A Sitdown with Re'l Meyer
WARNING! If you have not seen the series Ergo Proxy, read no further! This interview contains spoilers!
Reíl Meyer plays one of the three central characters in Ergo Proxy. We caught up with her making an appearance at an anime convention. During a quiet time, she agreed to talk with us.
Question: You are primarily a stage actress. So what made you take the jump into anime for Ergo Proxy?
Reíl: It was the character.
Q: You like playing a strong female?
R: Sure. But I donít really see my character as a strong type Ė at least not in the beginning. Sure sheís physically strong and has a strong will, but we later find out she canít even comb her own hair. How sorry is that? Now she is strong at the end when she survives the destruction of her world, but that only comes when she embraces her humanity. Thatís the influence of Vincent and Pino.
Q: The two non-human characters. I never really thought of it before. The most human characters are a monster and an android who choose to be human.
R: Right. But what attracted me to the character were her complexities, her issues and the way she changes. What actor would pass up a role like that?
Q: I hope Iím asking this in the right way. Your husband was the primary writer for the series. Did that have anything to do with your getting the job?
R: Well! (Laughs) He did write the character with me in mind, but Akiro doesnít get involved with casting decisions. Thatís his choice. He feels he may be prejudiced by actorsí interpretations on the first reading. He does get involved later on. He works with the actors and insists on working on any rewrites. Actually I read for the role, but the producers thought I hadnít enough experience in anime. They came up with a top five list, with the order of the list changing daily I am told. But my name wasnít on the list. Then one day Akiro comes home and asks me if I heard from my agent. I said no. He said to expect a call. I had totally written off getting the role by then.
Q: Did working with your husband effect things on the set?
R: On the set? No. But at home, all the talk was about work. I guess thatís better than not talking at all. At night in bed, weíd talk about the series and our ideas until we both fell asleep. Not exactly romantic pillow talk!
Q: Now you did work with Vincent Law once before, correct?
R: No. We knew each other. We had seen each otherís work. I forget how we met. Probably at a party. We would run into each other from time to time. But I never worked with him before. It was exciting finally to get the chance. I thought he was a damn good actor.
Q: And where did they find Pino?
R: Iím not sure. From a casting call I imagine. (Laughs) She stole practically every scene she was in. She really was that sweet, and that smart.
Q: Was that Vincent we always saw in the Ergo Proxy makeup?
R: Except for when they needed his stunt double. Vince really hated that getup. I liked the days we shot Vince as Ergo Proxy. It took several hours to get him made up, so the rest of us didnít have to show up on the set until later. I got an extra hour or two of sleep.
Q: I was puzzled by his final line in the series. Something like, ďI am the servant of death.Ē
R: If you are going to ask me what that means, I donít know. It was not in the original script and I did not hear it until the episode aired. If Akiro knows, he isnít telling. I guess that is something for the sequel.
Q: Will there be a sequel?
R: No one mentioned it to me. But maybe. I might do it if the money is right, but I prefer live theater.
Q: Thereís one scene that really bothered me. In an early episode, you appear to be killed by an Auto-Reiv. Then it turns out you faked your death. But the fake death looked awfully real.
R: That bothered me as well. Unless Daedalus was one hell of a doctor. . . . On the set, we were discussing that as well. The popular theory was that I really was killed and the new me was an Auto-Reiv Daedalus made injecting it with my memories.
Q: Well, he did make that younger version of you.
R: Yeah. Again, Akiro wrote it, but he wonít tell me. Maybe there will be a second series.