Calgary Sun interview
byLouis B. Hobson

Pacino strike fear into the werewolf.

There’s something more terrifying for a werewolf than the little purple-hooded flower known as wolf’s bane.

Try an encounter with Al Pacino.

In the edgy werewolf movie Ginger Snaps, which opens tomorrow, Vancouver actress Katharine Isabelle plays a high school senior who transforms into a werewolf after being bitten by one.

Isabelle is currently filming the tense police drama Insomnia with Pacino, Hilary Swank, Robin Williams and Jonathan Jackson.

Pacino plays a homicide detective tracking the killer of a young woman.

“I’ve only done one day with Pacino and all he had to do was make eye contact with me from about 15 feet away. I could swear his eyes were burning into me,” says Isabelle, who plays the best friend of the murdered girl. Later this week, she films two crucial scenes with Pacino.

“In both scenes he’s screaming at me so I’m certain I won’t have any problem working up the tears I’m supposed to.”

Last week, Isabelle joined the rest of the cast and crew of Insomnia at a Vancouver restaurant to celebrate Pacino’s 61st birthday. “He’s basically a shy man so it’s all the more astonishing to see what he brings to a performance.”

To play the final stages of the teen werewolf in Ginger Snaps, Isabelle had to undergo five hours of gruelling makeup sessions. The effect was too realistic for an unsuspecting family.

“All of our transport vehicles were minivans. When a white minivan pulled up, I just jumped in,” recalls Isabelle who found herself in a car with a soccer mom and three young players.

“They all screamed. I screamed and jumped out of the van and the mother tore off down the road. I guess I can put on my resume that I’ve traumatized children.”

Though she is only 19, Isabelle has an impressive resume, which includes such feature films as Disturbing Behaviour and Spooky House, TV movies like Titanic and Burning Bridges and series such as The X-Files and Goosebumps.

Even before she began acting, Isabelle was no stranger to movie sets. Her father Graham Murray is a production designer who has won two Emmys for his work on The X-Files and her mother Gail is a Vancouver writer/producer.

Before returning to Vancouver last month, Isabelle shot the drama At Shepherd Park for Calgary filmmaker Robert Cuffley in New Brunswick. “At Shepherd Park is my favourite movie so far. It’s funny, sad and dramatic.”


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