An Interview with Natalie Stavola – By Kirsten Walsh

Eccentric actress Natalie Stavola has a look that screams classic Hollywood. Pair that with a comedic attitude and she is a force to reckon with. Originally from Connecticut, she has made a name for herself in the central Florida area, acting in several Florida staple shows and independent films. Like every actor or actress who wants to break big, she saw her name in lights from Hollywood beckoning, and she jumped on it. Now living in Los Angeles, she continues to stay busy with many features and projects. It is only a matter of time before she becomes a household name!

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KW: We’ll start easy, how did you get started in film?

NS: I got started in film in college – I went to FSU and they have a fantastic film program there. I was itching to get on set so I decided to jump in and give it a try.

KW: What has been your favorite project that you have worked on?

NS: This is a tough question – every new project becomes my favorite because I learn something new every time I’m on set and apply that learning to the next project. I want to keep growing and learning and applying that to my work and each “next” project allows me to do that.

KW: Starting as an independent film actress, what made you take the jump and move to L.A.?

NS: A lot of actors think about it, but don’t do it, so what helped you make that decision? I’ll admit – the move was intense and very scary… but what really helped me make the decision was the training that is available out here – some of the best acting coaches in the world are teaching here, and I wanted to be a part of that. I had a couple more "legit" credits (that’s what you call it, I guess, when you have some credits that might be more recognizable) before moving out here and I recommend getting those credits in smaller markets before anyone makes the move out here. It doesn’t make or break your career, but it helps tremendously.

KW: With your vast resume, what was your best experience on a set? 

NS: There’s been a couple that I hold in equally high regard. As far as general experiences, when the director throws me a couple lines, or wants me to improv a little or change things up – that feels amazing!! Suddenly all of the thinking goes out the window and I’m more present and in the moment with my scene partner and we get to play and discover something new.

KW: Being involved with independent films, a lot of things can go wrong. What has been your craziest experience on an indie film set?

NS: Oh that statement couldn’t be more true! As long as a project is SAG, the actor is pretty much covered. However, in the beginning with non union projects that was a little trickier – I’ve had contracts fall apart, been asked to do crazy things, prosthetics on my face, 20 hours days, schedules completely blown up and rearranged, but I’ve made some great friends out of it.

KW: That is a great way of looking at it- every project is an experience, and it’s definitely up to each individual to make it a good experience! What are your upcoming projects?

NS: I have a project right now that is trying to get funded through Kickstarter so we can finish filming it. Is is a romantic comedy (mostly comedy) about 2 people who get stuck together after a one night stand and now are forced to face each other. We are trying to raise a little over $39,000 and I really think we can do it. The producer and director are fantastic and just great people and of course the actors are great 🙂 

KW: That is great! What is the hardest thing about being an actress, for you? 

NS: The hardest part are the moments where I’m not on set, or when I don’t have some on set time scheduled. It helps going to acting class though and having those moments at least where I get to work and create. 

KW: That’s awesome and definitely shows your commitment and dedication! Describe your dream project. What director would you dream of working with? 

NS: David O’Russell – after Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, I am such a huge fan. He works with the actors, allows them to play and come up with ideas, and his films are completely character driven. It would be amazing to work with him on ANY project. If David O’Russell tells me to do something, I’m definitely going to do it. 

KW: Now, this is a bit of an odd question, but it quite interesting to think about: When you are at home with nothing to do, do you watch tv/ movies?

NS: I watch a lot of movies and TV – romantic comedies to horror, epics to indies – I love them all. I am obsessed with Big Bang Theory, Suits, Scandal, 24 (and so many more)!! I tend to binge watch a lot of tv and movies (thanks, Netflix!) 

KW: Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring actors/ actresses?

NS: Keep going. Work hard and push through. Keep training. It is going to happen, it’s just a matter of time and your efforts.

Thanks Natalie! You can support “Love and Hostages” here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/889009287/love-and-hostages-the-movie

Check out more about Natalie here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3793994