Two women, one deceased man. A man named Garrett has recently passed away, and the two people who are most affected are his sister and his first love. What can they do now? The best way to cope with the trauma is drinking according to Ronnie as she chugs away her problems. Faye comes up with a better solution by getting the two out of that environment and off to a lake cabin instead. They get along well with everyone until they find an old friend of Garrett’s and have to rethink some things. This is a very interesting story described, and I got the pleasure of asking some questions to Erin Carter, who gives us a better look into her character, the film, and of course, herself.
HNMAG: How do you feel you can relate to your character Faye?
Erin Carter: I love this question because admittedly it took me quite a while to see things clearly from Faye’s perspective. I have a much different way of dealing with my feelings and surroundings. That being said I could always relate to the way Faye compartmentalizes her life, she pushes a lot of her own grief to the back burner and tries to focus on other people instead. What I had a hard time with initially was her necessity to control. I am a very laid back person and those are absolutely not words I would use to describe Faye! Ultimately it was her desire to come to everyone’s rescue that I connected with, I understood her need, within this deep grief, to put her focus on something other than herself.
HNMAG: How is this different from any other roles you’ve taken in the past?
Erin Carter: It is such a fabulous and empowering experience to be involved in a film from conception and have a say in what goes into the characters, as well as what their journeys will look like. It was an honour to play such a well-rounded, and compassionate character, but also a huge challenge for me to play someone who is constantly needing to be in control. She is definitely a departure from the more easy going, sometimes one dimensional, characters I have played in the past, but that’s why I love her. She has so many coping mechanisms and idiosyncrasies, which were exciting to explore. I had also never played a character with a speech impediment before, that was a really interesting and challenging trait to find. A lot of thought on backstory and research went into it, I never wanted it to come off as inauthentic.
HNMAG: What message are you hoping for the movie to deliver?
Erin Carter: I would hope that the audience walks away with a renewed sense of acceptance for their own feelings. Suck It Up, despite the title, is about two people who are coping with deep grief in two very different ways, neither of them very healthily. And I think one of the lessons learned by the characters is that communication is key. Grieving is a process and I would hope that we can come to a place where people are free to express and share their emotions without shame.
HNMAG: Were there any challenges on set?
Erin Carter: We were pretty lucky on this film, we didn’t have too many hiccups, but there was a particularly challenging scene that involved two moving vehicles. The car Ronnie and Faye drive in the film is a gorgeous vintage Mustang, and of course a convertible. It rained the only day we needed to shoot quite a complicated maneuver with the top down. We ended up pulling it off on the only take we had, but there was a lot of time spent that day waiting out the rain and desperately trying to keep that beautiful vintage car dry.
HNMAG: What was it like shooting and acting in a lakeside environment?
Erin Carter: It is such a spectacular place to be under any circumstance, but it was even better to be able to capture it on screen. My co-star Grace Glowicki and I had spent summers there in our youth and it felt very home-y to be shooting in a place we both knew so well. We had always pictured the film taking place there, and our writer Julia Hoff did a great job of making the location feel like a character. When we all finally got there to shoot, with the beautiful mountain view and all, that really felt like the last piece of the puzzle. The town was so hospitable and I think that’s palpable, the intimate small town vibe and isolation that comes with cottage life was so essential to the story.
HNMAG: Are there plans for a sequel?
Erin Carter: My goodness I wish! I don’t think a sequel of this specific story would ever happen, but I like to think our team that came together to make this film is not done collaborating. Working with Julia Hoff and Director Jordan Canning was beyond amazing, and our producers Marc Tetreault and Jason Levangie were as good as it gets. I hope there are many more films in our future.