Los Angeles, CA— Canadian born actress, Hunter Phoenix, was recently cast in two productions by Los Angeles based All In Films. Ms. Phoenix will star along with Lou Ferrigno, Paul Sorvino and Catherine Bell in the heartwarming family film The Bandit Hound II as the the quirky but sexy Sabrina. She is also slated to join the cast of Hollywood Uncensored mid January 2016 in the role of Vanessa. This funny and all-too-accurate web series features an amalgamation of literal characters as they present the ups and downs of living, working, and participating in the acting culture of Hollywood, California.
The Bandit Hound II is the second feature film in this series. Here we continue to follow the adventures of a lovable dog named Bandit who started stealing cash to help his adopted family. However, the well- meaning pooch unwittingly sets his family on a collision course with a dangerous ex-partner.
Hollywood Uncensored (aka Uncensored Hollywood) is a online series that takes a humorous and sexy approach to presenting the other side of life as an actor living in Los Angeles.
INTERVIEW WITH HUNTER PHOENIX
• How long have you been acting?
I came up through the theatre as a child performer, and was often called upon when young actors and actresses were required to memorize large amounts of text for live performances. My formal theatrical and dance training began as a pre-teen with a local theatre company and I then went on to study dramatic arts in college.
• Do you remember what your first big job was?
Yes, of course. What really gave me a start in the business was a beer commercial just after college. I was working at a bar to pay off my student loans and was asked to audition. I got the part! From there, getting an agent was a lot easier, and I started really working steadily as both a commercial and print model.
• What first drew you to acting?
I always wanted to be on stage! Desperately! And according to my mother, the love affair with a camera began when I was 2 :) In second grade, I remember we put on a production the The Three Bears. I learned all of the lines - the whole play! I wanted to make sure that I got a part no matter what. I was hooked!
I went on to study theatre arts locally after school and started working on stage by my mid teens. Acting really is the first love of my life.
• Many A-List actors speak about the importance of acting training early in their careers. What did that look like for you?
I have been really fortunate to have some wonderful acting coaches along the way, including being in the very last Master Class Uta Hagen taught before she died. I started in Dramatic Arts while still in high school and continued on through college and beyond. I’ve studied with voice coaches, movement coaches, done scene study, on-camera classes and even improv at Second City. Some of the classes were technical, but most of them taught me about myself and other people; how we relate and why we do what we do. Acting has been a huge force for personal growth and development in my life. It has, often times painfully, pulled back my own facade and helped me to be a more compassionate human being. I don’t think we can ever really study enough - it’s always about ourselves, learning more and revealing more.
• You also seem to do a lot of voiceover work?
Yes. Along the way, I got dragged into doing voiceovers. Really, I didn’t want to do it! I have a great ear for accents and dialects, and a knack for crazy, silly characters. Extensive vocal training has also given me a voice that I’m told people love to listen to. With a lot of practice, I’ve able to master commercials and narration as well and even have a sound booth set up at home to record now too.
• Which of your roles have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
The first role that comes to mind is one from a stage production of Streetcar Named Desire. I was working in London at the time I was cast. I had auditioned for another role in a different production by the same company, but the director cast me as Blanche. I was terrified to play the role. I had no idea how I was going to go through that complex emotional transition. I spoke to the director and told him I thought I would be better suited to another role, and what he said to me has stuck with me since; "You’re perfect for the part. You know why? Because it’s going to be fascinating to watch you fall (emotionally)". He turned out to be right - the whole process was fascinating. I had, not to strive, but to let myself go emotionally, to be very out of control and vulnerable. Both things that are incredibly difficult for me. My performance, and the play were very well received and I learned things about myself that I could not have imagined otherwise.
• So what are you focusing on in your career right now?
Now, my focus is definitely with film and television. I have a couple of upcoming projects during the next year that I’m really looking excited about! Other than that? Create. Create. Create. I have been really lucky to spend much of my life working around the world modeling as well as acting. The experiences have been irreplaceable. But when you are moving around that much, you are constantly focused on traveling and where is the next gig. Now, I want to take the time and create. To give back to this industry that has given me so much, and to be part of the process of it’s evolution and growth. The next phase of my life is all about partnerships and creating new and wonderful things.
• Do you have any future projects planned?
Absolutely. This is a creative industry where you constantly have to be creating to stay fresh, feel alive and continue to be connected to the community in which you work. I’ve recently been cast in "The Bandit Hound II" being produced by All In Films, starring Judd Nelson, Lou Ferrigno and Paul Sorvino. I’m honored and excited to be working with such talented actors. I also have two personal projects that I’m writing and producing with industry partners; one short film that we are about to begin pre-production on early in 2016, and an unscripted TV series that will begin filming later in the year.
• Which actors do you draw inspiration from?
Wow… where do I begin with this one…
Charlize Theron for her devotion and commitment to the craft. Sean Penn because he raises the bar every time he steps in front of the camera. Jennifer Lopez for being an entertainer!! Across the board she entertains! Al Pacino for his incredible depth, conviction and presence in every performance he gives. Jennifer Lawrence for being so completely fresh, open, quirky, vulnerable and deeply committed to her characters. Jeffery Dean Morgan and the consistent warmth and strength he brings to every character he plays. I could really go on forever about the incredible actors who have inspired my life and who are such a pleasure to watch. These are just a few who come to mind.
• Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?
Be You. Don’t ever be afraid to be you. I spent so many years insecure and trying to be someone else - often being told that I was too young, too old, too blonde, not blonde enough, my eyes were the wrong color and I was too thin or too heavy. Many times in the same week! This business can beat you up if you let it. Don’t. Just be you. You are incredible and unique and you can bring something to the table that no one else can.