"Katie Boland plays a drug addicted prostitute in 'Die.'" – Interview

Katie Boland, a 22-year-old actress from Canada, will be taking on the role of Melody Chambers, a drug addicted prostitute in the new movie, “Die.” Although this seems like a challenging role for such a young actress, Boland has actually years of experience in the industry. The talented actress recently stopped by to talk about “Die,” how she got into the business, and who inspired her along the way.

Q – You’ve been acting professionally since you were nine years old. How did you get started?

A - My mom, director Gail Harvey, has been in the film industry for decades. I was always on set with her as a little kid and I was taken with the interesting people and overall feeling of a set. I've known since I was three that I wanted to be an actress, but my mom really resisted letting me try it because she knew how brutal the industry can be. When I was nine, she finally relented. She let me meet an agent and it worked out from there! I wore lipstick and a business jacket to that meeting!

Q – For being only 22-years-old, you’ve done a slew of projects, both TV and film. Tell me how you balance a work schedule with a personal schedule.

A - I've been lucky in that I've always had time between projects to have a personal life. I have also always made sure that my whole life wasn't only about work, which is an easy trap to fall into because the film industry can be all consuming. My friends have been the same my whole life; people I grew up with and went to school with in my neighbourhood. That being said, I really love the time I get to spend with other actors, film makers, writers, producers etc. I think the film industry has exposed me to some of the most special and intelligent people in the world and I'm really lucky. I think in future, my personal and professional life will collide more. But work is work, and life is life. It can be difficult, but I don't think it's healthy to confuse the two.

Q – Which films did you watch growing up that inspired you to become a better actress?

A - When I was younger, “Forrest Gump,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Pleasantville.” As I got older, I was inspired by “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Cabaret,” “Ed Wood,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and anything Charlie Kaufman. Also, anything with Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Sean Penn, or my all time favourite, Phillip Seymour Hoffman in it.

Q – Your newest project is a movie called, “Die.” I couldn’t find a lot of information on this. What can you tell me about the premise and how you got involved with this film?

A – “Die” is about six people, each of whom is on the road to self-destruction. They wake up in cells in a surreal facility, without knowing how they got there or why. The characters are not sure if they’re in denial or are crazy. As they try to figure things out, a mysterious man forces the six abductees to participate in a disturbing experiment called the Trials. During the experiment, the unwilling participants will come to face disturbing truths about themselves and decide each other's fate in a nerve racking game of dice. As the storyline unfolds, we also discover that something greater connects them all. I play Melody Chambers, a drug addicted prostitute, forced to re-examine her life through the Trials. I became involved after I put myself on tape and was offered the role. I had never gotten a role from tape before! I had never met the director before flying to Montreal to shoot, but when I met him, I was overwhelmed by his passion and intelligence. It was a fantastic project and a dream to work with Elias Koteas.

Q – On this film, you work with Emily Hampshire, another young actress who’s done a lot in her career. What was it like working with Emily and are there still things to learn from one another?

A - I love Emily. She is my favourite Canadian actress, hands down. I learned and continue to learn from her. She is so surprising and unique in her performances and is truly fearless as an actress. She is also really funny and smart and I'm lucky to be her friend. God, she makes me laugh. Her Facebook status updates are like a stand-up comedian that lives in my computer.

Q – The other current film you’re in is called “Daydream Nation.” Was this filmed concurrently with “Die”?

A - Actually, no. Even though they are both getting attention at the same time, they were filmed months apart. “Die” in Montreal and “Daydream Nation” in Vancouver.

Q – When you do projects so close together, what do you do to prepare yourself in order to switch gears to play different roles?

A - When I’ve done that in the past, I’ve just told myself to not over think it. You go from one set to another and they're different but your job is the same, to do good work. I try to focus on that and be in touch with the heart of any character I'm playing. What's interesting is that I never think any two characters I play are different. Ultimately, as people at their core, they want the same things and have the same desires; to be loved, happy, to feel a part of something - just how they define those things would be different. So switching from one character to the next is subtle: how you talk, how you walk, how you look at people, how you think of people. I think any actor is pretty well versed in playing different characters in one day. I've done auditions in the morning that were comedic, auditions in the afternoon that were dramatic, only to come home and learn an audition for an action film the next day. You have to be flexible and okay with flying by the seat of your pants. If you're too stuck in a plan, you're doing something wrong.

Q – One of the biggest projects you’ve been a part of was the movie, “Adoration.” However, I don’t think it got the recognition it deserved. What did you think of the response with this film?

A - That's interesting that you say that. I also thought the movie was pretty amazing and remarkable in what it was trying to do. I think it discussed a lot of big issues, terrorism, viral internet sensations, family, and loss. As far as its reception, when I was in Cannes with it, I felt the movie was really warmly received, but then I wonder if in North America, upon its release, maybe people were challenged by the issues Atom (Egoyan) was bringing up. You never know what makes a film successful and what doesn't. I did feel “Adoration” was a success, I guess it just depends on what level you're looking at it. I was really honoured to be a part of it and I hope to work with those people again, especially Atom. He is the kindest man.

Q – Working with so many people in the industry, what was the best advice you received and who was it from?

A - Such a great question! It was from Wallace Langham, who played my father in a movie called “Growing-Op.” He is a lovely, lovely man and I wish I saw more of him. He's been in the business for decades and in discussing what makes a success, he told me "attitude dictates talent." It has stuck with me, and I believe it is so true. Someone can be remarkably gifted, but if they don't have an attitude of wanting to learn, a generosity of spirit, the desire to make the most of every opportunity they have, others will surpass them, simply because they're humble and willing to learn how to be better. I think ego will destroy you in this business. The other piece of advice that many older actors have given me is “persevere.” I truly think to succeed you need to just not give up. Eventually, if you keep knocking on doors, someone will answer.

Q – Thank you for taking the time. Is there anything you wanted to add?

A - Thank you so much!!! What a great interview.


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.
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Maia Dobson said...

I have a son who I think is getting independent in alcohol but I don't wanna judge him right then and there. I think I should ask a NY rehab center for the signs and symptoms if my son really needs to go to a rehab for help