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An Interview with Alba O'Neill, Actress

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2022

Films starring Alba O'Neill on (re)Search my Trash

 

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First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us unfortunate enough to not already know you?

 

Hello there! My name is Alba O誰eill, I知 a French-American actor living in Paris. I知 30 years old and have been acting professionally since January 2020. I知 vegan, I have an adorable dog called Yuki. I知 slightly obsessed with workouts and love learning different languages I知 currently learning Korean, German and some Zulu.

 

Do talk about some of your current and future projects!

 

I just booked a French feature that will be shooting at the end of the year I can稚 say much more about it. Recently, I've been booking lots of commercials and auditioning for more and more American films that are shooting in France, which is very exciting!

 

What got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I knew I wanted to act when I first saw The Lion King in 1994 when it came out in theaters we were living in Nagoya, Japan at the time and the cinema was packed. They decided to let people in despite all the seats being taken. My Mom had to carry me in her arms for the entire duration of the film. I never really started acting, out of fear and outside pressure mostly, until my Dad passed away in December 2019. That prodded me to start living my dream and I took full advantage of the lockdown: I trained at all the American and British studios that I was interested in and that opened their classes online. I met so many amazing coaches and actors during that time and am so thankful for them.

 

Can you still remember your first time in front of a movie camera, and what can you tell us about that experience?

 

Yes! It was a shoot for the SF48 film festival contest, the short was called An Unsatisfied Man by Oliver Wilkins. I was very self-conscious but our director was very good and encouraging I didn稚 shoot anything for a number of years after that, but he definitely contributed to making me want to be in more projects. That short was my first official IMDb credit, and we won the Grand Jury Prize as well.

 

Do talk about your past filmwork, and some of your career highlights!

 

I致e been in a multitude of short films, industry films and TV/web commercials. I致e also starred in a handful of independent films, and have made an episodic appearance on French TV. One of my most memorable experiences was definitely seeing myself on TV for the first time it was for a commercial for Mon Lit Cabane. Another was certainly the TV pilot I shot last year for the Banjay group it wasn稚 picked up but it was an intense 48 hours of shooting with the most amazing cast and crew I値l never forget it! The most trying experience was the episode of Petits Secrets en Famille that I guest starred on. I had no idea that the time constraints were so extreme! At times, we only had a couple minutes to shoot a scene, and I won稚 lie, I was not ready for it! It痴 far from being my best acting, but it was definitely a positive experience, and a necessary one!

 

Having made films both in France and the US, what are some of the main differences of the French and the American approach to filmmaking?

 

I think it's pretty clear just from traditional French movie genres that as a whole we're much more attached to a naturalistic approach than Americans are, and to the power of the words which is why I generally catch on better to American projects than French ones. I like the freedom and independence that are granted to actors on American sets because you guys usually have a more fast-paced approach and a different take on on-set work ethics. Everyone is expected to be efficient and usually is whereas to my dismay I' m oftentimes praised on French sets for just knowing my lines, which blows my mind!

 

However, I like the profoundness that French projects explore in the simplest of settings, and the power that can be pulled from everyday life. It痴 certainly a talent and a specific take on la vie de tous les jours that I don稚 think can be found in any other genre.

 

You seem to have tried your hands on many a genre - so which genre(s) are the most challenging for you, which do you enjoy the most?

 

I used to get in my head when it comes to drama. But I知 in an amazing Meisner class at Playhouse Paris that allows me to get out of my own way so it痴 most definitely less of a challenge. I usually exceed at comedy, and any type of scene in which I have the freedom to improvise.

 

You're also part of the hip hop improv group Chrome XX - so what can you tell us about the group, the music, and does this in any way inform your acting (and vice versa)?

 

We池e not the girl group you壇 expect we池e from all different walks of life, of different ages and origins, but we致e become a super solid group of friends thanks to our coach Derek Reid who brought us together. We池e fun and funny, bold and crude and we don稚 take 渡o for an answer but at the same time, we池e very vulnerable and connected to one another, which is what makes us so strong and unique.

 

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How would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?

 

I'm the hardest worker in the room. I absolutely love my work and aim to please as most actors do, I am in search of a certain level of validation. So, the advantages and inconveniences to that are twofold: I adore what I do, I work very hard to be good at it, but I also get in my head at times when I feel like my performance is not meeting my expectations, and I need to snap myself out of that state of mind, which can be a challenge.

 

Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?

 

Laura Dern, Toni Collette, Sally Field and Sarah Paulson.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

I adore horror I知 a big Ari Aster fan. I love Jordan Peele痴 work as well, and Annihilation is one of my favorite films to date. The Love Birds is by far the best rom com I've ever seen the improv is gold! I知 a 90s movie girl and will never get enough of Jim Carrey or Robin Williams Liar Liar and Mrs. Doubtfire for the win! Parasite is definitely in my top faves as well. But the list is potentially never ending, there are so many good projects out there!

 

Your website, social media, whatever else?

 

Sure! My Instagram handle is @albao_off - https://www.instagram.com/albao_off/

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Thank you for the opportunity, and to Phil Herman for being such an awesome friend and collaborator he痴 the one who introduced me to your work J

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

ゥ by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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