Nine-year-old child star Sage Correa talks about filming the thriller "Kidnap" starring Halle Berry, and getting thrown into a car by Chris Mcginn. Also Sage tell us about voicing Pig Pen in "Peanuts" TV show.
Congratulations on your leading role in the film “Kidnap.” It’s exciting you got to play Halle Berry’s son in this action-packed thriller! Tell us about your role and the audition process for this film.
The character I play is named Frankie. He is 6 years old which is what I was at the time. He's a good kid and very close with his mom. One day while they are at the park, he gets kidnapped. His mom sees and chases the kidnappers down. There is a lot of action. It's crazy! The audition process was intense. It took lots of callbacks and a chemistry read with Halle herself. The whole process took about one month.
You filmed for multiple months on location in New Orleans. What was it like filming in New Orleans, and can you tell us some fun stories from filming “Kidnap” and from exploring New Orleans?
I loved the time I spent in New Orleans! The food, the people and the music were amazing! My favorite part was spending time with my family that lives there because that is where my family is originally from. I got to eat red beans and rice almost everyday which is my favorite food and hear some great jazz at Preservation Hall. A lot of people think that Kidnap was scary for me to film because I was so young and it's a thriller.
Actually, I had a lot of fun on set with the crew and other cast members. The funniest thing happened on the first day of filming when Chris Mcginn had to throw me into the car. She played one of the kidnappers. After she threw me in the backseat, I cried and cried. She was so worried that I was actually hurt, but when they yelled "cut", I jumped out of the car with a big smile on my face!
You got to work alongside Halle Berry. What are some of the things you learned from her, the cast and crew, and from your experiences while working on this film?
Halle was super nice and fun to work with. She talked to me about how to get into character and really become Frankie. She said I needed to think of things in my real life that make me scared. That was hard to do because I'm not scared of a lot of things! I also spent a lot of time with the kidnappers, Chris McGinn and Lew Temple when we were not filming. That helped me to feel comfortable to work with them. I actually wasn't afraid of them at all!
You also voice Pig Pen in “Peanuts.” How did you prepare to voice such an iconic role?
I wasn't actually prepared for how much work it was going to be! Peanuts is a really big show and they wanted all of my lines to be just perfect. I had to sound exactly like the original Pig Pen character. I was surprised to find out that voice over actually takes a lot of energy out of you. It's a lot of work to get the lines just right. The finished product is pretty awesome though so it made it all worth it!
What differences do you find between doing onscreen roles and voiceover roles? Which do you prefer and why?
The main difference is that you are not working with the other actors when you are doing voice over roles. You are in a room by yourself or with the director. Sometimes you run into the other actors in passing but that's about it. I prefer doing onscreen roles so I can interact with more people. I still love voice over jobs though. It's really awesome to hear my voice on such a famous character!
You are a normal, everyday kid that is getting some very special acting opportunities. What do you like to do for fun and what is a typical day in your life?
Yes, I am a very normal kid! I love sports, especially basketball! I have a lot of friends and I enjoy talking to them on the phone and playing computer games or video games. A typical day for me involves going to school, auditions and homework. On the weekends I get to play video games and have play dates. That's what I enjoy doing,
Do you have other interests that you take classes for, like martial arts, voice or piano lessons, or painting, etc.?
Over the years I have taken many different classes and lessons. I studies kung fu for some time and I started playing tennis when I was 3 years old. I have also taken capoeira and I take dance classes pretty regularly. Mostly I focus on acting classes. There are so many different types of classes like improv, theatrical, voice over, scene study and commercial. Right now, my favorite class in Improvisation. It's a lot of fun!
What can we expect to see you in next and what is a dream role you’d love to play?
There is nothing coming up that I can talk about right now, but I am up for some nice roles. I always stay prepared because you never know when the next big opportunity is coming! My dream role is to be a series regular on a weekly show. Any show will do, but it would be awesome if it were basketball related!
Actress Karin Konoval discusses blockbuster "War for the Planet of the Apes", and the motion capture process
By: Rachelle Henry | PHOTOS COURTESY Twentieth Century Fox
Doane Gregory, and Gordan Dumka
- Los Angeles, California
Actress Karin Konoval discusses playing Maurice the ape in the blockbuster "Planet of the Apes" series, and clues us in on the motion capture process for Warner Bros. Also Karin talks about training for "Planet of the Apes".
I read a review that says, "thanks to an evocative story and the most realistic anthropoids you'll find outside a zoo, this third Apes is the strongest yet." Congratulations on playing fan-favorite, Maurice in the last three "Planet of the Apes" films! I also read that you almost didn't go to the audition for the role. What changed your mind and what was the audition/callback process to play a mature male orangutan? You went and studied orangutan behavior, specifically studying Towan from Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA. How did Towan influence your role as Maurice, and how did he impact you personally?
The first audition call-out for the film was "Untitled Feature Film Casting For Mimes." I thought: I'm not a mime so I'm not going. Then I was told it was for actors to play chimpanzees, and I thought, now I'm REALLY not going! But then I decided I'd be a good sport and go to it, nothing would come of it and that would be that. But after the first audition I was called back to a lengthy ape movement session under Terry Notary's expert guidance, and after that I was called back to audition for an orangutan. I knew nothing about orangutans and did a lot of research fast. It was at the third audition that Rupert Wyatt, the director of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", told me that the character he wished me to play was Maurice. Once I was cast, I did a great deal more research - books, videos, sound recordings - and the training and practice for quadrupedal walking was intense.
On my own time I travelled to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle where I observed Towan -- who in turn chose to come and study me. It was in the twenty minutes that we were eye to eye on other side of a window that gave me the heart and soul of Maurice. I didn't meet him again until after "Rise" opened, when I was invited for a personal introduction to him and the rest of his orangutan family. I went, and that was the beginning of a personal journey for me that continues today. How did Towan impact me personally? The answer to that could fill a book! In brief I can only say that his name translates as "Master", and for the six years I was privileged to know him he always was that to me.
This franchise uses a lot of motion capture and Vogue magazine just did a feature about why you and Andy Serkis should be Oscar nominated for your roles in this instalment. You bring such a powerful and brilliant performance and it would make Oscar history. How did you train for such a physical role? What kind of preparation did the studio provide vs what preparation you did for yourself? What are some of the biggest differences you find between motion captuure and regular live action roles?
The physical training to portray a mature male orangutan has been intensive and necessary both in advance of and throughout all three films. Not just to gain skill and ease with quadrupedal movement on arm stilts, but flexibility, strength, etc etc. My personal practice has included gym and weight training, cycling, yoga, many things on a daily basis. This is all stuff I have done on my own, intensively and extensively throughout. Also a great deal of vocal research and practise to achieve as much resonance as I could for the sounds I make as Maurice, to achieve the depth of voice, to get as much of an orangutan "long call" into my voice as possible. Terry Notary originally trained me in quadrupedal movement and has been a great support to me throughout all three films in terms of being a second eye -- reminding me to keep heavy if I was getting too light in my movement, things like that.
The studio provided a month of daily horseback riding training for the third film which was very helpful for me in particular, as we needed a level of horsemanship on "War" that I didn't have, and I'm very grateful to have had that time under Danny Virtue's guidance. In answer to your question about mocap and live action roles: there is absolutely no difference. None. I approach and play Maurice in the same way I do any other live action role. What's different between playing Maurice and playing other roles is playing a mature male orangutan in all of his psychological, physical and vocal integrity.That's one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges as an actor I've ever had.
You are a published author and painter. Your work has been featured in solo gallery exhibits. Your first illustrated children's book "Jeffrey Takes a Walk in December" was published in 2015. What is the inspiration for your literary work and painting
I simply love to tell stories, whether as an actor, a painter or a writer. All of my solo gallery exhibits are full stories or series in paintings --- the story unfolds from canvas to canvas around the room. While I had short stories published before I began painting, I've really enjoyed the journey of painting and writing coming together over the past years. Whether the words or the artwork come first changes constantly, but always towards a singular storytelling.
You've had such an extensive career in TV and film, and have received numerous awards for your work in theatre, performing lead roles in over fifty professional theatre productions. What type of roles do you find challenging and why? Do you have any dream role you'd love to play?
This is quite easy to answer: the more challenging and interesting a role, the more I love to play it. I've had the opportunity to play a wide range of roles both onstage and in film and television. I've never been type cast in any particular way, and that has proved to be a great blessing, one that keeps growing. Do I have a dream role? No. To have the opportunity to work on a well written script, in an interesting role, with an excellent director and cast -- that's all I wish and dream for as much more of as possible!
What are you working on right now?
I'm currently filming a recurring role in the BBC series "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency." It's a delightful role and a great show to be part of through season two!
Actress Debbie Sherman talks The Vault starring James Franco, and returning to acting after having kids
Actress extraordinaire Debbie Sherman talks filming The Vault starring James Franco, and returning to acting after having kids. Debbie also talks about getting education while pursuing your dreams.
You have three high-profile films releasing in 2017! Congratulations! One of the film "The Vault" is a horror/thriller starring James Franco, Taryn Manning, and Francesca Eastwood. You play the character of Lauren. Tell us more?
Thank you so much! I can't wait for all three films to debut this year! The Vault was the very first film of my career and the first step of what I hope will be a very long career in this industry. Lauren was my debut supporting role. In this film, two estranged sisters are forced to rob a bank in order to save their brother, but this is no ordinary bank. Just watch and see!
Horror films are interesting type of medium because, of how much emotion goes into the character. Can you tell us how you approach these types of roles?
The horror genre often goes hand in hand with very emotional and terrified characters. I always do my best to fully immerse myself in the moment while filming and take on the emotions that the character would be experiencing throughout the scene. This is quite intense and can lead to me feeling pretty exhausted after shooting. Needless to say, I sleep like a baby after filming scenes like that, due to the sheer energy it takes to give off that much emotion scene after scene. Honestly, I love every second of the process!
You will appear in The Forgiven with Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana. You play Linda Coetzee. Tell us more about the film and the character of Linda?
This was my largest role yet and man, was I excited to film with such legends and on a film that radiates so much truth! The script made me feel so many emotions when I originally read it and I knew I had to be a part of this film. I am beyond blessed to have been given the incredible opportunity to work on this movie. I had the most wonderful experience filming. Everyone from the makeup department, to the whole cast and fabulous crew made my experience one of a kind. The whole team was top notch and I can't wait for the premiere of this film!
You graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration. You started your career as a talented singer before becoming an actress. Did you use singing as a way in? Did you take any acting formal classes?
I have always had a love of the arts: singing, dancing, acting, etc. I am a performer at heart and I love to perform. I took singing and acting classes throughout my schooling years. After college I had an opportunity to start singing in a group with one of my best friends. We had the time of our lives writing original songs and performing them. We even had a music video that I will forever cherish. I look back so fondly on that special time in my life.
My first role had nothing to do with my singing career. After having my two daughters, I wanted to get back into the entertainment field and a good friend of mine is an actor. He was able to introduce me to some wonderful producers who I had the opportunity to audition for and, from there, I was able to secure my roles. I feel blessed to have met so many wonderful people in the industry. I always relish the opportunity to read for a new role in a film that takes me on the story of someone new. That is the beauty of acting: you are never the same person twice (unless you are in a sequel of course).
What advice would you give young actors looking to break into acting? Do you think it's important to have an eduction to fall back on?
Knowledge is power. It always has been and it always will be. Having a degree is necessary, in most cases, in today's world. You can pursue your passions (acting, starting a business, singing, etc) while earning a degree. There are so many online options these days as well. My advice is to go for you dreams! Don't let anyone tell you that you're not good enough. Don't let anyone make you feel silly for pursuing your passions and chasing your goals. You are your own worst enemy and your biggest fan. Make a conscious decision before you enter this industry to put your faith in yourself and let other people's unwarranted opinions go in one ear and out the other.
Can you tell us what types of roles do you hope to be cast in moving forward? What's your dream role?
I'd love to have opportunities to play strong women, women of character, role models. You know... fun, classy, independent, loyal, courageous women who aren't afraid to stand up for what's right. Women that are multifaceted, because that is real life. We are so much more than just beautiful, or just funny, or just strong, or just anything. We are women of many talents and treasures and we should be portrayed this way on film.
We're interested in finding out what you enjoy doing in your free time? What summertime activities do you enjoy?
I just got back from a one month summer holiday in Prague. I had the best time exploring a new city with my husband and two girls. We have a passion for travel and it has certainly rubbed off on my little sweet girls. We will spend the rest of our summer swimming, spending time at the beach and exploring our local farmers markets. And since I am a travel addict, we may have to fit in one more trip before the summer ends. Oh, and let's not forget reading scripts and filming! My summer wouldn't be complete without some lounging by the pool with a good script in my hand. The one I am currently reading has me on the edge of my seat. I could barely put it down to do this interview! I literally have it on my lap right now!
Do you have any upcoming projects that we can talk about here?
I am working on some films and I am really excited about them. The roles are new and unlike any I've done before. I am also launching some new content on my website (www.debbie-sherman.com). I will be sharing more about my travels from around the world and my experiences filming in different countries. I will be combining two of my greatest passions, acting and travel!