Last week, Passions' wonderful Erin Cardillo (Esme Vanderheusen) took a break from her busy schedule and was gracious enough to grant us an interview. Earlier this year, we were excited to hear that Cardillo had received a contract with the show when its producers started setting it up for the move from NBC to DIRECTV this September. Her character, Esme first burst into the story a few years ago when viewers were just getting to know Fancy Crane. Since then, the flighty and often hilarious Esme has had repeat appearances, always displaying a knack for saying exactly what she shouldn't and for putting her own peculiar spin on the most tragic situation. We are sure that she will be a great addition to the regular cast as Passions moves forward, imbuing it with an incorrigible vivacity.
Matt: What went through your mind when they offered you a contract with the show?
Erin: I was very excited. It's nice to feel you've done good work and people have responded. Esme has some really great fans and I love playing her, so I am thrilled that she'll be taking up residence in Harmony.
Matt: You've done quite a bit of television work. What's unique about working on Passions?
Erin: It moves so quickly. Usually, you only shoot a few pages a day on prime time shows, and even less in film. When I first started working on the show, I was shocked that I'd have to shoot 20-30 pages a day. It's like doing a one act play every day with no rehearsal.
Matt: What's the key to playing Esme for you?
Erin: Embracing the genre. I try to have fun with her over the top antics and play to the comedy. The writers have done a really nice job with giving her a unique voice and I'm so thankful for that.
Matt: Are there any ideas that you have for Esme that you'd like to see the show put into play? Are there hidden depths to her character?
Erin: Hmmm... I loved when I first came on the show and Fancy tricked Esme into going to London on a wild goose chase. When Esme decided to take revenge on Fancy it was a blast to play. There is nothing like a woman scorned who knows how to use a shotgun. I think I'd enjoy a plot line where Esme was after something, or someone, and really went for it with everything in her crazy bag of tricks. As for hidden depths... I think you'll see a softer side to Esme come into play during the last few weeks of our NBC run and moving into DIRECTV. She's growing up a lot and having to face some pretty difficult challenges.
Matt: Passions is such a unique mixture of the macabre, the campy and the outlandish; this must give you a lot to play with in each scene. How do you
decide what to play up?
Erin: Esme has a lot of campy moments, but lately there is a nice mix of camp and serious drama - I'm finding a lot more levels to her so exploring that has been interesting.
Matt: You recently shot a film starring Paris Hilton (The Hottie and the Nottie), someone who has been rumored to be one of the inspirations for your character; did you pick up anything on set that you could use in your performance?
Erin: Paris has a very different energy than Esme. She's kinda laid back and cool. Esme is much more dramatic and a much bigger diva.
Matt: Who should Esme hook up with?
Erin: Well, the pickings are slim when we move to DIRECTV . Not that all our remaining guys aren't super hot, but everyone staying on the show is already in a love triangle with two women, so I think we'll need some new blood to satisfy Esme's needs.