I recently got the chance to talk to Keena Ferguson about her role in new thriller, ‘Red Line’, out in 2013. Here, Keena talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Keena. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Red Line’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The film is about a group of people who survive a bomb explosion on a subway and then realize that there is a second bomb waiting to detonate. They then realize that the terrorist has to be one of the survivors and so they have to figure out who it is, be able to disarm the bomb and try to get out before the tunnel collapses. So many different factors in this story and these strangers have to bond together to stay alive.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play Rubina, an American Muslim woman who loses her fiancée during the explosion. I am a woman dealing with all of the levels of grief and who has a quiet strength about her. I am true to my custom and quiet but will stand up for myself and others when forced too. Rubina will make tough decisions when needed and will always be a part of the solution.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I have to say that I became involved in this project the good ole fashioned way. I submitted myself and was called in by the casting director Beverly Holloway. I almost didn’t make the audition because my parents were in town that week and I had a few other obligations. They told me it was the last day so I made it to the audition and I felt a great energy when I walked in the room. After the audition I was in the car telling my parents how I thought I did and luckily I hadn’t driven off yet because they sent someone running outside to ask me to come back in. I felt like that was a good sign and a few days later I was offered the role.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
This film is different because most of the crew were all University students and the story was written by one of the students at the University. I was so impressed with all that they did and how professional the set was ran and the film looks amazing. In addition, the script wasn’t completely finished when we began filming so we, the actors, got to be a part of process in some areas. Rob, the director was great about talking with us in regards to our characters and letting it be a collaborative effort in a lot of ways. Now that I say that, I think that is what makes the film super unique is that it was a complete collaborative effort all the way around.
The film stars Nicole Gale Anderson, John Billingsley, Kunal Sharma, Kevin Sizemore, Joseph Williamson, Mark Saul, your good self and Renee Sly – with Robert Kirbyson onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
This cast was so awesome and everyone was ultra talented and just good genuine people. We had a lot of fun on the set and a lot of laughs. I came in a few days after everyone had started shooting so I was the new girl on set but they were all so warm and welcoming to me. John, had me cracking up everyday with this little game called, “would you rather” and we played it almost everyday. Which is just a bunch of questions where you have to decide which one you would rather do and they are all bad options. Kevin, used to dance on set and I would be laughing so hard at him. Like I said the cast was fabulous and the crew were great as well. Rob is the kind of director who gives you the framework of what he wants but gives you the freedom to trust your natural instincts within the scene and that I appreciated.
Let’s talk a bit about you Keena. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
Wow, I was born a performer. My Mom is a dancer so I feel like I was born dancing. I was a professional dancer by 13 and grew up doing musical theatre. I always loved to perform and be on a stage and I am thankful everyday that I get to wake up and do what I love to do.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
There are a couple words of advice I would give. Not to be cliche but persistence, dedication and commitment are extremely important. You will be told “no” more times than you will yes, so if you are not committed to doing what you love you can easily become discouraged. You have to know everyday what your mission is an artist and believe in that. Also, I would say that you have to know that there is no blueprint for making it in this business so the good thing is there are many different ways in which it can happen. You never know what audition, which project, or who you might interact with that might help you get to the next level. And lastly, be strong and confident in who you are. Do not try and conform because there is only one you, so share that person with the industry.
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?
Well its funny because I have worked with some really great people and some very nice people which I am happy to say. I did an episode of ‘Two And A Half Men’ and my scene was with Charlie Sheen and he was actually really funny and nice. I also did an episode of ‘Boston Legal’ and Candace Bergman was so nice and great to watch.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Well first on my list would be Barack and Michelle Obama. Would love to just sit and chat with them and see what they are like without all the pressure. Also, how they are able to balance marriage, parenting and business. Second, would be Meryl Streep because she is just unbelievable as an actress and as a human being and lastly Jesus because who doesn’t want to sit down with him and see what he has to say.
You’re stuck on a desert island, you’re only allowed three personal things with you – what would you choose and why?
My family because they are important to me and they keep me going always, CD player or I-Pod because everything is better with music and hmmm I’m stuck with the last one. Either, faith, sanity, books or a good ole cup of chai tea latte.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I have a film called ‘Back Then’ that will have its premiere on Nov 7 that is a coming of age story, I shot a period piece called ‘Daughter Of Fortune’ that I am extremely excited about and it takes place in the 50s and a pilot called ‘Werk! Living! Fierce!’ that I co-produced and co-starred in and a new series called ‘Moms’.
Thanks for the interview!