Erin Cummings Talks Detroit, Filming With Winona Ryder

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By Troy Frisby and Meagen Mazur, CW50

DETROIT (CW50) In an exclusive interview with CW50, actress Erin Cummings gushes about playing Winona Ryder’s cousin and confidant in the upcoming thriller “The Iceman,” her “Spartacus” character’s return and her love for the city of Detroit.

Cummings — the star who came to town to film a TV show and stuck around because she just can’t get enough of the Motor City — doesn’t skip a beat when she’s asked to list her favorite things about Detroit.

“Comerica Park, I always try to take in a game, I also really like to eat at Slow’s Bar-B-Q … That is one of those trips where I’m not immediately looking for a job, you can’t go to Slow’s and eat healthy,” Cummings said, laughing. “You have to go to Slow’s ready to knock it back, same thing with American Coney Island.”

For “The Iceman,” which stars Michael Shannon as a real-life hitman and Ryder as his wife, Cummings initially auditioned for a two-line role. She explained that while many actors will skip auditions for roles that small, she thought it could be a great opportunity.

“So I auditioned for it, and based on that audition the director said, ‘You know what, I think we would be wasting her if we gave her that role,’” she said.  “He wrote a new character in the movie as Winona’s cousin.”

Acting opposite Ryder was a dream for her, since Cummings remembers singing and dancing along to “Mermaids” growing up and considers “Beetlejuice” one of the greatest movies of all time. During her three weeks of filming in Louisiana, Cummings struggled to not “geek out” in front of her idol, especially when Ryder bounced ideas for her character off her.

“It was very, very giving as an actor,” she said. “Sometimes when someone on that level is working with someone who is not on that level, they don’t have that kind of respect, and she really did.”

Last year, Cummings also filmed a role in the Bryan Cranston-starring drama “Cold Comes The Night,” scheduled for release later in 2013. Once again, she felt honored to share the screen with such a talented and generous performer.

Looking back over the past few years, Cummings credits her role as Spartacus’s wife, Sura, on the hit Starz series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” for the doors it has opened for her.

“You know, ‘Spartacus’ was instrumental in the shift of my career,” she said. “As soon as ‘Spartacus’ came out, I haven’t stopped working since.”

Though her character was killed off during the first season, Cummings shared that Sura will make one last appearance in the show’s final season. She was coy about the details surrounding her character’s return but revealed that it will come from pre-existing footage.

“Yes, there will be a moment when Sura comes back,” Cummings said. “I won’t say what it is, but I’ve known about it since the very beginning.”

Another fondly-remembered project she discussed was the television series “Detroit 1-8-7,” which led to her love affair with Detroit. Though the show was cancelled after 18 episodes, Cummings frequently returns to promote her charity Mittens for Detroit, which gives gloves to people in need.

When she isn’t splurging on barbeque in Detroit, Cummings is back in New York, auditioning for potential new TV shows. Recently, she auditioned for the new CW hit “The Carrie Diaries.”

While Cummings wasn’t cast, she’s a big fan of the writing and the show’s stars. Though filming on the first season is well underway, she isn’t ruling out a guest appearance in the future.

“I would love to come on the show as some sort of either a teacher or a really cool aunt that happens to come into town,” Cummings said. “Some sort of mentor, but somebody really fabulous. I would love to be the guidance counselor on ‘The Carrie Diaries!’”

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