Actress Erin Cahill fought bad guys as the Pink Ranger in Power Rangers Time Force, voice acted for the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II, has two feature films in the works Wingman Inc. and Hidden Affairs (both slotted to premier this year) and has been featured in some of television’s hottest dramas, including a recent role as vixen Felicity on the ABC Drama Red Widow. You would think her busy filming schedule would keep her pretty tied up, but nothing stops this talented young actress from finding the time to volunteer at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the multitude of other charities she is constantly supporting. Let’s just say she can do it all. Between her bubbly personality and charming wit, Cahill is one of those girls that can get along with anybody. I recently got to speak to Cahill about the roles that have made her famous and the importance of giving back in her life on a rare break for this ever on the go actress. Read on for the interview…
The Daily Quirk: You’ve been acting since a very young age; you even went to college on a performing arts scholarship. At what point did you know you wanted to pursue it as a career?
Erin Cahill: First of all I love that you know this! I knew I wanted to be an actor since I was little. My mom was a school teacher at a local high school. She taught English and Drama. She was doing a play and she needed a child, so she basically said you’re doing this. And I was 4 years old so I of course said sure. And after my first play when I was four I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. People would ask ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?” and I would say I wanted to be an actor. I feel so lucky to have known that early that that’s what I wanted to be. People always asked me why I wanted to be an actor and I was like “to make people happy.” So, I just have always been that way and I am still very lucky to have had that type of upbringing.
TDQ: One of your first major roles was as Jen Scotts, the Pink Ranger, in Power Rangers Time Force. How did that role come about?
EC: It’s a funny story actually. I did an acting convention, a talent convention, when I was 15 and I won overall actor. They brought me back as a special guest the year after and the casting director for Power Rangers saw me there as a special guest, not even as a contestant. And she said, ‘When you get back to LA, I should have you audition for Power Rangers.’ I was like ‘Sure. Why not?’
I was 20 at that point and had done some TV, but had mostly done theater. It was so much fun for me. I don’t know exactly how many girls auditioned. It was a crazy number like a thousand or something like that. It started at the first of the year and went on for many, many months. I like to joke that it was like Survivor because they just kept bringing us back and bringing us back and bringing us back. The final audition was me and I think there were 3 or 4 girls for each role. You could, obviously, tell which was which because all the ones for Jen looked alike.and all the ones for the other roles. So, it was really funny. And they just kept sending us home. So that day, the very final call, you really felt like survivor. It was really intense. And they kept pairing us together and having us dance side by side. We got lucky because our season was a little family. We all keep in touch. I literally emailed the Red Ranger [Jason Faunt] today. We’re still like best friends. It’s really great. We all love each other so much, still to this day.
TDQ: You’ve also had recurring roles and guest spots on many hit shows, including a stint on General Hospital. Is filming a soap different than filming a sitcom or drama?
EC: 100%. All three of those are actually totally different. Filming as a lead in a drama is a lot like being a lead in a film, 12-hour days, you’re in every scene and that’s your life. It is a lot of work. And dramas are my favorite. Then being in an ensemble, like when I was in Saving Grace, I think there were something like 7 or 8 series regulars and then recurring. I would go in a few times a week and work for half days or full days, like 8, 10, 12 hours. And that was like it. As opposed to, you know, 5 days a week.– So, it was just different
I prefer hour-long dramas or drama films because, well I love comedy too, but I prefer drama because there is just a real sense of family. You’re in the trenches together for so long, 20 hours a day.. You become a family.
TDQ: You’ve also done voice acting, playing Chloe ‘Karma’ Lynch in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. What was that experience like?
EC: Yes, that was an absolute blast. It was funny because technically I just worked voiceover, but it felt like a regular acting gig because they used facial movements. So, they did it in motion capture, which means I was in that little suit with the dots all over my face and the dots all over the suit. We acted them like normal scenes. All the actors act on a sound stage with one hundred and something cameras capturing every movement. It was really incredible. It was a really fun experience. And Michael Rooker is one of the most fun actors to work with. I mean he is a blast. We just laughed our asses off the entire time.
TDQ: You just finished playing Felicity on ABC’s Red Widow, a role you really got to help mold. What was that like? Was Felicity a fun role to play?
EC: Okay I just want to say you’re awesome. Yes, Felicity was one of the most fun roles I have ever gotten to play. I usually play kind of the girl next door or the doting wife or the kind of ingenue, if you will. It was a kick in the pants. Like her wardrobe alone. I had just finished filming Body of Proof kind of another glasses, corduroy jacket, hair in a big bun, technological science girl and then I get to the set of Red Widow and I am in snakeskin pants. That was the most fun. The role got heavier throughout the season and I think it’s because we all kind of discovered her together.
It was a gift to play her and that show was one of the best experiences of my entire life. I can tell you behind the scenes everyone was awesome. Everybody was brilliantly talented. The cast was insane. And then everybody was a little family because of the show.
TDQ: You also have two films in the works, Wingman Inc. and Hidden Affairs. Can you tell us a little about them?
EC: Yes, actually Hidden Affairs is one I did years ago. I played Kelly LeBrocks daughter. It’s kind of a tongue–in–cheek mystery. It was very cute. I am excited to see the finished product. It has been in post for a couple years now. And Wingman I did last year. It is a romantic comedy; so cute. The lead actor, Christopher Turner, is just fantastic. We just used to crack up on set. It was a real gift. And my schedule was crazy busy. I was filming in between episodes of Red Widow. So, it was this gorgeous experience. That was another one like 12 -13 hour days. When I wasn’t in front of the camera, I was in hair and make-up or changing for another scene. It was an incredible amount of work, but one of the most fun times really.
TDQ: Was it hard going from one character to another?
EC: Yeah sort of. It was funny because Felicity – it was such an ensemble that I was only in two scenes an episode and in the movie I was the lead. Well, Christopher Turner was the male lead, he’s brilliant, and I was the female lead, his love interest. So I would go, I did the show you know, like I said, 12-13 hour days. You know – intense, intense. And then go to set and it’s a big movie production, so they take their time and set you up. You have a night to relax and then you know it’s just a much more relaxed schedule. I mean for me because I was working opposite Robin Mitchell, that little angel worked her ass off. She was like in every scene every day. It [the film] felt more relaxed than playing Felicity. So going from one to the other was not as hard as it seemed.
TDQ: You’re known for your extensive charity work, what made you want to start giving back? Can you tell us about some of the charities you work with and how readers can get involved?
EC: Okay I don’t like where you did your research but I just love it. I could just reach through the phone and hug you. You’re adorable. I volunteer at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoons. There is a program called Art of Elysium. And that’s a great program. If anybody is in the Greater Los Angeles area and wants to look us up, I highly recommend it. But you know I think the big thing is just doing it and having other people who will hold you accountable. All my friends, you know, would say ‘I want to volunteer. I don’t know what to do, how to get started or where to volunteer.’ A very dear friend of mine, who is very passionate about volunteering, came to me and said ‘How do you feel about volunteering?’ So we went to our 12 favorite people and we asked them if they wanted to be a part of our group. We call ourselves ‘charitable living’ and we get together every month and we create a project. It could be working at the soup kitchen for a day or a couple of weeks ago we did Project Angel Food or last December I had put together a charity event with this amazing band and Jason Mraz was our special guest. That was my event, but I had other people that helped me with it. But anyways I would say the real life changer for me was getting a group of friends who wanted to make a difference also and just committing to it. No matter what, every few months we are doing something.
TDQ: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
EC: Can I give a shout out to the amazing Karen Shih? She is not only the most talented girl, she stared a web page for me. And she has got a heart of gold. She has become like family. Thank you so much! I am just a happy grateful girl!
The Daily Quirk would like to thank the adorable Erin Cahill for chatting with us about her work both on screen and for charity. To find out more about Erin Cahill, you can like her on Facebook , catch up with her on Instagram, and follow her on Twitter. You can find out more about the charities discussed in this interview by visiting Art of Elysium and Project Angel Food.
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