Well Creampuffs, after one hell of a summer and a highly anticipated wait since Valentine’s Day, it’s finally here — Carmilla Season 3.
The final chapter of the adventures at Silas University has just begun with Act One just released. But, before we can try to figure out the shenanigans of our heroes, PopWrapped had a chance to sit in for an exclusive interview with the webseries’ very own Elise Bauman, who plays Laura Hollis, and Natasha Negovanlis, who plays Carmilla.
PopWrapped: One of the best parts of the little webseries that could is the amount of other pop culture references written into the script. With this season taking place in the magical, probably dangerous, library, it seems that Potterheads are about to find a lot more references to their favorite series.
Natasha Negovanlis: The whole season itself feels a little Hogwarts-esque with us being in the magic library, so there are cute Harry Potter references.
Elise Bauman: We had some fun props this year. Laura’s stuck in a library with nothing to do, no crazy mysteries to solve, so she gets a bit bored and starts extreme crafting.
I think it looks homey. Apart from the general mustiness…but that has a certain antique charm, right? pic.twitter.com/txHWObTME9
— Laura Hollis (@Laura2theLetter) September 11, 2016
PW: From previous seasons, we’ve seen that the library is something that fits in with the mystical, mysterious vibe that seems to be all over Silas University. Negovanlis and Bauman explain a bit more about this new setting that our heroes have found themselves in.
NN: The library is especially magical. This season, the setting is a very important character. In fact, some of the characters, like Carmilla, actually talk to the library sometimes. I can’t give away too many spoilers but I can tell you there is some conversation with the set.
EB: There’s some fun surprises with the set throughout the season as well. We can’t spoil right now, but keep your eyes peeled.
PW: For some fans, the magic of the webseries itself was the fact that Carmilla normalized sexuality. The fact that the characters aren’t heterosexual is never really brought up, but just accepted as a fact. Negovanlis and Bauman talk about what it means for them as actors to work on such a progressive show for the LGBTQ community.
EB: That’s one of my favorite aspects of the show, that sexuality is the accepted norm while they deal with other things. I’ve always applauded the show for that, and I’m so proud to be a part of a series that is changing the standard for LGBTQ representation in media. This year, we get to delve into it more. With the introduction of a parent figure in the series, you kind of get to see it from a different aspect than we’ve seen before. Laura’s Dad (Sherman Hollis) does know about her sexuality and is very accepting of it. The heart of the conflict is not about gender and sexuality; it’s about “is this the right person or vampire for you?”
NN: Yeah, it’s more the fact that Carmilla is a vampire, not that she’s a girl. I think it’s so special to show a parent figure being very supportive as well. I am equally as proud to work on a series that provides a voice for the LGBTQ community, especially the LGBTQ youth.
PW: One of the biggest surprises for Carmilla fans is that we’re FINALLY getting to see Laura’s backstory. And not only are we getting to see more into our favorite tiny journalist, we get to meet Papa Hollis! This season will be seeing the addition of Enrico Colantoni, who will play Sherman Hollis. Bauman shared what kind of changes we might get to see with the addition of Colantoni’s Sherman Hollis to the series.
EB: I mean I’ve been so curious about Laura’s backstory since day one. I think it’s such a gift to be able to have a bit of insight into what Laura was like growing up, how she was raised and how it’s influenced her view on the world and how she navigates through situations. I think you definitely get to see a bit of a different side to her, but also there’s the element that she’s gone through so much from season 1 to season 2, and season 3 is even more. I think that parents represent that holding on to childhood, and a big part of growing up is letting them go and allowing your parents to let you go as well. I think that’s really what Laura’s going through this season – standing alone in this world, knowing her father loves her but also realizing she needs to let him go.
PW: The characters have grown up quite a bit since they first appeared on our computer screens in 2014, especially Laura. After all the hardships, losses and struggles, the last thing we really saw was Laura struggling to accept the reality she now finds herself in. Bauman talks about Laura’s development from the beginning to where she finds herself this season.
EB: I talked a lot about this with Steph (Ouaknine, Producer) and Spencer (Maybee, Director) before we went into season 3. I felt like Laura was starting to mope at the end of season 2 and I think that’s a pretty natural thing to go through. When you make a mistake, you don’t necessarily want to sit with that mistake. A lot of the time, we want to run away from that… I think what Laura starts to do in season 3 is to start accepting that she’s fallible and makes mistakes, just like everyone else on the planet. What we start to see is her growing up into understanding “I can’t blame other people and I can’t blame myself. This is what happens and I have to live with what has happened.”
PW: From what was just a little webseries about a college student trying to figure out the mystery behind her missing roommate, Carmilla has grown into something that has inspired people around the world. So what is it like for Negovanlis and Bauman to work on such an impacting series?
NN: It’s such a gift and I never take it for granted, especially as actors who are still establishing themselves in the world. So often, you take what you get and you don’t always have the opportunities to work on something with such an impact and such social responsibility. The pressure can be intense but I wouldn’t trade it in for anything else. It means a lot to me, it’s a community that I’m personally a part of and it’s a show I hold very dear to my heart.
EB: What I really hope that we can accomplish is to inspire other people to create their own projects. I think one of the most amazing things about this webseries is that it’s made without a massive budget. What it really boils down is if you have a good story and if you are willing to tell that story with heart. That’s all that you need to make something that makes an impact on people. I hope that other people are inspired to keep making their own footprints in the world, even if they don’t think they have the resources to do that.
NN: Even if it isn’t film or webseries! It’s been really cool to inspire our fans and Creampuffs to create in general. We’ve received so much wonderful fan art, songs, poems and it’s just really cool to be inspiring others to create in any capacity.
PW: By the end of the final season, the webseries will have more than 100 episodes telling the story of Laura Hollis and Carmilla Karnstein as they try to deal with the nonsense at Silas. What were some of the most fulfilling moments for Bauman and Negovanlis to film during their work on Carmilla?
EB: For me, the last six or so episodes of season three are some of the most special to me. I feel like it really wraps things up so beautifully and we really get to peer into the hearts of Laura and Carmilla, deeper than we ever have. It was also the end of the series for us as it was the last bit that we shot. It was so emotional and it was a really special moment to share with everyone.
But some of the most fun moments are when everyone is together. Like some of the big group scenes in season 1 and season 2 were so fun because everyone is in such an enclosed space together and we’re all working so diligently and having so much fun together. Just getting to share the experience with all the cast are some special memories for me.
NN: The first and last days of shooting are probably the most special for me. I can’t really pick one scene over another. [The first day of] Season 1 was very exciting, but seasons 2 and 3, the first days were like coming home. The last day of shooting for all three seasons, I am just a giant softy and I always cry because I never take for granted how lucky I am for A, just even be working as an actor and B, working on something that is so meaningful not only to myself but to a huge community of people. It’s really special and I always bawl on the last day. It’s funny because I’m not even a big crier but for some reason my emotions run SO high when it’s the last day.
EB: We’re also so under-slept and tired that it’s like UGGGGH. [LAUGHS] This season, there was this one episode right after lunch and we were all pretty tired and our energy was starting to drop a little bit. Natasha and I farted at the same time and Kaitlyn (Alexander, plays LaFontaine) was in the middle of us. I don’t know how to describe that moment.
NN: We’re very in sync. All the time.
PW: Unlike previous seasons, Carmilla Season 3 will be dropping in 3 acts on September 15, September 29 and October 13. Many fans feel upset that the series is coming to an end a lot sooner than anticipated. After breaking out into random song (which was lovely), Bauman and Negovanlis share this with the fans who might be feeling that way.
EB: We all just have to appreciate that we were able to have this incredible experience together. A lot of people made some awesome friendships that are going to last maybe for the rest of their lives. All the lessons that were learned throughout the series, all the acceptance of ourselves that was done through the series; those are things that are going to be present in your life forever. The series is coming to a close, but we can bring everything that we love about the series into the rest of our lives, myself included.
NN: Knowing that once something is on the internet, it is there forever. It’s weird. The last day of shooting it was very emotional for us, but at the same time, it doesn’t really feel like it’s over. We do have the opportunity to still do fan events and to meet people at press events coming up, like NYCC. It doesn’t really feel over, I think it’s going to be something that we’re all gonna carry with us for a long time. It’s something that none of us will ever forget.
PW: One of the biggest questions one might have is “will the ending make fans happy?”
EB: I don’t see how anyone could be disappointed in this season. I feel like I fell in love with the series this season. It’s always had a special place in my heart, but I don’t know what it was about this year. I am so proud of what we created this year and I think it just takes everything to a whole new level. I’m really excited for people to see it.
NN: I hope they’ll be happy with it. Something that working on the internet has taught me is that you can never please everyone. Some people might not like it, but I truly hope they will. I know that Elise and I are both in love with it.
PW: When all is said and done, the characters and fans aren’t the only ones who grew as Carmilla went along. What lessons did the webseries teach Bauman and Negovanlis?
EB: A big theme this year is that it’s better to do things together and that despite being scared, it’s better to go to that deeper level of love. Laura and Carmilla have these frustrations in Season 2 and I think a lot of that comes from being scared of what they have. That’s something I definitely brought into my life this year. Something that the script has in Season 3 is that love is worth the risk. I’m starting to live my life that way and I think getting to go through that theme with an actor as open and honest as Natasha, I really got to feel that this year. So kudos to Natasha for going on that journey with me.
NN: I feel the same way. I’m just so impressed with the amount of growing you’ve done Elise. It’s been really cool to watch you and you’re such an inspiring actor, and I’ve learned a lot about acting and that process from Elise. And you know, you [Elise] can be a little stubborn like Laura. I was like “wait a minute, I’ve been saying that since day one” so it’s been really nice to surrender to each other sometimes.
Much like Carmilla and Laura were assigned to live in the same dorm room, we were very much assigned to each other, and maybe would not have engaged with each other had we not worked together. We are very different but also have very common goals and are equally as passionate and love the same things about our craft. I think just finding similarities has allowed us to have a much deeper connection.
We’re just very honest with each other and that’s something that we both learned. It’s so much better to say things right away. Communicate is the biggest thing. Sometimes, even if we’re stressed out, we always make sure that we talk about it and check in with each other and that’s really cool. Before we shoot things, we always make sure we meet up and even check up on each other on a personal level. And bringing that into our work really helps.
PW: Before you go and watch the final season, Bauman and Negovanlis suggest to keep this in mind about their characters.
EB: It was interesting to me to see how upset people were with Laura last year. For me, I totally understand. Like reading the scripts, I was frustrated with her. One of the most important things to remember is that webseries and film and television need stories that people put out there so that people can learn and grow from them. Go into the third season with an open heart, to see yourself in every character and be willing to watch it going, “What can I learn from this? What can these characters teach me? What did I not know about myself before watching this show?”
NN: Also remembering that not everything is black and white because in life there are a lot of gray areas. Despite the fact that Carmilla is an ancient being, she was once a human and still has a lot of human-like qualities. Part of being human is being very flawed and making mistakes. A big thing to know is to not put either character on a pedestal.
Carmilla Seasons 1, 2, 3 and Zero can be found on KindaTV’s YouTube channel.
See you at the recaps, Creampuffs!