Christie Burke -- Smash/Alice
Tell us about your character, Smash/Alice.
She’s a spitfire, with a Winona Rider 80s attitude who has the softest heart. That’s how I describe her to people. She has an attitude, but underneath it all she’s just like a teddy bear.
There was a lot of hubbub at the time about your character, and whether or not she will return. What are your thoughts?
I’d love to return, I love playing her and I think everybody on that set is amazing; it was one of my favourite experiences. Jared and Jensen are just so sweet … My friend Alex is on it too, he’s … Alex Calvert?
Yeah … I’m so bad, I should know that. He’s on it too … it was such a great experience … to be able to get up and do that every day would be a dream. I don’t know what they’re going to do.
What did you enjoy most about working on Supernatural?
Honestly, the eye rolls – that would be my favourite thing. Just everyone – the cast and crew; they’re so sweet and so kind. I got to try things, new things, which was really fun. I think that would be my favourite part, the in between takes, the joking and the laughing, and the having fun. It didn’t feel like work. It was so crazy.
Do you have any behind-the-scenes stories you can share?
It’s so crazy because I filmed with two of my friends. Part of the squad – Smash and Grab – that’s one of my best friends. I didn’t know that he was going to book it; he didn’t know that I was going to book it. We will coach each other for auditions, we will run scenes and stuff. He coached me for that audition. I remember saying, “It would be so funny if we were Smash and Grab,” because we know each other really well. I’ve always been a big fan of David [Cubitt, who played Barthamus], and now David and I are really good friends.
It was so funny, because this heist group consisted of my really good friends. What are the odds of me ending up with people who are going to do this heist, and they are all my friends? That’s really rare in Vancouver, to get to work with people that you love and admire, also that are all your friends …
I remember calling him [Matthew Anderson, Grab], and saying, “Hey dude, I got the part.” And he was like, “Hey dude, I got the part too!”
Other behind-the-scenes stories – having to burp a billion times … when I auditioned for the role, Matthew told me I should burp in the audition. I said, “They’re going to think that’s so weird, I don’t know if I should do that … who would just burp in an audition room, in front of all of these amazing people … they’re going to be like, ‘Who’s this chick?’” Matthew said I had to do it, I had to bring in a can of Coke and chug it, and really burp. I did it, and it was so funny – that was the thing they ended up wanting me to do in the show. I kept on having to drink this really weird flat soda … trying to continuously burp and make it happen every take was really hard. Harder than trying to cry. I can cry easily, but trying to burp constantly is really difficult.
In some of the heist stuff, with Jared and Jensen – the driving – I’ve never been in any scenes where you’re driving away. I just remember saying, “Take it easy, this is a practice round …” They are super skilled, they’ve done car stunts for a long time … they totally scared me, I was screaming … Robert Singer, the director, said, “Christie, you’re doing great, just do the exact same thing. Look scared.” I said, “I am scared! There was no forcing me to look scared, there’s no acting, I am scared!”
It was definitely one of my favourite episodes – the part where Dean has to stick his hand in the door …
It was my favourite filming that. I laughed so hard. I was so grateful that when he was doing his side that they weren’t on me because I was laughing. We only did one take of that, he nailed it on the first one.
What unique quality did you bring to Smash/Alice?
I think Alice could have been played less vulnerable, like when she’s with Bart. I feel like I brought a more vulnerable side to her. I think she could have been played very tough, and very much like she doesn’t care. She’s a millennial. Even in the beginning of the script, when I first was auditioning, it talked about her always having headphones on and always being on her phone – not engaging at all. It was really hard to maneuver headphones and a phone, and acting – it was really hard to get clean, because I’m such a klutz. I thought it would be cooler if she actually cared, if she really needed this to happen, otherwise Bart wasn’t ever going to release her from this curse that she was in. I feel like I brought more – in the audition, too – of a vulnerability, to see that she is stuck, and that she wanted to get out of it … she wanted to do the job so she could move on. I think people respond to that when someone cares, and you see someone care, I think you care about them. As well, the humour – my mom always said that I was born out of the womb giving the biggest eye roll ever. I think maybe that helped me.
Do you have any upcoming roles to share?
One of my movies just got released; I did this movie a year ago in Calgary – it ended up winning Scariest Movie at the Overlook Film Festival, the new Stanley Kubrick film festival. It’s called Stillborn. We spent three months in Calgary shooting this crazy horror film that’s about this mom who has just had twins, and one of them is born stillborn; she ends up getting postpartum depression, which turns into postpartum psychosis … her psychosis is that she believes that a demon is trying to kidnap her other baby. The whole movie is about whether or not the demon is real, or if it’s in her head.
I write a lot of poetry, and I’m currently collecting a bunch of my poems and I’m going to release them soon, in a book.