I recently got the opportunity to talk to Valorie Hubbard about her role in ‘A Better Life’. Here, Valorie talks about the film’s controversial nature and what it was like working with the cast and crew…
Hey Valorie. Thanks for taking out the time from a hectic schedule to talk to me. ‘A Better Life’ is currently in UK cinemas as of 29th July. It looks fantastic.
How would you sum up the film’s plotline?
It’s a movie about the effects of immigration. It’s a movie about a father/son relationship. The movie allows you to see the deeper story/picture; it takes you to the other side of the fence, like the movie ‘Crash’. You might go into this movie feeling prejudice towards immigrants, specifically Mexicans. But this movie has the power to change your mind.
Tell us a bit about your character in the movie…
I play the school secretary who takes Jose to the police station. Very small part, but it was never made to feel like one; in fact the entire crew and production staff made me feel as though I was a very important part of the movie.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I had auditioned for ‘A Single Man’ for Tom Ford; I had a great audition, but did not get the part. So Joseph Middleton the casting director showed Chris Weitz my audition tape for that movie and he cast me in the role.
How would you say this film differs from other dramas released this year? It seems very topical, don’t you think?
So topical, in fact there were dozens of protests going on during the shooting of the film, Arizona’s new law, etc. They actually used footage from the real protests. I think everyone should see this film. Some movies are meant to change you or teach you and some are meant to entertain. Some even do both. This is a “change you” film.
The film stars Demian Bichir, Eddie ‘Piolin’ Sotelo, Joaquin Cosio and Jose Julian – with Chris Weitz onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Like I said earlier, the entire crew and cast and production staff made me feel special from day one. Chris Weitz is an actor’s director and I would work with him again in a heartbeat. Jose Julian is new to acting and brilliant, he will have an amazing career. Jamie Gertz (producer) made me feel so welcome on her movie and was so grateful that I was there. Tim Griffen who plays the police officer is an amazing actor, I thought he rocked in last year’s ‘Fair Game’ with Naomi Watts—another movie that everyone should see.
Let’s talk a bit about you Valorie. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
When I was 3, I was a big tantrum thrower. I threw myself down the basement stairs very dramatically, so my mother enrolled me the next day in creative dramatic classes and I have been doing it ever since. I went to the Goodman School of Drama when I was 18. I moved straight to New York where I spent the next 20 years on stage and then I re-located to LA 8 years ago. Since then I have had a fantastic time doing film and television.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
YOU MUST HAVE PASSION AND DRIVE. Talent is about 10% Passion and drive is the other 90%. I wouldn’t trade it in for the world, but it is very difficult to have a “normal” life and be an actor, at least it has been for me. If you want to do it, you must dive in head first and go for it.
What music is currently on your I-Pod / CD music system?
Oh gosh, I have such a wide array of taste when it comes to music; I have everything from Jay-Z to Christian Rock. I love Pink and many strong female singers, like Adele.
You had a number of different roles on a range of different TV shows – who has been your favorite actor to work with so far and who has given the best advice to you?
I loved working with Milla Jovovich; she is a gentle soul and a lovely human being. I have had so much great advice from actors over the years; recently it has been Brad Henke, who I have been studying with. He is a working actor and he brings his experience to class.
Which has been your favorite TV show to guest-star on?
Well I had a great time on ‘Huge’. Ron Lagomarsino is an amazing director and the cast was delightful.
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
Well I am a big supporter of gay marriage, so I was thrilled with the recent passing of the new law in New York. In fact our best friends are planning a wedding next summer after being together for 30 years and we are overjoyed and will help them plan it later this summer.
What’s coming up for you in 2011? I hear you’ve just finished production on a project called ‘Sironia’…
This year I have been a recurring character on ‘Lopez Tonight’ – it’s been a blast because it’s something completely different for me. Not sure when ‘Sironia’ coming out, again I have just a small part in that. I have been doing a lot of Disney the last year as well, I currently have a few shows running – ‘Good Luck Charlie’ and ‘I’m In The Band’.
Thanks for the interview!