We had the great opportunity to interview actress Olivia Dawn York on her upcoming film “Elsewhere” by director Nathan Hope and costarring Anna Kendrick (Twilight) and Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries). Here’s our interview.
1. Tell us about the plot of “Elsewhere”.
“Elsewhere” is a film about two girls, Sarah and Jillian, who live in a small, quiet town in Indiana. When Jillian (Raymonde) disappears after she meets someone she has met online, Sarah (Kendrick) takes it upon herself to find out what happened to her best friend. As she begins to reach out to the town for help, she realizes that not only does the town not want to help her, but they have secrets themselves that they’re desperately trying to conceal. In the end, Sarah realizes her town has much more to hide than she could ever have imagined.
2. What are your prior acting projects?
Before “Elsewhere”, I had appeared as a guest star on Nickelodeon’s “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide”. My character’s name was Sarah Gothman. Sarah is the goth girl and she kisses the one goth boy in the school and their kiss is so electric, their hair stands on end! In the end I looked like Mrs. Frankenstein which was so cool. When I lived in Minnesota, I shot a couple of indie films that were filming in Minneapolis.
3. Who do you consider are the main actor and actress that you feel influenced you to want to act?
Kate Winslet embodies the qualities that I admire in other actresses. There doesn’t seem to be a single role that she can’t take on and make her own. My favorite part she’s had so far is Clementine in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. She was quirky, vulnerable, original and still so believable. Another actor is Elijah Wood who I feel like I’ve been watching my entire life. The first film that I saw him in was “North” which is such a brilliantly executed film, and Elijah Woods acting, even at a young age, is amazing. Then, of course, “Lord of the Rings” came along. I am a huge fan of “Lord of the Rings” and had read the Tolkien books growing up. Elijah became Frodo right out of the book, just as Tolkien described him. In addition I think
everyone at one moment or another was mesmerized by what he could do with those big blue eyes!
4. Tell us about working with “Uncle Rico” and is he as goofy in person?
Being a die-hard “Napoleon Dynamite” fan, I was of course so excited and surprised when I heard I was to be co-starring next to him. When working with Jon Gries, there is an immense amount of professionalism and focus, which I was able to learn from. He has been in the industry for many years, and I was lucky to be exposed to his professionalism. I don’t know if he’s exactly as goofy as “Uncle Rico”, but he was awesome at telling stories, especially about being on set of “Napoleon Dynamite”. One story that stuck out in my mind was when he told me that it was actually him that threw the football that knocked Napoleon off his bike. That scene used to have me rolling on the ground in hysterics.
5. Who is Darla and how did you prepare for the role?
In “Elsewhere”, Sarah and Jillian work at the Olympia Candy Store. Darla is the third girl (kind of on the creepy side) who works there, and when Jillian disappears, Darla is who Sarah to turns to. Not necessarily for help, but more of a confidant.
To prepare for the role of Darla, I developed a body language first. She’s a very introverted, troubled person so she had to have a certain look of weight on her shoulders that would also affect the way she spoke. From there, the lines come easy, as does the relationships with the other characters in the film.
6. What upcoming projects are you gonna be working on in the upcoming year?
In July, I am excited to be shooting a short film that is entitled “The Balance” that will be produced by David Starks who is an award-winning director of photography. My character in that film will be quite a bit different from the parts I have played in the past. Instead of a dark, tortured soul I actually play an attractive, sweet girl (Ha Ha)! And if all goes well with pre-production, the film “Low Grounds: The Portal” directed by Simon Veredon should be filming sometime later this year in Poland with a 2010 release date.
7. Who would you love to work with?
An actress that comes to mind right away is Drew Barrymore. Her career choices have set her apart from many child stars and I think she’s grown into not only a great actress, but a brilliant businesswoman as well. I have never met her, but she strikes me as a kind, generous and classy lady as well as a wonderful actress. She’s a person that I would definitely be thrilled to work with!
Another person is someone I would love for a director: Jon Favreau. He did an awesome job with “Iron Man”! It had just the right amount of humor and the special effects were amazing. It rocked my world.
Thanks for your time. Looking forward to seeing you in Elsewhere!