Film

Close-up: An Interview with Annelise Hall

PRESTRIDGE² spoke to exciting young actress Annelise Hall about YouTube, working in French and the challenges facing up-and-coming actors.

Q: You were recently awarded a Hollywood Immersive scholarship. That must have been an incredibly proud moment for you. How was your experience?

A: THE Hollywood Immersive was one of the best experiences of my life. I made incredible contacts, improved as an actor and developed an amazing support network in LA.

I could never have guessed I would win and I was in complete shock when I received the good news. I left to go to LA in early February and spent some time exploring and doing tourist things such as Disneyland and Universal because it was my first time in the city.

During the Hollywood Immersive week I was staying in a West Hollywood villa with some of the other participants. There were both actors and musicians on the program so it really was a hub of creativity and ideas. We went on hikes in the morning through the Hollywood Hills and up to the Observatory.

During the day, we trained at the Beverly Hills playhouse and rehearsed scenes which were performed on the last night at a red-carpet industry event.

During the week we also had people speak to us about the process of getting a visa and ways in which we can manage our administration – a vital part of succeeding as an actor.

It was such an amazing experience as each day I felt inspired, energised and motivated by the brilliant, creative people around me. I have never felt more passionate about my craft than during this time at the Hollywood Immersive.

Q: You have your own YouTube channel (click here). Do you enjoy that platform? What kind of content are you looking to create?

A: YES, I have only recently started on YouTube and I am definitely enjoying the experience. It is s a great platform to share my acting work but I also enjoy vlogging.

I started the channel because I am such a motivated person and find it difficult to be patient in the time between auditions and filming. YouTube makes me feel more in control of my career as I can film videos when I want and be consistent in working towards my goal.

I am going to America soon for six weeks and will be releasing a new travel vlog each week. I am also going to put up some Christmas videos in the lead up to the big day. I am so excited to have had a white Christmas in New York, so I will definitely be vlogging that.

I am looking to create a bit of everything – some fashion and beauty content, some collaborations and even some singing videos as singing and music is a big part of my life.

Q: Leading off that, in one of your YouTube videos you act out a scene from Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s Me, Earl and the Dying Girl. Do you look up to a fellow young actor such as Olivia Cooke (look out for our interview with Olivia in the coming weeks)? Are there any other younger performers you take inspiration from?

A: YES, that was such a difficult but inspiring scene. I definitely look up to Olivia as she has proved herself to be incredibly talented at such a young age.

My main inspiration from a young age has been Cate Blanchett. Her strength, hard-work and professionalism is admirable. I love the Sydney Theatre Company of which Cate and her husband Andrew Upton were artistic directors. She completely transforms into different characters in such a believable manner and is an incredible representation of Australian talent.

In terms of young actors, I look up to Shailene Woodley who has carved out her own style and career in the industry. Her work in The Spectacular Now, Divergent and Big Little Lies is brilliant and has shaped the strength and courage I tend to give my characters.

I also look up to the Stranger Things kids, who have so gracefully embraced sudden limelight and proved themselves to be incredibly mature. Their sense of teamwork and cast support has been evident throughout the two seasons, both on and off camera.

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Q: You speak fluent French. With current bi-lingual films such as Call Me By Your Name, do you feel this gives you an edge as an actor in our ever-globalising world? Also, are you interested in working in European cinema?

A: THAT would be an absolute dream – to work on a French film. I go to the French film festival each year and admire bilingual actors such as Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp.

It definitely does open up more opportunities, which I would be interested in pursuing. Growing up learning French, I always adored bi-lingual films and so to have a career in that area of film would be wonderful.

Q: You starred in PS Finn’s The Way You Do music video. What music are you into? Do you draw inspiration from any musicians or other artists?

A: I HAVE always been the kind of person who likes every different genre of music when applied to a specific situation.

Australian-pop music is my favourite but I love all types of music depending on the mood. I started learning piano at age 5, the flute at 9 and then guitar at 12. I have also been singing since before I can remember.

I started acting through musical theatre so I have always loved that kind of music and keep a musical theatre playlist on my spotify favourites. I love ‘Flume’ and ‘Rufus’ – they definitely spark inspiration for me.

Q: What are the biggest hurdles facing a young actor like yourself and how do you try to navigate them?

A: THE biggest challenge is patience in my opinion. Young actors tend to be super motivated, determined, energised and keen people wanting to keep moving forward.

But this industry involves a lot of waiting. Waiting for auditions, for the right parts, for calls, for work. So being patient is such a difficult but essential trait to master.

That is why I am using YouTube – to allow myself to deal with the waiting game of the industry and feel in control.

Another challenge is disappointment. You definitely need a thick skin to deal with the inevitable disappointment that comes with being an actor. The best way to manage this is through a strong support network in the industry and a willingness to create your own content. I find that having hobbies which energise help me avoid getting too attached to auditions and enable me to deal with disappointment.

Q: What are your ambitions for the future? Where would you ideally be in five years?

A: I WOULD love to get a role in a successful TV show in either Australia or the US. My dream role is in a TV show such as Glee, which incorporates elements of musical theatre on screen.

I am also keen to create some of my own work and collaborate with some of my creative friends on short films. In terms of other ambitions, I would like to spend some time in Bali or Thailand to get a Certificate 4 in Yoga Teaching.

I am also keen to learn Spanish as I have family in Mexico – and to continue building my social media presence.

Q: Are there any actors or directors you would love to work with in the future?

A: IN a perfect world I would love to work with Emma Stone. She has been a huge inspiration for me since I first saw her in ‘The Help’. I love her charismatic, passionate and comic personality and I admire her ability to bring such truth to each role she takes on.

Lea Michele is another actor I would love to work with. Her work in Glee inspired me hugely growing up and played a fundamental role in shaping my future goals and ambitions.

Q: Lastly, do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

A: I RECENTLY partook in a powerful Government campaign which will be released in February. That was super fun to film and spread an important message.

I am working on two short films at the moment – for film festivals both here and overseas. Besides that, I will be releasing a new vlog on my YouTube channel for each week that I am in the US

Photo credit: Jay La Photography

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