Emily Rose, known to UNCHARTED fans as Elena Fisher in the first and second game, is also across television, having been in HBO’s John From Cincinnati, ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, CBS’ Jericho, NBC’s ER, and now Syfy’s Haven. Emily took the time during her hiatus between filming Haven’s first and second season to chat with us about the show and UNCHARTED. To read about what we discussed regarding Haven, read part one of our exclusive interview.
At the time of the interview, UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception was just announced and explored, yet there is still no official announcement of Elena Fisher’s 3rd outing. Did Emily Rose give any hints? Read on for the answer!
This interview was originally done during the 2010 holiday season. After an incredibly-rough few months later, including a brief stint in self-employment, and back to a very demanding work schedule, here we are! Sorry for the delay. -Chris
Chris Fullman: When you were working on UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves, what was it like with the added dynamic of Claudia Black (Chloe Frazier)?
Emily Rose: Well I have always tried to be the cool girl who doesn’t believe she’s going to be replaced, but there’s always the feeling of “oh no, they brought in a new girl for the sex appeal factor and I’m just there for the story,” [laughs] but it became very clear early on that we were two peas in a pod, and we both teamed up. It’s very daunting to carry on a story by yourself when you’re the only girl, so Claudia helped carry the weight and it worked out great.
We actually see each other at other auditions and tell each other about parts that would be great for each other. It’s awesome, and she’s a huge cheerleader and super-talented herself, so I have a lot of admiration for her.
If you had to choose motion-capture/voice acting or working in front of a camera for television and movies, which would you pick?
I think ultimately I’d choose motion capture, because I like the physicality’s of it and where I could take a character, and because it’s such an awesome process to be involved with. But as an actor, I love voice acting because it adds a whole new level to a character beyond their actions on the screen.
This is purely hypothetical, especially since I know you won’t say anything, but let’s assume you’re in UNCHARTED 3–
-That’s a great assumption, man, I’ll tell you what [laughs]-
[Continued] …and that your character is in it again, is there anything you’d like to accomplish?
Well of course, a wish list item is that I’m in it [laughs], and in this industry everything is uncertain. But if I was in it and do it again, I’d love to flex Elena’s muscles and work on her independence (from Drake) that we saw in UNCHARTED 2. She was a little bit more tainted from that experience, and if I got the opportunity to be in the third, I’d love to see her get into a whole level of… badassness? [Laughs.] I think she is that way, but I’d really hope I’d get the chance to live the adventure fully and do something new with her.
Well I’d like to think that after almost dying from a grenade explosion in UNCHARTED 2, if you are in the third, you’d have a more no-nonsense role where you don’t let Nathan talk you into things.
[Laughs] Well, that’d be awesome to see her push back a little more.
Especially since they already showed it with Chloe making plans on her own in UNCHARTED 2, it’d definitely be nice to see you do the same.
Yeah, we did a little bit of that where Elena finished Nate’s sentences. I think it’d be super fun, now that you got my brain going, if we come to find out that Elena is behind some stuff from the very beginning. Not like a bad guy, but if maybe we thought that Elena was connected to events before Nate’s first adventure [on screen], even if it’s a red herring.
Could you get into your background and why you got into acting and how you got involved with UNCHARTED?
Sure! I grew up in Renton, Washington near Seattle, and my family really encouraged me in performance or singing or dancing, even doing little shows in our living room, to keep practicing and performing.
My mom had my sister and I audition for The Sound of Music play, and my sister got the part and I didn’t, and the producers were like “Wow, if we knew they were sisters we would have had both of them in!” So I said “that’s it, I’m over this rejection crap, it’s just not working.” [Laughs] I then got involved with horses for a time, and I was interested in becoming a horse veterinarian.
In my junior or senior year of high school there was an acting school in Bellvue, Washington. They did a small audition and my mom encouraged me to go. Kudos to my mom, because sure enough they needed a teacher’s assistant where they’d pay me and I’d be able to take industry classes at the same time for credit. I got the hang of it and I liked teaching 10-18 year olds, so I did that for a while.
When it came time for college, my parents just asked me what I was interested in, and I said “well if I had to do anything, it’d be through theater,” and I knew if it didn’t work out, I’d still like to teach. It was never the plan to go get my masters, but it was a backup in case the acting thing didn’t move forward.
UCLA ended up expressing a lot of interest in me, and I got accepted in the graduate program there, which is a 3-year acting program, and I was there from 2003-2006 I believe, and one of my first jobs out of school I got through my audition teacher, and I auditioned for UNCHARTED, and I didn’t get considered in the first try, but I was asked to come back and help with the auditions and read across from the actors.
During callbacks I was reading across from everybody, when Nolan [North] was asked to come back in, at the end of the day Amy [Hennig] asked me to audition for the part again. So after they first told me know, and I read the part again, I got selected to be Elena!
So UNCHARTED was one of my first jobs out of school, and I owe a lot to UNCHARTED and I’ve been working pretty steady ever since. Right after I booked UNCHARTED, I got John From Cincinnati for a small role, which was my first breakthrough role on TV, then Jericho and Brothers & Sisters, and ER for about 10-11 episodes a piece among other guest spots. I got the amazing opportunity to join these ensemble casts for a while, and it’s been a journey ever since with voiceover work and acting! It’s been an honor to work with so many great actors and producers and learn from them that I’m proud to be doing what I’m doing.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do the interview, you’ve been awesome!
Oh are you kidding me, I love doing this stuff! I know it’s really hard for people to pin me down at a certain time since I’m running all over the place, but when I get the time to chat with people and do interviews, it’s awesome. You’re very welcome, it’s my pleasure!
Emily can be seen in Syfy’s original series Haven’s, returning with new episodes on Friday July 15th, 2011, and in UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception on November 1st, 2011.