Clare Foley may be a young actress but she is making waves in her craft. She has guest-starred on several TV shows (including my favorite, Law & Order: SVU) and had a major role in Sinister as Ethan Hawke’s daughter. She currently portrays Ivy Pepper (that’s Poison Ivy to you) on Gotham.
How does Gotham compare to other roles that you’ve done?
It’s a lot different from other roles I’ve done because it’s more long-term. For movies you’re onset straight for two months, and then you never see anybody again. For Gotham I’ve kinda been there since the beginning and I’ve known everybody for almost two years now. So it’s kinda fun to get to know everybody for a long time and to keep coming back. It’s different because most projects that I’ve done have been more short-term.
What was the audition process like?
The audition process was actually really simple. I first got the audition and it said it was for the show Gotham but it said nothing about the character. It was just a short scene from the pilot and it had fake names. So it said “Sally” and it really gave away no details. There was just a bit of improv in the audition. But for the most part it was super simple. Then a week later my mom called me and said, “oh my gosh, you got this role!” and I was like, “wait, you mean Sally?” She told me I was going to be playing Ivy and that was really exciting.
That kind of ties into my next question which is how did you react when you learned you were going to be Ivy?
I was really excited. I have four brothers, and ever since we were younger, my brothers always loved Batman. We’d always play it/act it out and sometimes I’d even play Ivy. I’d say I’m kinda like her because obviously we both have red hair. (laughs). So I was really excited. Also to play someone who has such a history. For instance if you’re in a movie and someone asks, “oh what character are you?” and if the movie hasn’t come out, what are you supposed to tell them? So it’s kinda fun that I can say, “oh I play Ivy Pepper” and automatically almost everybody knows who that is.
Where would you like to see Ivy’s storyline go?
I’d like to see her storyline go into the comic books, where she has a different name. In the comic books, Poison Ivy’s real name is Pamela Isley. But when I first got to Gotham it was Ivy Pepper, so I’m curious to see what happened with that. I don’t know, is she ever going to have that name? I’m curious to see how that will happen.
What are you motivations or inspirations when you’re preparing for an episode?
Usually I just like to look over the script a bunch of times before the episode. I like to think about the past episodes, when you’ve last seen Ivy. Or sometimes I like to think about the future in the movies, and her emotions in that and try to link it back to what makes her want to become Poison Ivy.
What’s it like balancing filming and getting your education? Is it hard?
Well, balancing school and acting can be difficult at times. But for me at least, I always like to be busy. I hate when there’s a dull moment and you’re just hanging around. So personally I like being busy all the time. My school is really great and all my teachers are awesome. I’m very fortunate. I love being able to balance it, kind of the best of both worlds.
Did you always want to be an actress or is there something else you maybe wanted to have done with your life?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a clown, actually, and I wanted to be a firefighter and everything. I really love acting though. I never thought I’d be an actress. Of course, even now I think there’s a million other things that I could do with my life. I never ever wanted one thing, when I grow up I don’t want to be this one thing.
How do you think you’ve matured as an actor since you’ve been in the business?
I think as I’ve gotten older, I’m more in those long-term things, I guess harder roles. When I was younger, I did more commercials, which you could say was pretty easy. But I’ve moved from commercials into TV and movies. Also when I did Sinister, that was my first scary kind of role and it was difficult to keep a straight face and not be laughing the whole time. (laughs).
Is there someone, either living or dead, that is your dream to work with?
Probably Taylor Swift. I love her so much, I think she’s so cool. And I love her music so getting to work with her on anything would be super cool. I think she’s the coolest person and even just to meet her would be awesome.
Maybe if she does a sequel to “Bad Blood” she can give you a call!
Yeah, I would love to be in that!
Last question: as you know our website is called Talk Nerdy With Us, and the reason we all write for them is because we consider ourselves nerds. Is there anything that makes you a nerd?
I love doing crafts and DYI projects. I’m not the best at it, but I just think it’s so cool when someone makes something themselves. Like, takes a store-bought item and makes it in their own home. I love to do that with things. Sometimes I’m not the best at it but I love to try.
Gotham returns Monday, February 29th, on Fox.