15 Things You Didn’t Know about Karen Strassman

Karen Strassman is a veteran television actress and voiceover artist who will next be seen with a recurring guest role as “Dr. Slotnick” on the hit AMC series PreacherHer episodes are airing now.  In the meantime we had a chance to hear from Karen about some things the public might not know about.  Here are 15 things you didn’t know about Karen Strassman.

  1. When Karen auditioned for the role of Dr. Slotnick in Preacher the role was originally written for a man. Then they opened role up for women, even though the role was not originally written for an accent, Karen thought it would be fun to do a take with a German accent, and that was the take that won her the role.
  2. Karen is a French citizen, speaks French fluently, and lived in Paris working as an actress for sixteen years. She had an apartment right by the Place St Michel in the Latin quarter for many years and went everywhere on a big brown bicycle.
  3. Karen is a dialect specialist and a dialect coach. She loves to geek out with different accents and coach other actors to learn different accents as they prepare for roles and auditions. She particularly enjoys helping foreign actors lose their accents and is quite sought after for this skill. She feels so lucky to have some skills she can pass on to other actors.
  4. One of Karen’s favorite charities is The Covenant House. They literally can change the life and destiny of a homeless youth. It is an amazing organization and you can check it out at https://covenanthousecalifornia.org.
  5. Karen played Helen Keller in a school play when she was 13 years old. She blindfolded herself and spent hours moving around the stage and other places in her life as a blind person would, and trying to imagine what it must have been like to be blind and deaf. During this experience, she fell passionately in love with acting and storytelling and the empathetic nature of this art. She would love to have the opportunity to play a blind character again someday.
  6. Karen loves horseback riding. She first learned to ride in her 20’s when she was on set of a French mini-series about Mary Queen of Scots. “It was a cold night in the forest, and everyone was in period wardrobe on these beautiful horses with torches all around. They put me sidesaddle in my long dress on a white mare, and I never wanted it to end.” After that, Karen trained in horseback riding when she studied at The Conservatoire National Superieur d’Art Dramatique de Paris. “We trained at a stable in the Bois de Boulogne just outside of Paris, and I learned to jump and do some basic theater and movie stunts.”
  7. Karen was born to a Danish mother, and half of Karen’s family still lives in Denmark and some in Germany. Karen loves going back to Denmark, speaks some Danish, and hopes to work with a Danish filmmaker one day.
  8. Karen loves physical work. She swims early every morning and does a variety of physical training exercises every day that she learned from Darrell Calkins, who has trained many athletes and performers. You can learn more at www.cobaltsaffron.com.
  9. Karen’s all-time favorite anime series of all times is Monster, where she plays the deeply disturbed character Nina Fortner/Anna Liebert. She’s heard that Guillermo Del Toro may be making a live action of this Anime, and would love to be a part of that project if it is ever made.
  10. When Karen was 20 years old, she snuck into the old Boulogne Studios in Paris while Polanski was shooting Frantic. She found her way into his office and told him she felt they were meant to work together. He said there weren’t any roles for her in this film, but maybe there would be other opportunities down the road. Karen actually ended up doing a small role for him in Death and the Maiden. He didn’t seem to remember their first encounter and Karen was too embarrassed to remind him.
  11. Karen’s first movie voice-over job was dubbing the lead role in Jean Delannoy’s film Bernadette into English, and she then became one of the voiceover artists in Paris that dubbed the young French starlets like Juliette Binoche, Vanessa Paradi, Emmanuelle Beart into English.
  12. Karen’s favorite cartoon voice to do is a little bird named Crash that was inspired by her nephew when he was 4 years old. If you ever meet Karen in person, she will gleefully do Crash’s voice for you!
  13. Karen’s favorite actress and inspiration growing was Jodi Foster. One of her favorite movies is Nell. Karen is also deeply inspired by Jessica Lange, especially by her performance in Francis. Other favorite actresses include Isabelle Huppert, Patricia Clarkson, Annette Benning, and Jessica Chastain.
  14. Karen is the voice of the French Woman on the walkie talkie in LOST. She and JJ Abrams crossed paths many years ago when they were both studying in Paris.
  15. Favorite poets: David Whyte, Jacques Prevert, Pablo Neruda, Rumi

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