Photo Courtesy of Alikay Photos
1. What are the projects that you are currently working on? Please tell us a little about it.
My latest movie “One Under The Sun” Released late March. I have been promoting that movie. I play Amelia Voss who has terminal cancer. The movie has a message about us all being one that is very powerful and relevant, especially now. Amelia is selfless and courageous and I am really proud to be sharing the message of this film.
2. Please tell us what do you feel is your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement acting wise is that I am in a Warner Brothers feature film “Lights Out”. Its pretty cool to be in a movie that has made a profit of hundreds of millions of dollars. It is kind of mind blowing. My career goal was to be in a studio feature film as an adult. It was thrilling to reach that goal by age 15. My biggest achievement on a personal note is that I am a straight A, honor role, and honor society student. It is really challenging while working and auditioning in Hollywood.
3. Besides acting, what are you passionate about?
I am really passionate about animals, science, photography, and the beach and ocean. Dream job and life would include all of the above.
4. How do you prepare for a role?
I get off book first. As I memorize lines, usually the character development comes with understanding the lines. I start getting an impression of who the person is. My co-star in “One Under the Sun” , “Captain America” Gene Farber gave me some great inside tips. I then go to my manager and coach Sharon Lane and she coaches and cleans up my acting. As an actor you need to spend time working on any issues or kinks before audition. My coach Sharon really advised and assisted me with my vocals and projecting which was an issue. We are constantly working on keeping it real.
5. Would you like to share your latest Project Wildsong, with us?
Yes, I am so excited to talk about Project Wildsong! We met at an earth day event and had an instant connect. Damu and Cael (the wolf boys) and I had such an instant bond. Project Wild Song was impressed with my knowledge of conservation and wildlife. They invited me to come hang out and learn more. During that time, I learned how to handle the boys, as well as more about them and how Project Wildsongs message is to connect with people and therefore connect with nature and wildlife. It is such a beautiful message. As soon as I was able to pet these wolves, I felt more connected with the world. When Project Wildsong speaks at events and schools they are able to share and connect and spread a message about wildlife. The “wolfers” as we call them are so inspiring. Together we have some really exciting things in store for the future.
6. Why and when did you decide to start you acting career?
I started officially acting at age 7. I got a great agent by sending in my headshot. The agents wanted me to meet them and do two monologues. I memorized two and went in and the rest is history. I was a competitive dancer and knew how to perform “big” to get peoples attention but I had to learn to be more natural and real. I really adored it. At the time, because I was a great age for commercials I was out sometimes 3 auditions in a day. It was long drives and hard work, but I loved it. I knew it was for me.
7. If you could travel the world with anyone whom would you take?
I know this sounds silly, but my dog Rodeo. He loves getting dressed up and going in the car. He is a great traveler. He's so adorable that everyone lights up when they meet him. I think he and I would have an amazing time.
8. Please tell us what do you feel is the biggest challenge in your acting career?
I think a challenge is that I thought after 7 years in the business and some movies and TV shows under my belt, that it would be easier for more movies and TV. It is just as hard of work, but I am auditioning for bigger roles. I don't get too down about this though. I work hard and know there are more right roles out there for me, it just takes time and patience.
9. So many young actresses are committed to public service, setting a great example for their peers in terms of being involved with charities and the community. What causes are important to you, and what do you do to support them?
I love to see all of the young actors and my peers out there using their voice for awareness. It is a beautiful thing. I am always willing to use my voice for the greater good as well. I recently shared my story about bullying at “Say No To Bullying”, I am involved with Los Angeles Mission and spend most of my holidays serving the homeless, and of course being an ambassador for Project Wildsong.
10. As a teen actress, how do you strike the balance between schoolwork and your career?
Striking a balance is the most momentous thing. I choose to take honors and AP classes which makes it harder and that much more stressful. My parents have always said as long as I can successfully balance both, I can do both. School is really important to me, and if I wasn't doing well, I couldn't take the time for an acting career. On the set of “Lights Out” we were filming at an abandoned hospital with spotty internet. I got called on set, in the middle of a timed test that was a big deal. I had to go on set, nail the scene and then communicate with teacher what happened and ask for a redo and explain why. Things like this happen all of the time. I do work in the car, and I always use my hotspot and charging up my laptop so that I can work in transit.
11. If you were not a teen actress, what would you be up to now?
Wow, its really hard to imagine this. If I wasn't professionally acting, I think I would be in the school drama club and Science club.
12. If you have the chance to choose any other stars at your age to be your classmate, whom would you like to?
Oh my gosh, I choose them all! LOL, we all see each other at events and I feel like they are my classmates!
13. Have you ever taken acting classes before? And do you think acting classes are necessary for aspiring teen actors or actresses?
I have taken acting classes at beginning of career. I do think it is important. There are classes to build audition skins, improv, and scene study. It is neccessary to have skills like that. Now, I get to coach one on one for each role, which is like a private class. I am so blessed to keep learning. The best way to learn is to do! My biggest learning has taken place on set!
14. How can your fans interact with you online? And what’s your fan mail address?
My fans can interact the most with me on instagram @avacantrell as I am super interactive there. I am @theavacantrell on both Twitter and Facebook. My website is avacantrell.com and if fans look on there I will be adding a new fan mail address soon.
15. Please tell us about your role in “Lights Out”
I play teen Diana in “Lights Out”. I am the explanation of the creature and why she is the way she is. What has been revealed so far is that I can possibly control people with my mind, cannot be in the light, and am desperate for a friend. I will go to any lengths to keep that friendship. I am not to be messed with. I love playing the antagonist. I also got to do my first voiceover role for “Lights Out” they called me back to be the voice of creature Diana after auditioning top voice over actors. That was huge high light to be about to do both in such a big movie!
16. Now for my last question: what do you want to say to those who wish to pursue their careers in Hollywood?
I would say it is really hard to pursue this goal. There are many rejections and the competition is stiff. There are so many great actors and I wish more great roles. That being said, if you love it, you have to try it. There are so many ways to can do what you love. So many Youtube stars now too, as well as booking Hollywood roles. There seems to be a lot of room for growth. There is more internet shows that are so amazing. I would say to do the footwork. I get strangers asking me to help them out. If you can't figure out the basics, then you will not be able to navigate a career. So read about acting, take classes, do the school plays, ask your parents for help and really take initiative. Lastly, best of luck to you guys! You can do anything you put your mind to!