Sarah Rubano did my makeup and she is a close friend of mine so I just found it fairly fun everyday.  It’s more annoying taking it off actually.  Trying to scrub it off and finding that the blood has stained or trying to get off glue stuff,  I don’t know.  Putting it on is fun and then you go and do the job and that’s fun and then at the end of the day you just kind of want to go to bed but you’ve got all this crap you have to take off (laughs) . 


Gregg:  Well thank you very much, I appreciate the interview.  Good luck!


A Why So Blu Exclusive Interview with Megan Franich



3 Responses to “Gregg’s Exclusive Interview with Megan Franich”

  1. Brian White

    It was great seeing you again Megan!

    Thanks so much for the autograph pictures!

    Check out her MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/meganfranich

    Megan…we need to talk music one day!


    It’s hard to believe that’s really Megan above 🙂

  2. Scott T. Morrison

    Nice job guys. Megan seems very nice. But Gregg whats up with the hat!

  3. Gregg

    That hat just further solidifies my membership in the kingdom of cool.