Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Interview: Erin Karpluk Tries to Fix Past Mistakes

A few weeks back, SOAPnet premiered its new original series, Being Erica, which follows the life of 32-year-old Erica Strange, who is given the chance to revisit various events from her past that caused regret so she can attempt to fix them. The show has been met with rave reviews, and its talented star, Erin Karpluk, deserves most of the credit.

Erin explains what drew her to the character of Erica: “I loved the character, because she is just an average gal, but she’s so flawed and awkward. And yet she is resilient in overcoming all of the adversity that has been thrown at her in life. She is very candid and funny. It is the opportunity of a lifetime to get a chance to go back in time with the foresight, the life experiences and past mistakes, and trying to overcome them. The stakes are always really high in playing this character, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Being Erica has the honesty and humor of My So-Called Life and the time-travel/fantasy aspect of Quantum Leap. And, like the latter, Erica realizes that “when she does go back in time, she has a very big responsibility, and she knows that what she does in the past really affects those around her. The things that she learns isn’t ‘paint-by-numbers,’ it’s messy, just like life.”

And, just like life, Erica has her flaws. “The appeal of the show and the character is that everyone has regrets, and we all make mistakes in life,” Erin says. “We all fall down in our career and life, and we pick ourselves up and push on. I can really identify with her. She’s a relatable gal.”

Unlike many nighttime dramas, Being Erica appeals to men and women alike. Erin explains: “It’s a comedy/drama, and some of the themes are very awkward, like losing your virginity. We cover all the different spheres in life, like spirituality, friendships, romantic relationships, career, family — everyone can relate to that because those are our different spheres in life.”

Another aspect that many of us can relate to is the throwback to the late-’80s/ early ’90s fashions during the time-travel sequences. Erin and her cast mates had a lot of fun relieving the fashion, and fashion blunders, of the time.

“The cast of (the original) 90210, that was our go-to template for fashion during the flashbacks — Shannen Doherty with the bangs and the really white foundation and the thick eyebrows. We had so much fun with the Doc Martens and all the wardrobe. But the hyper-color shirts and the Mom jeans, I could do without those.

“And the music is the best. Music is one of those things for sense memory that can flip you right back to that grade 9 dance when you are slow-dancing to Guns N’ Roses ‘November Rain.’ It takes you right back to that time and place.”

Even if you might have missed the first few episodes, you should still tune in and catch yourself up. Erin says: “Every episode takes on an entirely different feel. As I watch them now, I am finding that they are all like mini movies. But they’re not all tied up with a cute little bow at the end of every episode, with Erica learning her lesson for the week. Sometimes when she goes back to fix the regret, she realizes that it wasn’t really a regret at all. It was just a hard lesson to learn.”

Being Erica airs on SOAPnet Thursday nights at 10 ET/PT.