The Fight, Flight, and Freeze Behind the Screen
The Passage on Fox is an intense and thrilling story based on the New York Times bestselling Trilogy by Justin Cronin. Yet what isn’t always discussed is how scenes can stir an inseparable emotional and physical response to the actors and actresses involved within those roles.
You could imagine, it’s quite difficult for the brain to differentiate the difference between reality and acting on the body. For instance: If you think of eating your favorite meal, your body will instantly respond by activating your digestive system and salivatory glands in the mouth, hence you might drool. Even more, if you visualize the act of taking off to sprint, your nervous system will shoot into the sympathetic mode, your muscles will fire, and you’ll enter into flight mode. You can see, acting is not an easy job on the body and takes very focused individuals to master these skills without overloading themselves.
Emmanuelle on The Passage
Actress on the set of The Passage, Emmanuelle Chriqui, tells us the insights about her career in film and the ebbs and flow of personal experiences that influence her natural attraction towards bodywork, health and her ability to adapt into resources like Chiropractic care. In this interview, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Dr. Eric Plasker talk about these crossroads of career and health and how it has affected her life.
About her current work with Fox’s show The Passage she says, “I called Atlanta home for four and a half months was wonderful, I’m a giant fan of Atlanta. I think what sets it apart from other genre television shows is that it’s a very character-driven piece. While we’re dealing with viral/vampires and being on the run and all that, you’ve also got a love story and a family story at the core. It reaches all audiences and it’s not just a scary sci-fi show.”
“The brief version is that the CDC is trying to come up with a virus as an antidote for a pandemic, which is threatening to take out 20% of the population. They come up with a virus that they test on Criminals. Criminals that are death row inmates who are about to get executed.”
“While promising death row inmates a new start, they also get to become these superhuman beings, in a way, but what we call Virals, and act very much like vampires. They drink blood, they’re very, very fast, they have psychic abilities. The CDC feels that they can really get it if they could experiment on a child, which as you know is incredibly controversial, and where do you find a child that doesn’t mean anything? They figure out of the foster system as a resource, and that is basically the storyline.”
Emmanuelle continues, “The man who is assigned to go get the death row inmates and this little girl is Brad Wolgast, played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. He has a connection with this little girl, and he just knows that it’s not safe and it’s just not a good idea to bring her where she’s supposed to go. Then you have The Passage, as it unravels in a thousand different ways.”
“I play Doctor Lila Wolgast and Brad Wolgas’s ex-wife. We were married and were very much in love and we lost our daughter and our marriage never recovered from there. But, it’s not a lack of love. And as Brad gets into trouble with the little girl, with Amy Bellafonte, Lila really comes … she basically dedicates herself to helping in any way she can. So, the three characters, Brad, Lila, and Amy, the little girl, will become kind of a family unit in the show. That’s really the heart and soul of the show. Some episodes are family based at its core, and I think that will really resonate with the audience.”
Behind the Scenes
Dr. Plasker comments, “Very cool. So, it’s an intense story and role which means that the intensity was affecting your health and performance in ways that you didn’t like.” He asks, “Tell us about the difference that your consistent care made so that you could not just feel better, but perform better.”
Emmanuelle replies, “Prior to coming to Atlanta, I had gone through some pretty major stress. I had lost a friend. I had a friend dying as I was moving to Atlanta, starting this new show, beginning this new chapter. I think the stress just really built up in my body. I was frozen in my neck, upper shoulder area where I have been previously injured in a car accident. It was impossible to sleep. I was in constant pain. I was moving abnormally, just very frozen. I wasn’t loose and I was always aware of my pain. One of my best friends, Carla Gugino, @carlagugino who was previously shooting in Atlanta had recommended you. And she does a lot of bodywork, so anything that she recommends, I generally don’t question. I came to see you several times during my stay and had immediate relief. But the biggest thing with that, I started to sleep better. My pain became secondary. I wasn’t thinking about it all the time.
By midway through the season, I just felt like a different person in my body and I was so grateful and convinced that the right chiropractor can absolutely heal long-standing injuries and imbalances in the body.
The 100 Year Lifestyle Shift- From Quick Fix to Longevity
Dr. Plasker: “That’s a big part of what we talk about in The Hundred Year Lifestyle, that people are living longer than ever and current model of living crisis to crisis, you can only do that for a while and then it starts to really affect your whole life and you don’t even realize it.
What’s really important thing that we try to get across is that critical transition from just treating the pain in the moment, that transition to thinking differently about how to take care of your spine, your neck, your nervous system in that way. Why do you think that is important for you not just for today but… you know, you’re a young woman … over the course of a lifetime?
Emmanuelle: “The proof is in the pudding. I think we spend so much time and energy and money trying to find these quick fixes. Like, “Okay, if I can just get rid of the pain today, I’m good until the next time.” And I think that that’s an incorrect way of thinking. I think that working with you, I really understood that it’s a commitment to show up. As much as there were several adjustments with you where I felt instantly better, I also knew and learned that it was important to keep it up because stress keeps accumulating in the body. That doesn’t ever really go away. It kind of ebbs and flows, but we’re constantly dealing with life. Certainly, I’ll speak for myself, I’m a sensitive person, and it definitely shows up in the already weak areas. So for myself, the staying on course, really showing up where I needed to be, even if I wasn’t in excruciating pain, I knew that it was helping me in the long term and that I would like to continue to do that.
Loving What’s Good for Us
Dr. Plasker: “Can I do Pilates? I wanna do Pilates? Can I do a class today? People stop doing the things that they love because their body is not functioning well. How exciting was it to realize that the things that you thought were keeping you from what you loved were correctable if you just took care of yourself in this way? That you had an answer and a solution.”
Emmanuelle: “Absolutely. That goes without saying. I love Pilates. It’s the form of exercise I think that my body likes the most. Certainly, when I was in excruciating pain, I felt like doing Pilates or anything was going to exacerbate the pain. So, it was so wonderful to be able to get adjusted and do the work that we were doing and not compromise on my exercise, but instead continue to get stronger. The two go hand in hand. Things that are meaningful to me that I’ve been practicing for a number of years that are part of my every day no matter what, like, no matter how busy you are, no matter how stressed you are, no matter what, are meditation, I practice transcendental meditation every single day and I have really, really good eating habits I mean, listen, I’m a foodie and I love eating out. Just the nature of what I do, there’s so much going out that I need to check myself.”
“Generally speaking, I am 85% plant-based, which isn’t to say that I don’t eat animal protein, I just don’t eat a lot of it. I don’t do dairy. I really stay away from sugar. I do lemon water every single morning. It’s the first thing I put in my body, followed by my meditation. Then I’ll do my coffee, this and that and the other. Through the day, I try to get a green juice in, whether it’s a mixed green juice or celery juice, and I do a metal detox smoothie that I like to try and do every day, just because as you know, we’re surrounded by so much crud all the time.”
“The metal detox smoothie is a smoothie that I make and I drink over the course of two days. I got the recipe from the Medical Medium on Instagram. It’s really wonderful. The ingredients are two bananas, a cup of orange juice, a quarter cup of water, two cups of wild blueberries, some Dulse (which is like seaweed but sourced from the Atlantic is much better), a heaping teaspoon of barley grass and a heaping teaspoon of spirulina. It cleans the metals from your body. Being plant-based, having the spirulina gives me the plant-based protein and energy. And those are my go-to’s. I drink a ton of water I love self-care, I love massage, I love spas. I just enjoy those things and they happen to be good for you.”
Dr. Plasker: “As we say, ‘Learn to love the things that good for you’, and the things that you’re choosing to love are really easy to love.”
Understanding Our Beautiful, Vitalistic Bodies
Emmanuelle: “Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I just think that what you’re doing, and the way that you practice, is such a gift to us, to really understand that practitioners like yourself that take the time to explain what’s happening in the body when you’re at crisis point and when you’re not at crisis point. That there’s an education attached to it, I think is really powerful in healing. And I think that you do that so beautifully. That definitely hooked me to continue. ‘Cause I think a lot of us very blind. We go, we go to a practitioner, we let them do their thing, and we don’t fundamentally understand what’s going on. I think that the way you do that is super inspiring and inspires the continuation of taking care of ourselves.”
Healthier Choices for a Healthier Life
These are the choices successful professionals take towards their mindset behind health. We cannot do it alone, and yet it is essential in becoming educated on the nervous system’s ability to adapt holistically. Actresses and actors like Emmanuelle are taking the leap towards their healthiest lives so that they can continue to do what they love and thrive as the best version of themselves, on and off screen.