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movies • Relate Magazine

Which Actors Have Been in Most Christmas Movies?

Christmas movies are something that many actors just want to do once. Jim Carrey was originally tipped to do Elf, but by the time the movie was made he had already starred in The Grinch, which might explain why Elf went to Will Ferrell instead. But some actors aren’t shy about doing repeated Christmas movies, especially if they’re not in the main role or the movie isn’t really about Christmas.

Tim Allen

Tim Allen had absolutely no qualms about being in three Santa Clause movies. Disney even made a special allowance for him to be in the films, waiving their usual rule that ex-convicts couldn’t star in their movies. The original movie did fairly well on its release, although not many people would name it as their favorite holiday movie.

Catherine O’Hara

Catherine O’Hara has been in a number of Christmas movies, with Macaulay Culkin’s mother in Home Alone perhaps being her most recognizable role. She was also in the sequel, and she was the voice of Sally on The Nightmare Before Christmas. More than 10 years later, she also appeared in Surviving Christmas.

Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent is a stalwart of British cinema, having been in everything from Moulin Rouge to the Harry Potter movies. His festive roles include Bridget’s father in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Get Santa, The Chronicles of Narnia, and voicing Santa in Arthur Christmas. He’s also in Paddington and Paddington 2, which are sent in a wintery London.

Bruce Willis

You can argue for days about whether the Die Hard movies are Christmas movies, but many people will swear that they are. So say Sunny, who have included Bruce Willis, along with Tim Allen in their fantasy Christmas movie. The first three movies can definitely be said to be Christmas-adjacent, at least.


Infographic Design By sunny.co.uk

Chit Chatting with Adam Campbell

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Adam Campbell is a well-established actor. Some of his acting credits are from Mixology, My Life As an Experiment, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Now this UK native is on the comedy show Great News, which can be seen on Hulu. Keep reading and learn more about him, his show, five things you may not know about him, and a tip on how to memorize your lines.

 

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got your start in acting.

A: Well, my name is Adam. I am a rather small Englishman. I started acting in school doing plays and various amateur productions. I then went on to study theater at University before going to drama school in London. Six years training – I could have been a doctor!

 

R: Tell our listeners about your show, Great News, and about your character Greg Walsh.

A: Great News is a comedy series on NBC – it’s extremely funny because it’s from the team behind 30 Rock. It’s set in a cable news station. I play Greg, the executive producer. He is a rather small Englishman.

 

R: What is it like working with the cast and crew?

A: Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, Horatio Sanz, Nicole Richie, and John Michael Higgins make up the cast – they’re absolutely brilliant in the show, and are truly so much fun to work with. The crew is also amazing, and in many cases, funnier than the cast.

 

R: Do you have any anecdote from the set of Great News?

A: The cast is quite gassy. During many of the takes, they have to stop filming because of uncontrollable burps. Especially the females.

 

R: What kind of roles do you prefer? Comedy? Drama? Horror?

A: I really enjoy comedy roles because I tend to watch comedy in my free time. My favorite television show is The Office. I don’t really watch much drama or horror as I get enough of that from my one-year-old son.

 

R: What character was the toughest for you to change into?

A: Although I’ve never really played a role that’s too far removed from myself, I did a horror movie last year called Wolves at the Door about the Manson murders. I had to play a Polish guy, so it was a lot of work to get the accent right. If you’re Polish, I recommend you don’t watch me in it.

 

R: Do you have any other upcoming projects you want to talk about?

A: I’m going to plug my wife’s TV show – it’s called Trial and Error. It’s also on NBC, and she is absolutely fantastic in it.

 

R: Do you have any secrets on how to memorize your scripts?

A: YES! Read the lines right before you go to sleep – in the morning, they should be lodged in your memory. Not sure why it works, but it does.

 

R: What is it like communicating with your fans? What is the nicest thing a fan has done or said to you?

A: I don’t really have that many fans, apart from my mother. The nicest thing she’s ever done is give birth to me.

 

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

A: I highly recommend getting as much experience as you possibly can: trying out for school plays, getting involved with local amateur drama productions etc. It’s the BEST way to figure out, truly, if that’s what you want to do with your life. Acting is a tough profession, as I’m sure everyone says, so it’s definitely worth being honest with yourself if it’s really what you want to do. By getting involved in school productions, you might discover that you’re more suited to writing, directing, set decoration, etc. Explore as many different avenues as you can before making the commitment to just one path in the entertainment industry.

 

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

A:

1. I am quite good at handstands. It’s how I make a living when I’m not acting.

2. Apparently I talk to myself a LOT. It freaks my wife out.

3. Put me in a swimming pool and I will spend the day in there. Try getting me out. You can’t.

4. I am extremely competitive playing sports or games with friends. I try to give the impression that I don’t care and that we’re just having a bit of fun, but my face goes red and my laugh sounds fake because I NEED TO WIN.

5. I’m Batman.

 

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

A: The Union Rescue Mission is a wonderful organization in downtown Los Angeles that serves the enormous homeless population down there. I am trying to get more involved with them. Homelessness is a growing problem in LA – I feel helpless as an individual, but URM provides shelter, meals, counseling, safety and love for the community in ways that astound me. If anyone is keen to get involved, please visit www.urm.org

 

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

A: I am on twitter (@adamcampbelly) but I don’t tweet much.

 

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

A: Mum, stop calling me at 2am, we’re on a different time zone out here.

 

R: Thank you for the interview. Have a great day!

S:  Thank you!

 

Photo credit: Sarah Dunn

Meet Up and Coming Actor Milo Manheim

Actor Milo Manheim is only sixteen years old, and already he has an impressive resume. With multiple plays under his belt, he is making his film debut starring alongside Meg Donnelly in the Disney channel original movie Zombies, set to be released in 2018. Keep an eye out for it! And keep an eye out for Milo, too. No doubt you’ll be seeing him more and more on the big screen.

R: Tell us a little about yourself.

M: I was born in Los Angeles, and I have lived in the same house for sixteen years. I grew up near the beach, and I love surfing, playing soccer, volleyball, and skiing. I play five instruments- some better than others. My favorite thing in life is to hang out with my friends. When we’re together we love to cook, write music, and make movies.

R: When did you first get into acting?

M: My best friend growing up was named Jyan. I saw him in a community theater production and I decided right then I wanted to act with him. We did fifteen plays together at that theater. We loved doing it so much, in our spare time we used to put on musicals in the garage. We’d even make fliers and sell tickets. The home videos I have are pretty hysterical.

R: Tell me more about your work in theater. What’s different about acting in plays versus acting in movies?

M: Acting in a play requires a different kind of energy and is a lot more nerve racking, because you only get one chance to do it. You have to be a lot more expressive on stage because you have to be able to reach a large audience, even the people in the back row. On the screen, you can be a bit simpler and smaller, but both require the same level of honesty, focus and commitment. Becoming a new character is the same no matter what medium you’re acting in; you just have to adjust your physical level of energy.

R: Tell me about your new movie Zombies. What’s it about? What was the audition process like? What was the filming like? Any fun stories?

M: Shooting Zombies was by far the best experience of my life. It’s like a dream come true. I got to do everything I love-singing, dancing, acting, rapping, tapping, and flips. I didn’t have an agent at the time and I wasn’t perusing auditions. A few years ago, a casting director had seen me perform in the musical Rent and she remembered me. She hunted me down and asked me to audition for Zombies. I had to audition about ten times, but it was all worth it. At first, I just made an audition tape, but the casting director saw something in me and pushed to have me seen by the director. After that, I had to go a bunch of times to read for different producers and the head of the Disney Channel. I then read with a few really talented girls to play Addison, but when Meg and I met at the callbacks, we totally clicked. After we got cast in the movie, we met a couple of times for lunch before we started shooting. Once we got to Toronto, we were inseparable. Not only did I love making the movie, but I met some amazing people who I know I will keep as friends forever. We went through something very special together. Right after we finished Zombies, I did a play called Generation Me in New York City. Meg and a lot of the cast came to New York to see me in it. We are all really supportive of each other.

R: What are some of your future goals and plans?

M: My plan is to go to college, so I can continue to learn how to be a good actor and work on my craft. I want to study Shakespeare and contemporary drama. I would also love to learn how to run my own business and how to be an entrepreneur. There is so much I want to learn.

R: If you could work with any five actors, actresses, or directors, who would you choose and why?

M: Jim Carrey is my number one. It’s been a dream of mine to be in a movie with him ever since I was a little kid. I wrote a letter to him when I was twelve telling him what he meant to me. I probably read his autobiography ten times. You can quiz me! He is the only one in the world with his amazing physicality and it makes me feel like I won’t have to lose all the craziness I have now. People just see him as a whacky comedian, but I know he is so much more than that.

Tye Burrell – He is brilliant and makes me laugh every single time I see him.

Melissa McCarthy – Needs no explanation. She is incredible.

Ryan Gosling – His subtlety is very unique, and I really admire his acting. When I’m watching him, I forget I’m watching a movie and I just fall into that world. I also love that he sings and dances.

Meryl Streep – I learn things from her just by watching her performances. I can’t imagine what I’d learn if I was actually working with her. She really is the queen of all actors.

R: What are some charities that you’d like to raise awareness for?

M: There are so many charities that deserve support. The ones that I have focused on in my life are:

Waterkeepers Alliance – I have been supporting the Waterkeepers since I was a kid. They are dedicated to protecting everyone’s right to clean water.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline — No matter what problems you’re dealing with, whether you’re thinking about suicide or you need someone to lean on for emotional support, call the Lifeline. 1-800-273-8255. People call to talk about lots of things: substance abuse, economic worries, relationships, sexual identity, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and loneliness, to name a few. There is someone out there who will listen and can help you.

Pediatric AIDS  – I have been attending the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids fundraisers for most of my life. I hope that in my adulthood we will find a cure for AIDS, but until then we need to find a way to prevent AIDS in children.

R: What advice do you have for other young people that want to pursue a career in acting?

M: If acting is something you are really serious about, you can’t be afraid to mess up and take chances. You’ve got to be able to fail, and when you do fail, great things come out of it. If you love it, go for it. I know it seems impossible, but if you truly want it and are willing to work for it, it can happen. Take classes, make movies with friends, audition for plays. Experience is your best teacher.

R: Is there anything else you would like to add?

M: Thank you for letting me be a part of this interview. It’s exciting to tell my story. I just want to thank everyone who made it possible to be in the place I am now- all of my teachers, directors, family and friends who supported me while I failed and succeeded and got to where I am now.

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

Chit Chatting with Actress Kaila Kondo

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently, I had the honor of interviewing up and coming actress Kaila Kondo. She is in the movie Before I Fall. Read on and learn where she would visit if she could go back in time, who her favorite actress is, five random things about her, and all about her movie.

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start into acting.

K: I’ve always loved the performing arts! I am a very dramatic and enthusiastic person. When I was younger, my parents put me into a performing arts preschool, and I fell in love with acting. From there, I continued attending art schools, performing in plays, and auditioning for roles in television.

 

R: Tell us about your movie Before I Fall and about your character, Bunny Cupid.

K: Before I Fall is about Samantha Kingston, a popular high school student, who finds herself having to relive Valentine’s Day over and over until she “gets it right.” It’s about self-discovery and realizing that sometimes you need to look outside yourself and make changes in your behaviors and interactions with others before moving forward. Bunny Cupid has a small role in the movie – one line actually. She is part of a group of three cupids whose job it is to go around to classrooms and hand out Valentine’s roses. Although it wasn’t a large role, it was a great experience being on set and getting a chance to work with the other actors.

 

R: What was the audition process for this movie?

K: A request was made through my agent for me to read for the part. I received the script the night before and rehearsed my line over and over. In the audition room, they asked me to say the line and start handing out the roses to imaginary people in various emotions such as bubbly, flirty, and nervous. I guess I impressed them because I got a call saying the role was mine!

 

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

K: It definitely had to be getting to know everyone on set! I loved meeting both the actors and the crew and getting to chat with them every day. It was so inspiring seeing everyone hard at work trying to make this film come to life – the passion was really evident in everyone I got to meet.

 

R: Do you have any other upcoming projects coming out that you can talk about?

K: I am actually taking a break from acting at the moment while I start university, but I hope to be back in front of the camera soon.

 

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

K: I would love the opportunity to work with Emma Watson, Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Zac Efron, and Dwayne Johnson.

 

R: What shows would you like to make a guest appearance on?

K: I am a huge fan of Criminal Minds. My mother and I always marathon the episodes and I would love to make an appearance on it!

 

R: I read that you can ballroom dance. Is that true? If so, how long have you been studying? What is your favorite style?

K: Yes it’s true, I can ballroom dance! I have been studying on and off for about five years now. I do it mainly for fun and am nowhere near a competitive level. My favorite style is swing! I have always enjoyed the fast pace of the music and how it can be super catchy!

 

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

K: Always be yourself, regardless of what others think. Sometimes in life, you meet people who are judgmental or manipulative and who might want you to conform, but you should never change who you are to fit someone else’s standards.

I encourage everyone who reads this to write one positive note, such as “You are beautiful,” and place it on your mirror or somewhere you often look. Then every day you can constantly affirm that you are amazing, or smart, or confident, or all the above. It is so important to believe in yourself and to have confidence in who you are and what you have to offer the world.

 

R: Who is your biggest influence and why?

K: Definitely my mother. She’s such a hard working and kindhearted person. She has been through everything with me and has supported me no matter what. She believes in me and pushes me to be the best that I can be.

 

R: If you could travel back in time, what time period would you pick and why?

K: I would like travel back in time to Ancient Greece. I have always been fascinated with their culture, architecture, and beliefs. It would be amazing to experience everything first-hand rather than reading about it in a book.

 

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

K: I am a lifeguard and swim instructor. I played on an all-girls baseball team and took 1st place at the Canadian nationals. I love playing the game Candy Crush and I am on level 867! I know how to surf. My best friend is my dog, Ty, who is an American Eskimo that we rescued from a shelter in Taiwan.

 

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

K: I was at a sleepover with some friends, and we were eating s’mores. My friend turned to me and asked if I could fit a mini marshmallow up my nose. Intrigued, I gave it a shot and the marshmallow fit! Although it did not get stuck in my nasal cavity, I do not recommend for others try this.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites?

K: No, I am not.

 

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

K: Don’t give up on your passion! If you love something, do it with all your heart. When times get tough, you might think it is easier to give up on something than to push through it; however, if you persevere, you’ll come out stronger than before.

 

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

K: Thank you so much for interviewing me! This was my first interview, so it means a lot to me!

 

Picture credit: Ian Redd

 

Chit Chatting with Actress Lou Lou Safran

 

Written by Jill Sheets

11 year old Lou Lou Safran is surrounded by a talented family. Her mom is a singer and songwriter, and her dad is a film producer. No wonder Lou Lou wanted to be an actress. Read on and learn more about this up and coming actress, her new movie, and find out five things people don’t know about her.

 

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

L: Thank you so much for having me! I love your magazine. It has so many thoughtful and positive articles. I also really love that I don’t have to worry I’ll come across something on your website I will wish I hadn’t seen.

I am 11 and going into middle school this year. I am a huge lover of the arts and I have always been passionate about film, music, theater, and anything creative and crafty. I love nature, animals, travel, friends, and anything Arctic Monkeys and The Last Shadow Puppets related. I am also nuts about Gary Cooper, particularly in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. I love classic Hollywood movies so much! This summer it’s like one big Hollywood oldie festival every place we go because we have been watching as many as we can, at least one a night. The characters are so charming in those films, so witty and smart. And you don’t have to cover your eyes during any love scenes. They were very discreet and much more romantic in those days.

My mommy is a singer-songwriter and a really great one too (not that I’m biased or anything) and my dad is a film producer, so all my life I have been surrounded by the arts and all sorts of talented, creative people. I’m sure that has inspired my interests, but I really got intrigued by acting when I was five and in my mom’s music video. I knew then that I wanted to be an actress more than anything else in the world. A few years later on the set of my very first movie, The Choice, I got to confirm for myself that this was my true passion.

 

R: How did your parents take it when you told them that you wanted to act?

L: My parents have always been super supportive of everything I’ve ever wanted to do, even when I used to want to be a rock star-vet-princess. But letting me try acting, other than in my mom’s music videos, was a much bigger decision and they were quite apprehensive about it. I guess they were most concerned about letting me try for it at my young age, so first I had to prove to them that I was serious about it. We had many talks, much nagging and begging on my part, lots of cleaning up of my room, the turtles’ habitat, and taking care of the dog, all A’s in school, and a lot of reading and writing and other tasks before I was finally allowed to put my first audition on tape. It was for the role of Katie in Nicholas Spark’s The Choice. I was elated when I got the part and I think I proved to them that I could do it by always being prepared for my scenes, getting into the character and doing my work well. The Choice director Ross Katz said I was a natural and I was so happy to hear that! But getting to audition for the Annabelle: Creation part wasn’t any easier with my parents. I sure hope they don’t make me jump through hoops every time I want to try out for a part!

 

R: Tell us about your movie Annabelle: Creation and about your character.

L: Our movie tells the story of how the Annabelle doll was created and why she is the monster we know. It is also a story of family loss and a group of young girls who find themselves in the toughest of circumstances but stick together no matter what.

I play Tierney, one of six girls who has to move to a new orphanage with their guardian nun after their old orphanage is closed down. Their new home turns out to be a creepy old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. Everything seems strange and dark there, but they keep trying to get used to it, since they don’t really have a choice and they always have each other. The girls have been through a lot and are a tight-knit family at this point. But then they find a weird doll in a bolted dusty closet and things start to go horribly wrong…..

 

R: Did you find yourself getting frightened during the movie?

L: This goes to show what a great director David Sandberg is and what an amazing set we had for the movie, because even after rehearsing the scenes, making fun of the Annabelle doll whenever we had her on the set, and watching actors being turned into demons in the VFX makeup chairs, we would scream and run every time in every scary scene! Luckily we were meant to do that, but the reactions you’ll see on screen were hardly ever very “acted” by any of us. We loved every minute of it!

 

R: If you could be on any five TV shows, which ones would they be?

L: It would be amazing to work on Modern Family, Fawlty Towers, Wonder Woman, Full House and the Brady Bunch. To be on the set with that big cast of kids would be great fun, I bet!

 

R: Do you have any other upcoming projects you would like to talk about?

L: I am on the Gold Coast of Australia right now and I just finished out the school year here in a great Aussie school – shout out to the Broadbeach State School, class 6c and Ms. Cusack! My parents are working on a movie here, so I’ll be in Australia until August, and then I head back to LA for the Annabelle premiere which I am sooooooo excited about! I just got a ukulele and I have been practicing new songs, learning to rock climb, and surf. I have just started a YouTube channel and I’ll be posting silly videos of my Arctic Monkeys and TLSP covers on the piano and random uke tunes. I hope to record a few of my own songs soon, too. That’s all I can say of my projects for now.


R: What five actors and actresses would you like to work with?

L: I hope they can be from any time, present or past, because I really WISH I could work with Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Dudley Moore, and Julie Andrews. Sorry, that makes six.

 

R: I read that one of your favorite movies is Clue. What makes it one of your favorites?

L: I am impressed. You are very well informed! Well, it’s true, up until recently it was my number one favorite because of the suspense, ridiculous situations, characters, and the sense of humor, which struck me every time even after watching it thirty times. My best friends Audrey and Annabelle and I would watch it every sleepover and never get tired of it. It will always be tops for me, but the ranking has just changed a little. May I give you my new top five?

  1. Mr. Deeds Goes To Town with Gary Cooper. It is irresistible and so clever!
  2. Arthur with Dudley Moore in possibly the funniest role ever and a great lesson to learn.
  3. Singing in the Rain – you can’t not love this movie.
  4. Clue, of course.
  5. The Choice and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 & 2

If you haven’t seen The Choice yet, I promise you will love it. It’s about finding love and purpose in life, and we shot it on the most beautiful set ever, right on the water in Wilmington, North Carolina.

 

R: Who or what has been your biggest influence in your life?

L: My parents and music. It would take hours to list all the reasons why.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

L: I hope to become a better actress with every year. I want to hone my craft as much as possible and get to practice it on every set I get a chance to work on. I need to get better at the piano, and I’m planning to learn all the Eddie Vedder ukulele songs by the end of summer. I would like to improve on my Polish and French reading this year and learn Spanish too. My tennis game and swim moves could use more practice, and I’d like to get back to dance, too.

Once I’m back in Los Angeles and the school year begins, I promised myself to devote more time to my three favorite organizations: Animal Tracks, Project Angel Food, and A Sense of Home. If you would like to hear more about them, please go to my website, LouLouSafran.com, for more information. They are truly inspiring and effect the community in the most beautiful and selfless ways.

R: Do you have a hobby or some other thing that you like to do when you are not working?

L: Beside acting, I spend most of my time on music. I am always listening to new songs, playing piano, and learning the ukulele. I love discovering new kinds of music, bands, and artists for myself. My mom, dad, and my Uncle Mick are always introducing me to new sounds, too, and it’s like a great adventure. I also love going to concerts. There is nothing like watching your favorite band live!

Besides that I spend every chance I get playing with my friends, telling jokes, climbing trees, and coming up with elaborate schemes for our sleepovers.

We also have an organic garden back at home. I tend to the milkweeds and look after the monarch butterfly caterpillars that we get a ton of. They are endangered these days, and it’s super important to create safe habitats for them to grow. It’s not too difficult to do — you can do it in any space, and it’s breathtaking to watch them grow and transform. But I can’t say I’m a very good gardener besides that. Apparently, I lack patience…I plan to improve on that, too.

 

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

L:

  1. I want a baby sister like there’s no tomorrow.
  2. I cannot handle roller coasters!
  3. I’ve been called a messy bessy by those in the know.
  4. My favorite color is every shade of blue.
  5. My favorite animals are finger monkeys, turtles, sugar gliders, and fainting goats.

 

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?

L: I just started my website. My mom helped me set it up and I’ve been working on the content. It’s been a ton of work to get it done, but it’s creative and really fun. I plan to write more and post stories that inspire me.

I love taking photos so I often post on Instagram – lots of silly things and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at the movies I am working on.

My Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/therealloulousafran

 

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

L: My mom wrote a song for me when I was really little and she always says that if I ever get lost or confused in life I should just listen to the lyrics. It’s one of my favorite quotes ever and I hope you all like it as much as I do:

“Promise me you won’t let the world change you

you are the love and always will be

let your spirit guide you

and forever stay free

do not ever forget you came from love

and were born into grace.”

 

R: Thank you for the interview, Lou Lou!

L: Thank you for listening and featuring me in your magazine. It’s been a pleasure!

 

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 Actress Holly Earl

 

Written by Jill Sheets

The first time I saw the brilliant actress Holly Earl, she was on the hilarious show Cuckoo, where she played the character Zoe Chance. Cuckoo was one of the shows that I would try to binge-watch whenever I had the chance. So, when I found out that she was going to be in the movie Once Upon a Time in London, I was very excited! I can’t wait to see it. Read on and learn more about her new film, her other upcoming projects, and what her favorite part of filming this movie was.

 

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

H: I started out as a child actor at the tiny age of three alongside my sister. At twelve, I took some time out to finish my schooling and be a regular teenager before deciding to return to acting at eighteen. I haven’t stopped since!

 

R: Tell us about Loving Vincent and about your character La Mousmé.

H: Loving Vincent was a fantastic experience. The film is about the life of Vincent Van Gogh, and the majority of characters are based on actual people he painted. It was captured in live action with actors, and then later hand-painted over by more than a hundred real artists in his distinctive style. Dorotea Kobiela and Hugh Welshman, who directed the film, were really clever about how they gave character and life to these portraits. I play La Mousme, who was an actual girl who sat for Van Gogh and, in the film, is a boisterous and nosey courtesan. I’m so grateful that I got asked to do this cameo in such a unique and inspiring project.

 

R: Tell our listeners about Once Upon a Time in London and about your character Aggie Vaux.

H: Once Upon a Time in London is the true story of notorious criminals Jack Spot and Bill Hill, who were the kings of the organized crime world from the 1930s to the 1950s. I play Aggie Vaux, an innocent but headstrong young woman who finds herself getting wrapped up with Billy and his antics. She was interesting to play, as she not only had to have the strength to stand with these men, but she also had to be vulnerable at the same time. She was a real person that lived this life and not much is known about her, so I wanted to do justice to the character.

 

R: How did you prepare for this character?

H: I started by researching into the real-life woman and finding out whatever I could about her. As I said, there’s not much to be found, as women didn’t have a lot of say at that time. Also, as a woman associated with criminals, you’d most likely want to keep some anonymity. What I did find out, however, is that she apparently had something very special about her. Other research I did was into the era, especially how women held and conducted themselves, which helped me get into the body and mind-set of a woman from that time.

 

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

H: As someone who is slightly obsessed with the glamour of the 1940s and 50s, one my favourite things about filming was definitely the costumes. Every day was a new, stunning outfit. Michelle May, the costume designer, did a fabulous job of finding unique and authentic pieces from that time. There were a lot of outfits I wish I could’ve kept!

 

R: You got to work with an amazing cast. What was it like to work with Geoff Bell, Dominic Keating, Andy Beckwith, and the rest of the cast?

H: Unfortunately, I didn’t get to work with everyone in the cast, as in the film they’re all off being gangsters and getting up to no good. I did, however, work closely with Leo Gregory, who plays Billy Hill. He is a fantastic actor and a real gentleman. We were lucky to get some rehearsal, which is quite a luxury when working on a film, and that allowed us to really develop our characters and their relationship.

 

R: Speaking about working with a wonderful cast, tell us about the show Cuckoo and about your character Zoe. What is your favorite episode from this show?

H: Cuckoo is perhaps one of my favourite shows to have worked on. It’s like one big family. Zoe’s fun, as she’s the complete opposite to me as a person. She’s stony-faced and a real tease to Tyger Drew-Honey’s character, Dylan. My favourite episode is Potato Party in the second series. When I read the script I laughed out loud! Let’s just say there are a lot of shenanigans going on, involving some questionable jacket potatoes and a bath…

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence and why?

H: My mum. She got me into acting when I was younger, and if it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t be doing what I love so much today. She’s my rock.

 

R: I know you like to draw. Tell us about it!

H: Art (drawing and painting) is my second passion after acting. They’re not dissimilar, as I love how I can create vibrant and different characters within a portrait. At the moment, it’s still a hobby, but I hope that one day I can share it more with the world.

 

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

H: The charity that is closest to my heart is Mind. I feel that mental health issues, whether mild or not, is something that everyone goes through at some point or another. It’s just not talked about enough, which makes people feel like they’re the only ones going through these things. There needs to be more open discussions about it that take the fear out of opening up. It shouldn’t be a taboo topic.

 

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

H: Be easy on yourself. Being a teenager is hard. You’re figuring out about yourself and dealing with a lot of things for the first time. Just know that things get easier and, if you’re going through a hard time, it won’t last forever. It all works towards making you a stronger adult on the other side.

 

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

H: My first crush was Marlon Brando, I have two gorgeous cats, I make a mean Mexican fajita, I adore baby elephants, and I’d love to go to Japan one day.

 

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

H: It’s not really a strange question, but I get mistaken for Emilia Clarke quite a lot. People ask me what it’s like to be Khaleesi and ride dragons. I wish I knew!

 

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?

H: I only use Twitter and Instagram, both under my name.

 

R: Anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

H: I’m grateful for everyone who is and has supported me so far. Thank you. it means a lot!

 

Picture credit: Jo Mclintok, Julie Edwards

 

Chit Chatting with Charlotte Mary Wen

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently, I had the honor of interviewing a very talented actress and singer, Charlotte Mary Wen. She was the winner of the 2013 LA’s Next Great Stage Star Award, and that award was well deserved. She has acted not only on stage, but also in movies and TV shows. Read on about Charlotte, her upcoming projects, and find out who her biggest influence is.

 

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

C: I grew up in San Diego playing on the beach, singing on kitchen tables, and putting on skits with my cousins. I think ever since I was little, the idea of “playing” and “creating” was a huge passion of mine. I started out in musical theatre in San Diego, then Los Angeles and New York City. I discovered a love and interest of TV and film when I got older, and now I’m in Los Angeles pursuing a career on the stage and screen!

 

R: Tell us about your TV movie Life on Mars and about your character Rebecca.

C: Life on Mars is about a young man trying to find his way – he’s a little lost in life and trying to find the balance between love and relationships and his career. Sounds kind of typical of young adults in Los Angeles! I play Rebecca, a snarky girl who shuts him down, but who hysterically does so by misusing idioms.

 

R: Can you tell us about the movie Can You Ever Forgive Me?

C: Oh my gosh! I can’t say much about the movie, but I will say you will love Melissa McCarthy’s performance. She is a dream and I loved working with her!

 

R: You are in the movie A Killer Walks Amongst Us. Tell us about the movie and about your character.

C: The death of a high school girl leaves a lot of unanswered questions. I play her best friend, Michelle.

 

R: You got to work with an incredible cast. What was it like working with Dominic Keating, Ashley Scott, and the rest of the cast? What was your favorite memory from that film?

C: The cast was so kind and professional. Everyone on set felt like a family. I loved filming my scene with Eva LaRue and Michael Welch – they exemplified ease on set that I aspire to achieve.


R: Do you have any other upcoming projects that you would like to talk about?

C: I’m excited to play Ali in Mamma Mia! at the Hollywood Bowl. I can’t believe I get to work with Tony-winner Kathleen Marshall and a stellar cast. I feel truly blessed.

 

R: What theater plays have you been in? Which ones were your favorite?

C: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (The Old Globe), One Day: The Musical (Off-Broadway) and American Idiot (La Mirada) are some of my favorites, but I absolutely loved playing the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (3DT).

 

R: What is the best thing about performing on stage?

C: I love the feeling of sharing an experience with a live audience. There is something beautiful about live theatre and every performance being different from the one before.

 

R: You also sing. Do you have any plans on recording an album?

C: I love singing covers on my YouTube channel. I’ve never thought about doing an album, but I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to it in the future!

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence and why?

C: My younger sister, Janelle! She has incredible faith and dedication and I aspire to be more like her every day. She is a graphic designer for Universal Studios and an incredible hip hop dancer and choreographer. She’s also my go-to for encouragement and advice.

 

R: What are your future goals?

C: I love comedy and sitcom. I’d love to get deeper into funny content on TV, film, and new media. I also want to eventually coach young adults in performing arts.

 

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

C:

  1. My two favorite cities are Barcelona and London
  2. I love pesto
  3. I once ate ten eggs for breakfast–yep, count ’em!
  4. My family has been in San Diego for five generations
  5. I have two dogs, one of which is 17 years old

 

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

C: I like this one! Hmm…I think my favorite is, “Why do you have such big feet?” It’s true. I have pretty big feet for my height, and it still baffles me. I think I was meant to be taller!

 

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?

C: Yes! My official website is www.charlottemarywen.com. I’m on Instagram and Twitter as @charmarywen, and my YouTube channel is youtube.com/charlottemarywen.  I use Instagram and YouTube the most!

 

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

C: In this career, you go through lots of ups and downs. Sometimes it feels like the downs are outweighing the ups, but you need to keep at it and if there is nothing else you could imagine making you as happy, stick with it. The work doesn’t validate you, but knowing you are enough and you have something to say and share is all you need. Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy every moment!

 

Picture credits: Taili Song Roth, CBS Television, LA Stage Alliance, Isaac James

 

Meet 25-year-old Award Winning Actress, Writer, and Director Castille Landon

“Diversify your interests, study anything and everything, and most importantly, never compare yourself to anyone else. There will always be someone more intelligent, more talented, more beautiful, more connected, etc., but that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for you at the table. You are enough; it’s a matter of working hard for yourself, striving to become the best version of yourself, and believing that you have something that is worthy of contributing.”

25-year-old actress, screenwriter, and film director Castille Landon is making history and paving the way for young women who are pursuing their dreams and careers. Born in Florida, she moved to Los Angeles when she was fifteen to pursue a career in acting. She graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in English, and is currently a student at Oxford, working on her creative writing major as the only screenwriter accepted into the class. “I think it helps as a filmmaker to be exposed to as many subjects as possible so as to create work that more broadly reflects humanity. I’d rather tell the stories of humans (especially women) throughout time, or be inspired by big ideas in science and medicine or great minds than become insular and just tell stories I relate to personally, or make films about filmmakers or writers,” said Landon, when asked why she decided to pursue a college education instead of only going straight to a career in the film industry.

She has appeared in numerous television shows and films such as Criminal Minds, Wind Walkers, Land of Leopold, and Among Ravens, and played a major supporting role in the comedy Sex Ed opposite Haley Joel Osment and Glen Powell. Now she writes, produces, and directs films such as Apple of My Eye, starring Burt Reynolds and Amy Smart, and I Believe in Unicorns, which premiered at SXSW and was screened in more than 40 film festivals worldwide. Her latest film, Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, was just released on Pay Per View on April 2, and will be available on DVD at Walmart on May 2.

The story follows a thirteen-year-old girl, tasked with the responsibility of caring for her disabled father, who is transported by a magical black stallion to the mystical world of Albion, where she discovers that she is the key to saving an entire race of people. It stars Oscar-nominee John Cleese (Monty Python), Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon A Time), and Debra Messing (Will and Grace). “The film was a blast to direct,” said Landon. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of actors. Everyone really nailed their characters, and [the cast] and I became very close during the whole shooting process.” The film earned a 93% audience approval rating when it was previewed at the Bentonville Film Festival, and received both the IFP Director’s Lab Selection award and Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Film at the Equus Film Festival in New York.

In her free time, Castille enjoys hot power yoga, horseback riding, and reading. She is also a very strong supporter of women in film, gender equality, inclusion of girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, and de-stigmatizing mental illness. This is what she had to say on the subject:

“Gender equality is something that needs to happen, and that I’m constantly shocked to see is not even close to our present conditions. As far as STEM fields, I think it’s important to empower girls through school and teach them that their contributions in those fields can be great. I personally really struggle with understanding detailed science and math, but I’m obsessed with learning about them in the general sense. I love learning about neurology, epigenetics, and cognitive and behavioral psychology— how the brain works, why we do what we do, etc. Perhaps my brain really doesn’t grasp on to the intricacies of it, but it could also be that if I had been encouraged to study those subjects as a younger person, I might have been able to train my brain to function in those fields. Too often, young girls are told that they are meant to be studying subjects in the humanities, that we’re the ‘emotional’ gender, and so we turn the logical, mathematical sides of our brains off. Do we really lack those talents, or are they muscles that we weren’t encouraged to strengthen and have atrophied without use? Geena Davis’s Institute is doing great work and putting forth the idea that young people need to see themselves reflected on screen, so we, as creatives, need to show women doing these things to inspire the younger generation to pursue them.

“All of that being said, de-stigmatizing mental illness and promoting mental wellness is one of my greatest passions in life. There’s a long history of mental illness in my family, particularly in the women, up the maternal line for several generations. I was raised to understand that and so it didn’t even occur to me that discussing one’s struggles in that area was taboo until fairly recently. It dawned on me that many people turned to suicide not only because they were struggling with mental illness, but because they felt too ashamed of their condition to speak up and get help. That’s unacceptable. No one would be ashamed to say they had asthma so they needed to take a break from exercise. Society doesn’t judge those who get cancer. Why do we not regard mental illness in the same manner? It’s really nonsensical to me. And furthermore, positive psychology should be taught alongside any other subject. We should promote positive thinking instead of perpetuating the culture of fear and anger that the media seems intent on spreading.”

You can learn more about Geena Davis’s Institute here: https://seejane.org/
Also, check out the trailer for Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, like the Facebook page, and go follow Castille on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date on her upcoming projects!
By Anna Tallarico

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