ARTIFICIAL: REMOTE INTELLIGENCE Exclusive Interview With Whitney Keen Actress Veronica Mitsuk

It’s that time of year when some shows come to an end while other series return from hiatus with a fresh season. With Fall television such as The Walking Dead, Supernatural, The Mandalorian, WandaVision, and more, there will be plenty to keep viewers satisfied, but it’s still sad to see a season come to a close.

Twitch’s interactive scripted sci-fi series Artificial: Remote Intelligence is bringing its third season to a close this week, with the finale premiering on Thursday evening. We’re rounding out the rest of our chats with the cast, and tonight we have our exclusive conversation with actress Veronica Mitsuk to share with you.

We spoke with Veronica about her thoughts on how the trial of Dr. Matt Lin went, as well as her hopes for a potential Season 4 and her own beliefs on AI, as well as a number of other fun bits.

To listen to our chat with Veronica, click the podcast player below; otherwise, scroll down for the transcript. We’ve also included a few of our other Artificial interviews as well!

1m 12s – Literary Joe: Can you give me a little rundown on who Whitney Keen is for any audience members who aren’t familiar?

1m 18s – Veronica Mitsuk: Yes, Whitney Keen is the daughter of Nathan Keen. She is a very, I don’t know, I want to say vengeful [person], but it makes her sound so evil. And even though she kind of is, I get her pain, you know, but she’s very passionate about justice and all the different meanings of that word.

1m 40s- Literary Joe: What were your thoughts on the trial? It came close. Your character is really passionate about it, but personally, what were you hoping would happen? I know that Tohoru was going to be out of a job if it went a certain way, but I want to hear your thoughts on that a little bit more.

1m 57s -Veronica Mitsuk: Yeah, it was awesome; you’re right. It was 55 to 45. I’m invested in my character; I believe in Whitney’s argument. So it was like, okay, I’m rooting for her to win, but I knew that she’s the newest character, you know, and she’s coming off as, like a kind of crazy kind of overly whatever, you know?

And it’s like, I didn’t think the audience would side with her. And when I saw that it was so close, I thought that was really cool that, it’s not just me thinking she’s valid like I have, convinced other people that she does have a point, you know? And that’s awesome. I don’t play a lot of borderline villains, evil characters. So this is new ground, and it’s very fun.

And so I was worried that she just wouldn’t be liked because she so on the extreme of everything, you know? And I thought that was so cool that I was able to convince 45% of the audience.

3m 11s – Literary Joe: What are your thoughts on LifeScore and the music? I know that Jennifer Field said that you guys couldn’t hear it while you’re actually acting, but obviously when you watch the playback, what do you think of that technology?

3m 24s – Veronica Mitsuk: I think it’s so cool. I think the entire concept of the show is so different. Coming in, I didn’t know that – I knew that it was interactive to a certain degree. But, I didn’t know how much of it was interactive and audience input.

And I think that’s so cool. The fact that they really can put on this tone, you know, it’s not just the choices, it’s the feel of it to that they can contribute too. This show’s whole concept is so innovative.

And whenever my friends tune in, and they’re like, I didn’t know this existed. I didn’t know this could exist that the fact it could even work. And it’s really cool to watch things just kind of like play out live.

3m 58s – Literary Joe: Before you were on the show, did you ever watch it at all? I know you said you weren’t completely familiar with how interactive it was. Were you familiar with the show at all before you were cast?

4m 43s – Veronica Mitsuk: So originally, I auditioned for Elle before the beginning of Season 3. So I knew that it existed, but I didn’t watch it after that audition. And then when I went to audition for Whitney, it happened very fast and was very exciting.

Once I finally tuned in, I was very happy that I got Whitney, it’s such a fun character, and I was just blown away by it. I wish I tuned in before so that I wasn’t as like – it almost felt like it hit me like a bus, you know, once I had joined the team. And, if I watched it, I would have been a bit more prepared mentally because, to me, it relates to live theater, and it’s the closest thing to live theater that I’ve ever done.

6m 23s – Literary Joe: I’m curious about your personal AI beliefs. So what do you think about AI in your personal life?

6m 30s – Veronica Mitsuk: See, this is the part of the trial episode that I was intrigued about. Cause some of the arguments that Whitney made, I didn’t know if I agreed with a hundred percent, even though I understood what she meant, right? I don’t know yet if I can keep an open mind about the fact that something that was made by someone could still have sentience.

I don’t know if it’s possible yet, but a part of me is like, yeah, why not? Just because I’m the kind of person that’s like, why not? You know, until it’s proven that it’s not, then I’ll be like, Oh yeah, that’s a hard no. But before that, I’m like, yeah, anything can happen. So I’m a bit more lenient with the possibility of things being real, I guess. I don’t know if that makes any sense.

9m 49s – Literary Joe: I’m curious about your history with acting. When did you first start, or when did you first begin aspiring to be an actress?

9m 57s – Veronica Mitsuk: I started focusing on acting over two years ago. But, before that, I was always centered around the entertainment industry. So I went into college hoping to get a theater degree in theater set design like a technician, and then I switched to the film department, and then I switched to the acting department.

So I’ve been jumping around different areas in the entertainment industry and even doing the indie projects in town. I started behind the camera stuff. So PA, AC-ing, some people let me touch their equipment, and I was worried because I knew I’d break something If they’ll let me touch anything expensive. I did script supervising; I was trying to learn as much as I can behind the camera.

And then, we had to take an acting class for our theater tech program at UNLB. And trying that out, I found a bigger attraction toward it. Because before, I chose behind the camera stuff because I was always very shy, quiet, and sheltered in high school. So I figured, I love the entertainment industry, but if I could hide and not be seen, that’s preferable. I found out it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

And so I really started focusing on it over two years ago. Before, I was very self-conscious about the existence of the camera. But now that I’ve been doing it more and through classes, projects, and learning how to connect with the person in the scene, it turned into not just, “Oh, something is recording me.” It turned into, “Oh, I wanna play out this scene with this person.” So I found a way to refocus my attention, which makes it more fun.

*This interview has been edited for clarity.*



 

Artificial is a Live and Interactive Science Fiction series where the audience changes the story. Co-creator and Showrunner Bernie Su walks you through what makes this series so unique. It is the first original sci-fi series on Twitch and was the winner of the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Innovation in Interactive Media.

You can catch the Season 3 finale of Artificial: Remote Intelligence on Twitch this Thursday at 5 pm PST.