Best known as Sloan, the love of E’s life on HBO’s Entourage, Emmanuelle Chriqui has an impressive list of credits that run the gamut of comedy and drama, period and contemporary, with You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, The Mentalist and The Borgias among the highlights.
This Sunday, she goes Biblical, playing the scheming, power-hungry Herodia—the notorious Salome’s mother—in Nat Geo Channel’s Killing Jesus (8/7C).
But first, the Montreal native told us about the Entourage movie, Morocco and why it’s fun to play the villain…
“I’m working more than I did when I was 25. I think age just makes for a richer performance. I don’t feel afraid of it. I feel like the more I embrace it the more I’m able to play interesting, amazing women.”
Herodia is a nasty piece of work—is that what drew you?
I read the script and loved it. I was riveted. It was a page-turner. I like doing period—I like anything I can sink my teeth into, and I’ve never played a character like this. People might be surprised to see me in this role. She’s very much the villain, really hated.
Was that a challenge?
Definitely. I judged her at first and had to stop in order to get to the truth of her. I didn’t have a lot in common with her as a woman. She did some pretty heinous, despicable things, but when I look at it, as a woman at that time, there weren’t such great options. She was going to get married, hopefully become queen, and look out for her daughter. So once I was able to let go of the judgments, a lot of the truth started to come to the surface, and that was really amazing, really fun.
What was it like shooting in Morocco?
The weather was difficult. You’re in the desert. It was hot. You have to be careful where you eat. That was tough. But the people were great. To this day, like 15 of us are all on a group chat. It was like camp.
So what can you tell us about the Entourage movie?
Sloan is pregnant for most of the movie—a big ol’ belly. It was very fun. I’m so excited about it. It picks up where the show left off. The fans are going to love it.
Might there be another one?
I think there’s always a possibility for a sequel, but regardless it ends on a great note.
You recently finished another movie.
The Steps. It’s a dark comedy with Jason Ritter, James Brolin and Christine Lahti, really fun. It’s an indie, could be a festival film.
What kinds of roles are you looking for now?
I just want to be part of great stories, where I get to showcase the badass, the emotional, all those things, in something good. Something that I would watch. It’s all about the script. I’m very pro-active when it comes to work. I’m working more than I did when I was 25. I think age just makes for a richer performance. I don’t feel afraid of it. I feel like the more I embrace it the more I’m able to play interesting, amazing women.
What’s else is on your to-do list?
A million things. I want to travel the world. I want to go to every spa in the world, have the most amazing native spa treatments. In Brazil I had an amazing experience in the jungle—scrubs, massages—and it was fabulous. That would be my dream. If I could do a book and document it, I’d love that. I’m going to go to Africa to raise awareness about the situation in the Congo. I just want to continue doing amazing work. I speak French and I’m interested in doing films in Europe.
What are you proudest of so far?
I feel distinctly that there’s my career before Entourage and after Entourage, but the entire journey has been incredible. It’s been rewarding and exciting for me. I’m so grateful.