Who are your influences in the film industry?
Wow there are so many. But if I have to choose a few of my most influential I would start with Anjelica Huston, who I have loved since I was young. Before I could really understand film I just remember her having such a strong, confident and intense presence on screen. She is graceful and fierce! Next I would say Mary Louis Parker, I fell in love with her in my favorite film “Fried Green Tomatoes,” I love how honest her acting is. It just is real to me…which is what you hope to achieve in any performance. To be true and to draw people into the depths of a character so that they feel everything as if it were happening to them.
I do have two big other actors who I watch, study and I am mesmerized by. Robert Duvall to me is perfection. Lonesome Dove he won my heart and I have been following him ever since. He is a true legend and I am in awe of every performance. Lastly Shia LeBeouf, he is young and unfortunatey most people focus on his life outside of film. But he truly is one of the greatest young actors alive today. I always enjoyed his work but his performance in “Lawless” solidified for me that he is nothing short of amazing.
Can you remember when you first realized that you wanted to be an actress?
Yes! Vividly! I was 4 years old and was invited to tour the back lots of Burbank Studios. James Garner was a friend of my grandfathers and he arranged for us to come. I remember being on the set of Maverick, it was a bar scene fight. Jim came over to me and told me not to be scared and that the blood on his face was fake. I told him I wasn’t scared and I wanted to see the Dukes of Hazard not Maverick. He laughed and walked me over to the Dukes set.
One of her many photo shoots
…James Garner was a friend of my grandfather, but outside of my experience at 4 yrs old I never had any real connections to help get me started. My father is a commercial photographer and my mom is writer and director of documentaries so it’s kind of in my blood I guess.
My Uncle Lance Nichols (Benjamin Button, Treme) is my mentor and he always puts in a good word for me and advises me in my career. But I truly have had and continue to make my own way. When you get started in this business you so badly want to just go right into lead roles in full budget movies. But it is something that is best built and appreciated with time, experience, training, hard work, lots of heart and patience!
Who would you love to work with in the future?
SO MANY!! But I will just name one actor and one director to keep it simple. Of course if I can only choose one actor it has to be Robert Duvall. I am determined to make this happen! I admire his career, his work and to be in his presence and learn from him would be beyond anything I could ever hope for.
The director I want to work with most right now is Angelina Jolie. I loved “Unbroken” and I admired her work in “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” She only has directed these stories because she felt such a responsibility to make sure they were portrayed honestly and that their message was not lost. That is what drives me in my career. I am very selective in the roles that I choose because I feel my purpose in this industry is to be a truth teller. Whether it is an actual historical figure or a ficitional character with relatable, inspiring, broken or strong, stories that will impact an audience. I live for the roles where the beauty of the character is not physical but internal. Those are the roles that tell stories, those are the roles that inspire others and it does’t get any better than that!
Directing? Ever want to dive into that pond?
Yes, maybe eventually. But it would have to be something that I was so attached to that I could never dream of letting anyone else direct it. I think some projects choose you so if one day a script comes along and I feel I am ready then I will! Anything is possible when you are open to it!