Chit Chatting with Eden McCoy

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Teen actress Eden McCoy has been acting awhile. If you are a soap fan, you may have seen her as Josslyn Jacks on General Hospital. This Los Angeles native has come a long way, from being very shy to where she is now. Read on about how she got her start acting, how she prepares for a role, and what advice she gives to other teenage girls.

 

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got into acting.

E: I was really shy in elementary school, so I took a theater camp one summer so that I would be more comfortable speaking publically. There was an agent there who approached my family at the end of the camp and asked if I had any interest in acting professionally, and I said yes. Two months later, I filmed my first commercial for Wells Fargo.

 

R: You are on the soap opera General Hospital. Tell us a little about the show and your character Josslyn.

E: Josslyn is a teen that is going through a lot right now on the show. Her older brother recently died in a mob-related car explosion, she just found out her kidney donor (Joss had a kidney transplant as a toddler) has been executing a revenge plot against her mother that involved sleeping with her mother’s husband, and now her stepfather is having her father arrested for buying the kidney that was donated to Josslyn many years ago. I love how the writers trust me to show Joss’s emotions and they write powerful scenes for my GH family and me. It’s an honor to portray Josslyn – I love the character!

 

R: Tell us about the TV movie The Nerd Posse and about your character Jenny.

E: Jenny is one of three “mean girls” in this pilot and is part of a clique called “The Jennys” (Jenny, Jennifer, and Jen). The pilot episode deals with how some anime misfits and comic book fans come together and stand up for themselves against the Jennys and learn to be proud and confident in who they are.

 

R: What was the auditioning process like? How did you find out that you got the role?

E: This was actually one of those rare occasions when I did not have to audition for this role – the casting director and the producers were familiar with prior work I had done, so they viewed my reel and offered me the part. I was super excited to work with such a talented group of actors, and the director Suzette Troche Stapp was amazing!

 

R: You were on the Thundermans. What was that like? How was it working with the cast?  

E: My role on the Thundermans as a snooty mean girl was really fun to play, except that I had to be mean to Addison Reicke, who has become one of my closest friends in the business! Everyone on that cast was so welcoming and kind, and that show is near and dear to my heart because that’s how I met Addi!

 

R: Are there any upcoming projects that you can talk about?

E: I’ve been auditioning for a few things. I can’t really talk about any of them, but stay tuned!

 

R: How do you get ready for a role that you play?

E: I try and create a “backstory” or an emotional history for the character if they don’t already have one, and if they already have one then I sort of fill in the blanks with personal details that make me able to relate to them more. For example, I decide what her favorite food is, what sports she likes to play and why, her best friend, what books does she like to read, what the last conversation she had with her parents was, and things like that. It makes the character seem more real to me, and I think it helps the character seem more truthful for the audience.

 

R: If you could work with any actors, who would they be?

E: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and basically the entire cast of 30 Rock!  It’s my favorite show ever!

 

R: You are also a model. What is your favorite part about modeling and who are some of the companies that you model for?

E: I usually only model in fashion editorials at the request of photographers, not specific brands, but one company that I worked with is Izzy Be Clothing. Their message is so powerful and important! They are dedicated to positive self-love and empowerment messages that make a difference – they advocate the importance of seeing beauty in others and finding beauty within ourselves. They also partner with select global and non-profit organizations that are dedicated to human rights. It’s been a privilege to work with them.

 

R: Have you ever had a “star struck” moment?

E: Well even though I didn’t wind up getting the part, I was very star struck when I was invited to audition for an upcoming pilot being produced by Amy Poehler. It was a director and producer’s session, so Amy was in the room. She is one of my favorite actors of all time, and getting to audition for her and making her laugh really hard was a very powerful experience for me. She said I did great and that she loved my audition!

 

R: What advice would you give to other teenage girls?

E: Just to be kind to each other. We are all struggling with something, and no one’s life is perfect. A smile and a little kindness can make all the difference.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

E: I have a list in my iPhone Notes of funny dog names, when I chew gum I always chew two pieces at the same time, sometimes I spend hours on YouTube looking at teacup piglet videos, I keep and collect all the key cards from every hotel I’ve stayed at, and I keep a secret stash of candy hidden in my room.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

E: My Instagram is @edenmccoy, and my twitter is @realedenmccoy.  I also have a Facebook page (there are imposter pages, but my real one has a blue verified check next to my name).

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

E: Please keep sending me messages on social media. I love to hear from you and know what you think – and I read them all! I am so grateful for all the support you guys give me – LOTS OF LOVE TO YOU ALL!

 

Chit Chatting with Bryce Gheisar

Written by:  Jill Sheets

Picture source: Keith Munyan

Each interview is a blessing to me.  I love what I do. Recently, I got to do an interview with 12-year-old actor Bryce Gheisar. This talented young man started acting at the age of 8.  Continue to read on and learn more about him, his movies and shows and what his future goals are.

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting?

B: I’m 12. I was born in Plano, Texas. I got into acting when I was 8. I’ve always loved performing. After going to my first acting class, I thought it was really cool. I have always loved watching movies, and how movies come together. I actually paid for half of my first acting class. I would like to start back up in classes soon. I am going to go to some classes in July.

 

R: Tell us about the movie “Wonder” and your character Julian.

B: I actually read the book when I was in third grade. I remember really loving the story. It’s such a heartwarming story. It is about a boy that has a facial difference. A lot of people make fun of him and he has to overcome it. I play Julian the main bully. Julian is very selfish, and he really doesn’t think about other people. He really hurts others, but it doesn’t register with him how badly he is hurting them.  I give him a really tough time, and he overcomes that, and makes friends. He soon triumphs and makes a tons of friends at school.

 

R: What was the audition process like?

B: It is a funny story actually. I auditioned for this movie two years ago for the part of Augie when I was 8, and then I auditioned a second time two years later for the part of Jack Will, and they wanted me to audition for Julian. They really liked me as Julian, and I got the part. I was so excited to get to this part because I loved this book back in third grade.

 

R: Tell us about “Into the Who Knows!” and about your character Thomas.

B: It is a story about a kid named Thomas who is stuck in his imaginary world. He has an imaginary friend named Felix who is a fox. He has a hard time making real friends. His parents want him to grow up so they send him to summer camp. They want him to make friends, but he decides to go across the lake to a place called the Who Knows. His imagination ends up takes him on a roller coaster of adventures.

 

R: You play Ethan in “A Dog’s Purpose.” Tell us about the movie and your character.

B:  It’s about a dog that goes through multiple lives with different families. He learns through his different lives how to save people and how to love them as well. He saves all his owners by being their best friends, and being there for him. I play Ethan; an all American boy who is going through some rough times with his parents. His dad is an alcoholic, and his mom is worrying about his dad, and I really just need a best friend. It’s a great story about how I become best friends with my dog, and how he is there for me.

 

R: Do you have any up and coming projects that you would like to talk about?

B: I am on break right now. We just finished the second season of Walk the Prank. We are waiting to see if the third season will be picked up, so really excited for that.  I am enjoying my off time in Texas. I am also auditioning here and there for upcoming roles. I will be back to work in a couple months.

 

R: If they were to remake your favorite movie, which one would it be?  What character would you play and who would you like to play opposite of you?

B: Harry Potter is one of my favorites, I would want to play Harry. I have a good friend Matthew McCann. We have grown up in acting together, and we went to classes all the time together in Texas. It would be awesome if we could be in a project together. I would want him to play Ron. That would be fun.

 

R: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?

B: My mom always tells me “If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door” I have always loved that quote because it goes so well with acting. I went through tons of auditions, and this quote helped me get through them all.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

B:  My dad because he is so hardworking, I like the stories he tells me about how he used to get up very early and practice Tae Kwon Do. He worked hard and practiced all the time to become the best he could be at it.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

B: It has always been my dream to win an Academy Award, because I feel like that’s when you know you have worked really hard and you are successful actor.

 

R: Do you have any charities or causes that are close to your heart?  If so, tell us about them?

B: I am a part of Dallas Pets Alive. They are a no kill organization. They foster dogs until they can find a home for them. In Austin, you are not allowed to euthanize any dogs. Dallas is working to make the county a completely kill free zone. I am the organization’s first ambassador. I help out with raising money for them. I really want to do anything I can for animals and animals organizations. I also want to help out with children’s organizations more. In the upcoming months, I am going to be helping out at a local children’s hospital.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

B: One time when I was at Sky Zone and this little girl asked me if I was a billionaire.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

B: 1.My favorite food is pasta. 2. I was born in Plano, Texas 3. I enjoy doing all kinds or art and drawing. 4. Ever since I was younger I enjoyed doing martial arts. I am about to start an MMA class. 5. I quit competitive gymnastics to start acting full time, but I was doing for gymnastics for 4 years.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/ or YouTube page?

B: @Brycegheisar for all social media. I would like to have a website soon, but not yet.

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

B: Tune into season 2 of “Walk the Prank.” Go check out “Wonder,” coming into theaters on November 17, and go get “A Dog’s Purpose” on DVD. Thank you so much for all of your support.

 

R: Bryce, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

Chit Chatting with Actress Sarah Grey

Written by:  Jill Sheets

“Allison Taylor Creative”

Recently I had the honor of interviewing up and coming actress Sarah Grey.  This talented young actress is in the movie “Power Rangers,” which opens on March 24th. Continue to read on about her, what people may not know about her and her hidden talent.

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting?

S: Well, I grew up on Vancouver Island B.C and initially wanted to be a singer! I didn’t really comprehend that acting could be a job when I was young, so it wasn’t on my radar. I fell into an acting class by a random series of events, and immediately fell in love with it. I have always had a strong curiosity for people. I think my love of performing and interest in people is the mix that got me hooked!

 

R:  Tell us about your TV movie “Story of a Girl” and about your character Caitlin Spinelli?

S: This film is based on Sara Zarr’s award winning novel “Story of a Girl”. It’s a powerful coming of age story, following the character “Deanna” who, at 16 is still dealing with the ramifications of a video with her and an older boy, that was leaked when she was only 13 years old. My character, Caitlin, is a popular cheerleader at school who takes pleasure in insulting Deanna, and receiving attention. Our director, Kyra Sedgwick, was absolutely lovely, as well as the rest of the cast. It was always good vibes on set! It made it challenging to play such a mean girl.

 

R: You are also in “Power Rangers” and “Last Night in Suburbia.”  Tell us the movies and your character.

S: “Last night in Suburbia” is an ensemble comedy about a group of friends spending their last fun night together, before they jet off to their various cities for College. All the while being followed around by a hilariously terrible undercover cop. I play “Hailey” who is dating “Spencer”.. another member of the friend group. They are kind of like the married couple of the group because they’ve been together since the beginning of highschool. They all get into a bunch of shenanigans but the movie can be quite touching and relatable at times. 

I also appear in “Power Rangers” which hits theatres this month (March 24th)! This film is based on the Power Rangers franchise that I think many of us have heard of/seen. I play the role of Amanda, another popular cheerleader type. ( I know it seems like a trend but I swear it’s just the two, laughs)

 

Picture source:  Allison Taylor Creative

R: What was it like being a Power Ranger? Did you have to do your own stunts? What was the hardest part when filming this movie?

S: It was fantastic being in Power Rangers. I was very excited because I would watch the T.V show with my sister when I was young (the odd time I actually woke up early on a school day). I didn’t have to worry about any major stunts. I think the hardest part was, again, having to be mean to the sweet Naomi Scott who plays the pink ranger. Playing a mean girl does not come naturally, which is a good thing I guess!

 

R: Our readers can also catch you on “Legends of Tomorrow.”  For those who have not seen then show yet, tell them a little bit about it and your character. 

S:”Legends of Tomorrow” is a DC Comic Series, that follows a team of time-travelling heroes and villains trying to prevent an apocalypse from happening. My character “Stargirl” shows up in season 2 with her “ Justice Society of America” squad. The two teams eventually start working together for the sake of good against evil. It is a blast to play a Superhero. The stunts were so much fun, and I can die happy now that I’ve flown- even if it was on wires. You can catch Stargirl in Episodes 1,2 and 12 of season 2.

 

R:  What are some of your future goals?

S: I’d love to travel for filming. Everything I’ve shot has been near or in Vancouver, which is nice and convenient, but I’d really like to see more of the world, and be earning an income while I’m at it! I’d also really like to be a lead on a T.V series. Writing for T.V is better than ever.

 

R: Do you have any hidden talents?

S: I can do the moonwalk.

 

R: What has been your favorite memory so far?

S: I have many favorite memories and inside jokes from filming “Last Night In Suburbia”. We would crack each other up constantly. Mackenzie Cardwell and I would improv rap songs on set. I’m still friends and keep in touch with many people from that cast.

 

R: Name five people you would like to work with.

S: Off the top of my head, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore,  Charlize Theron, Gary Oldman, and Kevin Spacey.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

S: I would have to go with my entire family. I can’t pick just one person! If it weren’t for them I don’t know if I’d be pursuing this career. They instilled in me the desire to follow my passion. I have an extremely inspiring, supportive family that has led by example.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

S: I have an extreme love of hot sauce that is teetering on the line between delicious and dangerous. In elementary school, I could do a series of back walk overs that made me look like a slinky, so that’s what everyone started calling me, including teachers. Friends and their families still call me slinky to this day.  I play guitar and sing. I went on stage and did an impression of Cher for my moms 50th Birthday. I played Sandy in Grease in my first and only theatre production at the age of 13.

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager.  What advice would you give them in general?

S: Try to love yourself more and care less about what others think. Knowing who you are is overrated, people are constantly growing and changing anyway. Try new things, do more of what makes you happy, and believe in yourself! 

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

S: It must be this one because I don’t think I have one!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which one and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/or youtube page?

S: Yes! 

Instagram @ sarah_grey8

Twitter      @sarah_grey8

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

S: Thank you for your support and love. I deeply appreciate it. 

 

R:  Sarah, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

S: Thanks for having me! Xo

Chit Chatting with Actress Grace Van Dien

 

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of interviewing the talented young actress Grace Van Dien. The first time that I really noticed Grace was in the movie Sleeping Beauty. When I heard that she was going to be on the Netflix show Greenhouse Academy, I couldn’t wait. Read on to learn more about her.

 

R: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting.

G: Hey! My name is Grace. I first got into acting when my dad cast me in one of his features three years ago. We filmed Sleeping Beauty in Bulgaria, and that experience gripped my focus onto acting as a career. Since then, I have worked on multiple indie films, a pilot directed by Lena Dunham, and a Netflix original TV series.

 

R: Can you tell us about your new TV show Greenhouse Academy? Do you know the release date and where we can find it?

G: Greenhouse Academy follows the story of a group of teenagers that have the potential to become great leaders, but, of course, are faced with your average drama from relationships and school challenges. I’m not allowed to say much about the project, but it comes out in early 2017!

 

R: What was the audition process like for this show?

G: The audition process took a week. I met with the casting directors twice before meeting the writer, director, and producers of the show. After that, I met with different actors that ended up booking the show with me and we all got to fly to Israel together and spend months getting to know each other. I’m now best friends with one of the girls and dating one of the guys from the show!

 

R: I read that you are in the movie Riding Faith. Can you tell us more about it and about your character Grace?

G: Riding Faith is a Christian movie I filmed in February 2016. My character was originally named something else but was changed to Grace when I was cast. This was my second time working alongside an animal for the majority of a film, but the first time working with a horse. It’s important to connect to the animals you work with to help them feel more comfortable and natural with you when the cameras are rolling. To create that bond, I would arrive to set early or hang out with the horse in between takes. She had so much spunk!


R: Do you have any other projects that you are working on?

G: Another project that I filmed this year will be released on Lifetime in early 2017, under the working title The Bad Twin. I play both twins, Olivia and Quinn. This project was so much fun because I had to create two different people to become and hop back and forth between them. One is good, and the other not-so-much, but it’s up to the audience to find out which is which.

 

R: Who are five people you would love to work with and why?

G: Five people! Wow, that’s a lot. One person I would love to work with is Robert Redford. He’s an icon and so brilliant in his role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I would love to work with my dad again. We’ve been father/daughter for three projects now and he’s my favorite person to work with. Each time is a treat. I also want to work on a project with my boyfriend. We met on the Netflix show in Israel, but our characters rarely meet so I’d love to do a project where I get to actually work alongside him a lot. He’s a very good actor. A director I would love to work with would be Tim Burton. My dad got my dream and worked with him years ago on Sleepy Hollow. He’s definitely one of my favorite directors because his style is so different and twisted. The last person would have to be Sigourney Weaver. She is the ultimate inspiration! Just the thought of working with her gives me the chills.

 

R: I read that you are writing or have written a novel. Is that true? If so, will you tell us a little bit about it?

G: I do write! I love to write poetry, short stories, and novels, usually dystopian. Recently, I’ve been getting into screenplays and it’s so much fun because I start thinking of how it would look as a movie. If I ever lose inspiration, I write or sketch in my journal.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

G: My biggest influence has been my dad. He has a strong work ethic and is able to stay calm and collected through every situation. And he’s my biggest fan, which is a bonus!


R: What are your future goals?

G: I want to write and direct a screenplay. I think it would be amazing to create a different world and bring it to life to share with everyone.

 

R: What do you like to do in your spare time?

G: In my spare time, I love to read dystopian novels. I also love to paint the universe – I have an obsession with space. I go on adventures with my friends, like forest exploring, improv shows, skiing, etc.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

G: I have the weirdest friends so we ask each other all the time, “would you rather do this or this?” It would be hard to pick the weirdest one. But usually the stranger the question, the harder the laughs are!

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give?

G: I just got out of being a teenager and have three younger siblings that are teenagers, so the advice I would give them is to try and keep a positive mind. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in negative thoughts and to be hard on yourself, but if you really focus on yourself and learn how to love parts of yourself, you’ll be so much happier. Remember that everyone is figuring out who they are, no matter how old they are, and the only person’s judgment that matters is your own. So judge yourself nicely.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

G: I’m a huge cat person. A lot of my friends call me Kitty. I could eat pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and a lot of the time I do just that). I love Western and sci-fi movies, but I also have a soft spot for romance. My favorite music is classic rock. I love Billy Joel, Queen, and Aerosmith. And finally, I love to play tennis.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website?

G: Yes!

Instagram: @gracevandien

Twitter: @GraceVanDien

Facebook: Grace Van Dien

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

G: Thank you for your support! You’re all so lovely.

 

R: Grace, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

G: Thank you!

 

Written by: Jill Sheets

Photo credits: Dan Brookman, Alivia Latimer, Will G. Macneil

Chit Chatting with Actress Fola Evans-Akingbola

Written by Jill Sheets

Picture source: Isaac Sterling

fola-2Recently I had the honor of interviewing Fola Evans-Akingbola, who is not only an actress, but also an up-and-coming model. Read on to learn more about her and about her show Dawn, with can be seen on Hulu.

 

R:  Tell us about yourself and how you got into acting.

F:  I am a born and raised Londoner. I grew up in Bermondsey and then moved to Honor Oak Park in my early teens. I am mixed-race: half-English and half-Nigerian. I sort of fell into the acting world. After I had finished school I was meant to go to university to study philosophy, but I ended up canceling my place and going into fashion modeling. That gave me the opportunity to travel, make some money, and see a different world I hadn’t previously been exposed to. I started taking a few acting classes, just for fun, but I caught the bug and one thing led to another. I did National Youth Theatre, went to Identity Drama School, and then found my tribe at The Actors’ Temple in London which focuses on the Meisner technique. Since signing to my agent, IAG London, in 2014 I’ve been steadily working in the industry and have been going across the pond to Los Angeles too, where I am represented by WME and Luber Roklin Entertainment.

 

R:  Tell us about your new show Dawn and about your character. How did you find out about this role?

F:  Dawn is a new project for the streaming service Hulu. The show was created by Hank Steinberg and Ken Nolan. Our director was Robert Stromberg, who has won Oscars for his production design work on Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. It was such a great team to get to be a part of. The show is about three tribes fighting for survival at the dawning of man. That is all I can really tell you for now without getting myself into trouble! We shot the pilot in Ireland, so the locations were absolutely stunning. I was actually in LA when I received the audition from my UK agents (IAG) to put myself on tape for the casting directors here in London. After several weeks I got the call saying I’d booked the job!

 

R:  You were in Game of Thrones. For those who have not heard about it, tell us about the show and your character. What was it like working with the cast?

F:  Game of Thrones is an HBO show based on the fantasy novels written by George R.R. Martin called A Song of Ice and Fire. There are different noble families and tribes all fighting for power and survival. There is also a fabulous amount of magic and dragons thrown into the mix to keep you on your toes. In Season 6, I played the wife to the leader of the Dothraki tribe, Karl Moro, who captured Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). It was so much fun shooting in Spain and having to learn the Dothraki language. I was already a fan of the show, so it was surreal being on set with the main cast and then seeing myself in the episodes when it aired!

 

R:  How do you prepare for a role?

F:  I’m still learning and figuring out what works best for me, but generally it is about finding how I can relate to the character and understand them on a human level. I have had to play a few characters with accents, so that is an important part of the process. Language and accents are such a big part of our identities, so it can be really useful in unlocking the character. Obviously I have to spend some time learning the lines, but what’s important is coming to the table with strong choices and ideas for my character and their journey.

 

R:  Tell us about some of the other movies/shows you have been in.

F:  I played Rosey Fabrice in the BBC series Death in Paradise, which is shot in Guadeloupe. It was such a treat to be out in the Carribean shooting on the beach! I was a semi-regular character for Season 5 and it is such a fun cast and crew to have joined. For the first episode, I worked with a bunch of amazing, talented actresses – Elarica Johnson, Hannah Brittland and Heida Reid. That is what is so fun about this job — getting the opportunity to work with wonderful people. Don Warrington, Kris Marshall, and Danny John Jules have all been on the show for a while and are such talented actors. It was great to get to watch and learn from them.

 

R:  I read that you are working as an Equalities Champion for Her Centre. Tell us about it and how you got into it.

F:  Her Centre is a charity in Greenwich that focuses on empowering women, particularly those who have experienced domestic and sexual abuse. Gender inequality is the biggest human rights violation in history and domestic and sexual abuse is just one manifestation of that. It is important to me to be educated about what is going on, not just around the world, but also in our own backyards and to be proactive about trying to make a change. I am hoping to be able to contribute more this coming year, because my recent schedule prevented me from helping as much as I would of liked. There are two other wonderful women who also work as Equalities Champions for the Her Centre. They have been working hard to try and bring Bryony Beynon’s “A Good Night Out” campaign to the Greenwich area. It focuses on helping venues tackle harassment. Everyone should be able to go out and enjoy themselves without being harassed. Specifically for young women (aged 13-19 years old), the Her Centre has a Young Women’s advocate who offers one-to-one support for any young woman experiencing relationship abuse, sexual violence or exploitation.

Picture source: T. Lourds 

flora-1R:  Where can people get more information on it and how can they get involved?

F:  For more information and to donate you can visit the website www.hercentre.org and www.goodnightoutcampaign.org .

 

R:  Who has been your biggest influence?

F:  There are lots of people who inspire me and that I am influenced by on a day to day basis; from a random stranger to actors, musicians and writers. But really, it is my family and friends who provide the biggest support and guidance in my life. My mother is a huge influence on me as a person and she is my best friend. I think the energy we have around us has a massive impact on our lives, so you have to be careful about who you surround yourself with. All my friends and family are very focused, hard-working, supportive, loving, and fun!

 

R:  What are five things people may not know about you?

F:

  1. If I wasn’t an actress, I think I would be interested in being a human rights lawyer.
  2. My best friend Anouska Cope, who is a TV Presenter, and I have just started salsa classes. It’s so much fun!
  3. I am a chocolate addict. My most recent vice is the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Magnum ice cream.
  4. I used to do karate with my sister when I was young and did Wing Tsun with my dad in 2014. We want to pick it up again soon.
  5. I am a terrible singer!

 

R:  What are some of your future goals?

F:  I would like to continue to build my acting career in a way that allows me to continuously work with amazing, creative people who are telling interesting stories. I would also really love to start writing and creating my own work and taking control of my own creativity. There is no excuse nowadays; there are so many platforms and outlets, you don’t have to wait for the phone to ring. But I have to start practicing what I preach and put my own stuff together!

 

R:  It is not easy to be a teenager. What advice would you give them?

F:  Focus on what makes you happy and what feels good for you. Life is an ever-changing and continuously evolving learning process; everyone’s path is different so just stay true to yourself. Oh, and, especially for us young girls, you don’t have to always be nice and polite –  Find your NO and don’t be afraid to use it.

 

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

F:  I can’t think of anything at all! Or certainly not one that is appropriate! Perhaps I block out all the strange questions people ask me.

fola-3

 

R:  Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? What about an official website and/or YouTube page?

F:  No I don’t have any social media.

 

R:  Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?

F:  Thank you.

 

 

R:  Fola Evans-Akingbola, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

 

Picture source: Isaac Sterling

Chit Chatting with Actress Madisyn Shipman

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interviewing talented actress and singer Madisyn Shipman. This 13-year old from North Carolina plays Kenzie on her new show “Game Shakers.” Read on to learn more about her, her new show, five things people may not know about her, and more.

madisyn shipman

R:  Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in acting.

M: First, I’m an animal, sushi, music, and people lover, in no specific order. I have a big family and I love it (even if I never get any privacy)! I have been acting since I was 6 years old. We moved to NYC and I booked a Broadway show. Being on Nickelodeon was always a childhood dream of mine, and I’m so grateful that I am literally living my dream right now!

 

R:  Tell us about your show “Game Shakers” and about your character Kenzie Bell.

M: “Game Shakers” is about two girls, Babe and Kenzie, who create a game for their science project that is an overnight sensation. They become business partners with Double G (played by Nickelodeon veteran Kel Mitchell) and create a gaming empire. Throughout the episodes we create different games that you guys at home can download from the App Store and play along. I play Kenzie Bell. She is a smart girl who loves to code. She’s the brains behind the operation. I personally feel that Kenzie and I are pretty similar. She’s a little bit of a nerd but hey, so am I! We all have to embrace our inner dork!

 

R:  What was the audition process like and how do you prepare yourself for auditions?

M: I had to jump through several hoops to land the role of Kenzie on Nickelodeon’s “Game Shakers.” It was about a 6-month process, but honestly, it was the best thing that has ever happened to me! To prepare for auditions I study the script and begin developing the character.

 

R:  What is the best thing about “Game Shakers?”

M: The best think about “Game Shakers” is the amazing cast and crew that I get to work with and call family.

 

R:  Tell us about your up-and-coming movie “Geezer” and about your character Salome.

M: Geezer is about the struggle that Perry (Billie Joe), a former punk rocker, encounters. His band has been on a ten year hiatus and he is kind of experiencing a midlife crisis. He believes his wife (Selma) and his daughter (moi!) forgot his birthday. He decides to throw himself a pity party at a fancy NYC hotel and bumps into an old crush while there. I don’t wanna spoil everything for you guys, though. I play Salome. She is a normal girl who loves playing her guitar and is family oriented. The movie comes out in September, so plan to go see it! And you may even see me singing and playing guitar in the movie!

 

R:  What was it like working with such an amazing cast?  Did they give you any advice?

M: The cast of “Geezer” was awesome. Working with Selma and Billie was such a learning experience. They are both insanely talented. I mean, Selma has basically mastered the craft of acting. And it was such an honor to work with Billie. He is literally a living legend. He is so humble and so down-to-earth. He actually taught me a few little tricks on guitar. I have to say he’s someone I will always look up to.

 

R:  You have been on TV shows, movies, theater, and voiceover work.  Which one do you enjoy the most and why?

M: I enjoy all of them equally. I love performing and getting into character in any setting.

 

R:  Tell us about the Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation.  Where can people get more information on the topic and what should they do if they want to help out?

M: The Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation is an organization that promotes and supports cures for Niemann-Pick Disease. I’m very passionate about this organization because my cousin died at 2 years old from Niemann-Pick. It’s a rare disease and we need to raise awareness. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the organization should visit their website at www.nnpdf.org.

 

R:   I read that you sing.  Would you like to make a CD in the future?

M: I do plan to release a CD in the future. I actually recorded a 6 song EP when I was 10 years old. I co-wrote the songs as well. I never did anything with it but it was definitely a fun learning experience.

 

R:  What are some of your future goals?

M: I want to go to college and study neuroscience. I’m obsessed with medical science.

 

R:  What advice would you give teenagers these days?

M: I would say be a leader, not a follower. Don’t feel like you have to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, or do certain things to fit in. A true friend will not pressure you. Always believe in yourself and follow your dreams.

 

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have been asked?

M: (laughs) Probably on Instagram when random guys comment “will you marry me please?” I mean, hello, I’m 13!

 

R:  What are five things people may not know about you?

M:

  1. I play several instruments. I play guitar, ukulele, keyboard and a little bass.
  2. I have 3 younger brothers. Sawyer is 9 years old, Caden is 6 years old and Jesse is 3 years old.
  3. I love fitness. I’m really into cycling and kick-boxing right now.
  4. I have a bucket list and working with Sandra Bullock is at the top of the list. She is so inspiring on so many levels and is my idol.
  5. I’m scared of heights. So, cliff jumping or bungee jumping is out of the question.

 

R:  Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page? 

M: I am on social media. My Instagram is maddiemoo_hoo. My Twitter is maddiemoohoo. And my Snapchat is madisynshipman. I’m actually pondering the idea of a YouTube channel so stay tuned, guys!

 

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

M: Always remember to be true to yourself. Never change just so people will like you. Your true friends will love you just the way you are!

 

R:  Madisyn, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Picture source: Brett Erickson

Chit Chatting with Actress Melissa Latouche

Written by:  Jill Sheets

MELISSA LdinnerRecently I had the honor of speaking to a very talented up and coming actress, Melissa Latouche.  She plays Mia in her new movie “Brash Young Turks,” which could be her break out role.  Continue to read on about Melissa, 5 things people may not know about her and her new movie.

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting?

M: I was born and raised on a council estate in South East London. My parents separated when I was very young. Life was more about surviving the day to day struggles than trying to develop talents. Financially my parents couldn’t afford to send me to extra clubs or classes. At school I was very distracted, academics was always tough and exams a nightmare. I only really excelled in Drama and Art.

I haven’t had any formal training, it’s been a case of hard work ethic mixed in with a bit of luck with the people I’ve met along the way. I took some acting lessons so I could improve and also read many books on acting and actors autobiographies. I then spent a while modeling and appeared in a few adverts. Then after a lot of effort I finally got an acting agent who got me out there auditioning.

R: Tell us about your movie “Brash Young Turks” and about your character, Mia.

M: Brash Young Turks is a coming of age, crime drama, set in London as we’ve never seen it before, where ambition, greed, deception, money and power dictate the future of the young protagonists.

I play the part of troubled but ambitious teen Mia, who has been abandoned by her erratic mother and she is incapable of connecting with her peers. Her luck looks like it’s about to change when she meets Terrell Mackintosh, a young forward-thinking hustler. He opens up her world to possibilities she’d always dreamt of.

In most UK Urban films female characters are not standing for anything and are often degraded. However I feel Mia breaks the mould, she is ambitious, outspoken and doesn’t take no for an answer. Mia is a real human and not a stereotypical girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She’s got a brain and is constantly learning from what’s happening around her. 
Melissa 2

R: How did you find out about that role? What was the audition processes like?

M: I auditioned for a film that Naeem Mahmood, the director of Brash Young Turks was working on before. At the time I was going through a few personal issues that really affected my confidence and the audition didn’t go too well. Luckily for me Naeem saw something in me. He was already working with another actress on the role of Mia but things didn’t work out and after auditioning a lot of actresses he contacted me. Naeem’s auditions are intense, they are more like screen tests. He gets to learn a lot about you and you get the chance to show him what you can do. Even though I was told I got the part I was on edge during rehearsals to make sure I kept it and I couldn’t afford to be complacent, because I could be replaced too.

BYT BEHIND THE SCENES WITH DIRECTOR NAEEM MAHMOOD & MELISSA LATOUCHER: What was your favorite part about working on this film?
 
M: I really enjoyed most aspects of making Brash Young Turks but I suppose my favourite part was being on set. It was never boring, we were always in new locations with cool costumes, contrasting scenes and encouraging people to work with. Also there’s a kind of rush of adrenaline you get when your filming something you’ve being preparing for a while, the pressure is on to be on point. When everything goes to plan the energy between the cast and crew on set is amazing.

M: I’ve been getting a lot more attention since Brash Young Turks has been in cinemas and on TV. I’ve been offered a leading role in a very exciting horror/comedy which is in early stages of development. 

R: If you can work with any five actors or actresses who would they be and why? 

M: In no particular order I’d have to say:

Gary Oldman – He is the reason I fell in love with film acting. As a kid I watched him in “Leon” and thought I want to be that guy.

Angela Bassett- When preparing for Mia I watched “What’s love got to do with it.” It’s a hard hitting film and I enjoyed watching the arch of the characters growth. I definitely was inspired and would love to watch her work in person.

Archie Panjabi- I saw her play Meenah Khan in East Is East. I believe she has a unique style and her movements are very fluid. I learnt a lot from watching her.

John Cazale- Although he is not a household name he appeared in classics such as the Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon and the Deer Hunter. Not only did he bring so many layers to the character “Fredo” in “The Godfather” but from the documentaries I’ve watched, a lot of the actors at the time say they learnt a lot from him and that he was a very giving actor. 

Joe Pesci – After seeing him in Martin Scorses’s “Casino” he mesmerized me with his high-octane, high-energy depiction of a psychopath. I would love to play opposite him, I can image my performance would be pushed to its limit!

BYT STILL MIA (MELISSA LATOUCHE)R: Tell us about the BFI Future Films screening of Brash Young Turks? When does it start?

M: The BFI will be screening Brash Young Turks as part of their crime season aimed at 16-25 year olds on Saturday 9th of July. We will be doing a cast and crew Q&A shedding light on how to make your first feature film a success, followed by a networking drinks reception. It’s a great opportunity for young creatives and actors to meet with top end filmmakers and ask for advice on how to break into the British filmmaking scene as well as acting.

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

M: I’ve had so many influences in my life, whether they be good or bad, they’ve led me to where I am today. I’d say my biggest positive influence, on my acting career and life, would be director of Brash Young Turks Naeem Mahmood. He has really made an impact on my confidence. He gives you time if your willing to put in the work. He has a lot of knowledge and experience which he openly shares with you. I feel lucky to have met him and have him as a mentor.

R: If you could remake any movie, which one would it be? What character would you play and who would you want to play opposite of you?MELISSA 1
M: Just one film? So many are going round in my head. Today, as its in my mind and I mentioned it before, I’d say “What’s love got to do with it” a film based on the life of the legendary singer, Tina Turner. It’s one of my favourite films. Angela Bassett preformed exceptionally, and I get excited about roles where you see the growth or demise of a character. I’d keep Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner because I don’t think anyone could do it better.

R: What are five things people may not know about you?


M: 
1. I appeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as Parvati’s double.
2. I own and run a hair salon with my mum and brother.
3. I enjoy painting and exploring different types of art.
4. I’d rather be in pyjamas than a dress.
5. I into watching David Icke videos

R: What are your future goals?

M: To keep on learning and growing (not in height I think I’ve gone past that stage ). To have a more hands on approach in doing something positive for those less fortunate than myself. To be part of films that have substance. And most of all be loving, travel more and explore life.
 
R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?
 
M: Ohh trying to think of an appropriate one. When I was asked if I’d go for an audition for a film, no lines and my character would be gang raped whilst being filmed on a phone. Thanks for the offer but no thanks it’s not what I got into acting for.
 
R: It is not easy growing up in these days. What advice would you give teens?
 
M: To get out of your comfort zone, try new things and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from others, listen to advice. Break out of stereotypes life puts you in, aim high and don’t settle. Don’t get distracted. Get to know yourself and what you can offer. Don’t be a sheep be a leader of your own life and have a positive outlook. 


R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which one and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/ or youtube channel?

M: I’m on Instagram @melissalatouche. I have some interviews and videos on YouTube if you search my name.
 
R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

M: I appreciate the support and encouragement I’ve had from people who have seen “Brash Young Turks”. I’d say thank you for the love! 

R: Melissa, thank you for the interview. It was an honor. Have a great day.
 
M: Thank you for having me, I’ve had a blast.

 

BFI box office link: bit.ly/28Ir70a

Social media links for ‘Brash Young Turks.’

www.facebook.com/BrashYoungTurksMovie

www.twitter.com/BrashYoungTurks

 

Chit Chatting with Actress Maia Watkins

Written By:  Jill Sheets

a fool$ game playing mace- Ed sillence

Picture Source: Ed Sillence

Recently I had the honor of interviewing actress Maia Watkins.  The first time I saw her was in Luke Potter’s video “Storms.”  The video and her facial expressions kept going through my head. I knew that I need to either write a piece on her or do an interview.  She would be one of the actresses to keep an eye on.  Continue to read on and learn more about her.

 

R:  Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in the acting business?

M: I’m a 26-year-old actress from west London. I have a passion for mentoring and caring for children and teenagers and do this part time alongside my acting. I’ve been acting for a few years now and started when I was at school doing it for GCSE. I fell in love with it. I went to a youth club in my area where I took part in some of the creative activities from acting to art to dj-ing. I wasn’t academic at school and hated exams and found reading very hard. However, when it came to acting and being creative I always put in 100% and from then I took it more seriously and did it at University and at drama school.

Picture source:  Samantha Kavanagh

Picture source:  Samantha Kavanagh

R: Tell us about “Baddies” and about your character, Lacey.

M: So Baddies is a short film written and directed by R.M Moses and he offered me the role of Lacey who is a tough, young prostitute. The film is about a world filled with prostitution, peer pressure, drugs and money. My character Lacey lives this life and ends up meeting an innocent Georgia, who she takes under her wing, educating her on this underground lifestyle.

R: Tell us about “A Fool$ Game” and about your character, Mace.  What was your favorite part about filming this movie?

M: A Fool$ Game is a thriller feature film based around a particular criminal event which ends up going terribly wrong. My character Mace is a confident and strong person physically and mentally. She is very abrupt when talking to people and has had military training. Her background in unknown in the film but it is clear that she enjoys the thrill of being in dangerous situations. I loved playing Mace as I got to be the tough girl who just doesn’t care about what others think. I also got to fight another character which was fun as I love a bit of action. Filming was in Devon which was great as I’d never been there before and the scenery looked wicked.  

Picture source: michael shelford

Picture source: Michael Shelford

R: Would you mind telling our readers about “The Dead Sea” and “Soldier”?  Also, tell us about your characters.

M: The Dead Sea is one of my most recent roles where I play a young Eritrean girl called Nebiat who is escaping war for a better life. She takes a boat with refugees from other countries to Libya, thinking she will be safe but ends up in a migrant detention center where she is abused physically and sexually by the prison guards. The film tackles issues around the refugee crisis and explores the terrors of abuse and traveling by sea illegally.

Soldier is a short film that I am producing and acting in which is about the war with Iraq. The film is based on the play Guardians by Peter Morris, where a young naive American solider joins the US Army. In the film Leanne (the American soldier) is shipped off to Iraq and ends up torturing one of the Iraqi prisoners. This film is based on a true story where soldiers of the US Army committed a series of human rights violations against detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison. Playing Leanne was very demanding as not only did I have to do an American accent for the first time but I also had to get into her state of mind and figure out why she would join the army and why she went through with torturing another human being.  

R: Do you have any other projects that you have been working on that you would like to talk about?

M: Soldier is the project I’m currently working on at the moment. I’m at the final stages of editing the film and hoping to get it into short film festivals and do a screening to raise awareness about the secret horrors of war. I am also doing a Shakespeare show this month with the Shook UP Shakespeare Company which should be fun. It’s a mixture of a few Shakespeare comedies, exploring summer stories and songs with an immersive theatrical experience. I’m looking forward to it as I love the stage and haven’t done Shakespeare since leaving drama school.  

R:  You are in Luke Potter’s video for “Storms.”  What was that like and how did you find out about the video?

M: Playing a troubled teenager in Luke’s video was an honor. I was asked to do this by an actor/director friend (Ashley Campbell) who knows the DOP Cory Raymond. Cory films a lot of Luke’s music videos so I was happy to get involved. I played a girl who had been bullied at school and was finding life hard and unbearable. This music video was a great way to raise awareness about being bullied and feeling alone as a teenager where all your troubles seem like they will never end. The video and song also offered a source of comfort to those that can relate to these feelings/issues.

Picture source: Michael Shelford

Picture source: Michael Shelford

R: How do you prepare for a role?

M: I prepare for my roles differently depending on the part. Sometimes I may find a piece of music that may get me into character and other times I find the similarities/differences between myself and the person I’m playing. I always read the full script before hand and write down any questions I may have about the role or the story and I learn my lines. I find it hard to read and lift lines off the page if I haven’t learnt them due to being slightly dyslexic so I practice sight reading daily (even if its just a page), so that when I get a last minute audition, I can feel more at ease in the room. I also love a warm up whether it be running around being crazy or doing a bit of yoga before going on stage to focus my mind.

Picture Source:  Triforce Promotions

Picture Source:  Triforce Promotions

R: You are a third time winner of The Monologue Slam UK.  Tell us about it?  When did you get started?  Do you get to pick the monologues?  Do you write them or do they pick one for you?

M: So Monologue Slam UK is a platform for actors to showcase there acting in one or three minutes doing a monologue of there choice. I’ve won the three minute ones and have managed to get acting jobs and auditions from this. I also got my current agent from winning. Monologue Slam is a friendly fun competition where you can network and meet other like minded people in the industry. I read a lot of plays and love adapting monologues to suit my casting. I love a lot of male roles so I just take those and make it female. I also love poetry/spoken word so a lot of my monologues I perform in a poetical rhythmic and style. I write my own poetry but am always scared to perform it but since doing Monologue Slam I have gained the confidence to read my work out loud in front of an audience, without wanting to run away (laughs).   

Picture source:  little fish

Picture source:  Little Fish

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

M: I don’t really have 5 things as what you see is what you get really. But not many people know that I have tiny feet, size 3UK to be precise so I take advantage of buying cheap trainers from the kids section in Nike Town. I’m also teaching myself to play the guitar and for ages I didn’t realize that I was playing it so wrong because I was using a right handed guitar when I should have had a left handed one with the correct strings. Silly me! Also I would love to be in Avitar (the film), I heard there making three more, even if its for one line!

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

M: To be constantly working as a professional actress, playing a wide variety of roles from theatre, tv and film. Also I’ve recently been made redundant from my part time job looking after children/teens so I would love to have my own youth center where kids can come after school and in the holidays to take part in various activities and have fun in a safe environment, rather than being on the streets bored. I would love to do some more work in young offenders/PRU’s also doing Theatre In Education as a way of empowering troubled, disadvantaged kids through the arts.

R: It is not easy being a teenager, what advice would you give them in general?

M: Always ask for help if you need it. Never be embarrassed or ashamed, people are willing to help you if you work hard

Don’t get caught up in to much social media or media hype, it can be distracting and most of it is rubbish.

Always believe that you can achieve with hard work and dedication.

Never let money control your life

Read books about your history/roots and other cultures

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

M: urm this is tricky. Well some kids that I look after always ask me if I’m still in school and then randomly go on to ask if I’m married and I’m just like ermmmmm noooooo (to both)

R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/or youtube page?

M: only twitter @maiajw and I have a youtube page. I think if you just type in Maia Watkins in youtube some of my videos will come up.

R: Do you have a physical address where fans can write you letters?

M: No (laughs). I don’t know about having fans. I’m still trying to make it!! But I guess people could contact my agency Cole Kitchenn

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

M: Urm again I don’t really see myself as having fans but if anyone likes my work then that’s cool. My mums probably my biggest fan to be fair.

I’d probably say to anyone who wants to achieve their goals they should always be true to themselves, to never compare other peoples stories/successes to your own as everyone’s journey is different. I’d also say if you want to learn more in life then traveling is the best thing and having an open mind.

R: Maia, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

 

Chit Chatting with David A. R. White

Written by:  Jill Sheets

 

david 1Recently, I had an amazing time talking to Actor, producer writer and director David A. R. White.  A lot of you may know him form the movie’s “God’s Not Dead,” “Revelation Road,” “Marriage Retreat” or “Me Again.”  Continue to read on and learn more about David, Pureflix and about his new movie “Do You Believe.”

 

R:  Your new movie “Do You Believe” will be came out in theaters on March 20th.  Would you mind telling us a little bit about it?

D:  Sure.  We are excited about this film.  After “God’s Not Dead.” It was something to figure out, how do you follow that up?  For us, with “God’s Not Dead” we feel that we established the existence of God, of who he was and we wanted to take it to the next step which in the Christian faith is the cross.  The meaning of the cross, the power of the cross and what it means in today’s society and is it relevant in our lives? So that is kind of where “Do You Believe” can out.  We really hope that it has an impact.

 

R:  You have an amazing cast in this movie.  Would you mind tell us a few of the names?

D:  Sure.  Cybill Shepherd, Lee Majors, Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino, Sean Astin, Brian Bosworth, Disney star Madison Pettis, one of my favorites, Andrea Logan White, my wife (laughs) and Delroy Lindo.  There are a lot of them (laughs).  Basically there are seven roles that kind of intertwine into each other’s lives.  But there are a lot of stars in this movie that is for sure.

 

david 2R:  What is it like working with your wife?

D:  It’s great!  It is an interesting thing working with your spouse because you know each other so well.  I think it is like an extension of marriage.  You try to serve that person in the work field. Obviously there can be some difficulties in that, but I really enjoy it.  Most importantly I know that she enjoys it, so you are happy if your spouse is doing what they love.

 

R:  This film features a diverse cast.  How is this relevant to the storyline and the same faith message of people with different walks of live?

D:  We wanted to get different types of individuals and also storylines.  So there are all of these storylines.  They all are broken people and in need of salvation and life, basically.  And so it is interesting how they all intertwine and they all come together at the end, but ultimately it is for that realization of the power of the cross in each and every one of their lives.

 

Do you BelieveR:  Why do you think faith films are popular at the moment?

D:  Well, everyone is asking me that question.  I don’t know that they are so popular.  I think that there is an audience for these types of films that has finally risen to the top sort of speak.  Last year was called the year of the Bible and a lot of Christian movies came out.  However, a lot of people did not go to them.  There were like 10 or 15 movies that came out last year, but only 3 or 4 of them that really garner the audience, so I think that the country is hungry for this type of content when they know it exists, but it also is serving the audience and serving the Church in what it needs and wants.  It is a very fine balance of trying to find that.  We’ve done a lot of movies over the year.  Some have done business and some haven’t done business.  For us it is about the message not necessarily the money that you make on it.  It is not about the income, but the impact that these films make.  That is the most important and ultimately the Lord said “you put my Word out there and my Word will not come back void.”  We are thankful that we get to use the power of film to impact people’s lives.

 

R: Tell us about Pure Flix.

D: Pure Flix was established by four of partners, Elizabeth Travis, Russell Wolfe, Michael Scott and myself at the end 2005.  There really hadn’t been a Christian film studio run by believers that was around very long.  There have been several that had popped up and gone away.  Our mission was really to uplift and inspire the human spirit.  To make films that bring people to a higher levels of insight to who God is and the purpose He has for their lives and do it on a consistent basis. Over the 9 years that we have been in business I think we have released somewhere around 100 films.  It was important for us to do this genre.  People wanted this content and we wanted to serve them by giving it to them on a consistent basis.

 

R:  Do you have an approximate time “Revelation Road 4” will be out?

D: (laughs) I don’t know that yet.  We have not shot it yet.  It is in development and I certainly love that series.  The “Black Rider” just came out recently and it was a lot of fun.  I hope I get to make another one and we have some really cool ideas for it if it comes to fruition.

 

God's Not DeadR:  What made you start to want to concentrate on writing, acting, directing, producing Christian base movies?

D:  I was acting and I had been on a television show and I had done different guest spots and TV shows. Quite frankly, my career started to slow.  At that time I had been doing Christian films for different ministries. They did kind-of the short ones that are like 30 minutes or 50 minutes films at that time and I felt like the Lord said “Do what you know,” and I had know the Christian market.  I grew up in it.  My father was a pastor.  I always had a passion for it and I was acting in them, so that kind of lead me to producing.  The Lord had blesses me with time and so I used that time.  Instead of just hanging out or setting around being frustrated about the fact that I was not getting auditions or doing enough movies to actually take the reigns in my hand.  I got together with a couple of actor buddies of mine, four of us and we made our first movie for $87,000.  We used a lot of our own funds, then we got some friends and family to help invest in the movie.  It was a movie called “The Moment After” and that movie went on to do (number wise) very well.  Sony just actually just picked it up a couple of years ago to repurpose it and to put it out again.  It has been interesting to see that little movie that on paper should have done very well especially at that price because we were new film makers and everything else.  We just started honing our skills on story and telling a better story, then also we love the fact that you could put the Word of God in there and have it transform people’s lives and be part of that.  That is why we never stopped doing it.

 

R:  It is not easy teenager, especially when you are Christian.  What advice would you give them in general?

D:  The advice that I would give them is that they already have everything they need.  They have it.  So often the world, when you are a teenager, you always question if you look right or you dressing right or you doing this right or are you speaking right or you are trying to be cool or you are trying to fit in.  The world will always tell you to go to something else or you a missing out because you are not drinking or you are not partying with your friends or everything else that the world will tell you. I know that I struggled with this a little bit later on is that sometimes when we are Christians we fill like misfits, when we are younger because the rest of the world.  We are different.  God has called us to be different because we have the knowledge of the truth, so that automatically alienates some people and then you start questioning and a lot of time when you have grown up in the church you question ‘do I believe what I believe” because of my parents or do I really believe what I believe.  I would encourage the kids just to know that you have it already.  You do not have to go outside into the world and look for this thing because automatically we have everything that we need through Jesus Christ.  We have purpose.  We have life.  We have meaning.  We have fulfillment.  If you just go into his Word and spend time in prayer that you will more and more will push in to that.  You will realize that the world is hungry for that.  They are searching and seeking that thing that you already have and you do not have to go and search for it and don’t believe lies that the world is coincidently saying ‘you are not enough’ and ‘you only believe that because of your family.’ That is what I try to put out there.  I went through that and I know a lot of people do.

 

R:  Where can people keep up to date on your work?

D: https://www.facebook.com/DavidARWhite

http://www.DavidARWhite.com/

https://twitter.com/davidarwhite

https://www.youtube.com/user/davidarwhite

http://pureflix.com/

https://www.facebook.com/PureFlix

https://twitter.com/Pure_Flix

http://www.pureflix.com/youtubechannel

 

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

D:  We appreciate so many people that came out when “God’s Not Dead.”  We are looking forward to rolling out that new film “Do You Believe.”  We believe that it will be just as much of a blessing as “God’s Not Dead” was for them.

 

R:  Thank you so much for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

D:  You too.  Thank you.

 

 

Interview with Ryan Lee

Written by Jill Michelle Sheets

I had the honor of interviewing Ryan Lee who is starring in a new movie out today, White Rabbit. Read on to learn all about him and some of the other projects he has been working on.

Photo Credit: Breaking Glass Pictures

Photo Credit: Breaking Glass Pictures

R:  Tell us about yourself and how you got into the acting business?

I took an acting camp one summer, and at the end of the camp we did a performance for our parents. It turns out that there was an agent in the audience, she signed me and I just decided to try and pursue acting.

R:  Tell us about your new movie “White Rabbit” and about your character Steve.

White Rabbit is about a boy named Harlon who is bullied to the point where in his state of mental illness decides that the only plausible solution is to take fire upon the kids who tormented him. I play the character Steve who along with Harlon is bullied. Id say that the main difference between the two of us is that I show my emotions much more, while Harlon internalizes his, which in the end causes him to do the unthinkable.

R:  What was your favorite part about filming this movie?

My favorite part was probably getting to work with Nick Krause. Ive known him since I was little, and it was cool to finally be able to do a movie with him.

Photo Credit: Breaking Glass Pictures

Photo Credit: Breaking Glass Pictures

R:  What was the audition process like and how did you find out you got the role of Steve?I put myself on tape for the role, and about a week later I was told that I had the part!

R: What message do you the audience will take away from White Rabbit?

Hopefully the audience will take away that you need to treat others the way you want to be treated.

R:  Can you tell us anything about your other up and coming movie “Goosebumps” about your character?

I play the character Champ. Champ is a goofy guy but is not ashamed of being himself. He’s a loyal friend, but throughout the whole movie is on edge and scared very easily. Goosebumps hits theaters October 16th of this year!

R:  You got to work with Jack Black in “Goosebumps.”  What was that like and did he offer any advice?

Working with Jack was awesome. Such a great guy, the way he worked with the people around him is something that I will try and model my work ethic after.

R: You got to star in the music video for “Titanium.”  Tell us a little bit about it?

I flew to Canada, and the music video took about 3 days to film. It was an awesome experience. The message of the video was sort of similar to the message of white rabbit.

Photo Credit: Breaking Glass Pictures

Photo Credit: Breaking Glass Pictures

R: If you could work with any five actor or actress, who would they be?

Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell, Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, and Steve Carell.

R:  Do you have a girl friend?  What do you look for in a girl?

Nope, sounds cliche but someone with a good personality.

R:  Who has been your biggest influence?

I would have to say the people that influence me everyday, my parents.

R:  What advice would you give someone who wanted to become an actress/ actor?

Just to give it a shot. There’s an extreme amount of luck needed to “make it” in the business, and if it doesn’t end up working out its okay because you know you tried.

R:  What are five things people may not know about you?

I’m afraid of spiders. I can juggle. I can surf. I’m learning how to play the ukulele. I enjoy playing pranks on people.

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

This one. I was once asked to take a picture with someones lawn Gnome…

R:  Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses?  What about an official website and/or youtube page?

Im on twitter @RyanLee and on instagram @_RyanLee_

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

Thank you for all the support! It means the world.

R: Ryan, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

You too, Thanks!