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Katharine Isabelle Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (36)

Overview (4)

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Birth NameKatharine Isobel Murray
Nickname Katie
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Katharine Isabelle was born on November 2, 1981 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as Katharine Isobel Murray. She is an actress, known for Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Ginger Snaps (2000) and American Mary (2012).

Trade Mark (1)

Husky voice

Trivia (13)

Katharine refuses to do nude scenes, and has had a body double for every instance where such a scene exists, including the bed and shower scenes in Freddy vs. Jason (2003), the rising from the bed scene in Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004), and the bed scene in Engaged to Kill (2006), to name but three. The same woman body-doubled the latter two.
She said that when she went to a pharmacy after a day of shooting Ginger Snaps (2000), the people there thought she'd been beaten up since she was still covered in fake blood.
Was originally asked to audition to play "Lori" in Freddy vs. Jason (2003), but when she arrived, director Ronny Yu asked her to audition for the role of "Gibb", claiming she would better suit a more liberal role. Katharine reluctantly accepted.

Yu failed to tell her she would be expected to do the nude scenes, which would spark friction between the two during shooting when she made it clear she would not do the nude scenes.
Sister of former child actor and journalist Joshua Murray.
Daughter of Graeme Murray and Gail Murray.
Worked 3 times with her brother Joshua Murray: Cold Front (1989), The Last Winter (1989) and Knight Moves (1992).
In addition to the Ginger Snaps movie series, Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins have played sisters in Another Cinderella Story (2008).
Both Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins (her co-star in the Ginger Snaps (2000) movies) have guest starred on Supernatural (2005) and Da Vinci's Inquest (1998); but in different episodes.
She made guest appearances on all three of the longest running North American science fiction series: The X-Files (1993), Stargate SG-1 (1997) and Smallville (2001).
She is considered a modern day Scream Queen.
Her favorite film is Apocalypse Now (1979).
Along with the coincidence of Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins auditioning for Ginger Snaps (2000) on the same day, the two actresses were also born in the same hospital, attended the same pre-school, elementary school and private school and worked through the same talent agency.
Was considered for the role of "Rogue" in X-Men (2000), which went to Anna Paquin.

Personal Quotes (36)

[on American Mary (2012)] I have some friends who are just too scared to see it. My brother has seen it at least six times and still can't watch one scene in particular, but my mother made it through the whole thing without any problem at all. My dad was the very first person I went to with the script - to make sure I wasn't crazy for loving this. I knew if my dad liked it, it was good.
[2003] [on her experience working on Freddy vs. Jason (2003)] I hate to say it, but I was really expecting a little bit more. It's just the same-old, same-old. There's nothing to it - it's all about running around and screaming, 'No, Freddy, don't!'
I mean, I've been working for 28 years or whatever and I definitely have done quite a bit of horror, but I wouldn't say it's the majority of what I've done. I don't seek out to horror, or non-horror. I seek out to work. As a working Canadian actor, I kinda want to work.
Even going back to Ginger Snaps (2000) days, to see women like us who are strong - who are independent, who are going to put up, you know, a real good fight and not just be victimized - reflected back to ourselves, I think it's important. I'm not sure if growing up I saw women like myself, like April [Mullen], like the [Twisted Twins, Jen and Sylvia Soska], reflected back. You know, women who had things worked out, who had more integrity, who had more strength of character. I'm thrilled when I find one of those characters on paper. And [to have them] supported by women like that as well? Ain't nothing wrong with that!
[on her status of horror icon] I don't watch a lot of horror movies. I'm a bit of a chicken, and I even get psychologically scarred [laughs]. But I would much rather be a horror icon who's known for really cool female characters that are multi-dimensional, interesting, motivated in ways that people don't normally see women in films being motivated. I'm thrilled to have that. I would prefer that over the sweet, hot, good girl next door neighbor type. The roles I've been fortunate enough to have been given are some of the greatest female characters I've seen in any genre, in any film or television medium. I'm more than thrilled to have them be mine!
I actually have a couple of beautiful horses that are rescues. They are amusing and they are everything to me. I love them. I'm terribly allergic to them, so I wear masks around them. It's really funny because not everyone understands it.
[on which Scream Queen she looks up to] Oh, I think I would have to be more knowledgeable of Scream Queens to say. Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween (1978) I think is the first real one. So I'd have to go with Jamie Lee - because I really liked her in True Lies (1994).
[on her first acting job] I was five. It was a Paramount movie directed by Joel Schumacher called Cousins (1989) starring Isabella Rossellini and Ted Danson. It was a really pretty, fun, big budget wedding movie and it was my first thing. I come from a film family and it was all like pretty dresses, big mansions and lots of cake and I just thought that was the greatest thing ever and I thought I should totally do this for the rest of my life. Cut to being dragged through the forest [in Torment (2013)], killing Pig Lady in a swamp, um, maybe I didn't think this through when I was five [laughs]. That first movie spoiled me!
[on her biggest acting influences growing up] I have always admired classical actors like Bette Davis or Leslie Howard. They are definitely my favorites even now.
[on which movie haunted her the most growing up] I remember being trapped in the house with my older cousins. They made me watch, it was like The Blob (1988) or something. It was something old and I don't think it was terribly good, but I was like 4. It scared the crap out of me. That's what a whole bunch of older boy cousins will do to you - scare you to death. Trap you in when you're 4 or 5 and make you watch horrific movies until you're completely traumatized.
When you're not working it's hard to enjoy your down time because you're stressed like, 'Am I ever going to work again?' And then when you're working, it's like, 'I'd kill for a day off!' [laughs]
There's been nudity arguments in the past. I've said that I won't do nudity, which isn't entirely true. I've never come across something that I thought nudity was essential for. Should I find that, I'm not opposed to it at all. But there's definitely been the gratuitous tit shot here and there that I had to politely decline or politely argue about [laughs]. I understand as the young, attractive woman in film, that there's always going to be people seeking out extra salacious things for you to do. I do things in American Mary (2012) that are sexy and salacious, but I thought that there was a reason for all of that.
[on her biggest fears] Spiders and drowning in cold water [laughs]. I don't like being left in the middle of the ocean.
Shooting a horror movie is completely different than watching one that you have nothing to do with. I know what's happening. I'm laughing at what we're doing behind the scenes. Those are easy to watch. And they're really fun to shoot. Terror is a very basic human emotion. It's driven our society to do all kinds of things for our entire existence.
[on Hannibal (2013)] I was so completely blown away that I got anywhere near that set, that they let me anywhere around that whole thing is just completely insane to me. The show is so smart, so dark, so interesting, it's so fucked up, and again the character I play on that is a strong, flawed, amazing, interesting female character, Margot Verger, that I've been blessed to been given as well. She's another notch on my favorite belt.
I don't know if I'm necessarily attached to the term Scream Queen. Although the reason for it is that horror fans are much more enthusiastic than any other fans, except maybe comic movie fans. They're so enthusiastic. We don't get conventions and blogs about Canadian independent family dramas. And I think that has a lot to do with it. You know, I've only done three or four horror films but the Scream Queen title comes along with the absolute enthusiasm of the fan base. They dress up, they just go all over the place. They're very supportive and, yeah, they're on fire for it, which you don't get with a lot of other genres of film.
I really like anything. There's no typical genre that I go for. I like things that are interesting, that are smart, that are original and unique. As a working actor I do all kinds of stuff, whether or not I think it's going to be brilliant is another story [laughs], but I like everything. I would get bored doing only horror movies, I would get bored doing only romantic comedies, I would get bored doing only westerns, but every one of those things is so fun. And that's so true about what I do, is from week to week I could be doing something that is so vastly different and it makes me happy and that's the most important. Everything I read or do is based on its own individual merit and not necessarily on a genre.
[on an actor in one of her films who scared her] Al Pacino scared the hell out of me for about 10 minutes and then it turned out he was completely awesome. I was trapped in a car with him for nine hours (during the making of Insomnia (2002)) and I was terrified. And I hadn't met him or spoken to him yet. And I looked at him and said, 'Mr. Pacino, congratulations. I heard you just had twins. What did you name them?' And he looked at me and goes, 'Al and Al, after me.' And he turned around. And I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, he hates me. Oh my God, I'm trapped in a car with Scarface. Now he hates me. Oh my God, this is horrible.' And then he burst out laughing and said he was joking and chatted me up and we became good friends for a nine-hour car ride.
[on being asked if there is a particular role that people talk to her most about] [Ginger and Mary] because those two characters are very classic, they will never be out of touch with time and reality. Those two characters I was gifted with, and Flamingo as well in 88 (2015), they are so much more than what you can usually find available for women. They're multi-dimensional. They might not have the most redeeming qualities, but I'm a fully-fleshed out, multi-dimensional human being and I like to see that reflected back. I mean, Ginger is a timeless character. Even today, I have kids who were not anywhere near born when we shot that who resonate with that character. And the same with Mary. They're timeless bitches that I love that are very dear to my heart. And in no derogatory way do I mean that. I mean badass motherfuckers! [laughs]
[on the differences between working in television and film] It's faster paced [with television], and you don't know what's happening. You don't get the script for the whole season going in, so you're not sure where your character is going or how it's going to develop, which is fun and exciting, but also a little nerve-wracking. It's like, 'Oh God, I didn't know this is where she was going to end up, or I would have put something into my performance before.' You wait on pins and needles for the next script to be dropped off at your door to read it, and you go, 'Ok... ok... Oh my God, now what's going to happen after this?' So you can't have the whole thing plotted out in your head, as far as a character arc, and where you're going, and where you're going to end up. It's a bit more adventurous than a movie.
[on acting alongside a child in Torment (2013)] I definitely get where they're coming from and how hard it can be to be that little; to have to behave so maturely; to interact with and work professionally with adults. Peter [DaCunha] and I got along really well and he's a very mature kid and he's super great obviously. We tried to keep the set lighter because we were dealing with heavy subject matter and it can be traumatizing. I've worked with kids before where I knew what we were doing was upsetting them. They're kids and we're doing some pretty scary stuff. When I was a kid my mom wouldn't have let me do things like that. She was too worried about psychological damage, which was good because I had a lot of friends; little kid actors who were traumatized by stuff they'd done, like uncle/dad rape movies of the week. They got so stressed out about it; their eyelashes fell out, their hair, it can be traumatizing and you really need a great support system of people in the film world who aren't just stage parents pushing you to do everything. Peter and I would take off and not tell anybody and go down the street. They had some little ponies and we'd steal carrots and go feed the ponies. So we'd have a moment where he could be a little kid and pet some horses and I'd get a break from screaming 'Cory!' in the woods.
[on how she feels about watching herself on screen] It used to be harder. I think growing up, as a teenager and an insecure kid, it was definitely harder. Now, it's better. When you're shooting, it's such a panic, you don't really know what's going on, there's screaming and action and people are freaking out. I always want to do it and then watch the movie and then go, 'Oh, that's what we were doing. Okay, yeah, let's do it all over again [laughs]. Now that I know what we're doing and what it's supposed to look like and the tone of everything, now we can reshoot it.'
I think everyone would like to be allowed to express a bit of the naughtier side of them in an environment that's supportive and creative and not judgmental. It makes for a slightly more normal human being if you get to release that every once in awhile than if you're always keeping it repressed and trying to hide it. I enjoy it. And then I can go about my daily life and can be pleasant and gracious and loving everybody [laughs].
I think you have to have a sense of humor about every movie that you're doing. Your character needs to be relatable in a way that, even when you're doing the most bizarre things, sometimes a bit of tongue in cheek is necessary to keep up the believability of it. In a way, your character has to go, 'This is completely ridiculous' and the audience has to know that.
[on what movie blood tastes like] It depends. There's lots of different flavors. You can get regular, mint or cherry. They're all fairly disgusting. I go for mint, usually. There's chocolate as well. They usually give you your choice. If you have to barf blood, like you've eaten your neighbor's dog and have to throw it up, they usually give you a choice. Except sometimes then they mix it with raw egg whites and tomatoes. It's just really... it's disgusting all around. Now I can't eat tomatoes ever again.
[on a role she absolutely wanted to get but didn't] I auditioned years ago for The Aviator (2004) in a room with just Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese and I knew I blew it the second I walked out. I was like, 'Ohhh, that was terrible.' Oh, yeah. I've been doing this for so long, I'm pretty good at like doing my best, auditioning and then letting it go. There's always a reason for everything, my mother would say.
[on signing on to Hannibal (2013)] I'd worked with Bryan Fuller years and years ago on Carrie (2002), and he'd decided he'd be interested in me for the role. I got the part, thanks, really, to American Mary (2012). The studio saw my audition tape, and I didn't have any insight or direction from anyone on the show, it was literally just what was in the script, and I tried to do my best with it, but they weren't entirely convinced that I was strong enough to play Margot Verger. And so Bryan Fuller showed the producers American Mary, and they said, 'Yeah, no, ok, she's good.'
[2001] [on her chemistry with Emily Perkins in Ginger Snaps (2000)] We knew the first time we read the full script that we had to do this because Ginger and Brigitte are very close to what we're really like! Emily and I have known each other for a long time. We're in the same agency, we were born in the same hospital, went to the same pre-school, and the same elementary school, but she's five years older than me.
Katharine Isobel Murray is my full name and Katie Murray, that's what everyone calls me. But early in my career, people would figure it out and we would get phone calls and it got a bit weird but also, it doesn't sound as pretty as Katharine Isabelle. I changed the spelling of Isabelle because I was named after my great-grandmother. My mom went to her grave site in Europe and realized my name had been spelled wrong on my birth certificate.
There's probably several roles I could have lived without doing. I'm a working actor, so I do pretty much whatever comes along because it's my job.
All the hardcore horror fans are always really disappointed in my lack of knowledge [of the horror genre].
Reading is something I did when I was on location when younger. We didn't have video games and the Internet. I always had a book or Archie comic so it's a real comfort for me to hunker down in a corner and read. I never leave home without a book just in case I get stuck somewhere when I have to wait.
I grew up on my dad's sets but I was never star-struck or desperate to be famous. I grew up being a worker. It took me a long time to realize that my work ended up being seen by people. As far as I was concerned, I was just in the family business.
[on what job she would want to do if she couldn't be an actor] A horse trainer, but I'm deathly allergic to horses, hay and sawdust. And I've already had like 11 concussions and fractured my spine and my shoulder and my foot so I'm a bit of a cripple [laughs]. I don't think I'd be great at it but it's definitely what I would do. It's my only other obsessive passion.
[on the Soska Sisters] They're my best friends. I have my brother and they're like my sisters, we found each other. They're amazing. Within the horror genre stuff, Sylv is constantly disappointed in me because I don't watch much. She's always like, 'Have you seen this?' And I tell her no, I'm a chicken, I don't want to be scared, I want to watch The Lego Movie (2014) [laughs]. It's been fun to learn about horror and the history of it through their eyes. It's also amazing to see them go from their first movie to doing studio stuff now. They've worked hard and earned it.
On my days off, I'm shoveling, hauling water buckets and bales of hay, riding and walking a couple of kilometers. That's my activity. I would much rather do something active outdoors where you're not noticing you're working out, instead of being inside a gym.

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