First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us
unfortunate enough to not already know you?
Iím a small town girl originating from Kingston, and
made the move to Toronto in 1999. I come from a rather large Portuguese
family, and both of my parents were and still are determined to present
my sister and I with the opportunities they didnít have while
growing up. Although Iím not sure that this is quite what
my parents had in mind for me, itís
because of their very obvious work
ethic that I was determined to succeed as an actor. Other than acting, I like long walks in the park, and I
love to cook, but I am truly a workaholic at heart. I enjoy telling a good
story, impersonations and all -- although it may be long winded, so I
suggest you grab a seat.
The Devil Walks Among You
One of your
upcoming films is the short The Devil Walks Among You. In a few
words, what is it about and what can you tell us about your character in
The Devil Walks Among You
is a tale that begins innocently enough, much
like itís predecessor, Tales From The Crypt (1972). The story
establishes itself within a seedy blues bar where a spoken word is being
performed by Lily Mastema (the character that
I portray who happens to love the limelight and attention). To the
crowd she is a stranger, but little do they realize what truths are about
to unfold. With flashbacks to a 50ís styled diner to assist in the
storytelling, itís anyoneís guess what will happen and what will be
How did you become involved with the movie,
and a few words about its writer/director Ryan M.Andrews [Ryan
M.Andrews interview - click here]?
After reading a news article regarding his latest
feature film Black Eve, I was drawn to Ryan M. Andrews because of
his interest in returning the horror genre back to its glory days. His
idea that the quality of the story is valued over the shock factor of the
in-your-face blood and gore, and that the anticipation is what gets under
your skin, was a notion I could fully support. I was invited to
audition for him and thatís all she wrote.
can you tell us about Stealin' Home and your role in it?
Stealiní Home is a cross genre short film written by Massimo
Volpe and directed by Joe Mari. ďSet in the summer of 1969, Brooklyn,
the story follows The Red Hook Heavies (a gang) and the growing
unmanageability of what they consider their turf, even more so after the
first Moon landing.Ē This was an amazing opportunity for me to adapt a voice
and accent for the role of Cheeks. She was originally conceived as
a ďcheap trick from the other side of the tracks,Ē but once we got the
ball rolling she morphed
into a character all her own: fast talking, quick witted, likes to hang
out with the boys and their fast cars. Cheeks is the sweetest pain in the
ass youíll ever meet.
few words about A Very Candid Game?
A Very Candid Game
photo by Emma Novotny
A Very Candid Game, written and directed by Will Khan, is a
multifaceted film dealing with corruption and the imperfections of all
political systems. I play the role of Meredith, who is the mistress of the
current President of Freedonia, and who confronts him with questions at a
personal level. Waiting for the opportunity to catch him when his guard is
down, not realizing the Pandoraís Box she is about to open, their
relationship unravels as the question of identity comes into play. Along
with morals and ethics, (as one anotherís identity is revealed) itís
about the psychology of being true to oneself. Can we accept ourselves
as we are, even though there is conflict with who we want to be?
You are also
in an upcoming feature film with the wonderful title Mr. Serial Killer
Ė Mr. Personality Disorder - You just have to talk about that one
for a bit!
This one sparks everyoneís interest, especially with
a title like this. Mr. Serial Killer is a disturbing and psychotic
web series featuring a group of bizarre serial killers, brought to you by
Entity Films and Steven Cerritos. The deranged world of Mr. Serial Killer
takes us to a darker side of Happy Ville. In this instalment, we are
introduced to the enigmatic Mr. Personality Disorder, an individual
with bizarre multiple identities and a very disturbing, mysterious past.
Familiar faces and questionable new folk fill this tale of tragic
proportions. Mr. Personality Disorder was originally intended to be the
second episode of the Mr. Serial Killer series, but we're still in
the pre-production stages as it's now being considered
for a feature length film. I play a principle character named Eva
who rose to fame and garnered notoriety for a two-page spread she did in
the 90ís. The money was good and life was going great until she
contracted HIV, which led to the demise of her career.
A Very Candid Game
photo by Emma Novotny
Any other of your movies you'd like to
mention, any future projects?
Well, without counting my chicks before they've
hatched, I may be teaming up with Ryan M. Andrews on two of his features,
but Iím keeping it in the vault as to the ones on which we may be
Let's go back to the
beginnings of your career: What made you want to become an actor, and did
you have any formal training?
I always knew, but apart from being involved in school
plays, I never acted upon it seriously until 2005 when I moved from
Kingston and began my training here in Toronto. Thereís something to be
said about the joy of being entertained. The first film that made a huge
impression on me was Star Wars. I always wanted to be Princess
Leia, because she was the first empowered woman I came across in film. The
second was The Wizard of Oz as
though the character of Dorothy may have seemed frail and
weak, her determination to work her way through a world that was unknown
to her spoke volumes to me.
Do you still remember your
very first shoot, and what can you tell us about this experience?
I was in grade 2 and our class was performing an
adaptation of the Nativity scene. I was originally cast as a background
performer, then days before we were set to perform live on TV, I was given
the role of Mary. During rehearsals we didnít have a baby sleeping in
the manger and with the cameras rolling, I approached the manger to
suddenly find a prop baby! I didnít know what to do. I asked myself,
ďDo I unwrap it? Do I pick it up out of the manger?Ē In
the end, I looked over at the director and motioned with my
hands unwrapping the baby. I will never forget that moment.
My parents still have a copy of it, and
we all get a good chuckle out of watching my debut.
general, how do you approach your roles?
Copyright Roulette Pictures
Different roles call for a different approach as the
needs and wants shift from character to character. Sure there are the
standard things to look for within the role and the script, but Iíve
found that variety is the spice of life and amps up the game and viability
of my acting. The general rule of thumb for myself is to not make any
assumptions and focus on the commitment to the feelings Iíve chosen with
respect to the role.
you have also appeared in a number of music videos. How does work on a
music video set differ from work on a film set?
For me the only difference is the shooting schedule. In
my opinion, music videos are a great tool and can be quality mini movies
if executed well.
in Toronto, Canada. What can you tell us about the local (indie-)film
The Toronto indie film scene is thriving, thereís no
doubt about that. There is so much being filmed in Toronto (as a result,
many indie films never see the light of day which is disappointing) and I
think itís because of the direction the entertainment industry has taken
(a less than desirable one at that). People are constantly attempting to
reinvent the wheel, which is okay, but I think what itís got to come
down to is good entertainment value for every party involved. Iíd also
like to see the distinction between a Canadian film and an American film
dissolve. Personally, because I am a proud Canadian, I canít tolerate
hearing, ďwell this looks and feels like a Canadian filmĒ. What does
that actually mean? Does it mean that I/we have less of a chance at
getting viewership in the US or worldwide? It feels somewhat
discriminatory to me. All I can do is look for awesome projects to be a
part of, and keep my fingers crossed that the story, production value and
the final product are spectacular enough to transcend all plains.
The Devil Walks Among You
would be your absolute dreamrole (no matter how impossible)?
I would love to portray the female version of James
Bond--Iím referring to the Daniel Craig version, truly an assassin at
heart. But Iíd also like to take a stab at an exploitation film and kick
some serious ass as the bad girl.
(or indeed actors) who inspire you?
enjoy the work of Christina Ricci, Natalie Portman, Lily Tomlin, and
Helena Bonham Carter. I also
have a great amount of respect for Meryl Streep, sheís a definite triple
treat in my eyes. As for the
boys I really canít say enough good things about Robert Downey Jr., Paul
Giamatti, John Malkovich, Daniel Day Lewis, Leonardo Dicaprio, Morgan
Freeman, Dustin Hoffman, just to name a few.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Labyrinth, Whoís Afraid of Virginia
Wolfe (Elizabeth Taylor is so amazing in this), Conan the
Barbarian, Blade Runner, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Jaws,
High Tension, Fight
Club, and my
own film Stealiní Home.
... and of course, films you really deplored?
Sex and The City 1 & 2, Waterworld, Saw II Ė
Saw 3D, Jonah Hex and Spiderman 2 & 3.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
was a great place for me to start!
for the interview!
for the opportunity J!