Less than two weeks ago the official trailer for the upcoming Harley Quinn fan film, The Killing Grin, hit the web. I had the great opportunity to speak with the star of this film, Harley Quinn herself, Chelsea M. Schmitt, and talk about what drew her to this iconic character, what her inspirations were, and what fans should expect.
DC Comics News: What drew you to this role?
Chelsea M. Schmitt: I thought she would be a challenge and tremendously fun to portray. When Jason asked me to be a part of this project, I didn’t have to think twice before accepting.
DCN: Have you always been a Harley Quinn fan?
CMS: I’ve always enjoyed the Batman universe (especially the Adam West television series). For whatever reason Harley was off of my radar until the Arkham City video game was released. I’ve been a fan ever since! Even though my love for her has been somewhat short-lived, I got to know her extremely well over the past year, and I can say, without hesitation, I am a super-fan now.
DCN: How have you taken this character and made it your own?
CMS: Harley is typically very theatrical – my interpretation of her is slightly toned down. The largest change to her character was voice tonality. I didn’t want to sound like I’m doing a caricature of Harley, so the accent is still there, but she isn’t quite so shrill.
DCN: Did you take inspiration from previous versions, and if so, which ones?
CMS: I definitely did! After I was cast, I spent hours, upon hours, watching YouTube reels and researching her different comic book story lines. I would say I drew the most inspiration from the original Harley (from the 90’s animated Batman series) and from the Batman: Arkham games. I wanted her to have a hint of the almost-innocent original Harley, but also possess the competence and strength of her in the video games.
DCN: Are there any other DC characters you’d love to portray?
CMS: Black Canary would be cool! She’s a hand-to-hand fighter and lately I’ve been really into kick boxing, so I think she would be a lot of fun to portray.
DCN: What were some of your best and worst experiences during the production of this film?
CMS: The whole movie was a blast to film! As silly as it sounds, I think the best moments are those I shared with the other cast members between takes. We all had a lot of laughs and it was truly a joy to work with such fun people. Hannah and David, who play Tina and Henry in the film, were amazing — I really loved watching them act out their parts of the script! My worst experience was when Jason and I filmed a part of the movie in my car on a lookout of the city. Apparently it’s somewhat of a romantic spot, and we witnesses some pretty intimate moments between a couple up there. I felt really guilty about revving my engine during a scene we were shooting!
DCN: What can fans of this character expect to see?
CMS: We didn’t want to lose sight of the fact that she is/was a psychiatrist, so she is less ditzy than other versions of her. Not only is she a little more cunning, but this version of her is darker, and, in my opinion, more realistic. Fans can expect these elements to be highlighted in our version of Harley – a woman who is vibrant, intelligent, and dangerous, yet still psychotic and sexy!
DCN: Will we see more Harley in the future?
CMS: I sure hope so! I loved shooting this movie and getting the privilege to “play” Harley for a few weeks. Hopefully, fans will love it too, so we can make a few sequels.
Check out the trailer here:
THE KILLING GRIN is set in a completely new universe while taking inspiration from the entire Batman history. With a new, fresh take on the beloved character Harley Quinn, this is a way that the character has never been seen before. She is brutal, ruthless, and peppy and fun the way we all know and love. She has her own motives and her own drive and nobody knows what she is going to do next!
Be sure to head over to the film’s FACEBOOK page and give it a like. The Killing Grin: A Harley Quinn Fan Film hits the web on April 16, 2016. Keep an eye out for the release and review right here on DC Comics News.