I recently got the chance to talk to Alyshia Ochse about her role in ‘Stash House’. Here, Alyshia talks about what it was like working with Dolph Lundgren and how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Alyshia. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your role in ‘Stash House’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
A couple love their new house, bought for a steal out of a foreclosure. During their first visit they find illegal drugs stashed in the walls, and they realize this is not their dream house. As they are about to leave, suddenly their exit is blocked by a gun-wielding neighbor Spector and his accomplice. They come to realize the house is hiding more than drugs – it’s the operation center for mass drug czar who is buried beneath the floorboards. On the run from the professional killers who want the drugs and evidence, the resourceful couple will need to turn the tables on their attackers to survive.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
Trish Garrety is the obnoxious, loving, over the top best friend of Emma (Briana Evigan). Emma has a hard time making decisions without Trish’s help. Trish seems like a materialistic girl, but deep down she is a loyal softie who wants to see her best friend happy and inevitably wants what Emma has in David, a loving soulmate.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
How would you say this film is different and unique?
I like when thrillers concentrate the plot on one night and one location. I think this allows the audience to feel the intensity, fear and pain of every nail-biting scene.
The film stars Dolph Lundgren, Briana Evigan, Sean Faris, Jon Huertas, your good self and Don Yesso – with Eduardo Rodriguez onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
We were working on a tight schedule and Eduardo kept the momentum up! He is a great director, who knows what he wants out of every scene. Dolph was an absolute pleasure to have on set. He was constantly cracking jokes and is extremely intelligent. He was in the middle of prepping for ‘Expendables 2’, so everyday at lunch he was doing crazy workouts. I like to tease that he should definitely try to do more than 1000 sit-ups and push-ups. I mean, come on, is that all you can do! I’m impressed by his stamina. The whole cast and crew were fantastic!
Let’s talk a bit about you Alyshia. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
Honestly, it is the only thing I’ve ever been certain about. My youngest memories are centered around movies and performing. My Mom showed me a kindergarten paper from when I learned how to write. It says “when I grow up I’m going to be an actress in the TV”. I’m not sure where or how this idea came to me at the tender age of 4, but it has always been passionately strong and focused. Being raised in Missouri and Kentucky, this was a rare dream/career for those that surrounded me. My Mom put me into modeling and my Dad urged me to try sports. Sports was a nice distraction, but after an ACL tear my focus went back to acting. Two days before I graduated from the University of Kentucky, I had my U-Haul packed and I left for “Hollywood”. And so here I am…
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Live your life. Acting is the art of portraying life. You have to live to experience. So first and foremost, enjoy your journey. Start telling stories. I currently work with Young Storytellers in Los Angeles. It is an organization that develops literacy through the art of storytelling. Using group exercises and one-on-one mentoring, they provide underserved children in the public school system an opportunity to write stories (screenplays) and see them brought to life through performance. Second, study. Learn and discover ways that allow you to use your instrument. Not just through acting classes, but also voice/movement techniques. Third, ACT! Whether it is in your local community theater, doing a web-series, or shooting commercial…DO IT! I do believe everything happens through preparation and practice. Performance, achievement and success are the result of competence, motivation, resources and personal strength. Fourth, NETWORK and make your own material! Fifth, don’t ever give up. If you do believe, then remember as my lovely acting coach (Warner Loughlin) always says “This is 60 year career, not a 6 year career.” And in that case, I don’t plan on retiring ever. I love my job!
You’ve been in a number of different films and TV series – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with and why? Any good stories?
Jamie Foxx is an absolute delight. A true genius of creation in every possible way. He has mastered storytelling. I was humbled by his work ethic and his commitment to making the story real, honest and intriguing. He is constantly challenging the material to bring the best performance for all those involved. He is a collaborator and a visionary in many fields. When I had the pleasure of working with him, in between takes he would jump on the piano and sing to the crew. Jamie knows how to run a set and keep everyone laughing!
Jennifer Lopez was breathtaking. The first moment I met her all I could think was: “Wow, she is flawless”! Seriously, she has flawless skin. I had to be very mean to her in this movie and I was super intimated and didn’t want her to think I was “mean”. Right of the bat, I made a self-deprecating joke and she busted out laughing. From that point forward, we kept making jokes and she shared some valuable “woman” information with me. She is a class act and at the same time a “down home gal”.
Melissa Joan Hart was hilarious and made me feel so comfortable on the set of ‘Melissa & Joey’. It was in front of a live audience and she checked in with me before we started. Melissa wanted to make sure that I wasn’t nervous. She told me that she used to get so nervous in front of the audience and then she realized that they come to see you “mess up” and in fact, that is part of the excitement for them. She allowed me to feel brave and relaxed all at the same time. I was immediately relieved, I could mess up and they would like that?!
Ironically, I didn’t mess up and it was the BEST experience. I LOVE live audience TV shows! My dream job is a multi-camera sitcom in front of a live audience. Thanks Melissa!
Neil Patrick Harris…this is more of a personal “OMG moment”. I grew up loving ‘Doogie Howser, M.D’. I had a concussion once, went to the doctor and lost my short-term memory for about 36 hours. When I finally woke up, my Mom asked me if I remembered anything from the previous day. I didn’t remember anything from the accident or the being at the doctor’s office. My Mom told me that the doctor looked like Doogie Howser! I cried because I didn’t remember and then called ALL my friends to brag about the sutto “Doogie”. Flash forward to my first job EVER as a hired actress and it was with DOOGIE! I was in one of the first episodes of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and I worked with Neil. He was incredibly nice and so witty. It took everything in me to not blurt out “Doogie, I love you”. With Neil’s laid back personality, I’m sure he would have laughed or ran for the hills. Thankfully, we will never have to find out.
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
Bon Iver, Deadmau5, Avicii, Kanye West and Jay-Z’s new album, Garth Brooks and Vicki Christina Barcelona soundtrack….yep, I’m all over the place
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Tough question and I’m going to have to ask for six instead of three. Or if you could find the ONE woman that encompasses all the qualities of these six women, I want to sit down with her!
- Oprah – I just want to know “how does she do it”??
- Marilyn Monroe – I’m fascinated by her sexuality and innocence
- Betty White – because everyone could use a good, dirty joke and who wouldn’t want to hear Betty tell some legendary stories about life.
- Tina Fey – I’m enamored by her strength, determination and ambition. She is one woman who has changed the industry…she is one that wears so many “hats” on a daily basis. I want her to bestow wisdom on me and mentor me to be the next woman to write, produce and act brilliantly while still being a mother/wife/friend/daughter.
- Meryl Streep – I want her to give me one secret to her success as an artist!
- Chelsea Handler – its not a party unless Chelsea is there! I aspire to be as brutally honest, hysterical, and somewhat careless as she portrays in her daily life and career. Chelsea please be my friend.
You’re stuck on a desert island, you’re only allowed three personal things with you – what would you choose and why?
This is one of those questions I despise…it puts the pressure on me to sound smart, funny or just somewhat ridiculously uninventive.
- Camera/journal-obviously to document.
- Potatoes – I love any form of potatoes for a meal and I’m sure Chelsea can figure out a way to make us vodka.
- Chelsea Handler – then we would have a party!
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
‘Pickin & Grinnin’ is hilariously heartfelt indie comedy that is out in theaters now! I had a fun supporting role. It is the lovely directorial debut of Jon Gries. I will be recurring on the CW series ‘Hart Of Dixie’. My episodes should start airing around Halloween. I’m in the process of writing a book called ‘101 Most Unforgettable Auditions’. I’ve begun shooting my pilot called ‘Serial Surrogates’ with my business partner. And I’m beginning a new adventure of stand up comedy…hopefully I don’t get booed off the stage.
Thanks for the interview!