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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Interview with actress Ellen Dubin.

The very lovely Ellen
My article this week features a talented and gorgeous cult figure in the Sci-Fi world. No, that's not a description of me - though you would of course be forgiven for making that quite understandable assumption.  After all, I have previously been called something of a cult. Well at least I think that's what they said......

It would be safe to say that my previous post featuring an interview with the legend and all-round good egg that is Bill Oberst Jr. was something of a major success. Not only did I manage to successfully include a number of sentences in my writing that were almost correct in both grammar and spelling (I said, almost), but far more importantly in my shallow and superficial world the piece has been incredibly popular in terms of blog views. In fact in just over a week, nearly a thousand views have been recorded, making it the most popular post for quite some time.

Now for a change I'm not deluding myself. I know that the response was partly due to the fan-base that Bill has and also because of the new Sci-fi series that he will soon be appearing in - Starfall. However, my reader knows me well enough by now to realise that of course I'll take success in any way I can find it, even if it is by proxy and by hanging on to the coat tails of others.

The direct feedback to me has also been nice to receive - some of it has even been complimentary. The best one came from a co-star of Bill's from the Starfall series, the very lovely actress Ellen Dubin, who said my piece was wonderful (oh yes she did!)......that was her big mistake. Because not only did I respond back and thank her for her remarks, but I also managed to sit her down and undergo another of the legendary Fifth Dimension interviews in the process. This wasn't as easy a task as you would first think, because I just happened to be a fan of series that she appeared in some years ago, the weird and wonderful Lexx, and to be honest, I quite fancied that pants of her character, the dastardly cannibal queen Giggerota the Wicked.

So not only did I have to act all cool and professional-like (I know, there's a first time for everything) when discussing the questions, I also had to curtail my natural sassy (some may say inappropriate) remarks. For instance, when a talented and gorgeous actress responds to ones requests for photos etc for inclusion in my article and asked quite harmlessly and legitimately whether I wanted more head and body shots - well I had to hold back my usual type of innuendo-ridden response. Blimey, it's difficult being all professional-like.

I do want to say very sincerely that Ellen has been quite wonderfully gracious in her time and efforts in dealing with my questions and requests. In fact, without hopefully sounding overly sycophantic, I would go as far as saying that she has gone far and beyond being helpful in providing time, photo's and information. What a fab gal.

Anyhoo, with any further ado.....here's some bio on the fabulous Ellen Dubin.


The very lovely Ellen again - one cannot have too much of a good thing :-)
Ellen is a Gemini Award nominated actress for her series regular role Jeri Slate in the Leo Award winning supernatural drama THE COLLECTOR (which just aired on Chiller TV in the US and Space in Canada, and has aired in 65 countries), Ellen is also a cult figure in the sci-fi world for playing the wild alien cannibal Giggerota the Wicked in the international cult hit LEXX. She has the distinction of doing all four seasons and playing four different characters in this very popular show. Ellen played the first female Pope in sci-fi history in LEXX. 

She recently wrapped two sci fi pilots  NOBILITY with the legendary Walter Koenig, Doug Jones, Cas Anwar, James Kyson , Christopher Judge, Torri Higginson and Adrienne Wilkinson. The other pilot STARFALL, she worked with Andrew Jackson and Damien Puckler in Reno, Nevada. Both roles are very unique and intriguing!

She also enjoyed working on two recent film roles playing a nerdy shy wallflower in BIG FAT STONE with Academy Award nominated Robert Loggia, Tony Nardi and Margot Kidder which won many awards including Best Picture at the Action on Film Festival in Pasadena and NO DEPOSIT where she played a foul mouthed alcoholic woman opposite Art Hindle, Peter Coyote, Doris Roberts and Eric Roberts.

Her comedy zombie film DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D with Devon Bostick and Christopher Lloyd opened at the Grauman’s Theater in Los Angeles and across the United States. The zomedy won the Perron Crystal Award for Live Action 3D Film from the prestigious International 3D Stereo Media Summit and Film Festival. DBD was nominated for five Canadian Comedy Awards.

In NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, the multi award winning Sundance Film Festival favorite and one of the most iconic film comedies of all time, Ellen plays the Tupperware-loving mom of Napoleon’s potential prom date.  

Her affinity for the unusual has also lead her to starring roles in THE LISTENER, THE DEAD ZONE, EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT, BLOOD TIES, MUTANT X, A WRINKLE IN TIME and HIGHLANDER: THE RAVEN where she is the only female to have a broad-to-broad broadsword fight in that shows' history.

She is also the go-to-girl for a host of movies on the Lifetime Network. She stars in THE WIVES HE FORGOT opposite Molly Ringwald, LIES AND DECEPTION with Madchen Amick and SECOND CHANCES with Melissa George, all airing now on LIFETIME. Her Hallmark Hall Of Fame Presents/ CBS Emmy nominated movie of the week THE LOIS WILSON story (opposite Winona Ryder) is among her favorites. 

Ellen voiced many characters in Time Magazine’s #1 PC video game of 2012 GUILD WARS 2 and Ultimate Game of the Year ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM. She also was thrilled to lend her voice to DEFENSE GRID:2, WORLD OF WARCRAFT and MURDERED:SOUL SUSPECT.  She is the voice of the highly acclaimed Disneyland attraction THE WORLD OF COLOR and  WORLD OF COLOR:WINTER DREAMS and the new promo trailer for SCREAMRIDE coming out next year.


Ellen is honored to be the spokesperson for the Make A Wish Foundation in Toronto and Central Ontario, volunteers at the Los Angeles Mission.


THE INTERVIEW BIT

Giggy on a slab is fab.....
Q) Ok, first things first, I need to be honest. I was trying to act all cool-like when we first talked about doing an interview, but I distinctly remember the part you played in the fabulous Lexx. What are your memories of playing the very sexy Giggerota the Wicked?

ED) I love how “cool” you acted and am thrilled you remember Giggy The Wicked. I devoured every moment playing that role. It was my first major introduction to the sci fi genre as an actress and what an awesome beginning. It was so satisfying creating a character from the ground up playing a ballsy, no holds barred character. Giggerota said whatever was on her mind and I loved how I was able to toy with everyone and have my way with them. Loved playing the humor of this role. And thanks for noticing that Giggy was “very sexy” – I called myself the sexy comic relief. The gals playing Zev/ Xev (Eva Habermann and Xenia Seeberg) were the true sexy leads. But lots of people got a real rise out of Giggerota’s unique character. I miss Lexx - the fantastic locations Germany, Halifax and Thailand and the wonderful cast and crew. One of the best experiences of my career! 

Q) Did you get to keep the rubber suit?! :-)

ED) Here is a little secret that not too many people know. There were two suits. It was a grotesque brilliant costume design – I wore the skin and head of a man I ate – the head was dangling at the back of the costume! That was the crazy wacky world of Lexx. In one scene, Giggerota emerges like a creature from the Black Lagoon out of the water. Well, the rubber latex was so heavily weighed down with water, it started to crumble and that was the end of suit one. Also the first suit was so heavy and didn’t breathe. That they had to cut slits in the knees and elbows so I could move. The rubber suit added weight to me – it bulked me up by about 15 pounds. So every time people would see me in person, they would say : “Oh, you are much thinner in person”! Also, no one wanted to eat lunch with me, because it smelled of rubber latex. After the water scene, that suit was thrown in the garbage.

The second unitard was much lighter and made of more durable, flexible buckskin suede and was more body hugging. I was able to move more freely in it and everyone ate lunch with me. Smelled much better!

I don’t have the suit. No. But I do have some of the Pope stuff I wore in Season 4. I played the only female Pope in Sci-fi history in a brilliant episode called APOCALEXX NOW.

Being fab on a slab with the inimitable Barry Bostwick
Q) Can you believe it's over 13 years since Lexx finished??!! Why do think it still has much affection for fans ?

ED) Wow, time flies when you are having fun!

Here’s the thing. Even if someone didn’t like LEXX, they would never forget it. It was so different! Plot lines that were so off beat and characters that were unforgettable in a very unusual world.

Lexx was way ahead of it time. So many shows after LEXX used elements from the show. I really believe Paul Donovan who created it was so clever- the storylines appealed to kids because there were some funny characters visually but it had a lot of story lines that had double entendre- it was sexy, intelligent and really wacky. There were lots of references to politics and religion as well.  It was funny, daring, wild and wacky.

Fans loved Giggerota because I was the only recurring character that was in all four seasons and also I would die and come back as another character with the same traits as Giggerota.  How brilliant is that. Fans got a kick out of that. They embraced the weirdness of the show. Brilliant concept!!!  Makes me smile everytime I think of it. Fans love to watch it again and new fans are enjoying discovering it for the first time!


Sr Lieutenant Shingh- ah desperately trying to erase 
her internet search history....
Q) Tell us about the character you play in Starfall?

ED) I love this character on Starfall. I play Sr Lieutenant Shingh- ah. Shingh-ah is of the Selsky race who have been scattered and hunted nearly to extinction. My character is hiding a deep dark secret and will one day be forced to choose between loyalty to her crewmates and her people. The arc of the character is wonderful. That’s all I can say right now!


Q) What, if anything, will set Starfall apart from other Sci-Fi shows? 

ED) John Ellis has created an amazing world for our characters that no one else has every done. Yes we are part of a crew of a space ship called the Ardri Jennet and many wonderful Sci fi shows have their base on a ship but the character’s back stories are so fascinating and so different than any other thing I have seen in this genre. I wish I could be a little more specific but you will have to wait till the pilot to see it. It was shot in Reno, Nevada.


Q) I interviewed your Starfall co-star, Bill Oberst Jr. recently. I know that he comes across as being a nice guy & Gentleman - but you can now dish the dirt. He's a trial to work with isn't he? ;-)

ED) Alas, never got to work with the amazing Bill Oberst Jr, We didn’t have any scenes together. But was a huge fan before. And here is the “dirt” I heard, everyone loved working with him! Ha, no trial, I am sure!! Hope when the show goes, we can have scenes together!

Ellen as as Colonel Theia with Adrienne Wilkinson and Darren Jacobs 
Q) Another Sci-Fi show I know you’re involved in is the upcoming 'Nobility'. I've heard it dubbed “The Office” meets "Firefly", which sounds intriguing. Can you elaborate?

ED) It is a fascinating show. Made even better by this amazing cast. NOBILITY has a lot of comedic elements like “The Office” and “Firefly”.

NOBILITY ‘s crew has faults and quirks especially the characters played by Walter Koenig, James Kyson and Doug Jones. My character Colonel Theia is a very elegant, commanding person who is a member of a very intelligent race called The Eujins. The Eujins come aboard the Nobility s ship to teach human beings some valuable lessons. Again, that is all I can say at this moment! E J de la Pena has created a fascinating new world in this compelling sci fi pilot. Stay tuned!


Q) There are one or two other fellow 'big-hitters' in Nobility, I believe - A certain Mr Walter Koenig (some Star Trek thing), James Kyson (Heroes), Doug Jones (Hellboy) and Christopher Judge (Stargate SG1). Have you shared scenes with any of these guys & what was the experience like?

ED) Ha, this is a sci fi fan’s dream cast!

Sadly, I didn’t work with any of these wonderful men. Not yet, anyway!
I did work with the fabulous Cas Anwar (Assassin’s Creed and the new sci fi show The Expanse) ,Adrienne Wilkinson (Xena: Warrior Princess)  upcoming British actor Darren Jacobs and the wonderful Torri Higginson (Stargate Atlantis). We had great chemistry working together.

I did get to hang with all of them at San Diego Comic Con (except Walter) and they were a blast. Had a great time greeting fans with these awesome quick witted, fun men. Loved doing panels with these guys. The audience at SDCC just ate it up.


One of Ellen's many characters from ELDER SCROLLS V:SKYRIM
 - sent to her by a fan
Q) You've voiced numerous characters in a number of video games, such as GUILD WARS 2 and ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM. How enjoyable is this kind of acting as opposed to 'regular' acting?

 ED) I find voice over acting freeing. It is so rewarding working on these wonderful games. And the best voice over actors are well-rounded well trained actors. Video games are so sophisticated now- fans are very savvy in this genre- that the acting has to be first rate. That is why so many great video game producers hire a lot of us who have strong theater backgrounds- we are able to speak the language, summon up emotions at the drop of the hat and are able to go from comedy to drama in a flash. I also love not being cast for my look or my age. I have a great time creating these unbelievable worlds with just the use of my voice. Special thanks to my LA Voice team at VOX Inc. for encouraging me in this genre. 


Q) I also hear that you're the voice of the Disneyland attraction THE WORLD OF COLOR - how crazy is that? Have you been to it and heard yourself?

ED) I was so thrilled to be the voice of THE WORLD OF COLOR and THE WORLD OF COLOR: WINTER DREAMS. To be a part of Disneyland’s California Adventure Park was such a fabulous coup for me. I loved recording at the spectacular Walt Disney Imagineering Studios in Glendale and to hear the beautiful London Symphony Orchestra and the Nashville Choir complimenting my voice in the finished product, just made my heart sing. Amazing! Have not heard it in person. But have heard snippets of it online that fans have sent to me.  It is one of those spine tingling voiceovers! WOW! Loved being a part of the Disney theme park world. Brings out the kid in me! I am so grateful to Brian Nefsky for casting me. 


Q) Have you ever worked over here in the UK?

ED) I haven’t yet! But I am dying to. I have a wonderful fan base there.
So many astounding shows come out of the UK as well. The UK has an amazing talent pool.  If you have something, let me know. LOL!

Ellen & James Kyson (Heroes) doing their thing at San Diego Comic Con
Q) Aberdeen (my local city in Scotland) is hosting it's very first Comicon in 2015. Do you attend fan conventions? What are your experiences? (We fans can be quite obsessive!)

ED) I LOVE CONS!

Can I say that loud enough? Fan reactions are one of the best reasons to be an actor. When you can make a fan laugh or move a fan by your work, it is so rewarding.

I did a panel this past year at Wondercon and also at San Diego Comic Con and was part of the Nobility booth. I have never seen such a crowd of fanatic fantastic fans in my life.

The costumes, the passion. their dedication to this genre is beyond fabulous!

There is no better fan then the sci fi fan. When someone knows every line of dialogue you have ever said and designs a costume (that can take a year to make from scratch) in the exact image of your character, it is wild and fabulous.
I love it!

I want to come to Aberdeen! This sounds like a good one!


The link link for the Suspense Radio Show
Q) What does the future hold for Ellen Dubin?

ED) My motto is to enjoy every moment of every day and appreciate the little things in life. I will continue to work on the video game ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE content with my wonderful director Rene Veilleux. 

I just finished an amazing radio show called SUSPENSE for producer John Alsedek and Dana Perry-Hayes which is a throwback to those old style radio programs – Really fun melodramatic meaty material. Hopefully that will air soon. I played opposite my NOBILITY co – star Adrienne Wilkinson.

I have a promo trailer coming out for a wonderful game published by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 called SCREAMRIDE – so listen for that.  

My film BIG FAT STONE – a heist film just played Action on Film festival in Los Angeles  won many awards including  best film .  And another film I did NO DEPOSIT will be released next year as well as a pilot for a new sitcom called LA TRATTORIA with the amazing Doris Roberts. All these projects were so rewarding to work on with the very talented Frank D’Angelo at the helm.

I hope to continue my work with Make A Wish in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

And look for the best chocolate ├ęclairs everywhere I go!



Once again I would like to say a big thank you to Ellen for being so generous in her time. I'm sure you'll agree that not only is she a fine actress and all-round good egg but she has a rather fine line in humour.


So go and give her Facebook fan page a like at   www.facebook.com/EllenDubinActor?fref=ts

Ellen can be followed on that Twitter thingy via @EllenDubinActor 

You can access Ellen's website at www.ellendubin.com 

Her IMDB page can be found at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0239294/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The website for the Nobility series can be located HERE

The website for Starfall can be found RIGHT HERE

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