Interview with Nicky Whelan from "The Power of Few"
Movie Room Reviews recently had the great opportunity to sit down with the beautiful Australian actress Nicky Whelan. Nicky’s roles in “Hall Pass” and “Workaholics” have definitely made her name in Hollywood, and now she stars in the new film with Christopher Walken called “The Power of Few”.
Nick Leyland from Movie Room Reviews: Hello?
Nicky: Hello. How are you?
MRR: Good. How are you doing?
Nicky: Are you in Los Angeles or New York?
MRR: Neither actually. We have writer's on the two coasts, but we actually have our office in the heartland in Ohio.
Nicky: Oh, rad! OK, there you go. You're in Ohio right now?
Nicky: Awesome. [laughs]
MRR: Are you laughing at me?
Nicky: No, I'm not laughing. It's awesome. I just love it.
MRR: We have people all over the country. Our office is here in Ohio, believe it or not.
Nicky: Perfect. What's the weather like today there?
MRR: It's finally sunny and 70 degrees, which is extremely rare for Ohio.
Nicky: Beautiful, love it, good. Well, enjoy the weather.
MRR: Where are you at?
Nicky: I'm in Los Angeles. It's actually sh&%$* weather today. It's really clouded over, but it's fine. We get enough hot days here.
MRR: [laughs] Yeah. Ours are mainly cold or hot. That's it. Which is really weird. 70 is awesome.
Nicky: One extreme to another.
MRR: We have no spring and no fall anymore. They've gone. Thanks for calling in. It's nice to talk to you. I've seen you lately in several roles. I actually talked to your "Chosen" costar, Milo, who...
Nicky: Oh, I love Milo! Yes, yes!
MRR: I talked to him a few weeks ago or a few...Whenever that was. A few months ago now, I guess, when "Chosen" came out. He was praising your acting skills. I've also seen you in "Hall Pass," obviously, with Owen Wilson, and a great episode of "Workaholics," which I love, where you play the temptress in the office for the day, among several others. Today we're here to talk about this new movie the action, crime, drama, mystery thriller called "The Power of Few." This movie has got some great star power. It's got you and Christopher Walken and Christian Slater and many more. Can you give our audience a breakdown of the film and your character as Marti?
Nicky: The film is basically a series of events that take place leading to...You know when something happens in life but it’s really hard to explain, but I go from this angle. If you make one decision in your life that unravels to make the end decision come about, it makes sense. This one little girl, her name is Few. She wanders. It all depends the way that she takes her walk and how she chews on her lolly as to how the entire rest of the events of the day unravel. The section that I play is with Christian Slater. I play a policewoman called Marti. Did you see the film?
MRR: Months ago, when it first came to us.
Nicky: I'm this crazy, mental cop. [laughs] I'm so angry because my character's so mad. We had to add the reasons why she's such an angry cop, so we made her doing coke in the back of the car, giving a little bit more reason as to why she's so riled up. She's one of those angry policewomen with a lot going on in their lives. They're after this terrorist. Obviously, she's very, very passionate about her job. She does a scene where I beat him up. It's a very emotional scene. It was exhausting and draining.
We also did a section where Christian and I play surrounding these terrorists. That's the portion of the movie that I'm in, anyway, that you saw. A certain thing played out as to why that happened, if that makes sense. It's a very confusing way to explain the movie.
MRR: Yeah, because you have to explain almost five different ways, right?
Nicky: Yeah, there's five different ways it can go. It unravels all due to the way the little girl, Few, walks at the start of the movie. If she had turned the corner and done something a different way, everything would have unraveled better. It was all to do with the life of timing and sliding doors, and if you make a decision here, what can happen after making that decision. It was a very complex movie to film. Leone did such a good job. His timeline's genius. It's very clever and twisted. It's hard to explain. You have to see it.
MRR: Was it bizarre being so disconnected from the other actors in the movie, all the other characters?
Nicky: Not really because I think in everything you film you go and play the section that you're required to play, and you build a story-line from what you're doing. We were there, down in New Orleans, for a lot of the time, so we got to connect to cast members. Christian and I just really focused on our portion which was chasing after these terrorists. Then he and I have nasty blowouts. We you can't get along as cops, not best partners. That's really where our focus was. The rest is sort of "I'm too young to put it together." I'm glad I didn't put it together because it's tricky. But it's actually a really very clever story line. I didn't feel any disconnect between...
MRR: What did you personally find interesting about the film and the way it was done?
Nicky: For me personally, I don't get to usually play a role like that. Initially the thing I found most interesting was the process I personally went through to play this character. Initially the character was written for a woman in her 40s, very overweight, a little different to me.
MRR: Yeah, that's not you. [laughter]
Nicky: Well, I'm not in my 40s, a different age group. But when I read for Leone, it was the price of convincing him that maybe we could turn it into someone more like me and maybe do something else with it. He took the risk and allowed me to come on and be that. I usually do comedies and some dancing around. In this it's very rough and dark and angry. The scene where I fight with the terrorist, it's really physical. I've never done anything like that before. It really takes the wind out of you. [laughs]
It was a really good personal experience, and I'm very lucky to be able to play a role like that. I don't get a lot of opportunities to do that because sometimes you can get get typecast as playing the blonde in things.
When you meet people like Leone who take a chance with you...Also, as we spoke earlier about my role in "Chosen" and things like that...When you get an opportunity to play something a little bit less eccentric, you get to dig into spaces within yourself that wouldn't usually be there.
Nicky: It was a very interesting role.
MRR: You spoke about how it's a different role for you and stuff. With your other costars any of their performances did you find captivating as they played their character in the film?
Nicky: All of them. Everyone in the movie is absolutely pole opposite. I've known about all of their work. I know who all of them are from all different things. We all came together and really played different roles from what we usually play. Just sticking alongside Christian personally, he's very rad. I've been watching him my whole life as I've grown up. He's genius just to work around. But you learn so much when you get to work around those people. I was there a lot of the time Christopher Walken was shooting his stuff and watching him slip into this crazy homeless guy. It's fascinating to watch everybody come together. Anthony Anderson is amazing. You know what I mean, watching everybody slip into these roles that they don't usually play.
That's how I felt this movie was, everybody not playing their typical characters that we know them for. It was a new experience for everyone. I can't say for everyone, but that's how I felt.
MRR: Speaking of that, how was the film do you feel has been perceived and what kind of movie buff is really going to like this film?
Nicky: I think it's kind of for everybody, especially with the variety. You've got to love at least one of the actors in this crew. [laughter]
Nicky: You're going to have known them from somewhere. I mean that's always nice and appealing to know that it's got such a great cast of people. But it's also there's very much going on. It's action. It's dark. It's twisted. It's funny at moments. There's love in it. It has a bit of everything going on it. I feel like the audience -- as long as you're of the age -- would enjoy it if you like all those sort of things because that's what the whole storyline combines is love and passion and drive. I feel like a big audience would enjoy the movie if you like all those bit and pieces. There's something for everybody in it.
MRR: It definitely keeps your attention.
Nicky: I could have just said that. It might would have...So much easier if I just said... [laughter]
MRR: It's got so much going on. It's great.
Nicky: Yeah, it really does. There's a lot going on. There's lots of movement, and I like the way it fits together. The energy and the spirit, it's actually genius. I don't know. I had a really, really good experience doing it. I got to be down in New Orleans, which I've never experienced, as well. New Orleans, itself, is this fabulous place, like dark and light, because it's like you're in another country. When working in there, getting into the whole vibe of this movie.
MRR: You just answered my next question which is funny.
MRR: No, no, that's great. I was going to ask you. You're from Australia, and I wanted to ask you about if you've ever been in New Orleans, and what did you think? I'm sure they've got some great food and great music down there.
Nicky: I was taken care of so well down there. We stayed in this gorgeous hotel. We got to venture out. We had a couple days off so we got a tour guide to take us around, and showed us all the different parts of it. It's absolutely spectacular. I honestly felt like I was in another country. I've traveled a lot around the world. We stay in an RV. We have to. We're so tied down on the bottom that we have to get out.
MRR: [laughs] It's a far way to get out, too.
Nicky: What's that?
MRR: It takes a long time to get out of there. It's 20 hours from where I live.
Nicky: Well, it's 20 hours from you, 15 from LA. I always like to go with purpose wherever I go. I'm not one to just pack up and go on a holiday somewhere, so to have an opportunity to travel somewhere as well as doing a movie there, I feel like you get to know the people more. Spend more time there, and the food was delicious. I would have gained a great deal of weight. We had so much fried food. I love it.
MRR: Yeah, they have world famous food.
Nicky: The people that came, because they obviously hired a local team. The makeup artist I'm still friends with, gorgeous, lovely, kind women. You really get to know the people of the town. It was a really nice experience for me. I really enjoyed it.
MRR: Yes. I've never actually been to New Orleans. It's on my list of things to go to.
Nicky: It's a really bizarre vibe. It's just like, honestly, when you think of America you don't think of New Orleans at all, or I don't, anyway.
Nicky: I feel like New Orleans in itself has so many different things to offer, so many different areas. It's fascinating. That's what I love about America, every one of your states is like going into a different country [laughs] , it really is.
MRR: It is, it really is. Except when you get to the Midwest, it's kind of all the same [laughs] .
Nicky: [laughs] Well, the places I've stayed in, wherever I've been...I stayed in Atlanta for a while doing a film, and I spent time in Pennsylvania, and they were also polar opposite, and I loved those places, again. New York, that's not middle, but you know what I mean. Like, I've definitely sort of traveled around. I love Vegas, I'm loving it. Every state, it's basically another country.
MRR: Yes, the big city near me is Chicago. Have you ever been there?
Nicky: I have. I went to Lollapalooza. Is that what it's called? I hope I said that right.
MRR: Yeah, Lollapalooza [laughs] .
Nicky: It was the festival, I went there last year, spectacular. I felt like I was at home. Chicago is a lot like Melbourne, or that's how I feel, anyway.
MRR: Is it?
Nicky: Yes, I loved it. The vibe there is rad.
MRR: It's a really cool city.
Nicky: Yes, good people, good shopping, and at a festival you get to really, really see the people who live there, and I just had a ball. They were gorgeous, lovely people. Walked everywhere, crazy weather, awesome.
MRR: [laughs] Well, I'm glad you're enjoying America, and I'm glad that your career is taking off so well. This film was released on February 15th, but when is it coming to digital release? Do you know?
Nicky: It is for rent on all digital download sites. We're also still in a couple theatres. People can get it here http://bit.ly/108dmXs
Nicky: It is worth checking out. It's very action-packed, there are so many great actors that you've known, from new ones to old ones, and the story line's wild. It is, it's just a really great movie and worth seeing, and I'm really pleased to be a part of it and I'm very blessed to have got to work with Christian Slater! [laughs]
MRR: [laughs] What other future projects do you have going on now, since all this great stuff is happening with you?
Nicky: I just have been doing a very large arc, six or seven episodes with a television show called, "Franklin and Bash," over on TNT, which I've been thoroughly enjoying. Beautiful people over there. I love TV. It's a comedy. I don't know if you've seen, do you know "Franklin and Bash?"
MRR: Yes, it's two lawyers with...
Nicky: Yeah, Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
MRR: Yeah, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, yeah.
Nicky: I've been having an absolute ball over there. That show filled up the first part of this year. I've also shot a pilot called, "Home Team," at TBS, and we're keeping our fingers crossed that gets picked up. It's a multi-cam, fabulous, funny show, that I wrapped filming last week. Fingers crossed for that to move forward. I did a couple movies last year, and the year before. Terrence Malick movie called, "Knight of Cups," which is coming out, that's all I can say about that. I don't even know what's going on.
Then, I did a movie called, "7,500," will be coming out, hopefully this year. It was meant to come out last year. It's a horror film with a fabulous cast.
I'm very lucky, just [laughs] things are good. There's no complaint from me.
MRR: I know you're smiling a lot of the time?
Nicky: What's that, sorry?
MRR: I said, I bet you're smiling a lot of the time, right?
Nicky: I've been here six years, and it hasn't been an overnight big success. You really have to put your feet on the ground, and work really hard, and never, ever, ever give up. It's been a slow process to me, but I've managed to work with some very, very, very good people that have joined my life. It's a real journey that you have to...There's a lot of fun. [laughter]
Nicky: It's been a roller coaster. I've got a great team of friends over here now that keep me grounded and protect me. [laughs] Yeah, I'm very, very lucky, but I'm always from Australia, which I love when I go home several times a year to see family, who always make sure to bring me straight back down to Earth. [laughter]
MRR: Well, thank you so much for talking with me, Nicky. I really appreciate it. Our fans and our audience will have to go see the new film, "The Power of Few." For more information they can go to Thepoweroffew.com.
Nicky: Thank you very, very much Nick. It's been great to talk to you. for more information.
MRR: Thank you. Have a good day.