Imaginative mind and storyteller Melissa Cavaliere joins the cast of the hit web comedy Uncensored Hollywood.
WHAT FIRST DREW YOU TO ACTING?
When I was a child, I loved creating my own world. I remember watching Romy Schneider in the trilogy, Sissi, and at the end of those movies, I would go run down to my basement, pull a blanket over me and “tada”… I was her! I was a princess! I would later grow up to realize that acting was much more complex then that. We are all storytellers with an important duty: to pay tribute to a character… to a story. I like the fact that a good comedy can make people smile after a bad day and a drama can touch people and make then reflect on life in general. I also like how some movies just break your sense of reality for even just a moment. Movies have great power.
What was you performance education like?
For as long as I could remember, I’ve always been dancing, acting or even singing in front of my family (My neighbor use to call me “Nightingale”) But my first show wouldn’t be until elementary school. I remember the feeling of excitement just before going on stage. It was in that moment that I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. In 2008, I was coached by the actor, Steve Gendron, until 2014. That same year, I moved in Los Angeles to attend the Best Acting School in Los Angeles to be coached by Michelle Danner herself.
WHICH ACTORS DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM?
There so many: Johnny Depp, Kates Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Helena Bonham Carter, Katherine Heigl, Marion Cotillard, Patrick Swayze, Angelina Jolie, Robin Williams, etc. They all have something instantly magical that they bring to the screen. Together for me, they represent the perfect actor.
WHICH OF YOUR ROLES HAVE GIVEN YOU THE MOST SATISFACTION? WHY?
I love playing dark characters. Strong badass women. They’re so much fun to play and so interesting to work on.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE PROJECTS PLANNED?
I am actually going to be in two upcoming feature films directed by Los Angeles acting coach Michelle Danner herself! One is going to be a fascinating Documentary on the acting craft and acting technique itself while the other is going to be the much anticipated sequel to the film, The Bandit Hound! (Go to allinfilms.com to find out more!). and in a few weeks I’m going to start some stunt classes so I’m excited about that. I’m also working on a script in hopes of producing it soon. There are also some projects waiting for me in Montreal. Some meetings as well, so a lot is going on.
IF YOU COULD CO-STAR WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD YOU CHOSE? WHY?
That’s a tough one so I may have to cheat a bit. It’ll probably go a little like this: For a female costar, I would say Kate Winslet because I like the way she conveys emotion. Her acting is so honest and natural. I also like the fact that she can take on different accents.
For a male costar, it would have to be either Johnny Depp or Leonardo Dicaprio. (Sorry, again, I have to cheat. I just can’t choose between those two!) For every character Johnny Depp plays, he always seems to be having so much fun. There’s always a little touch of humor in his performances. I like the way he creates a character and transforms himself into a wonderfully colorful person. He really knows how to become somebody else.
As far as Leonardo Dicaprio, I grew up with him on TV. I like his intensity. He’s not afraid to push himself into different emotions and the bar he sets for himself is always set higher and higher. He always brings a great amount of humanity to his character. Both of these actors are completely fearless. That’s why I can’t choose between the two of them.
WHAT ARE YOU GOALS FOR THE FUTURE?
I want to explore and challenge myself with different characters. I want to continue working in Los Angeles for sure. I am so in love with this city and the people, who are all so passionate about telling stories. I want to continue writing as much as possible. I have so much to say and so many subjects that touch me and want to talk about.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ACTORS?
Absolutely, Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Keep your eyes in the stars and the feet on the ground”. Dream, work hard and surround yourself with positive people who will inspire you. Stay focused, take risks and give yourself some goals to reach so you will see your progress, which will serve as your motivation. If you fail, cry, be mad, but remember you learn from when you fail than from when you win. Don’t forget that you are unique with a unique backstory and you’re the only one who can that specialness into the world of acting. So when you ask yourself “Why do I deserve this?” instead, ask yourself “Why shouldn’t I deserve this?” It all reminds me this touching speech, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me of every little child and how they’re dreams are valid no matter where they are.” -Lupita Nyong’o
Michelle Danner’s Los Angeles acting school specializes in the techniques of Meisner, Strasberg, Adler, Hagen, Chekhov & the Stanislavsky Technique
See this month’s Backstage article from Michelle Danner
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