Interview With Karen Strassman From AMC’s Hit Show “Preacher” (@KarenStrassman)
Photo Credit: Paul Smith
We recently had the chance to chat with Karen Strassman from AMC’s hit show “Preacher.” During the interview, Karen talked about landing the role, portraying her character, upcoming projects, and more!
Don’t forget to tune in to see her on the August 19th episode of “Preacher” on AMC!
- How did you land your role on the hit AMC show Preacher?
Susan Tolar Walters at STW Talent Agency got me the audition. Apparently, they had already seen men for the role, and they were now looking at women instead. The breakdown for the character basically said she was a passionate scientist, with no mention of any accent or nationality, so I did a self-taped audition corresponding to that. But it just didn’t feel quite right, and I said to my friend who was taping me “I don’t know why, but really I have this crazy urge to do it with a German accent. It’s stronger than me. Let’s just try a take like that at least to get this weird idea out of my system…” We had so much more fun with that take, and we liked it so much, we sent it in. Then later that week we heard back from the Casting Director Ryan Glorioso, asking me to tape a callback audition, saying that they actually really liked the German accent, and could I retake it with some adjustments. And there you go. A huge reminder how important it is to trust one’s instincts.
2. For people who haven’t seen the show, what is the show about?
Preacher is based on a really cool supernatural comic book series that follows the story of Jesse Custer, a hard-drinking, chain-smoking preacher in his quest to find god.
3. How would you describe your character?
Dr. Lois Slotnick, a passionate, highly intelligent scientist of German origin. She works for the Grail, and is obsessed with creating a DNA cocktail that will help put Genesis, the voice of God that has been residing in Jesse, in its “rightful place” in the real Messiah.
4. How is this character different from others that you’ve portrayed in the past?
I’ve played my fair share of obsessed scientists. Some highlights include Devra Bogdanovich in Ingress, Overseer Bartsow in Fallout 4, and another really cool upcoming role which I am not yet allowed to talk about but will be released later this year. They are all passionate, driven, and also a bit desperate and wounded underneath, but I think the German accent and characteristics make Dr Slotnick a bit quirkier that the others, who are straighter characters, and even more fun to play. When my German friends and family get very excited or passionate about something, even something very positive, they sometimes get very intense, and I loved capturing strange harsh intensity.
5. Do you prefer voice or on-screen acting?
I love them both and feel so lucky to be working/playing in both mediums. But I must say, I think there is something especially magic about being on set, shooting scenes live, interacting with other actors – other human beings devoted to giving themselves to an imaginary world along with you… diving into alternate realities together. There is something so incredible about being in such a creative environment where all these different people — writers, directors, designers, wardrobe creators, makeup artists, camera people, lighting specialists… each one an expert in their own field and passionate about what they are doing… all coming together to make a moment of magic happen. It’s one of the most exciting and moving places to be, and one of my favorite things in world to do.
6. What would you say is the biggest difference?
In voiceover, more often than not, you are usually alone in the booth, working with the director, the engineer, and maybe some of the clients on the other side of the booth (unless you are doing a group record for original animation), and you have to imagine all of the other characters interacting with you. You have to imagine everything, really, the location, the temperature, the atmosphere, the other characters emotions, etc… Whereas in live action, you are actually there in the middle of it all.
7. Do you have a favorite episode you filmed?
I loved shooting episode 308, the episode where my character is introduced and expounds with passion and precision on her research involving the Genesis DNA cocktail.
8. What is something most fans wouldn’t know about the show?
I was so delighted by the collaborative nature of this show. When I got to set, I had this wonderful conversation with Mary Laws, who was the lead writer on episode 308 The Tom/Brady. She was completely open to a lot of the ideas I had about the character, the character’s past, and we were able to incorporate all of that into the birth of Dr. Slotnick and her place in Preacher. And, it was actually the director of that episode, Wayne Yip, who chose the glasses that my character wears in the show, which really define Dr. Slotnick’s character.
9. Are you currently working on any other projects you’d like to share with us?
I can’t speak about anything I’m currently working on because of all the NDA’s I’ve signed on various projects! But I can announce that I have a lead in Tom Six’s new film, The Onania Club. It’s an exciting new bold and controversial feature, which will be coming out later this Fall.
10. What are your social media accounts?
11. When and where can fans watch the show?
Season 3 of Preacher is on AMC Sundays at 10pm and on the AMC App. I believe seasons 1 and 2 are also available on Hulu.
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