In today’s Legion of Leia profile, I’m chatting with actress and CEO Clare Kramer. As you know, Clare played the Goddess Glory in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She also played Courtney in Bring It On and Karly Brant in one of my all-time favorites, Big Ass Spider! Clare is the CEO and founder of the website GeekNation and an all-around awesome lady! Check out what she has to say about acting, running a website, Joss Whedon and being a mom to four little kids.
Legion of Leia: Being a part of something like Buffy has to completely change your life. How did it all happen for you?
Clare Kramer: Well, I often say getting the role of Glory was like winning the lottery. Epic show, epic creator, epic writing… You know, actually Glory was my first television role, if you can believe it. I had recently come from New York, spent 4 months in San Diego filming Bring It On, and decided to try my luck in LA. Working with Sarah [Michelle Gellar] taught me an incredible amount – as of course did working with Joss [Whedon] and the rest of the cast. Strangely, getting the role was probably the most undramatic part. The sides were relatively simple – just two pages of dialogue – and the character was kinda non-descript. When I read the material, I just decided to take a risk and deliver the audition in a completely different way. I was actually inspired by Jack Nicholas’ character in The Shinning. The rest is history I guess!
Legion of Leia: Joss is known for his not just strong, but well-written female characters. Was this a big change? How did it affect your career choices after Buffy?
Clare Kramer: It was a privileged to work with Joss and play such an interesting and dynamic character as Glory. Prior to Buffy, I’d really only worked in the theater, where I’d played such roles as Helen Keller and Nina in a production of The Seagull… so although Nina isn’t considered a “strong” character, she’s definitely dynamic, and as far as playing Helen – which I did for several months in a tour, females don’t get much stronger than her. For some reason, I’ve never really been cast as the “girl next door” – and although not all my roles have been considered “strong” – they have been dynamic and interesting. I look for opportunities to express interesting points of views and emotions in the roles I take-on… After Glory, it was definitely a challenge to match!
Legion of Leia: What does it mean to be a part of a group of women like this?
Clare Kramer: I’m honored to have been cast by Joss, as it’s afforded me a multitude of opportunities in life, and opened many doors for me. Community and to take it one step further, loyalty are what life’s really about in my opinion. It’s what I try to build around me at home, in my leisure activities and in the work force.
Legion of Leia: You’re a mom to four little kids, you act and you run a business. How do you balance it all?
Clare Kramer: Ha! Well, to be honest I haven’t quite figured that out. I’d say one key is being able to operate on very little sleep! Another is knowing how to prioritize – both at home and work. I made a choice to have kids, to not wait until the “perfect time” – because for me, there never would have been a perfect time. But you know what? That’s life. There’s never a perfect time, and it’s really about finding the peace and happiness amongst the chaos. Sometimes I’m asked if I’ll ever quit acting because I’m so busy… never. It’s my outlet and joy!
Legion of Leia: What sci-fi or fantasy characters were your portal into this genre as a kid?
Clare Kramer: Well, I was a big fan of Dungeons & Dragons, the Saturday morning cartoon, and of course I was picturing myself as one of the Goonies, or Gertie in E.T., or of course Leia herself! Really, there are so many… But probably the most defining moment for me was at around age 8 or 9, watching Karen Allen in Raider of the Lost Ark – she was tough, could drink and fight with the men, but somehow remained sexy as all hell. That movie was the impetus behind my love for action, suspense, sci-fi and most importantly adventure.
Legion of Leia: Tell us how GeekNation came about.
Clare Kramer: It’s quite simple, really… Brian and I wanted to create a space, free from judgement, free from the restraints of the studio and network system, where artists could come and feel safe to not only express themselves artistically but to interact with their fans in a mutually rewarding and comfortable environment. We’ve both been in the business for years, and were able to harness our experiences and expertise in the right way, at the right moment in time to bring GeekNation to fruition. Two years later, I’m really proud of what we’ve created, and know that we’re still only at the tip of the iceberg.
Legion of Leia: Now, since I do work for GeekNation, and we’ve known each other for years, I know your level of geekdom. Tell the Legion about some of the geekie goodies in the Geek Nation studio and how you got them.
Clare Kramer: Oh boy! Well, let’s see. We have, of course, my original Glory robe that I wore in the 100th episode. It was purchased at a FOX charity event by a fan and later sent back to me. We have a shield from Spartacus, which is one of Brian’s favorite shows, we have a collection of 70’s dolls that include Batman and Robin, Farrah Faucet, Wonder Woman and even OJ, of course my action figures and dolls as well, a table top arcade game with over 40 classic arcade games, and some really cool Star Trek artifacts given to us by our friends over at Roddenberry.
Legion of Leia: Who would you like to see profiled? Is there a lady we should be watching?
Clare Kramer: So many! But I will say I’m really curious and excited to see what Gal Gadot does with the role of Wonder Woman. People have been trying to make that for some time now and the fans have been pushing so hard for the studios to follow through – I feel it’s going to be a very important and pivotal role for the future of women in Hollywood, and if the feature is ever revisited in earnest. In other words, it could be the deciding factor if Wonder Woman ever gets the stand alone she deserves.
Legion of Leia: What’s next for you and for Geek Nation? Can you talk about any new roles? All the juicy stuff.
Clare Kramer: As for GeekNation, we filed the patent on our Mosters™, which is something we expect to replace your average movie poster you currently see in all the theaters. We’ve got an amazing new app that’s coming out, that is sure to help bridge the gap between actors and their fans, and in the next 60 days we are going to begin launching our new platform of 8 to 10 new shows. Oh, and we’re also working on a VOD section of the site, which I can’t really give any details about at this point – but it will be amazing! In terms of acting, I just completed a project called The Griddle House – which was an amazing experience. The story is about a boy searching for his birth mother, whom I play. I also have a project with Michael Madson and Lacey Chabert coming out in a few months called The Lost Tree. I’ve been trying to get my feature directing project slated for the fall as well… stay tuned for details!