Its 4:20 pm
Welcome to the 100th edition of “8 Questions with……”
Looking back at it,I am not surprised at who I interviewed for our 100th interview.
Who knew a small short film called “Nowhere To Run” would open so many doors both professionally and more importantly,personally.
Watching our guest,the mighty Brittany Wolf,in action facing off against Death and kicking its butt really moved me. To have the energy and will not let Death take everything from you when it appears it has,it was such a emotional watch,I won’t lie to you.
But what has come after that…..meeting Mike Ferguson,thenJosh Gilmer and interviewing them both. From there,meeting Mike Markoff and Joshua Han,it felt like I was being accepted into a tight knit group of not only great actors but brother-in-arms as well.
But I knew I had to interview Brittany,I had to ask her what she was feeling and how did she get there when she filming “Nowhere”. I wanted a chance to say “thank you”,that your hard work in rolling around in the dirt and muck and showing that grief can be held somewhat at bay,that your beautiful acting will always be priceless to me.
Thank you Brittany for letting me get to meet you and to get to ask my 8ish Questions…
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little on what you are currently working on.
My name is Brittany Wolf and I currently live in Los Angeles, California. I am originally from Youngstown, Ohio, and moved to the big city four years ago to pursue a life long dream in acting. Although this year has consisted of a few small projects, I’m excited to see what 2020 will bring. I recently signed with a new acting agency, started a new acting class, and took new headshots to better represent my new look.
What was growing up in Ohio like? What are your three favorite memories growing up?
Its funny, now that I am older, I can really appreciate growing up in Ohio. I came from a small town were family was everything. My favorite memory was every Sunday at the Wolf house. After church my grandpa, grandma and Aunt Di would come over to our house for spaghetti dinner. My two brothers and I would be playing in the basement, usually making me their test dummy for some new game they came up with, spaghetti cooking on the stove, and all the “grown ups” working on a puzzle in the dining room. When we all came together for dinner we would laugh for what seemed like hours. And we would end the night all watching TV in the living room. Unfortunately, we lost our grandpa about five years ago, and even though it’s not the same without him, we still carry on the spaghetti Sunday tradition. Another favorite memory I have was playing outside with the neighborhood kids. I was lucky enough to grow up with a lot of kids in my neighborhood. We would play tag, ride bikes, play in the creek, climb trees and only went inside when it was time for dinner. Although most of us have gone our own ways, they are still memories I cherish today. My last memory I have is one many people are surprised by. I was one of the captains of my high school bowling team. It may not be the “fanciest” sport, but it was one of the better memories I have of high school, and one of the few places I had fit in. I loved being apart of that team.
I see you are a Bearcat!! How did you like your college experience at UC and what were your three favorites classes and what made them so special to you?
I love being a Bearcat! The friends I made, the memories we still laugh about and the experiences I went through, I would do it all over again. I still say, “I wish I could go back to my college days.” My first year at UC, I was pursing a degree in criminal justice. Towards the end of my freshman year, I was informed that UC offered an Electronic Media program which catered towards film, music production, online media etc. My sophomore year of college I switched my major and was excited to start my film classes. Two of my favorite classes go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately I could not tell you the name of the classes, but they were a film class 1 and 2. In these classes we wrote scripts, casted actors and shot our own student films. Although we worked with camcorders at the time, I was finally doing what I loved. Being 18 years old, and having to chose something to do for the rest of your life is scary, but I knew I was in the right place. I think the last class that really stuck out to me was a criminal justice class I took. It didn’t have much to do with the class itself, but my professor, Dr. Sue Bourke made the class so special. Her teaching method is one that I still talk about today. The University of Cincinnati will always have a place in my heart.
When did you know you wanted to be a actress and how did you start your journey to become one?
It may sound cliche, but I knew I wanted to be an actress ever since I was very young. My friends and I would write scripts, steal my dads camera and make movies around the neighborhood. Being from Ohio, those dreams didn’t seem achievable, so I never pursued it at a young age. After college, I moved down to Atlanta, Georgia for six months, joined the local 600 (International Cinematographers Guild) and started working in the camera department on TV shows such as The Walking Dead, Halt and Catch Fire, Atlanta and more. I was in awe when I was on set, but I still knew something was missing. Thankfully I had some family friends that opened up their home to me and gave me a place to live, but found myself needing more money. Late one night, I had come across a website that posted a call for background work on the set of Neighbors 2. I sent them an email not thinking much would come of it, and within hours I received a call time to be on set for the next day. What was suppose to be a two day shoot of 150 extras, turned into a featured background role for 4 months. I received a call one night from the casting director stating he loved my energy and drive to be on set, and wanted to keep me on the rest of shoot. At that moment, I knew pursuing an acting career was my calling. Five months later I flew out to L.A. to pursue a career in acting.
What was moving to Los Angeles like for you? What three things surprised you the most about the city?
My journey to Los Angeles is an interesting story. My dad had a work conference down in Anaheim, so my mom and I rented a car and drove up to West Hollywood every day, passing out my resume to a list of bars and restaurants I had complied together. After many rejections, I walked into the last restaurant of the day and I was hired on the spot. My mom and I still laugh about it to this day, because I felt every emotion at that moment. I was excited I got hired, sad because I didn’t say goodbye to my family back home, scared to do this alone and nervous I may have made the wrong decision. But, I canceled my flight home with my parents, ordered a rental car and stayed at an Airbnb for a few nights. I found myself homeless for two months, bouncing from couch to couch and living out of one suitcase. I even slept in my car one night. I had no where else to go, when I received an email that I had been approved for an apartment with 3 random roommates. It’s so silly, but one thing I was surprised by is that no one waves to you when driving! Ohio people always wave when you let them over on the road…no one waves here. Second, I was surprised L.A doesn’t have thunderstorms. That was something I loved about Ohio- late night thunderstorms. I don’t think I was really surprised by this, but I really miss having grass. There is barely any land in L.A., so when I go back home, I really appreciate the greenery out there.
What was your first time auditioning like and what did you take from the experience?
My first audition was a self tape which was very surreal for me. It wasn’t my best but I just couldn’t believe I was actually auditioning for a film. My first in person audition was a little more nerve racking. It was definitely a first audition, but when I got in the room it all felt natural. It was also my first time being asked to do improv, which was scary to me, but the casting directors were super sweet and made me feel great about about it. I didn’t book it, but one thing I took away from that audition is to just have fun, be yourself, and enjoy the ride.
What was shooting your award winning short film “Nowhere To Run” like? How did you get involved in this project?Your portrayal of Kelsy facing grief and death head-on, it felt you like you’re drawing upon your own losses to empower her, how much was really you and how much was in the character?
Being on the set of “Nowhere To Run” was like being on cloud 9. It was my first lead actress role in a film, and one of the best experiences of being on set. Our great director, Mason Howard, really took his time preparing us for our characters and making sure our shoots days ran smoothly. Which is extremely helpful for films like this. I came across the casting for Kelsey on LaCasting, and instantly I knew I had to play her. I am still grateful that Mason saw something in me just from my headshot. I sent in my self tape, and shortly after I received an email that I had landed the role. My scene in the drain hole was the very last scene we shot for the film. It had been an emotionally draining day (in a good way) because we had done all of Kelsey and Buzz’s scenes earlier that day. So getting to that emotional place came very easy for me. I definitely used some of my own memories to help build on top of Kelsey’s grief, but most of it came from her.
How did you prepare for your fight scenes? Were you a little nervous before your action scenes?
I wasn’t nervous shooting any of the fight scenes. I had a really good bond with Mike (Buzz) and we both made sure we were comfortable saying and doing certain things to each other. I think the nerves came more from, would the audience believe this. I’ve been turned down for action roles because of my height. I am 5’2 and was told “you were the best fighter we had, but we need someone taller.” I prepared myself by not letting that get to me and believing in myself and in what Kelsey had to do.
What are your three most difficult emotions to play and what do you do to improve your skills?
I think the first one might be anger. I don’t think its difficult to play, however, there is more to anger than just yelling back and forth to each other, which sometimes can be easy to fall into. To improve this, I really look at what the words in the scene and what they mean to me. And how can I show different types of anger without preplanning any emotion. Second, is playing someone who is nervous or anxious. When I first started acting, I would get really nervous and I would talk super fast. It was a habit my acting coaches would point out right away. If I get a role that calls for someone nervous or anxious, I go straight to rushing through my lines. I don’t know if I’ve really improved that on yet, but I’m working on it! Third would possibly be “extreme” excitement/ happiness. Sometimes it looks too over the top and animated so I end up just laughing at how funny I look. I try to improve on this by thinking of real life memories that made me happy or excited and how did I act in that situation.
Which do you like playing more a villainess or a heroine and why?
Thats a hard question because I love playing both. I mean who doesn’t like being the heroine of the movie. But I think there is something exciting when it comes to playing a villainess. You transform into someone so different from you, and it’s really fun to play with that.
What have been your three favorite moments as an actress and three of your biggest disappointments? How did you handle the disappointments?
My three favorite moments would have been landing my first lead role as Kelsey, being nominated as Best Supporting Actress in a short film I did called “House of Redemption,” and the first time I saw myself on a cable network show. Mainly, I think my disappointments just come from sabotaging my own auditions. Last year was the first time I experienced a really slow period of acting, so when I did get an audition I would over act, over think and be really nervous. I took about three months off at the end of the year to mentally compose and get myself back to who I was as an actress. Every time I go into an audition, I just breath and tell myself to have fun with it.
How important is family to you, both your own and your acting family?
My family is by far the most important thing to me. I truly wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my parents. I don’t know how I could ever repay them because they have given me the world, but I only hope one day I can return the favor. I love them so much, and I am honored to call them my parents. My brothers and I talk to each other almost every day. We all live in different states and time zones, but we always make time for each other.
My acting family is small, but they are people I love to surround myself with. I love being around actors who push you to never give up and support you along the way. I know I need to network more and build my acting family, and that is something I look forward to in 2020.
What do you like to do when you’re not on location?
I have two Doxin’s named Mickey and Minnie who I love spending time with, whether its snuggling up on my couch or taking them around L.A. If I’m not out enjoying the nice L.A weather, then I love watching crime documentaries on Netflix. I think its my way of getting my criminal justice fix in. And when I can afford it, I love going down to Disney. I am a big Disney fan, and go down any chance I get.
What dream role would you want to play and why?
I think my dream role would be to work on a TV show or movie that is iconic and a classic. Something like Friends, The Office, The Titanic, even Heath Ledger’s role as the Joker in The Dark Knight. They are works of art that people still talk about to this day, and it shows the impact that it has made on the world.