Seattle-born Erica Christensen talks ‘Kimi’, the Disney+ remake of ‘Cheap by the Dozen’

Even though she left Seattle for Los Angeles when she was just 4 years old, Erica Christensen still has a deep and intense connection with her hometown.

“Both sides of my family are from Seattle. So I have aunts, uncles, cousins ​​and grandparents scattered all over the area,” said Christensen, 39, whose career spanning decades includes 2000 movies like “Traffic” and “Flightplan” on NBC. A six-season starring role on K.’s “Parenthood”; and, this year, in the new streaming film “Cheap by the Dozen” (Disney+) and “KIMI” (HBO Max) released.

“We used to come back home all the time growing up,” she said. “Basically every summer. We’re definitely due for a family reunion soon.”

The actor says he has always had a strong bond with Seattle because of how it feels to be both “classy” and “punk rock” at the same time.

“It certainly sounds a little anti-establishment. But it’s also the home of Microsoft,” Christensen said. “Back in the day, the big industry was Boeing, and then it basically became Silicon Valley North.”

She fondly recounts childhood memories in the Pacific Northwest.

“When we were growing up, we used to do things like swim in Lake Washington, pick blackberries, and go out with the family. It was wonderful.”

Christensen’s relationship with Seattle deepened when she was cast in Steven Soderbergh’s “Kimi” set and was partly filmed in Seattle. In the lo-fi tech thriller, Zoë Kravitz plays an agoraphobic tech worker who believes Christensen’s character has been murdered.

“I just wanted to work with Steven Soderbergh again,” says Christensen, who worked with the director on “Traffic,” the multiple-Oscar-winning 2000 crime drama. She was just 17 when she played Caroline Wakefield, the daughter of Michael Douglas’ powerful judge Robert Wakefield.

“It was great. It kind of felt like no time had passed,” Christensen said of the reunion with Soderbergh. “But it was actually great to be an adult, instead of me being a kid. Instead of addressing another adult. They even had some of the same crew that I remembered from ‘Traffic’.”

Their reunion was all the more bizarre as “KIMI” was shot during a peak in the COVID-19 pandemic. As the world was in the “worst” of the virus at the time, Christensen questioned Soderbergh’s real-world response to how his film “Contagion” depicted a pandemic.

“It was fun to talk to him about it, because ‘Contagion’ reflects our experience so well, and he was so mentally prepared for it that I can’t imagine many of us were. “

“Cheap by the Dozen” was also shot while the pandemic was still raging, but Christensen insisted that, even though it made production “a little surreal”, the extra layer of logistics was a relatively minor adjustment. .

In “Cheap by the Dozen”, Christensen plays Kate, the ex-wife of Zack Braff’s Paul, with whom she shares custody of her three children (Ella, Harley and Haresh). The story revolves around Paul’s efforts to raise 10 children in one household while marrying Gabrielle Union to Zoey and running their family restaurant. (If the concept sounds familiar, that’s because 20th Century Fox made a film based on the 1948 book of the same name in 1950 and rebooted the film series with Steve Martin in 2003.)

Even though she has two children of her own, Christensen admitted that she left most of the kids to “fight” on the set of Braff and Union.

“Zack is an uncle in real life, while Union has four kids, so they were playing like the good cop, the bad cop,” Christensen said. “On set, I would grow up with her, but my character in the film is actually the Team Kid, as Kate is along for the ride and doesn’t naturally take the reins of leadership.”

Christensen says this re-imagining of previous films and the book of the same name has modernized the story. “The script was fresh and different and funny,” he said. “It also touched on deep social commentary about family, our similarities and personalities, without sacrificing any lightness”

Produced and co-written by “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris, marking the feature-film directorial debut of Gail Lerner, Christensen says the pair have always been able to find humor in “somewhat taboo subjects”. while the story is still coming. In a candid but playful, amusing way.

“He made sure the tone would be appropriate for children, while also touching on a number of adult themes,” Christensen said. “They’re really just courageous and fearless.”

To check out the Seattle native’s work, find Couch and tune in: Christensen’s “Cheap By The Dozen” is now available to stream on Disney+ while “KIMI” is on HBO Max.

Films Featuring Erica Christensen of Seattle

“Cheap by the Dozen” is available to stream on Disney+; 107 minutes; Rated PG for thematic elements, thought-provoking content and language.

“Kimi” is available to stream on HBO Max; 89 minutes; Rated R for violence, language and brief sexuality/nudity.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: