I recently got the chance to talk to Tia Streaty about her role in sci-fi film, ‘Love’. Here, Tia talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and what made her get into acting in the first place…
Hey Tia. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Love’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
Thank you Matt for this opportunity. ‘Love’ was actually filmed about four years ago; but because of the special effects and production issues, it took quite some time to complete filming and editing. The story is about an astronaut (Gunner Wright) who ends up stranded in space. The film delves deeply into the powerful, mentally paralysing and dangerous effect that loneliness and isolation can have on a human being and the human spirit. The film also urges viewers to treasure every moment of life, every human interaction that we have, every memory because each one is precious, fleeting— and the next one not promised.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play a nurse who the audience isn’t sure if she and the doctor in the film have an illicit relationship. It was a very brief scene, as are most of the flashback and alternate reality shots in the movie. But all the scenes are meant to demonstrate the need for human beings to interact with one another.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I remember the day that I submitted for this project. It had been a slow acting season, so I decided to search on Craigslist to see if there were any projects that might be of interest to me. I saw a listing for a project that promised to be “one of a kind, with a great cast and crew” and submitted for it.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
‘Love’ is a visual masterpiece. I saw the sets that were used, which in person seemed very modest; but then you watch the film and see how authentic and rich it appears, it’s pretty mind-blowing. I also love the story line and the central theme of isolation. It’s something that every human being can get behind. Human interaction is detrimental to survival. This movie speaks profoundly to that. The soundtrack is also something that makes this movie unique. Angels and Airwaves did a great job of musically capturing the sentiment of every scene. When you combine the plot with the visual effects and soundtrack, you end up with something spectacular.
The film stars Gunner Wright, Corey Richardson, Bradley Horne, Nancy Stelle, Roger E. Fanter, Jesse Hotchkiss, Troy Mittleider and Brid Caveney – with William Eubank onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
I remember the director, who was very down to earth and great at communicating to actors, exactly what he wanted out of a scene. Filming was quite some time ago, but I have favourable recollections of everyone. I met one girl on set who was another nurse in the movie. We became friends then lost contact and ran into each other again about a year ago at a wine tasting at a local bar and grill up the street from where I live. Also, another actress in the film, Nancy, was actually a student at the same acting studio where I study. We were in an audition class together and it was there that I realized I’d seen her years ago on the set of ‘Love’. Due to my role in the film (nurse), which only required one day of filming, my interactions were limited. However, this was a great cast and everyone gave his/her all.
Everyone I worked with, from the cast to crew, was so amazing. ‘Love’, being one of the first feature films I worked on when I moved to LA, really set the foundation for how I viewed working on film sets; and it made me realize what the standard should be. The bottom line is: this was an awesome experience that made me want to keep acting, rather than the reverse.
Let’s talk a bit about you Tia. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I’ve always enjoyed acting. One of my first acting roles was as one of the baby spiders in the play ‘Charlotte’s Web’. I was 9 years old. They had an open casting call, and I just remember having so much fun on the audition that I knew it was something I wanted to experience again. So I continued to act, mainly in stage plays, until one day, my Mom asked if I wanted to do background acting on a film called ‘First Kid’, starring Sinbad. That was my first time working on a film set and I loved every minute of it. The fast paced environment, watching the actors play and find something new with every take, and seeing just how much work it takes to create a movie hooked me. I knew then that I wanted to work in film. I wanted to be a part of that environment and creative process.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
First, I would say, know exactly what you are getting into. I won’t sugarcoat anything. We (actors), carry a huge responsibility. We have to honestly and openly portray human life and experience; and I believe that is how you need to approach the industry as well. Pursuing acting will mean that you will rollercoaster through feelings of doubt, failure, confidence, frustration, sadness, joy, rejection, acceptance, anxiety and pain, on almost a daily basis. You will also deal with competition that can at times be mean-spirited from people who lack integrity or a conscious. You have to hold your head high and never compromise yourself or your values. You may work for little to no pay, for years, and it could take many months or even years to procure an agent (who you will probably recycle numerous times, until you find the right fit for you). You have to be prepared for that because, if you aren’t, the industry will break your spirit and break you. You will be just another one of the many actors that pursue acting for a season and leave because they did not find success within “their” time frame. You can’t put a time limit on this profession, when you believe in yourself. You must do it out of love for the art.
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?
Wow, I have been privileged to work with so many wonderful people, that I could go on for hours, but I will narrow it down to the most memorable. I worked with Adam Sandler on the film ‘Funny People’ and I can honestly say that he is one of the kindest and most humble actors I’ve had the opportunity to work with—he’s very unassuming and genuine. He loves to play around on set and tell jokes. The director Judd Apatow, is also one of my favourites to work with. I remember auditioning for him on the set of ‘Funny People’, and I am eternally grateful to him for that opportunity. He gave me a break that day. He upgraded me on set and I landed speaking lines in the movie. It came at a crucial time where I had not booked anything for a while. This was a huge pick-me-up. It gave me resolute and much-needed momentum. I won’t ever forget that.
I also enjoyed working with Zoe Saldana on the ‘Star Trek’ sequel. She is such a firecracker, and the energy she brings to set is infectious. She also has a really great sense of humour and a great voice. I remember her singing on set one day in between takes and I have to say, she sounded beautiful. I don’t know if many people know about her amazing voice, but it is a real treat to hear her sing. She’s also the consummate actor and professional. I learned a lot from her.
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
I’m really into electro dub step right now, so I have a lot of Skrillex on my iPod. I’m also listening to a lot of Flosstradamus, Flight Facilities, Diplo and Lana del Rey. I love music. It’s my escape into my imagination, especially when working on acting roles.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
I should tell you, if you’d asked me to invite any “ fictitious” guest, I would have said Mickey Mouse because he is an international icon that has enjoyed massive success. He is also a big dreamer with a vivid imagination. There is a very human quality to Mickey Mouse. If you pay attention to what he says in his movies, you will see that he is one wise mouse indeed. However, for your question, I’d want to have dinner with Anne Frank. Reading about her strength and courage awed me as a child, and it still does today. One of the first plays I ever saw was about Anne Frank. She was a child who used a diary to reach the heart, open the eyes, and shake the conscious of the world. I’d love to have my great-grandmother Rosa-Lee there as well. I never met her, but my Mom talked about her a lot when I was young. She was strong, encountered spectacular racism, and endured unspeakable hardships. My third guest would be the next elected president of the United States – (Obama or Romney). I think hearing what these two remarkable women (Anne and Rosa-Lee) have to say would give our President a new perspective on what really matters in life — and how we get through it.
You’re stuck on a desert island, you’re only allowed three personal things with you – what would you choose and why?
I would have to take my iPod, because my music keeps me sane; my dog Riley because he is so entertaining to watch, and he could probably catch me a few things to eat on the island; and some Sour Skittles. I love those candies!
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I just wrapped a film, ‘Tragedy Of A Mother And Son’, which is getting great reception, so I am very excited about that. I am also working on a pilot for a series called ‘The System’, which follows the lives of youth group home counsellors and the many challenges they face on a daily basis. I don’t think there has been a show developed that explores that world, so it really will be a one-of-a-kind project. The year is still young, so I really look forward to everything that is in store for me. It’s a wonderful feeling to think that the best experiences of my career have not even happened yet.
Thanks for the interview!