Kari is dead. We don’t yet know how or why, but there she is, floating over her old classroom desk, bangs covering her hallowed eye sockets, irritated by the living classmate that is getting boy sweat on her seat. Mari warned the teacher. With her bright blue eyes and smile of sunshine, Mari said her dead twin sister wouldn’t like him in that seat. No one listened though, and now Kari has to take matters into her own dead hands, wrapping a phantom pigtail around the boy’s neck until his head and spine separate from his body. That’s just Kari, and just Mari, and both are Shannen Doherty.
If you thought you had seen Shannen every way possible (cheerful prairie girl in braids, iconic West Beverly twin, twirling through a Viennese waltz) you must meet dark, animated, computer screen Shannen. Brenda’s gone viral.
“It’s a whole new medium for me,” Doherty said of her new show Mari Kari on FEARnet.com in a phone conversation on Thursday. “I think what is appealing about the web is you can put so much content out there and that you don’t have to go the traditional route of doing a presentation and a pilot and sitting around praying and hoping a network picks it up.” Shannen has gotten that lucky phone call more than once, with shows like Beverly Hills, 90201 and Charmed which were green lit to major success. Other shows this blogger loved, like North Shore and Breaking up with Shannen Doherty were canceled after far too short a time. “They don’t give you that much time to build an audience,” Doherty says of television, “and this is something that doesn’t cost nearly as much money.”
More on Shannen Doherty’s new project after the jump.
Actors have used the internet for creative
expression that skips the red tape and the fundraising, with sites
such as funnyordie.com or YouTube. A series like Mari Kari,
allows for the same freedom from limitations, but with a more
traditional series format (each episode is about two or three minutes).
“This means opportunities for work,” Doherty explains. Web series
aren’t brand new, but headlining with a known icon of that other screen
is. I was wondered why Shannen went for this series, filled revenge killing and geysers of animated
blood. “I read it and I thought it was funny and I thought it was dark
I thought it was a little tongue in cheek,” Doherty says. The biggest draw? “When
they asked me to do both voices I thought wow this is a really cool
opportunity.” Shannen plays bright eyed and bushy tailed Mari (you
barely recognize that it’s her voice) and her sociopath twin Kari.
Contrary to what you might think, Shannen didn’t cultivate the two
sides of her persona and polarize them into characters. She did what any
good actor would do and trusted her
directors’s vision. Ultimately the two characters emerged. “Kari’s mindset [is] that
she’s very very very dark dark dark dark messed up girl,” Doherty explains, “and Mari is the
eternal optimist, a girl who believes in the good of everyone and
refuses to actually see the truth and everything is rainbows and
butterflies and ice cream, which is bizarre to me as well.” Watching Kari execute graphic
revenge-by-chainsaw murder on girls that were mean to Mari, I wondered how Shannen
processed such material. It turns out there’s no room for relating when it comes to playing a psychotic dead girl. “Kari takes
it to such an extreme that it’s impossible to relate to that. I
certainly understand being protective, I’m seriously protective of my
dad and my mom and my loved ones and friends but you know I wouldn’t
kill people over it. She’s out of her mind and she’s dead and just
weird and bizarre but that doesn’t make her not fun to play.”
While she was interested in the animated format, don’t expect
to loose the real Shannen anytime soon. “I know that with TV I watch
I like to see that person’s face and see their reaction. One of my
favorite shows on TV is Good Wife and so much is said in those
actors faces that I would miss it if they were computer generated or
completely animated. That being said I also love South Park so the world is big enough for all.”Until her next physical reincarnation on screen we are looking forward to hearing Shannen in Mari Kari‘s which kicks off it’s eight episode run tomorrow, June 3, on FEARnet. Check out the trailer and clip for your sneak peak.