Emmanuelle Chriqui plays Natalie in the UFO cult thriller Cosmic Dawn, which is out now in theaters and on digital through Cranked Up. Emmanuelle is a Canadian actress best known for her role Sloan McQuewick in HBO’s Entourage. Her career has spanned a number of film and television products, such as horror flick Wrong Turn, family comedy The Steps and crime show The Mentalist.
Three Great Things is Talkhouse’s series in which artists tell us about three things they absolutely love. In this latest column, actress Emmanuelle Chriqui – who is currently starring with Camilla Rowe in the UFO cult thriller Cosmic Dawn which is out theatrically and on demand now – shares some of the things that bring her the greatest joy in life. — N.D.
Sunset Beach Walks
A sunset beach walk is pure magic; it’s one of the reasons I love living in California, why California feels like home to me. I don’t live near the beach, but at any time I will happily jump in the car, drive to the beach and walk there with friends, or by myself. I’ve been taking these walks consistently for the past five years, but I’ve always loved the beach. I also love hiking and the outdoors, so anything that brings me outside and then happens to be at sunset is my favorite.
Whenever I don’t feel grounded or my energy feels a little bit off, I get down to the beach, breathe in the ocean air and just walk for an hour or so. When I do that, I’m completely transformed. It resets me and gives me a whole new perspective. When I actually watch the sun go down, not only is it spectacular, but I’m in awe of it, every single time. And every sunset is slightly different. Sometimes I’ll myself, “I don’t need to take pictures,” but then other times, I think, “It’s so beautiful, I want to capture it!”
My best girlfriends live down by the beach and their daughter is my goddaughter, so I walk on the beach with them a lot. It’s so nice, and it just feels like quality time. Sometimes the walks are chatty and sometimes they’re not. When you walk and talk, you never know what’ll come up in conversation. There’s a freedom that’s different from chatting on the phone. Oftentimes when I have to learn a lot of dialogue, I’ll go walk on the beach and learn it. There’s something that happens to my brain when I walk; I’m relaxing and so am able to absorb things more easily.
I live for dancing – I’ve always just loved it. Back in the day, I used to be a true club kid, meaning I wasn’t partying and getting messed up, I was dancing for hours, three or four times a week. I miss it terribly. There’s such a sense of freedom when you’re able to just let loose and dance and be in your body. As an actor, what I essentially try to do all the time is just to be free and loose in my body, to be prepared for whatever is coming up in the scene with my scene partner. With dancing, I feel like it’s part of the same thing. I feel most free when I’m dancing. It’s a form of creative expression that I just don’t think about. I hear the music, and that’s it: Peace out, I’m done. And there’s just not a lot of things that I feel that way about.
I have been dancing since I was three years old. If we had a family function, like a wedding or a bar mitzvah, I would always be dancing my heart out and, before I knew it, there was like a circle of people around me, clapping and cheering me on. Dancing is my joy, both physically and spiritually. I tapped into it at such a young age, and it’s stayed with me forever. It feels like freedom to me. My Entourage co-star Kevin Connolly would tell anybody that would listen, “You’ve never seen somebody feel the music as much as Em.” And it really is like that. It’s not something that I think about, I just feel it.
Time with My Partner
We spend a lot of time apart, but the time I spend with my love is just so beautiful. We’re really good at not taking each other for granted, and I feel so lucky that we met each other in this life. It just feels different to me, somehow. When you’ve met your person, every time you see them – no matter what – you’re just lit up. That’s what I feel like with my partner.
Initially, lockdown meant that we were able have a lot more time together, but then it was the reverse, as I was filming Superman & Lois up in Vancouver, with the borders closed, unable to leave. It was hell. I didn’t see my family, I didn’t see my friends – it was not a good time. I’m grateful to be working, but we’re not built to be stuck in an apartment ourselves, quarantining multiple times, so that was tough.
When we first met, I think we both recognized something was different, like, “Whoa, this is special.” I’m a restless person by nature, and I have always been that way – there was a feeling of one foot in, one foot out, and I was a little nonchalant about it all. But I don’t feel that way anymore. There is a feeling of ease, of peace, with my partner. I feel grounded and really relaxed, and it is really quite extraordinary to feel that way with someone else.
Featured image shows Emmanuelle Chriqui in Cosmic Dawn.