Holidays / Interviews

Karen Cliche Celebrates a Queasy “Thanksgiving”

Karen Cliche is invigorated by her next chapter as an actress. Seasons of change can also signal new growth. “It feels amazing to reconnect with this big part of who I am and was for years before becoming a mother,” she says. “I decided to make huge changes in my life a couple of years ago, scary ones, that came from pure instinct and a fight to take control of my destiny again. I decided to get fully back to my acting career, older and wiser, and separated from my husband of 18 years. I got my body in shape and my mind strong and confident again. It was such a process over two years – a lot of soul searching and risks, but I am so glad I made these decisions because I feel so aligned with my soul again. And I see the rewards that come with making those brave, authentic decisions too!” She likes the roles that get our blood pumping. Is it really a horror movie experience if you don’t break out in a sheen of sweat? “I have done several thrillers and SAW VI and now Thanksgiving. I was never a huge horror fan, but now I do see the appeal, the rush, the adrenaline. I look forward to meeting all the fans at conventions next year!”

To put oneself in a fantastical headspace for such extremes, it’s best to imagine living on the edge. “I approach every acting role from a human behavior/ psychological aspect. I have a wild imagination too, so I can easily see and feel what I need to to get into a character. I just dive in fearlessly. It feels so good when you push yourself emotionally and physically. So good you want to smoke a cigarette after! Kidding. I don’t smoke anymore, but you get my drift.” Karen had the privilege of bringing what was once a throwaway gag to life in her latest film, Thanksgiving. “Eli Roth finally gave the fans what they wanted after 16 years since the original Thanksgiving fake trailer in Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse. I am so happy to see so many people loving it, even those who hate horror. It has a mass appeal (having the Sexiest Man Alive Patrick Dempsey for sure doesn’t hurt). It is a mystery, funny, has heart, jump scares, and the craziest kills you have ever seen. The cast is incredible in this and Eli is the best!” Putting aside the murder spree, the notion of Thanksgiving strikes dread in the hearts of many. “I think more people can relate to the terror and uneasiness about Thanksgiving dinner with certain relatives every year!”

Karen’s fictional demise, though attributable to her own gluttony for cash, isn’t advisable for the faint of stomach. “My character Kathleen enjoys the lifestyle that comes with being married to a successful store owner, and so she pushes for the store to open on Thanksgiving out of greed. Let’s just say anyone who had a part in this suffers a terrible fate. People say it is one of the worst things they have ever seen on screen. Eli and I are pretty proud of that!” The actress adores a good celebration.“Give me all the different holiday cocktails and appetizers! I love a good cocktail party – dressed up, fancy drinks, and finger food.” She intends to let that sense of revelry lead her into the new year. “My focus right now is having fun, laughing a lot, and traveling. I am not sure calm is what it will be, but I am embracing the good chaos that may come!” Positivity will beget joy. 

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Karen Cliche Celebrates a Queasy “Thanksgiving.” Photo Credit: Brittany Gawley.

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