Nice Girls Spotlight: Monique Gabriela Curnen
While her name may not be familiar, it’s very likely that you’ve seen Monique Gabriela Curnen’s work as she has guest-starred on popular shows such as Person of Interest, Agents of Shield, Sons of Anarchy, Lie to Me, The Mentalist, CSI, and Revenge. She’s also had roles in The Dark Knight, Contagion, and Fast and Furious. I had the good fortune to chat with her by phone about her current and past projects and why right now is a great time for women on television.
Can you tell us about your current projects?
I’m working on a multi-episode arc on The Following (Season 3 premieres Monday, March 2nd). I can’t say much, but I’m an FBI agent and my character shows up in the 4th episode of the season.
You have played a lot of law enforcement types
Isn’t that funny? It cracks my dad up. I’m blaming his disciplinarian ways, for seeping into my personality and making me seem like an enforcer! [laughing] Obviously there is a lot of law enforcement on television right now. These roles tend to be intelligent women, which is appealing to me and I was a tomboy growing up, so they may fit me for that reason as well. I’ve played school teachers and housewives, too, but those roles have tended to be in indie productions, so they aren’t seen by as many people.
Speaking of law enforcement, I’m a huge Person of Interest fan and it was great to see you on the show. Your character had the enviable role of getting to put Reese/Detective Riley (Jim Caviezel) in his place after his “knee-capping” got a bit out of control.
I loved the role of Captain Moreno – she had a great sense of humor, intelligence, and a leadership position – she wasn’t just any beat cop.
Will we see her again?
I don’t know, I’d like to, there is the possibility, it all depends on where the writers decide to go with the show.
One of the aspects of POI that I find so appealing is how many strong female characters they have. Granted, some of them, like Root and Shaw, are bats#$t crazy, but they are all a force to be reckoned with.
And they are smart, too!
It seems like there are a lot of strong female characters on TV these days, less in the movies. And those are the kind of roles that you find yourself drawn to…
I like transformation so I’m drawn to a variety of different characters because I like the challenge of telling a story from a very different point of view. There just seems to be a greater wealth of material on television these days – between the cable channels, and online – Netflix, Amazon. It’s really a great time for story telling, and it’s also happening at a time when there are more female writers and even a few showrunners, and a wealth of talented female actors… I think there are just fewer movies getting made, and they need to have solid returns on their investments, so they go back to proven formulas.
Thankfully, for women, it seems like the current formula might be Jennifer Lawrence!
How great is she?! Her role in Winter’s Bone is one of the most phenomenal performances! However, there are still more tent pole-type movies being made and within that universe, there is the tendency to lean more on male-heavy casts and male leads.
Are there particular shows that you’re really into right now?
I love Fargo – Noah Hawley is a genius! I worked with him on the Unusuals. What he did with Fargo, re-imagining that film in a completely new way for television was brilliant. Two of my favs are Game of Thrones and True Detective. I was also a huge Breaking Bad fan. And Orange is the New Black is a delight – so many strong women characters, in all different kind of ways.
I think what makes Orange is the New Black special is that it is pretty much all women and it’s gritty – they aren’t all sitting around talking about their divorces like the Real Housewives.
Yes, I think we owe Jenji Kohan a debt of thanks for bringing these very real, fascinating women to the forefront. We all know from all our female friends and acquaintances the range of personalities out there, but she has been able to bring them vividly to life on screen!
What is your dream role, your “role I’d give a kidney for”?
I’d love to have a role as a really cool international spy – ala The Bourne Identity. I have started watching The Americans – Keri Russell gets to transform and be all these different personas in the interest of spying. Speaking different languages, getting to be a badass, having some good fight scenes – the combination of intellectual, physical and sensual – that would be very fun for me! With my multi-ethic background, I can play lots of different ethnicities, so I’d be great for a role as a spy!
An international woman of mystery!
Look for Monique in March on the Following!