The Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally the launching pad of the exciting but highly competitive holiday film season, which offers up its shares of dramas, epics and some of the best action thrillers to hit the screen.
Next week, the much-anticipated horror sequel The Collection makes its bow in theaters, bringing with it some of the most gorgeous and talented female heroines who have ever had to fight for their lives. We touched base with Navi Rawat a few weeks ago; this week’s beautiful woman to watch is none other than lead actress Emma Fitzpatrick, fresh off roles in Aaron Sorkin’s acclaimed biopic The Social Network and thriller In Time alongside Justin Timberlake.
We sat down with the pixie-cut vixen after her brush with Hurricane Sandy to chat about stepping into the role, starting her own band, The Mots Nouveaux, and what frisky things happen when pool parties and vodka decide to tango.
Playboy.com: You just got back from New York. Did you get caught in Sandy?
Fitzpatrick: I just got back on Friday; it was a mess. I had gone to take a week of vacay but I got stuck in a friend’s apartment, hanging out watching shitty movies, and the water started busting in through the front door. We were down on the Lower East Side so we got hit pretty hard. There was two and a half feet of water in the apartment, so we had to take refuge on the third floor. It was a very yellow brick road experience.
Playboy.com: Let’s talk about The Collection. What is the film about?
Fitzpatrick: This film picks up after The Collector. It’s very much got a thriller/action sort of aspect to the horror film. Which I liked, because I’m not a big fan of gore porn kind of stuff. [laughs] It takes the storyline of Arkin from the first film and it adds my character’s storyline and they have the parallel stories going on until they converge in the middle.
Playboy.com: Tell us about your character, Elena.
Fitzpatrick: She’s a normal human being caught up in this abnormal situation. It’s a fight for life kind of thing. It was cool to play because she doesn’t have any superpowers—just a teenage girl who happens to be very clever and tenacious with a will to live. I got to be the audience’s perspective of what it’s like to come face to face with this guy. The villain also doesn’t have any superpowers, which I think is terrifying, because it could be the guy next door with a mask on.
Playboy.com: What was the scariest scene to film?
Fitzpatrick: There’s a scene with some tarantulas…that was pretty unnerving. You’ve got to trick your mind and body into being terrified. So when you add a real-life creepy-crawly animal aspect, it definitely heightens it.
Playboy.com: Do you have arachnophobia?
Fitzpatrick: I didn’t before! [laughs] Up to that scene I was acting badass, “I’ll be fine”…it did not turn out that way.
Playboy.com: In the film, your father hires some mercenaries to get you out. Has your dad ever had to bail you out of a situation?
Fitzpatrick: He’s bailed me out of so many situations, though mostly with my car breaking down. I was—I am—a daddy’s girl. But Daddy has bailed me out a number of times. [laughs]
Playboy.com: If you were in that situation, what talents of yours would you rely on to get out of it?
Fitzpatrick: One of the things I have going for me is that I’m small, and I think Elena used that to her advantage as well. She’s crawling through tunnels and hiding behind things. It’s easier to disappear. In this labyrinth of torture she’s able to hide.
Playboy.com: Which horror films frightened you the most growing up?
Fitzpatrick: I overdid it as a kid. Right around the time of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer we started doing these marathons with Blair Witch and such. Eventually I passed out…I think it was with Candyman. We had a huge mirror in my basement where we would watch movies. I watched Candyman and I have never been so terrified, I had to clean my palate with Alien Resurrection or something to sleep that night.
Playboy.com: This is your first lead role. What is it like for you?
Fitzpatrick: It’s so cool. There’s an established fan base from The Collector, so I’m just riding this amazing wave.
Playboy.com: In your film In Time with Justin Timberlake, citizens had the ability to buy time as currency. What would you buy extra time for if given the chance?
Fitzpatrick: Eating. [laughs] I love sitting down and socializing, eating. I’m a terrible cook, so sitting down and eating something that somebody else has prepared for me!
Playboy.com: What was it like being part of The Social Network, knowing it will be looked back on many years in the future?
Fitzpatrick: It’s incredible. I really didn’t know at the time what I was part of. I had just moved to L.A. four or five months prior, and it was my first feature film. It just happened to be Fincher and Sorkin…hit the jackpot there! It’s going to be one of those films that are going to be around for some time.
Playboy.com: You’re in a band called The Mots Nouveaux. What inspired the old-school sound?
Fitzpatrick: I was brought up on golden-era musical theater: Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland—these were my heroes when I was young, so the pop music of that day is ingrained in me. When I moved to Los Angeles, I wanted to switch my focus to film and TV, as this was a passion I hadn't fully explored yet. Music quickly became a part of my daily life again, thankfully, and I started writing with different people around town. When my Mots Nouveaux duo partner and I started our band, we wanted to write the music we loved; screw mass appeal. So we set out to write an album of our own new music that sounds exactly like the old, down to the vernacular. Thus the name The Mots Nouveaux (the new words).
Playboy.com: Lightning Round. What is your favorite:
City: Tokyo—I lived there for about a year before L.A. I miss it like I miss a person. [laughs] I’m the person who goes into the sushi restaurant here and says “Arigatou gozaimasu!” Sometimes they’re Korean…I’m a jerk because I assume every Asian person is Japanese in a Japanese restaurant.
Drink: Bourbon on the rocks. I’m on a Basil Hayden’s kick.
Food: French food and cafés. I think I just like sitting outside and having people bring me wine.
Shot: Whisky, but I feel recently that when I shoot it it’s a waste of alcohol. So let’s go with tequila.
Guilty pleasure: …Justin Bieber.
Embarrassing moment: [Laughs] I was at a pool party at the Roosevelt and it was getting out of hand: I was doing cannonballs in a star-spangled bikini, and at some point my bottoms were gone…In the daylight, people could see most of what was going on down there. That’s what you get from drinking vodka.
Dream ride: A vintage Chevy truck in that great burnt-orange color. I’d have to have my dad around. [laughs]
Cringe-worthy pickup line: Because of the short hair, when I’m out with my friends it’s some comment about being a lesbian. That’s how they begin the conversation…I’m like, “Don’t you wish that was going on here, sir.” [laughs]
Playboy.com: What projects do you have coming up?
Fitzpatrick: I’ve got a guest spot coming up on Comedy Central for Review with Forrest MacNeil.
Playboy.com: What was your first Playboy?
Fitzpatrick: It was probably in college; yeah, I just read them for the articles…obviously. [laughs]