Back to Frank Black speaks to Kristen Cloke (2009)

21894-screenshot129To those who know me it is no secret that I am a particular admirer of the second season character, Lara Means and the actress who portrayed her, Kristen Cloke. During the course of the campaign I have spoke to her a number of times and she, like so many of the cast and crew, has given freely of their time to us and responded to all campaigners for the return of the franchise with warmth and encouragement. It gives me great pleasure to bring to your attention an interview we conducted with her recently and I am sure that you will all enjoy the result as much as I do.

BACKTOFRANKBLACK.COM: Kristen, thank you for taking the time to speak to us. May I begin by saying that one of the most notable features of the second season of Millennium is the often experimental and creative way in which the stories unfolded. Was it a conscious move to abandon more traditional techniques in order to explore the boundaries of serial television?

KRISTEN CLOKE: I know that Fox wanted to take the show into a different area in the second season. Glen, Jim and Darin are really creative story tellers. I think they approach stories in a unique way. That is who they are as writers and it is reflected in the show.

BTFB: Lara is a unique character in the sense that she is one of few televisual creations to not reveal very much of her history or back-story. Was this a conscious decision to maintain the character’s enigmatic nature?

KC: It has been such a long time since I have even watched the show. Some of this is a little hard to remember… I believe Lara talked a little bit about her story in the Christmas episode?? I guess I felt that I knew what her story was, so I never really thought about whether it was talked about. Glen often creates a character for me in his scripts that serve as a story telling device for him. We have a lot of trust and he knows I really want to serve his purpose as a story teller.

BTFB: One, of many, fan preoccupations regarding Lara Means is the debate regarding her feelings for Frank. Fans maintain that there are moments that provide evidence to suggest the character developed romantic feelings for Frank during the course of their relationship. Was such a thing ever intended or is it merely a matter of perception?

KC: I don’t think Frank and Lara had romantic feelings for each other, but I do think they shared something that was completely unique to only them. To really feel really understood by someone is very powerful. Lara was a mirror for Frank. I think her purpose was to help Frank and the audience better understand Frank’s “gift.”

BTFB: I believe, and ask to be corrected, that it was only ever intended that the character would feature in a single season. After spending a considerable amount of your time developing her was it hard to say goodbye when the season was completed?

KC: I have yet to work with Glen where I did not die or simply go insane never to be heard from again!! But I liked Lara Means a lot.

BTFB: The musical montage that depicts Lara’s descent into psychosis is an intense and disturbing experience for the viewers. Is it as physically and emotionally draining to film scenes such as those as it appears to be?

KC: That montage was hard because there was no scene. There were just little cuts. Tom Wright knew exactly what he wanted to do. ( He always does.) He would show me the small piece we were going to shoot and I had to fill in all of the blanks to make it work emotionally for that cut. It was really a challenge and fairly painful. It was the kind of thing that took a lot of trust on everyone’s part.

BTFB: A number of requests have been voiced to members of the campaign that fans would like to see Lara return should the movie ever be made. Would you be in interested in revisiting her again in a new format?

KC: I don’t think Lara Means was thought of again after that season.

BTFB: We spoke to Lance Henriksen recently who discussed the comparative merits of television and movie roles. As you have experience of working in both formats do you have a preference and how difficult is it to do either when raising young children?

KC: I really loved acting. I did not care if it was in television or film. It is most important to me to feel helpful and useful as an actress and as a human. I really pour my whole self into acting when I do it, so I don’t do it much anymore. My children need me now and I truly love being a mother to them.

BTFB: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us, Kristen and for all your support and well wishes. We wish you every continued success for the future.