Interviewed by Rich Monetti
We interview award-winning actor/director, Laura Kane. As an actor, she has acted in award winning films, music videos, commercials, and several other work. Laura has had acting training in the UK and USA and she is currently living in Los Angeles where she also did her Master’s degree in Acting for Film.
Cult Critic – Hello Laura, I see you were born near the Arctic Circle in Finland. Does your birthplace still inspire you in your work and how do you currently meet the challenge of living in LA, where every day is a beautiful weather day?
Laura Kane – Hey, yes absolutely, my birthplace in Finland still inspires me for sure. It is also one of the places where I can relax in the middle of nature and spend time with my family and friends. At the same time, I definitely appreciate LA’s sunshine, friends and all the work opportunities that the city offers.
Cult Critic – What got you interested in acting as youngster? Please share some memories of your early performances.
LK – The I started dancing ballet at the age of four and we had performances twice a year
so I got used to performing at a very young age. Acting came into the picture when my friends and I created performances for my parents when we were kids and we also had some acting exercises at our school which made me even more interested in acting.
Cult Critic – You trained in ballet for a lot of your youth. How did the commitment and discipline carry over as a student at the University of Worcester, UK, and the New York Film Academy in LA?
LK – My ballet training experience was very enjoyable as our teacher and the owner of the ballet school Sinikello, Päivi, taught us with a lot of joy and warmth. Definitely commitment and repetition were part of the training as well and I feel like those two were aspects that helped me in my studies. It’s kind of a ‘If you don’t get it the first time, you keep working at it’ -type of thing. Also both of my parents have always worked hard so I value a strong work ethic as well.
Cult Critic – How did the educational and cultural experiences in Worcester and LA differ, and impact the way you learned and performed?
LK – The difference between the two was maybe the fact that in Worcester we were a bit more focused on the theory and in LA the training was more practical. Though in both places theory and practical work went hand in hand. I personally value both educations, as I feel like in acting you need both; you need to do your research but you also need to have the means to deliver your performance.
Cult Critic – How do you first find your way onto a stage in LA and what was the experience like?
LK – My first experience on stage in LA was through our school as we practiced scenes which we then put up for industry people to come and take a look at. I was very excited for the experience. The person I did my scene with had more experience from theater acting and I learnt a lot from him.
Cult Critic – Tell me about the process of meeting/networking with fellow creatives in LA and how good are you at it?
LK – Haha, well small talk is generally not something that us Finns are related to that often, but I feel like as long as you are yourself you have nothing to worry about. A lot of people in LA are hustling and it is nice to grab a coffee with a friend or get to know a new person.
Cult Critic – Your first films were Little Ashes, Phoebe and Laura and The Tourist. Tell me how those forays compare educationally to your actual education.
LK – I feel like every film and project is definitely a learning experience. Whether it’s something you need to learn for the role you are playing, something you learn from the people you are working with or something you learn about yourself throughout the process. With these particular projects I feel like it was all the above for me as it was so early on in my career.
Cult Critic – You’ve been in a lot of short films, but I’m sure you want to go big. How hard is it to make that leap?
LK – Personally to me a role is a role, I approach all the characters the same way regardless of the size of the production. In terms of doing a feature film instead of a short film, for sure there is a good chance that the character arc is bigger especially if you are playing one of the lead characters, though of course this is not always the case, but more often than not. So in that regard, I would say that there are more things you need to keep a track of when doing a feature or series. I am really excited for some future works we are planning to shoot soon, as one of them is a feature length film called Manuel with the award winning director Jose Feng with whom I’ve worked with before in his short film Lupita. Another one of the feature films that I am attached to is a drama-comedy Gurt Bummer Zombie film directed by Anthony Carregal and we are planning to start filming that in a couple of years as well.
Cult Critic – What kind of director gets the best performance out of you, and how does your approach allow a director to reach their potential?
LK – Supportive and honest I would say. If I’m doing something that they are not going for, I appreciate that they tell it to me directly. Of course I would prefer that it would be done in a supportive manner if possible.
Cult Critic – Tell me about Don’t Go! And what it was like to get recognition from the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival?
LK – Don’t Go! is a short film that I shot with the directors Bader Al Shuaib and Mohit Panday and the story was also created by them and Nikhil Pai. In the film I played a young woman called Anna who is having issues with accepting that her boyfriend Nathan, played by Nicholas Adams, is leaving to study in another city far away from her and she is willing to go to the extremes to stop him from going. We were really happy to get recognition from the prestigious Calcutta International Cult Film Festival and other known festivals. I was also very grateful to learn that I had won the Best Lead Actress award for the role from the Best Shorts Competition film festival.
Cult Critic – How exciting was it working with Cloris Leachman and what did you learn from her in terms of the passion required to sustain a career that spanned eight decades?
LK – I was fortunate to have a role in this film, It’s Who You Know, which was directed by Ricky Rosario and picked up by AspireTV. Cloris Leachman was one of the leading actors and her talent was phenomenal. Her performance was effortless and deep at the same time, and I was in awe of how easily she brought out strong emotions and made us feel every single one of them.
Cult Critic – I see you have a lot of films in post-production, tell me about one that has you really excited?
LK – I’m very excited for our project Isolation Experiment. We had a great international team working on it from four different continents. Among the cast we had very talented actors such as Christin Muuli, Kevin Chua and Laura Gudiño and as producers we had Diana Pérez Riveros and Kathleen Roy. We are now planning to shoot two sequels for the film and hoping to start filming the Isolation Experiment II soon. Another project that I just recently wrapped is called In the Body written and directed by Johannes Hochgatterer. The film was shot over a Zoom call with the director and in some of the takes my cat walked into the frame so I am definitely curious to see if he made the final cut.
Rich Monetti was born in the Bronx and grew up in Somers, New York. He went onto study Computer Science and Math at Plattsburgh State. But after about a decade in the field, he discovered that writing was his real passion. He’s been a freelancer since 2003 and is always looking for the next story. Rich also dabbles with screenwriting and stays active by playing softball and volleyball.