Vanessa Madrid is an actor and stuntwoman with a Bachelor of International Development Studies from the Australian Catholic University. She’s recently wrapped in multiple feature films, including the lead role in the psychological thriller ‘Mercy of Others,’ a supporting role in ‘Lickerish,’ and dual roles in the horror film ‘After She Died,’ where she showcased what a chameleon she can be. In 2021, Vanessa appeared in the second season of the Stan original series Bump,’ and the short film Wrath,’ which is a finalist in many festivals worldwide. She has appeared in several TVCs as both an actor and stunt double, and she recently wrote/directed/starred in her own short film ‘Survival of the Fittest.’ Vanessa has had the pleasure of working on two different docu-series, ‘Deadly Women’ and ‘The Invisibles,’ and is currently working on the Australian TV series ‘Pervert’ in a lead role. Later this year, Vanessa will be playing a lead role in an action drama feature film ‘Syndicate. ‘ Just recently, Vanessa played dual roles in After She Died – she played Isabel and Florence. This role earned her the “Best Australian Feature Performance” at the A Night of Horror International Film Festival.
We sat down and talked movies with Vanessa, and here’s what he had to say:
What do you like most about acting?
I love acting because of your connection with others on set and with the audience. When I’m acting, it’s truly a spiritual experience for me because I cannot be more present. I can work for hours on end, and it feels like a click of a finger for me. When I’m on set, I do not act, I become that character, and I get to feel those feelings and emotions that my character goes through during her journey, which is my ultimate spiritual experience and connection.
Can you tell us about your role in After She Died?
Yes, so I actually played dual roles in After She Died. I play Isabel, whose in her 40s and is a mother. She is close to her daughter, very nurturing, and a good wife; however, she’s gotten to a point in her marriage where it has gotten complicated, but they still love each other and know no different. Unfortunately, Isabel suddenly passes away, and soon after, Florence appears, who I play as well, and she’s basically been brought back to life from Isobel’s body. Florence has some faint recollections from her previous life, but she’s really learning everything from scratch again.
What sort of person is going to relate this character?
I think all the mothers out there and all the people that want to be parents will connect with Isabel. However, I think people will have a lot harder time connecting with Florence. Florence is a very complex individual because of what happened to her.
How is this character like you? Different?
Isabel is similar in the way that she’s very loving, nurturing, and protective. She is also quite the firecracker like me. I guess it’s the Hispanic in both of us (laughs). She’s different because she’s much older than I am and has a child.
It was a little harder to connect with Florence, but we share the same curiosity. When I’m more in my child self, and I’m more playful then I guess I find similarities. Florence is very different to me because she lacks empathy and is quite still. I’m extremely empathetic to the point that I even get sympathy pains!
Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?
I would love to see Toni Collette’s tackle these roles as she’s one of my favourite Australian actresses, and it would be really interesting to see her take it.
Besides yourself, which actor/s in this film is going to blow people away?
Well, this is a bit unfair because obviously everyone is amazing, but I think the audience will love Jen, played by Liliana De La Rose, and John, played by Paul Talbot.
What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?
The biggest challenge was trying to get into the mindset of Florence and trying not to react to Jen and my husband, who are freaking out and heartbroken. However, once I found Florence, it was easy to go into that character and her mindset.
If you could play any other character in this film, who would it be?
Maybe the sheep man because it would be so fun to dress up and freak people out (laughs)!
What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?
The most memorable would have to be the After She Died premier because that was my first film premiere as a lead in a feature film. It was very exciting as well as taking home the award for best performance on the night of the horror international film festival.
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
Everyone is interesting in their own way, but I have to say I definitely had a Fan girl moment when I got to meet Claudia Karvan on the Stan show Bump. She is one of my favourite Australian actresses up there was Toni Collette. It was nothing but a dream to be working on her show and then going to the Bump premier and her saying, “oh my god, you came,” with a big hug. That really took me back because I just love and respect her so much.
How active are you on social media?
This answer would’ve been very different a year ago as I took a two or three-year break from social media. I just wanted to focus on myself and protect my privacy. After countless chats from family and friends telling me that I had to “get back out there” and that social media is the way, I finally came back on, and I’ve been pretty active. You can find me on VanessaAMadrid on Instagram. I’m trying to be more active and share my experiences with my friends.
I have also made a Tiktok which has a couple of silly videos, there is nothing too serious on there, but it’s just a bit of fun! If you message me on Facebook, I probably won’t see it for three months because I don’t really look at it very often, so I’m sorry if I have ignored anyone out there.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
Future plans… hmmm, lots of travelling and hopefully lots of working on set. My partner and I are trying to figure out if we should move overseas or move to Queensland or stay in Sydney, so to be honest, I’m not 100% sure where I will end up, but I know that we will be travelling. I’ve also signed up with a new agent, so I hope to level up in my career and get more work.