Remember that time you and your friends went to a cabin for the weekend trying to get away from the world and you were attacked by [redacted]? Well, Laura Bilgeri does. Or at least she remembers pretending to be attacked by [redacted].
Laura, an Austrian born import now applying her talents in L.A., is a performer with global experience, a love for her craft and a passion for a more diverse Hollywood. She kindly joins us to talk about her current feature, The Recall, where she just might need to help Wesley Snipes save the world. Sounds like a good day to me.
She gives us a behind the scenes look at everything from casting to co-star chemistry, and all while the project shoots using a new, and possibly revolutionary, camera system. I’ll let her tell the rest. Here’s our chat with the very awesome Laura Bilgeri.
onFiction: You have a globe-spanning list of credits between your film, television and modeling work, when did your passion for being in front of the camera start?
Laura Bilgeri: I always have had a love for film and music since I was little. Both of my parents are in the business. My mom’s an actress, my dad’s a singer, and now also great director. There was not one day where there was no music in our house growing up. It was amazing. When I was 14, my dad directed his first big feature film, and I had a role in it. After the first take I said to myself: “That’s it.” I just knew, and there was no plan B.
oF: How has your diverse experience helped – or challenged – you with transitioning from one continent to another for work? Are there huge differences you’ve had to navigate between L.A. style work and what you’ve done in Austria or Germany, for example?
LB: I always loved everything American when I was a kid. I used to watch The Late Night Show and every single episode of Friends probably over 500 times. I always loved the English language when I was little, and I used to teach it to myself by just watching all of the American series with English subtitles before we started learning it in high school. Part of my family is French too, and I also grew up in Italy, so I had to learn different languages from a very early age.
Since I made the move to Los Angeles, all of my auditions have been for American roles only. That makes me very proud. Maybe once or twice I go out for German parts, but it’s definitely a big advantage to be able to do both. There’s a big difference between working in LA and Austria. I feel like there is so much respect for the craft here and the positive energy is so uplifting. Austria is a small country, and so is the industry. So, moving to the entertainment capital of the world was quite an easy decision for me, but I was very lucky to have been able to work on some amazing productions in Europe, and that helped me come to America in the first place.
oF: Right now fans can see you as Annie in The Recall, what can fans expect from her as a character, and what did it take to become her as a performer?
LB: Annie is a real sweetheart. She’s a very down-to-earth, caring, sweet girl who ends up falling in love with Charlie (played by Jedediah Goodacre, also seen in Disney’s Descendants and Tomorrowland). She’s quite shy but also a daredevil. I totally felt connected to her from the very beginning. Through the process of rehearsing with all of the other actors, it helped shape her into the character I felt was right. I see a lot of myself in her.
oF: On the film, you and your co-stars all have very different and unique resumes, how did those varying backgrounds play into all of you performing as a group?
LB: I already met some of my co-stars at the callbacks before I booked the role. We felt comfortable with each other immediately. The chemistry was just right ,and the camera doesn’t lie. It was so fun doing scenes with six different Charlies in one day at one of the callbacks. I had to do this one kissing scene with several different guys within the course of an hour so the producers could see which one had the best on-screen chemistry. It was really funny, especially when one of the boys told me that he just had the flu.
oF: What are some of the things you might do during a fast shooting schedule to make sure you get the interactions between characters on screen to seem authentic?
LB: We were always hanging out on and off set- having dinner and just talking and getting to know each other. We rehearsed all of our scenes together before we would start our work day. There was great energy between the actors and our amazing crew, which made it so much easier to work together.
oF: There are mountains of “Cabin in the Woods” or “Cabin on the Lake” slasher flicks out there, but I can’t think of many – if any – from that genre of horror that has the campers running from aliens instead of a slow walking guy in a mask, what was it like to explore that setting with a sci-fi twist?
LB: As soon as I heard the words alien invasion, I was completely hooked. The Recall is really more of a Sci-fi movie that focuses on characters and plot twists with a couple of horror movie plot lines weaved in. It’s fun, emotional, intense, and thrilling all at the same time.
oF: What else about taking on a sci-fi/action film was interesting or challenging as a performer? What aspects of these projects push you?
LB: Definitely the stunts. While I’ve done stunts before, the physical activity required for The Recall was far more challenging than what I’m used to. It was an amazing learning experience, especially when you get the opportunity to work together with such an amazing stunt/martial arts expert like Wesley Snipes. I had to pinch myself after every scene. It was a real dream come true.
oF: You’re kind of on the cutting edge of filming with the Barco Escape three screen system, what was that like on set? What were the challenges and insights when shooting using Barco?
LB: The screen is a lot wider, so you have to carry your acting three times further than you normally would. The blockings are more involved and more choreographed because the camera sees 170 degree field of view. It was absolutely thrilling to be part of something so new and groundbreaking. When watching a film in Barco Escape the audience is gonna feel like they’re part of the movie. It truly is an immersive movie experience, and the technology is on a whole new level.
oF: After The Recall, what’s next that fans can be on the lookout for? That you’re allowed to talk about, that is.
LB: I recently just came back from a three-week shoot in Louisville, Kentucky. I booked another lead in a TV drama/thriller called Dad Crush. It’s actually quite similar to American Beauty, one of my favorite movies. I play Riley, the quiet and moody daughter of Chris (played by Rusty Joiner – also seen in Resident Evil, Dodgeball ). Things get very awkward when I discover that my best friend from high school Kyla (played by Lucy Loken Teen Wolf) is having an affair with my dad. The movie will premiere November 1st on Lifetime.
oF: It’s an overused question, but I’m always interested to know: what kinds of projects would be dream jobs for you? Writing, directing, superhero flicks, what do you see when thinking, “That’s where I want to be.”
LB: I always had a passion for directing and writing. I used to love writing short stories as a kid, but directing is something I really want to experience at some point in my career. My ultimate dream come true would be writing, directing and starring in my own movie, like Barbra Streisand did in Yentl. What she did with that film was so incredibly impressive, and I only hope to be as versatile as she is one day.
oF: I know you’ve been asked a lot of question, but in all the interviews, what have you never been asked that you’ve wanted to talk about?
LB: That’s a good question. Ever since I was younger, I observed that there was a shortage of films and television shows that showcased women as powerful and equal. I feel like this is a problem in our industry and we have to take steps towards changing it. In my career, I hope to take on roles that highlight the strength and power in women, and I think with Wonder Women coming out and being such a huge success, it is a step in the right direction. It inspires me to work on projects that make women feel empowered and good about themselves.
HUGE thanks to Laura for giving us her time. Make sure to check her out in The Recall, now in theaters and available through VOD services! And make sure to follow her on Twitter to see what she gets into next!