A Conversation with Adrienne Wilkinson
I had the pleasure of speaking with actress Adrienne Wilkinson. Not only does she excel as Josephine in DREAMCATCHER, available On Demand and Digital March 5, 2021; but she’s played a pivotal role in both the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises!
I must be in nerd heaven.
Yanis: Tell me about your character Josephine. What’s she like when we meet her at the beginning of this story?
Adrienne: Ooooooh, Josephine. Ok, picture the coolest person you’ve ever met — and then realize they aren’t even in the ballpark to how cool Josephine is…or at least thinks she is.
Josephine was written as “Coco Chanel meets Elizabeth Bathory” so she is cut-throat, entitled and rocking a fierce pair of heels. She was delicious to play. Truly exhilarating to live in a character who has utter freedom and permission to do and say whatever she wants.
Y: Director Jacob Johnston says every character wants something they can’t have. What does your character want?
A: Everything. I truly believe Josephine wants it ALL….and the closest way she’s been able to make that happen is through her work — she is the agent to the headlining DJ at the Rave, the central event our story winds its way through.
As the agent, she has power, access, money and feels like a God who found some nugget of talent and nursed it into stardom. She’s feeding off of it, and takes total responsibility for it as if it was her own.
Y: Josephine says “it is not your job to think” and “I could end you just as fast as I created you.” Have people in this industry said these sorts of things to you?
A: Oooh, if they did, I would have laughed in their face or kicked them in the balls. Not that I have a violent bone in my body….that is just such an absurd fiction that I wouldn’t be able to stop myself.
Josephine is delicious to play, but she is not someone I would ever hang around in real life. That level of corrosive self aggrandizement is offensive to my soul. I know they exist, but I avoid those vampires!
What I love about the industry…or what my experience has been, is gorgeous collaboration with incredibly talented, beautiful humans who it has been a joy to connect with. I just won’t tolerate anything less…life is too short to put up with nonsense.
Y: I love the cinematography in that scene. I noticed the nighttime LA skyline was behind Josephine.
Perhaps Josephine is a metaphor for the darker side of this industry? I also noticed in the daytime shot the infinity pool looks out over LA’s seemingly infinite skyline.
It’s such a powerful way to demonstrate Josephine’s far reaching influence.
A: Oh, you are so gorgeously stroking Josephine’s ego. She’s loving every syllable!
I agree, the cinematography was like a fever dream. And that view was so seductive. Such a physical manifestation of what that level of success is supposed to be.
That inky black night with all of the glittering lights that are so sensual and represent everything we are “supposed” to think will satisfy us … yet all of that glitter is also hiding so much corrosion.
Personally, my take on it is that the house belongs to DJ Dreamcatcher….and yet, Josephine walks around like she owns the place, as if it is hers, as if Dreamcatcher is hers, as if she’s a succubus feeding off of him, and the house is just another asset she can consume and make her own.
I think it is a status symbol she savors, that makes her feel powerful and like she “made it”— even though it belongs to her client.
In her mind he is hers, so the house is hers too….and you’re welcome.
Y: You’ve appeared in a plethora of Star Wars media, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels as “The Daughter.”
This character could very easily make an appearance in future episodes of The Mandalorian, especially considering her history with Ahsoka Tano.
The fans are dying to know how you liked The Mandalorian, especially since the series is a sequel of sorts to the two series I just mentioned. Do you see The Daughter interacting with the Mandalorian or Grogu?
A: Ummm….yes please! From your lips to the deciders ears!! I would jump at the chance to be involved. I love this character so much.
Her grace and power, her purpose mixed with the most complicated family dynamics…so much heart in this story that is both epic and intimate!
The incredibly cool thing, is that in spirit, I already am part of The Mandalorian…or daughter is (and I can’t help but feel that includes me too).
Daughter gave her life to save Ahsoka, and when that happened she transformed into The Convor/Morai who you have seen in Star Wars Rebels and also in The Mandalorian continuing to witness and watch over her from above.
I think there is such beauty and sacredness in that story. So yes, if it was possible for The Daughter to come back full bodied or even as a voice, I would be there in a heartbeat.
For that matter, I’ve also always been heartbroken that Maris Brood never received the full story that was initially planned, and have always hoped that one day she could be revived and given her due.
Her story was so heartbreaking, this Jedi who turned Sith only because everyone she knew had been murdered and she was left entirely alone until she lost her mind.
When madness set in, that is when she went to the Dark Side. There is so much left to explore in that story.
I adored having the chance to play her and wish that all of the details that I had been told of her story, that have yet to be shared, one day could be brought to life.
Y: You went from not being familiar with Star Trek to having a starring role in Star Trek Renegades as Captain Lexxa Singh. Describe the process of deep diving into Star Trek.
What misconceptions did you have? How would you describe Star Trek to someone who might feel like it isn’t for them.
A: Captain Lexxa Singh was the captain of a black ops team. She presents as an uncontrollable wild child, while actually working for The Federation. She was also a product of genetic testing/enhancement.
She is human but also a scientific creation — the daughter of Khan Noonien Singh.
You’re right, I was unfamiliar with Trek when I joined — and intimidated by that fact! — , yet, the core through-line of these stories was immediately clear to me — they tell of humanity and good versus evil, of overcoming challenges both great — saving humanity, and small — finding understanding between beings.
I certainly am not a Trek expert, but I have a love for our human desire to use the largest thing we can comprehend — The Universe — to tell the most intimate thing we are trying to understand- each other.
Y: Tell me about the various charities you support. Do you have a personal connection to any of them?
A: Thank you so much for asking. My first big break came playing Livia, Xena’s daughter, on the series Xena Warrior Princess.
I joined the series in season 5 and already the fan base was known for their commitment to the “greater good” which would manifest through a variety of charitable avenues…and still does today.
I jumped on board immediately and we’ve never stopped. The majority of our focus is on those dealing with medical crisis though we have worked with literacy, food insecurity and even helping to save a struggling theater company.
I personally host 2 events each year that are so fun, full of so much heart from those participating, and have created this beautiful history of impactful support for those in need. Tickets are limited, but all are welcome. Follow my social media for updates.
Y: How has this pandemic changed your life? Have you made any changes you think will remain after the pandemic over?
A: I think it will take years to fully understand the impact from this experience we’ve been through…are still going through. I hope it has brought more compassion, and a greater appreciation for science and the medical field.
I’m astounded at how quickly the world was able to answer the needs that landed on our shoulders. That level of innovation and focus was a real life miracle.
For me one of the great things is the knowledge that no one was untouched, which meant we let go of that idea or expectation that anyone was “ok,” and instead conversations that would normally be surface level became such incredibly deep dives.
From family members and your closest friends, to the postman or neighbor or complete stranger, you approached people with kid gloves and kindness because you didn’t know what they might be struggling with that day. I truly hope that level of seeing each other more deeply stays with us.
Y: Tell me about your dog. The Instagram posts are adorable.
A: Wow, you just won my heart by asking about the love of my life, Tazzo. He’s 14 1/2 years old, 4 pounds, a papillon, and basically he’s my heart outside my body.
He’s the most extraordinary creature… the most beautifully loyal, loving, brave, committed little hero, also hilarious and athletic and clearly the most handsome dog to ever grace this planet.
He’s a magician who changes the energy of any room he walks into. He goes with me everywhere and the world is better for it. Do I sound obsessed? It is fully justified. You only have to meet him to know it’s true.
Y: What’s next for you. Where can everybody follow you online?
A: Up next is SIDETRACKED — a dramedy about those moments when your life goes completely sideways and how you (and your besties) try to get it back on track.
This has been a 5 year odyssey with some of my dearest friends (who also happen to be some of the most talented cats I know: Tracie Thoms, Miles Crawford, E.D. Brown, Jim Holdridge, Jason Kelley etc) and I am so excited that it will be released out into the world soon.