After the apocalyptic denouement of Millennium’s second season the creative team had an undeniably difficult task in reintroducing the franchise to its fans and followers. The Innocents/Exegesis did this superbly and with much ambition. Averie Maddox must hold the rare distinction of playing the greatest number of roles in a single episode of the show. As Deena and her various ‘sisters’ she gave a memorable and gutsy performance, imbuing each clone with the right amount of individuality to make the portrayal so successful. Averie took time to speak to us recently and we cannot thank her enough for the warmth and friendship she has extended to the campaign and fans of the show. Be sure to share your comments about this fantastic interview as I know Averie will be dropping by to see what you guys think and I have a feeling you will love it.
BACKTOFRANKBLACK.COM: You have expressed a love of performing from a young age, describing it as something you have always done. Could you tell us a little about yourself before you filmed Millennium? In addition, I would imagine there are few certainties in your chosen profession and I wondered how you prevent yourself from becoming disenfranchised from this love when times are difficult?
AVERIE MADDOX: I remember being a little girl and knowing that I wanted to be in the movies. My grandma used to call me her “Little Movie Star” and I have been in love with the movies since I first saw “Charlotte’s Web” at the theater when I was very little. I was also in love with singing, and Little Orphan Annie. My poor dog had the unfortunate luck of looking just like Sandy and so I would lock us in my bedroom and perform the whole thing over and over by myself. A One Girl Show! I attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena and a summer program at Oxford University before appearing in my first role on television for “The Client” And the second part of your question about becoming down about this business? Like any love relationship, it has its ups and downs. But I am in it for the long haul. I write a lot of poetry and music, as well as lyrics to get my frustrations and ya-yas’ out.
BTFB: I was very interested to learn that you consider your role in Millennium to be your big break and you credit Chris Carter for giving you such an opportunity and for his belief in you and your talent. Could you tell us you recollections of that time and of the great man himself?
AM: The day before I met Chris I was sitting in my car, at the ocean in Santa Monica with my door open and one foot hanging out my car. I had decided to give up and was feeing so horrible. It was a cloudy day and I felt so defeated. How could I know that the next day Chris would be sitting next to me in a cafe for breakfast, and the we would strike up a conversation? I never even told him my name. Some time passed and we ran into each other again. We struck up a friendship. At that time I had a ticket to fly to New York for another call back for RENT, and was planning on being a nanny for some friends of mine on the east coast. Chris told me he had an audition for me. After I had the audition and was given the part I had to decide between New York, or filming in Vancouver… umm, no brainer!
BTFB: Were you aware of Millennium prior to your involvement in the franchise and how did you find the experience of working with the show’s cast and crew? I believe you recall your time with Lance and Klea fondly?
AM: I tried to take it all in and not take anything for granted. I got along well with Klea, and we kept running into each other at the hotel and on the streets of Vancouver. She is such a nice, down to earth person. I did not have as much interaction with Lance, but I loved watching him work and respect him greatly. The plane crash scenes and plane opener was about a 16 hour day, so I don’t remember much. I do remember walking into the hotel after a 16 hour day and feeling like Jim Carey on crack. I was so happy and light hearted. That can only come from doing what you love and being passionate about what you do.
BTFB: Do you retain any single stand out moment from the experience either positive or negative?
AM: Everything was positive. From the first day to the last. I wish Chris could have been there more. He was in Los Angeles most of the time. I did not like all the sticky blood all over my face and hair. but it tasted pretty good! My first trailer was such a heart bursting moment. I was SO happy. It was a VERY nice trailer, too!
BTFB: I believe The Innocents/Exegesis required a month of filming. Did you find the experiencing at all overwhelming for you as your first major television role given the length of shooting and the complexities of filming yourself as numerous characters necessitating numerous death scenes?
AM: No. I do great pantomime and the U-Haul scene required that. Learning to drive a stick-shift was hilarious, as Nigel Habgood took me to a roof top parking garage to learn. It was horrible and we both had headaches from all my stops and starts. But we laughed through the whole thing. I did a lot of character work on my part and was ready for my scenes. I realized for the first time that I DO NOT LIKE watching myself on film. I guess I will be one of THOSE kind of actors. I say “Do I really look like that?” Oh well. I loved every second and kept reminding myself to not take anything for granted and to be grateful for every moment in Vancouver.
BTFB: The most immediately noticeable thing about the character you portrayed is her strikingly blue eyes? Do you have any insight as to why it was decided to give the character such vivid contact lenses? Samaria Graham [Tamra Caffrey of Human Essence] remarked to me that she had retained the lenses her character wore on the show, did you retain any memorabilia from your time on Millennium?
AM: Actually, I believe, and don’t quote me on this, but Chris Carter told me that he made the characters after my eyes. I did not wear contact lenses. My eyes move back and forth because of a condition I have known as Nystagmus. Frank Langella also has this condition. Chris liked the movement of my eyes. It was the first time they were acknowledged in a positive way since I was made fun of in school! They gave my counter clone, Katie Boyer contact lenses to match my eyes. I bet you didn’t know that, did you!
BTFB: Considering a decade has now passed since the cancellation of Millennium does it surprise you that such interest remains in the show itself and those who contributed to it? Lance is incredibly energized regarding his desire to see the franchise be given a movie adaptation would you be interested in contributing to it?
AM: Are you kidding me? I would absolutely LOVE to be a part of it. Is that emphatic enough for ya? I loved the cast and crew and the story behind it. I hope Lance, Frank, and Chris will keep me in mind!
BTFB: What should Millennium fans keep their eyes open for with regards to the continuing career of Averie Maddox?
AM: An agent. I need a new one! LOL. Probably comedy and hopefully film. I am just starting out again and looking forward to the future! I can’t wait to get to it!
BTFB: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us Averie and please accept our very best wishes for the future!