Actor and writer Elena V. Wolfe currently stars on the Nickelodeon series, Star Falls. Wolfe plays Beth Miller on the freshman series, a single mother to Sophia and veterinarian to the small town of Star Falls. Enter Craig Brooks, a movie star with three children. Brooks is in town shooting a new film and Sophia gets the notion to play matchmaker for her mother. Romance and high jinks ensue. It’s a truly delightful show. Wolfe is also a writer and among her many projects she’s working on a novel inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s Children of the Zodiac.
I had the chance to ask Elena some questions about her new show and projects. I even had an extra opportunity to fangirl with Elena because she also appeared on Syfy’s Defiance, so of course, I had questions.
What is your artist origin story? (In other words, what was your first experience in the creative arts)?
My first experience as an artist would have to be when I was about two years old. My mom was a wedding singer and she used to take me to some of her gigs, and one day I just decided to steal the microphone from her and take on my own personal solo for the crowd!
Congrats on your Nickelodeon show, Star Falls! You’re playing Beth Miller, a single mother to Sophia and also a veterinarian. Can you tell us a bit about the shows premise and Beth?
Thank you!! The show is a lovely story about two families coming together. My daughter Sophia is a small town girl who tries to scheme a way for her mother and a Hollywood celebrity to fall in love. Beth obviously isn’t one to love the spotlight, so when things start getting crazy, she doesn’t always enjoy it. Eventually she comes around though, and I love that about the character because you really get to see her grow!
How would you describe Sophia’s relationship with Beth?
They are definitely best friends. They tell each other everything and have a great understanding for each other. While it’s technically a mother-daughter relationship, a lot of the time it’s more of a sisterly bond!
What do you think sets Star Falls apart from other shows?
First of all, it’s a kid’s show with no laugh track, and it doesn’t rely on slapstick comedy to make people laugh. The writing is very clever, and if you don’t pay attention you could definitely miss a joke or two. Another cool thing about the show is that it’s about blended families which I don’t think we’ve seen a lot of on kids’ networks! And in the vein of families, there is definitely a lot more storyline for the adults too, as opposed to just focusing on the storylines of the children. So it’s more fun for parents to watch!
Are you happy with the reception that the show has gotten so far?
Absolutely! It’s incredible to see how many people go out of their way just to express love for the show. Tons and tons of love! Of course, there’s great competition out there given the already well-established shows on the air, but I think as the season continues and kids get to know the characters of Star Falls better, it really has the potential to be a long-standing show.
In addition to your acting career, you’re a writer. Awesome! We hear you’re working on your first novel called Coz and the Invisible City. Can you tell us a bit about this fantasy piece?
Thank you! The story is inspired by a short story written by Rudyard Kipling called Children of the Zodiac. Similar to Mr. Kipling’s story, this one follows the lives of 12 God-like Children fallen from the stars. The first novel in the series is a story about their journey to an invisible city; a safe and magical place away from the evils that hunt them.
What attracted you to the mythology of constellations?
I’m definitely not an astrologist. And I definitely don’t believe In daily horoscopes. But I do believe that there is an inevitable, complex connection between the ginormous cosmic stuff and the very lives we live. Needless to say, to adapt this concept on a fun, magical (tween) level was super challenging!
In a perfect world, when do you hope to release the book?
Anytime! I kid, but the sooner the better. It’s been a very long road, but I know there is still a long road ahead before the book is finally released.
Okay, I loved Syfy’s Defiance. I mean loved. You have played three different characters on the show throughout its run, two of them being from an alien race called the Irathients. So, a few questions questions:
a) These characters required a lot of makeup. Was that fun for you? What did you think of the process?
I’m so happy you loved the show! I wish I had a chance to talk about it more! Yes you’re absolutely right a lot of make up was required and it was so incredibly fun. Believe it or not a lot of actors could not be cast in the special roles because of the contact lenses they were required to wear. I don’t wear glasses so I’ve certainly never worn contact lenses, but according to the prosthetic guys these lenses were as big as they get. Prosthetics were also a big issue because once they glue all that extra skin to your face you cannot move a muscle for hours and hours. So basically when I was all dressed up in my prosthetics and my contact lenses, it felt like very limited in my vision and my range of motion. Looking back now, I think I had some moments where I developed legitimate claustrophobia! It was still very much fun though. Claustrophobia included.
b) Did it help with character development?
Oh definitely. I think that the bigger the get up, the easier the acting comes. Not only do you feel more like that character physically, but the freedom that comes with it is incomparable to those instances when you’re playing someone very similar to yourself. In other words, when you’re in that big of a costume, there’s nothing to be afraid of or embarrassed about. You go big easily.
What’s different about being on a science fiction show set than other sets?
Science-fiction shows are set in a different “world”, so when you walk around set, even when the cameras aren’t rolling, you’re actually removed from planet earth as we know it: you hear crews talking about strange alien languages, or extras walking about in full alien wardrobe…. I think that’s incredibly cool, because when else are you going to ever get close to experiencing something like that (at least in this lifetime!)?
Now, what’s your favorite thing about being on set, period?
Being in front of that giant camera and hearing the word action. It’s terrifying and riveting all at same time.
Thanks Elena for chatting with Geek Girl Authority. We wish you the very best and cannot wait to check out your book!
Catch Star Falls on Nickelodeon, Saturday nights.