We chatted to Canadian actress Erica Deutschman about co-creating the new web series Cross Rhodes, in which she also plays the leading role of Erica Rhodes.
On television, Erica has appeared on several shows including Being Human, Murdoch Mysteries, Saving Hope and Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments.
In this interview, Erica discusses developing the web series Cross Rhodes alongside fellow Canadian actor and star of Locke and Key, Jesse Camacho.
In addition to her behind-the-scenes duties, Erica plays the lead role of Erica Rhodes, a temperamental and delusional actress. Read on below for our full interview with Erica.
Welcome, Erica and thank you for taking the time to speak with us.
Erica Deutschman (ED): Thank you so much for having me.
You’re an accomplished television actress, with roles on a variety of series. Who or what first inspired you to pursue acting as a career?
ED: I’ve just loved it from the get go. My grandma was an actress, so I guess it runs in the family. My Dad’s an artist, he’s a designer, we have an artistic streak in our family. I love telling stories… I love, you know, being able to write as well as act them out. So yeah, it’s always been a passion of mine.
We’ll be chatting today about Cross Rhodes, your new web series. How would you describe the concept to anyone who may be unfamiliar?
ED: Well, [the main character, Erica Rhodes] is a delusional actress who’s hired a documentary film crew to follow her around. Her Dad has, at least. You kind of just follow her adventures, watch her embarrass herself and talk like she’s greater than she is. It’s fun to play, fun to write. Yeah. fun’s the word.
Obviously, the Erica Rhodes character and yourself share the same first name. In general, how similar or different are you to the fictitious Erica? In what ways would you separate the two?
ED: No, I’m definitely more like her than I care to admit. We’re both actresses first and foremost, but I’d say she’s my alter-ego. When I’m feeling extra cocky, I turn into Erica.
Your writing partner, Jesse Camacho, is an actor known for his roles on Locke and Key and Less Than Kind. He was also the first-ever Courageous Nerd interview guest. When did you first meet and decide to start collaborating?
ED: Jesse and I actually worked on a movie called Happy Slapping, almost ten years ago now. We’ve known each other for a little while but we loved working together. It was just the beginning of a beautiful, working friendship. A few years later, we were spitballing ideas and this was one of them. We really ran with it, we loved it. So, we wrote some stuff on paper and then shot it, you know.
Considering Erica Rhodes’ colourful personality, did you base her on anyone from your real life?
ED: That’s funny, I’ve been asked that question before. Not necessarily, but I always say we all know an Erica. We all know someone who talks a big game but doesn’t necessarily have much to show for it. Maybe it’s just that general grouping of people it’s based on.
Coming from an acting perspective, how was the experience of writing your own project? Were you able to view the project both as a writer and the star?
ED: Yeah, definitely. There’s so much more control in writing. Obviously when we’re shooting, we have a lot of fun with improv. You’re part of the creative process and allowed to kind of do whatever you want. As opposed to just getting a script and honouring that. It’s definitely nice to have some control.
In light of the pandemic and how it has affected numerous productions, was Cross Rhodes impacted in any significant way?
ED: Well, the running joke is the pandemic threw a wrench in our plan. What really happened is we shot it a few years ago and didn’t really have a platform to launch it on. Thanks to Peter at PopternativeTV for letting us debut there. It’s been a long-time coming but I’m just really excited to finally have it out there.
As you filmed Episode 1 a few years ago, would your intention be to pick up where you left off or start somewhere different?
ED: That’s a good question. It’s good because it’s not time sensitive. We did decide to jump in *now*… it’s not a continuation. It’s ‘we took a break and now we’re back’. We’ve been picked up!
Professionally or personally, what do you hope to accomplish with the rest of 2021?
ED: Oh, goodness. Well, you know… hopefully just a lot more work. I’m really loving writing right now. Hopefully, we can get back on set soon. Movies, TV, love comedy. The sky’s the limit!
Thanks again for taking the time, Erica. Take care and stay safe!
ED: Thank you so much, you as well.