Today's Harley Qwednesday is truly something special; An interview with one of the best looking Harley Quinn cosplayers in the world, Elise Archer - AND an interview with Harley Quinn herself!
My heart was all a-flutter when these two beautiful funny talented women agreed to sit down for an interview; although for some odd reason they were never in the same room at the same time. Oh well, women are mysterious creatures.
But enough about feminine behavior, let's get to the first ten questions with Elise:
Toyriffic: Hello Elise, thanks so much for this interview. Please introduce yourself to our readers. When not cosplaying as Harley Quinn, who are you?
Elise: Elise Archer, an Australian redhead with a love of burlesque, musical cinema, vintage fashion and ranty politics.
Toyriffic: What's your earliest memory of Harley Quinn?
Elise: It's a vague memory, but seeing her in the episode 'Joker's Favour'... painting her nails and then singing her little song to Commissioner Gordon. I loved her instantly. Cheeky, perky bad girls are my faves!
Toyriffic: What led you to take your Harley Quinn fandom to the next level (websites, cosplaying, and public appearances?)
Elise: Pretty much just loving the character so much that I wanted to submerge myself in her world. Everything about her fascinates me, her various contradictions and quirks, the clownish elements of her persona and her twisted relationship with the Joker. I find a lot to identify with her about and it's nice to inhabit her 'space' for a while, it is often liberating to aspects of myself that I have to keep under constraint otherwise. Plus I absolutely love interacting with other people who love the character or are intrigued by the costume.
Toyriffic: How long have you been publicly appearing as Harley Quinn?
Elise: Since April of 2009 as a cosplayer.
Toyriffic: Besides Harley Quinn, what are some more of your personal interests?
Elise: I absolutely love the world of 'exotic' theatre, such as circus and clowning, burlesque, dance and vaudeville. I don't like my performance art particularly pretentious or too serious but I love that which utilizes various theatrical mediums to explore both the potentials of the human body and the varying aspects of the human psyche. I think clowns really do both these things with extraordinary results! I often like elements of the erotic and the grotesque to be mingled in. They often intersect for me!
Elise: I am myself a burlesque performer and a wannabe clown as well as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. I love the act of creation in art - the process of transformation - which I feel is often into something else whilst drawing on submerged elements within oneself.
Besides this I also love vintage clothing, the period 1930 - 1960 is my favourite for fashion both male and female though I appreciate other eras too. I adore clothing and shoes and hats and gloves - fetish objects, really - and have a reasonable collection.
I'm a big fan of creature feature movies, the more b-grade the better so long as there is plenty of action and gloss.
I'm very into fitness and health, though it's a contested pursuit for me. I love doing different things with my body though and currently study gymnastics and various dance forms.
There's lots more but apart from this I just generally enjoy socialising, going out and being with my friends and causing trouble.
Toyriffic: Have you ever been hit on while dressed as Harley?
Elise: It happens a fair bit!
Toyriffic: Besides yourself of course, who would you cast if Harley Quinn were to ever appear a) in the upcoming Batman: The Dark Knight Rises film, or b) on a TV show ala Smallville
Elise: NO one besides myself, hahaha! For reals though, I don't have any clear choices in mind. I don't think Harley belongs in the Nolanverse so I don't want to see her in there at all. For a TV show, well they had that with Birds of Prey and I really liked Mia Sara as an older, cooler Harley Quinn - I like to think of myself as willing to give anyone, with a few exceptions, a chance in the role.
Toyriffic: I think it's safe to assume you have an extensive Harley Quinn themed collection - what is your most prized Harley possession?
Elise: I have so many things which are really near and dear to me. This year I achieved the dream of having my first edition copy of Mad Love signed by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. They musta signed so many of those suckers over the years, but it's so precious to me. My custom-made pop gun - the prop I carry when in cosplay - has been signed by Dini, Timm, Mark Hamill & John DiMaggio. There's also the issue of The Gotham Adventures where Ty Templeton inserted my name as Harley's alias. I have the very first porcelain statue ever released of Miss Quinn and you hardly ever see it, so I love that. And, of course, my Harley Quinn costume, which I think is second to none! (I didn't make it so I'm allowed to say that! ;D)
Toyriffic: What are your thoughts on Harley Quinn's most recent appearance on Batman: The Brave and the Bold?
Elise: I really enjoyed it! Like I said, I try to be open to different interpretations. I certainly liked the 'Silent Movie Star' look MUCH better than the Arkham Asylum video game 'Hot Topic Nurse' look! I don't feel like she was in the episode enough to give us a really clear and full picture of her as a character within that universe, but what we did get I think is definitely in the right vein and really promising. I enjoyed it, a whole lot, and hope she'll appear in that series again.
Toyriffic: When and where will you be appearing as Harley next?
Elise: Well, I do charity work with a mob called 'Gotham's Finest' so I may be showing up at event with them in the near future, plus I'm planning on doing more cosplay shoots over the summer here - but officially, in public? At Sydney Armageddon con, in late February 2011.
Toyriffic: Thank you so much for answering all my questions, Elise. You are a real doll! I'd ask you to marry me, but my heart is saved for the real Harley Quinn. I'd ask her to marry me, but she'd probably sic her Hyenas on me and have them kill me painfully and slowly - a lot like marriage now that I think about it.
But enough about my unrequited love. It's time for the second half of our Harley Qwednesday interview, wherein I have a few questions for the Clown Princess of Crime herself, Harley Quinn!
Toyriffic: Hi Harley! Thanks for stopping by. You looked a little on edge when you came through the door. Are you wanted by the authorities or are you currently enjoying state sanctioned freedom?
Harley Quinn: Let's just say right now I'm on sabbatical in the big brown land down unda, gettin' some well-deserved R&R. It's mighty pretty down here - sun, sand and sharks! They have such cute smiles...
Toyriffic: How about some questions on one of your fortes: comedy. Whom do you prefer most, Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd?
Harley Quinn: Oohhh that's a toughie! They both had such talent and finesse and made with the yuks like few others! But let's face it - the rightful King - of the olden days at least - was the one and only Chaz Chappers.
Toyriffic: How about this one: The Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers?
Harley Quinn: Yeesh, you make with the tricky questions, don'tcha? But after careful consideration, I'm gonna have to pick the Marx Bros - if only for Groucho!
Toyriffic: Batman or Nightwing?
Harley Quinn: Weeeelll... Nightwing IS defiitely that little bit more fun to torture, cos he gets SOOOOO narky when ya remind him of his Birdboy days and how cutesy he looked in those tights, but the B-Man is at the heart of my Puddin's sufferin' and so on principle I'll have to go with tall, dark and gruesome. There's just something more fun in making such an otherwise stoic guy scream - in pain, that is!
Toyriffic: Gun Powder or Nitro Glycerin? (monotonous, aren't I?)
Harley Quinn: Well, they both make a nice, big BOOM, but a gal has to think about her style - and nitro is just the more elegant option!
Toyriffic: Harley, you got your start in crime as a moll for The Joker, and have teamed up with Poison Ivy in the past as well. But you have also made quite a name for yourself as a solo criminal act. Which do you enjoy more, flying solo or as part of a team?
Harley Quinn: Whilst being Quinncess of my own little Harleydom sure can be fun, I gotta say nothing beats the thrill and joy of having someone with whom to share all your special moments - like blowing up the First National Bank or flattening the Sprang Bridge or poisoning the city's water supply - yannow, sometimes it's not about what you do, but who you do it with that creates the memory to last a lifetime!
Toyriffic: Being based in Gotham City, you tend to run into a lot of the Bat family. Is there any other city/superhero you'd like to create mayhem in/go toe-to-toe with?
Harley Quinn: There's somethin' about that Big Blue Ham that makes a gal positively itch and twitch to put a smile on his face - permanently!
Toyriffic: So, do we hear wedding bells in your/Joker's future?
Harley Quinn: A gal can dream - I know my Puddin's devoted to his work and I figure the more I help him, the closer he'll get! Then we can make it legal, baby!
Toyriffic: How about little Js and Qs?
Harley Quinn: Once upon a time I had a dream of raising a little brood of my own - but now, I ain't so sure. It'd be hell on the figure and kids are so demandin'. Plus it'd leave me less time to devote to Mistah J - and he can't find his socks without me! I'm enjoyin' being a career woman as Puddin's number one hench and wench. I got the fur babies - Bud and Lou - and that seems to be enough. At least, for now!
Toyriffic: One final question before you go, Harley...have you seen my wallet?
Harley Quinn: The battered black leather one with the gaffa tape fixin' the crack, the photos of Michelle Pfeiffer, a VIP discount card for Toys 'R' Us and exactly fifty-five dollars and twenty five cents inside it? Nope, haven't seen it. Have ya tried under the sofa?
Toyriffic: Well, thanks anyways Harl. I guess. Oh, and it looks like you are out of time...or out the door at least - wait, do I hear sirens? Anyways, thanks so much to Harley Quinn and extra special Toyriffic thanks to Elise Archer (as herself and in character!) for helping make this the best Harley Qwednesday yet!
Be sure to visit Elise online at the following links:
Elise Archer as Harley Quinn on Facebook
Elise's weblinks at Harlequinnade.com
Harleyquinnaid on Twitter
And if you are ever lucky enough to meet her in person, tell her Toyriffic says "I LOVE YOU HARLEY QUINN!"
Buy stuff by me at Zazzle!