Meet The Man Behind The Latest Issue Of FilmCentral Magazine: Deven Powers Aka Mr. Hollywood

Born Deven Lavale Purifoy on February 27th, 1983 in San Bernardino California; Deven Powers aka “Mr. Hollywood” is the 10th child out of 14 children. His father was a pastor and his mother is an amazing gospel singer. Deven started playing the drums at just 9 years of age, and at the age of 13, he was given his very first drum set by a member of the legendary Gap Band. At age 13, he also became California’s state drummer in his church congregation. When he became a freshman at Rancho Verde High School in the city of Moreno Valley, California, Deven joined the marching band which eventually went on to win several championships.

Fast forward to today, Deven Powers aka “Mr. Hollywood” is currently the host of the LA Live Film Festival from 2018 through to 2020. He’s also the founder and CEO of the Black Film Festival in Los Angeles. When it comes to the high life, Deven is definitely living up to it, hence you can catch him on the cover of High Lyfe Magazine’s highly anticipated Hollywood issue. When Deven’s not gracing the cover of magazines or hosting red carpet events, he’s hosting the “Mr. Hollywood TV show” which airs on AT & T, channel 99 in U-Verse, and channel 32 in Charter Spectrum.

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Mr. Hollywood to discuss his journey in the entertainment industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

My name is Deven “Mr. Hollywood” Powers, I was born and raised in Southern California and my father was a pastor and my mother is a Legendary Gospel Singer. I got my start in the entertainment industry doing ‘extra’ work in Hollywood for various TV shows, movies, and commercials.

What do you like most about acting?

I love the challenge of jumping into different roles.

How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer?

Well, it’s very different. You see, acting on a TV series is more on the spot with less time to prepare and get into character… In movies, you have more time to prepare and practice the script and perfect the character to nail the scene spot on. I love acting in movies because I love to take my time a execute the part given to me perfectly!

What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?

My weak point is the fact that I’m a perfectionist and because of that I get over-anxious and this anxiousness can lead to anxiety. It’s kind of a gift and a curse. I want everything that I do in life to be done perfectly. What I do to improve them is the fact I’m learning to become more patient through prayer and meditation. As an actor I’m pretty versatile – I can take on any character and any role at any given moment

What are your strong points as an actor?

My strong points as an actor are my work ethic and my ability to jump into character at the drop of a dime.

What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

Working with directors in Hollywood, I’ve learned first, and for most that you have to have tough skin working in this business; you have to develop a strong unmovable belief in yourself. Regardless of how many doors get closed, you have to move on and still continue to progress

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

The limitations others try to put on you… Sometimes casting directors try to typecast you and say you only fit this type of a role. Another difficulty actors and artists in general run into is finding the right agent and manager.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

The only difficulty I find about bringing the script alive is catching the beat of the character and the rhythm of the script. Once I get a feel it’s game over – I can basically get creative and make this character real.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

Well I’m an artist so when I’m not filming I’m writing movie scripts, recording music, writing poetry, working out, and I’m contemplating new business ventures.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

I would have to say working on the Bad Boyz of Hollywood working alongside Khalil Kharraz if you guys get a chance go check out his latest movie “Redemption Day” where he did the entire fight choreography for that project along with The Bad Boyz of Hollywood.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

That’s a great question. Definitely my friend Khalil and I would have to say my business partner and my team at Big House LA.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

I would have to say either Jamie Foxx or Michael B Jordan either actor would get the job done.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Well, I plan on taking over Hollywood and the music industry in 2021! Outside of that, I plan on starting a Street Basketball League this Summer called the NSBA TOUR. I also plan on building our Bighouse LA brands Discover My Music Radio, Black Film Festival Los Angeles, Mr.Hollywood Magazine, and Ms.Hollywood Magazine not to mention the Mr.Hollywood TV Show that’s coming soon to Amazon.

10 Of The Best Netflix Series To Binge Watch Right Now

Movies are a great way to pass the time during the quarantine but sometimes, you need something that’s a bit more time consuming and a bit lengthier; that’s where TV shows come in. TV shows on streaming services allow people to binge-watch entire seasons in a day or so; catching up on the latest hit show everyone’s talking about or reliving a beloved favorite instantly with the click of a button. With nothing but time on our hands, there are lots of high quality shows on Netflix to soak up your time. These are my picks for the top 10 best TV shows available on Netflix right now.

1. NBC’s “The Office”

The show that everyone goes to when they can’t find what they’re looking for, “The Office.” People have made memes about how common it’s become for people to just end up rewatching after scrolling through titles trying to find something new. “Office” is easy to sit down and enjoy a comedy ensemble piece that just works no matter which episode or season you find yourself landing on. It’s great as background noise or to fully absorb and focus, either way, nothing says “Best TV show” than the one you always find yourself going back to again and again.

2. “The Good Place”

Despite having ended just last year, “Good Place” has not only become one of my favorite shows ever but is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest TV shows ever created. This show is exploding with creativity, brilliant humor, and an excellent core group of characters that features some exciting new talents and the ever-lovable Kristin Bell and Ted Danson. To speak too much of this show would spoil mountains worth of clever writing and plot twists that even the sharpest viewer can’t see coming. It’s about a girl who dies and goes to Heaven (referred to as ‘The Good Place’) only she’s not supposed to be there and belongs in “The Bad Place” and tries to become better so she can stay and that’s all I’ll say. Highly, HIGHLY recommended, a must-watch.

3. Stranger Things

This was the Netflix flag show that put them on the map and remains easily their most creative and impressive, high-quality original programming to date. With 3 seasons under their belt and a 4th one on the way, “Stranger Things” nostalgic 80’s sci-fi story about a psychic girl opening up dimensions that leak monsters in a sleepy little town continues to grab people’s attention and wow them with their incredible cast and original writing and unique storytelling. Even after countless new shows have come out of Netflix’s original TV slate, “Stranger Things” is a landmark accomplishment that brings viewers everything they never knew they wanted and more.

4. Marvel’s “Daredevil”

Another “big first” for Netflix, this was Marvel’s first streaming service only TV series made exclusively for Netflix and man; what a way to start. “Daredevil” was a dark, violent, gritty and brutally intense take on the superhero character Ben Affleck famously butchered in film form. This show allowed Marvel to explore darker, mature levels that none of its films could attempt, and not only that, but they did it smashingly well. Charlie Cox, Deborah Anne Woll and Vincent Dinofiro lead a stellar cast of compelling characters and continue to push the boundaries of a more grounded superhero approach. Of all the Netflix spawned Marvel shows, “Daredevil” remains the cream of the crop and with 3 full seasons, it’s a fantastic show to get sucked into.

5. The Dragon Prince

Netflix not only excels with live-action programming, but it also has a few home runs in the animation ballpark as well. From the creators behind “Avatar: the last air bender,” “Dragon Prince” follows two young human princes and a female elf assassin as they try to prevent a war between the mystical world and the human world by returning a dragon egg back to its royal mother. What the show lacks in animation polish it makes up for with elaborate world-building and likable characters. It’s a show that has a little bit of something for everyone and continues to grow in maturity, raising the stakes, expanding relationships, and becoming a deeper and more emotionally powerful show with each season. It’s great for adults, young adults and teens alike.

6. The Haunting of Hill House

Horror TV series is a relatively new trend that has grown thanks to such shows as “The Walking Dead” (another great series to see on Netflix) and “Scream: The Series.” Netflix’s TV adaptation over the book is genuinely terrifying and macabre and also very human and real with well-developed fleshed out characters and family drama story explored over a unique narrative approach. The great thing about this show is its replay value. You can watch this show multiple times, still, be scared witless and discover new story elements, new hints, and new ghosts with each viewing. It’s fright fest for sure but so well made and written, it’s worth the nightmares.

7. Sex Education

Looking for something a bit different? “Sex Education” is a comedy teen series with a very mature flavor that continues to explore all kinds of wild sides for your viewing pleasure. Asa Butterfield is an awkward teen whose mother (Gillian Anderson) is a sex therapist and her profession has given him some unique insight into the student body at his high school. The show digs deep into every kind of sexual/mature subject matter, from masturbation, LGBT relationships to defining family labels in a weird world of sex and it’s highly amusing and fascinating. Season 3 got delayed from the pandemic but you got 2 full seasons to enjoy.

8. Marvel’s “Jessica Jones”

Those seeking female empowerment can’t get much more literal than Marvel’s booze binging, female PI; Jessica Jones played to perfection by Kristen Ritter. “Jones” is another fine example of Marvel branching out and exploring different genres, this one is mystery mixed with superhero drama and it works surprisingly well. It’s a shadowy story that showcases the worst of humanity’s underbelly and holds nothing back. Little by little, new pieces to the expanding story is discovered and it easily sucks you in with its cryptic clues. On top of that, “Doctor Who” himself, David Tennant plays one of the best TV villains ever put to film; he is reason alone to binge this show.

9. Marvel’s “Luke Cage”

Another different approach to superhero television, “Luke Cage” brings a cultural aspect to Marvel’s universe with a simple concept that excels and works on so many levels: a bulletproof African American man in the rough streets of Harlem. Featuring a predominantly African American cast, “Cage” puts a camera on life on the streets and displays gang/gun violence with a superhero lens; bringing quality tension and drama in a world of people with powers and science experiments. The cast is the real powerhouse of the show and becomes even more phenomenal in the second season. With the likes of Mike Colter, Alfre Woodard, and Mahershala Ali, this show is a different taste of edge you won’t be disappointed in.

10. A Series of Unfortunate Events

One of the first series I saw when I got Netflix, “Unfortunate events” is truly a unique show in every sense of the word. It’s a fractured fairy tale about 3 orphans who embark on a weird and wild adventure to escape the clutches of their villainous guardian; Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris). The show is a mixed bag of genre combinations: humor, drama, tragedy, family-friendly, musicals and so many more. The show plays like its children aimed but its humor and unique narrative structure can easily capture anyone’s attention. And with numerous cameos from multiple stars such as Peter MacNicol, Tony Hale, Joan Cusack, Patrick Warburton, Nathan Fillion, and many more, this show will continue to surprise you episode after episode.

One On One With “The Rookie” Star Titus Makin

Butterfly Ali is an up and coming artist who’s destined to have a meteoric rise. If he looks familiar, you’re right. Born and on IMDB as Titus Makin, Butterfly Ali currently stars as gritty rookie LAPD officer on ABC’s “The Rookie,” and is recognized from his teenage breakout roles in the hit TV series “Glee” and “Pretty Little Liars.”

In his new single “Listen to Me,” Butterfly Ali makes a true musical statement of who he is in under three minutes. He has all the charm and careful attention to detail as you would expect from a perfectionist obsessed with 60’s Motown, Stax Records, and 70’s funk. For him, music delivers something that Hollywood just can’t, where he accepts nothing but complete control over his art.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Titus Makin aka “Butterfly Ali” to talk about his journey in the entertainment industry so far and here’s what went down:

How were you actually ‘discovered’? A chance encounter on the street? Audition?

I was able to do a showcase in Los Angeles in front of agents and ended up getting signed.

What do you like most about acting? –

I love that it gives me an opportunity to tell someone’s story that wasn’t raised like and is not similar to mine. I enjoy getting to live life from somebody else’s perspective

Can you tell us about your role in The Rookie?

I play rookie officer Jackson West. he’s the son of the commander of internal affairs so everyone thinks that this position was handed to me, but I continuously try my best to prove that I deserve to be in the position that I’m in and that I didn’t expect a handout.

What sort of person is going to love this character?

I feel like Jackson really identifies with people who may consider themselves an underdog. Jackson has to continuously prove himself to people until finally earning his keep, in his opinion.

How is this character like you? Different?

Jaxon and I are similar in the sense of our work ethic but extremely different in every other facet. I’m a little bit more confident and willing to stand my ground/stand up to people a little bit more than he is.

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

It’s been a blast actually, learning police jargon has been proven to be pretty challenging at times.

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

Maybe Jaden Smith.

Besides yourself, which actor in this show is going to blow people away?

Every single character to be quite honest. Guest stars and leading cast alike are all powerhouse actors and do a fantastic job.

If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?

I would play Officer Harper‘s role. I think it’s awesome that she gets to go undercover and have an alter ego. Seems like that would be a lot of fun to play with.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Honestly playing this role in the rookie but also going on the world tour with Glee many years ago.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I got to meet one of my favorite actors, Will Smith. Not many things have topped that meeting quite yet, but I’ve been blessed to meet some amazing people.

How active are you on social media?

I would say moderate.

What is your favourite social media platform?

Instagram, but TikTok is coming close.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I would love to go on tour with my music and occasionally pop over and do an amazing film before going back on tour.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie you’ve seen: Invisible Man

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Humanity, because God created us in his image.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Go on a stadium tour with my solo music.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” – skydive

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? Sometimes I love way too hard

Find Out More About Narcos: Mexico Star Alberto Zeni

AlbertoZeni-010820-115RTMini

Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

Mexican-born actor Alberto Zeni has just made his way to the small screen in the second season of Netflix’s crime drama “Narcos: Mexico.” Heis starring alongside Diego Luna (Gallardo), Scoot McNairy (the narrator) and Teresa Ruiz (Bautista).

It has been over a year since the Season 1 release of “Narcos: Mexico”, which effectively shifted the long-running drug cartel drama into new territory. The first season of “Narcos: Mexico”, was the fourth season of “Narcos” overall and it reset the Netflix series when it traveled back to 1980s Mexico to show the birth of the Guadalajara cartel and trace the origins of the Mexican drug war, beginning at the time when Mexican traffickers were a loose and disorganized confederation of small-time independent cannabis growers and dealers.

Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Alberto first caught the acting bug when he was 14 years old while working for Parque Plaza Sesamo in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico; a family-friendly destination with a Sesame Street theme featuring rides, games and a water park. Singing, dancing and playing characters at the park wasn’t his only direction as he had goals of becoming an inventor and even received a degree in Engineering.

After completing his studies, Alberto continued working in the entertainment industry starring in telenovelas such as “Hoy Soy Nadie,” “Trillizas de Colores,” “Bajo el Alma,” “XY. La Revista” and the web series “Vidas Cruzadas” starring Kate del Castillo.

It wasn’t until his mid-twenties, where he decided to make a drastic change, pack up his bags and move to Los Angeles, CA to continue his acting journey. While in LA, Alberto immersed himself in the craft – training in the Meisner Technique and teaching himself English.

Film Magazine recently caught up with Alberto courtesy of the Anderson Group to talk about her journey in the entertainment industry so far and here’s what went down:

How were you actually ‘discovered’? A chance encounter on the street? Audition?

To be honest, I don’t know anyone that has been discovered, ever. It’s a very romantic idea, though. For me, it’s been a process of a couple of decades now of hard work, training, preparation, travel, moving, leaving people and places behind, going back to them, leaving them again and a constant belief that what I love to do will transform into something bigger and more diverse. I can say the hard work, dedication and discipline have paid off many times fold.

What do you like most about acting?

I get to have different experiences. Through the eyes of different personalities, characters and stories, I get to be a doctor one week, a policeman the next, a bounty hunter, an astronaut, the owner of a conglomerate and so many others. The possibilities are endless, and I get a taste of what existence is in a more personal way, as well as a broader, way.

Can you tell us about your role in Narcos: Mexico?

I play a former Mexican Judicial, which is like a federal agent, that gets integrated into the DEA team that infiltrates Mexico’s territory to find out who killed Kiki Camarena (Michael Pena’s character) and destabilize the criminal organization involved in that. Amat Palacios, which is my name on the show, is a very cunning, very charming man who is savvy about how things run on both sides of the border and that makes him an invaluable asset to the team.

What sort of person is going to love your character?

Anybody that has a light heart and anybody who loves their family. This is a character that does things because he wants to do them and because they bring a benefit to his own. That said, he is always looking out for his team and himself.

How do you relate to your character? How are you different from Amat?

I believe every character I portray has some of my essences, to a degree. In the end, I am the one feeling what he is going through and thinking his thoughts. For Amat, the idea of being present with his team, joking around and protecting them, is where I can say we are very much alike. The part where he may look the other way or get involved in unsavory things is where we are very different. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun playing him.

AlbertoZeni-010820-121RTMini

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

Fortunately, Amat was not based on any historical figure so I had the freedom to create a new persona, which in itself is a challenge. I thought to myself, ‘how am I going to create a man that has qualities I don’t necessarily have myself.’ So, I began to think of the qualities I DO have and from then on, I built upon the idea of Amat until the entire persona was created – I got to live through him. Added to that, other small traits and nuances were incorporated by reading on history from that era and watching documentaries. It was a lot of information that went into creating him. I hope you get to see a human being on screen.

Besides yourself, which actor on this show is going to blow people away?

Why thank you for that compliment! To be honest, this season is packed with extraordinary and ultra-talented actors, just the ones on my team – Scoot McNairy, Jesse Garcia, Matt Beidel, Miguel Rodarte, Jero Medina, and Alex Knight are something to behold. We created a very solid and interesting way to watch the DEA team which like to make it easy for viewers to fall in love with. We are as excited about the so-called criminals on this season. Things are going to get wild!

If you could play any other character on this show, who would it be?

Well, obviously Miguel Angel Gallardo Felix, the super boss. That is a very complex character and I would love to get into developing and getting in his psyche. Also, he is the lead of the show and why not aspire to be the point of the spear, right?

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Working with Sylvester Stallone has been the most memorable. Especially because my dad loved his work and followed his career. Now, I don’t have my dad with me but I know he would’ve been very happy to have seen me work alongside Mr. Stallone.

Who has been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

When I was living and working in Mexico, I met Brad Dourif, who gave me the idea to move to the States and pursue training in acting. He doesn’t know the impact he had on my life when we met, he gave me his advice. I hope to meet him again one day and be able to thank him in person for the incredible impact he had on my life. He is one of the most incredible actors in Hollywood!

Which artists would you like to work with in the future?

Well, of course, Joaquin Phoenix is someone I would love to learn from, as well as Meryl Streep. Also, Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, Iñarritu, JJ Abrams, Christopher Nolan, The Wachowski, Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes, George Tillman Jr., Reese Witherspoon, and many others who are creating incredible projects today.

How active are you on social media? Where can we follow you?

I am fairly active now, it has taken me some time, but I am finally consistent. You can find me on Instagram @albertozeni and Twitter @AlbertoZenioOF

What is your favourite social media platform?

So far, I use Instagram the most but soon, we will be launching a new social media platform that will empower people to follow their dreams and make them a reality.

What are your future plans? Within your career or aside from it.

There are many projects in motion as we speak, with both my US and Mexico agencies. We are talking to different people about different projects and soon we will have more news on the acting side of my career. I own a production company in Mexico City that offers services to international productions and we are also developing content for the international market. We are also developing a crowdfunding social media platform that will enable people to capitalize on their ideas, projects, content and funding campaigns. The name of this platform is MeThere.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

Last good movie I’ve seen: Parasite

What do you consider beautiful and why? Life. We are here to experience life and there is just beauty in all of it. The down moments as much as the up ones. AlbertoZeni-010820-046RTMini What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Empower people to live the life they dream of. But don’t worry, I’m working on that right now.

Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” Love deeply, take life with open arms and be present to everyone.

What is the trait you wouldn’t change about yourself? My optimism

One On One Interview With “I Can Only Imagine” Star Nicole DuPort

NicoleDuport-021318-114RTHigh_preview

Born and raised in Northern California, Nicole DuPort grew up playing sports, and by a twist of fate when her brother came home with an acting audition flyer, jumped head first into the world of acting. Performing in plays at a community college while she was still in high school, Nicole went on to attend UC Berkley with an art history major and theater minor. It was there that she caught the attention of a young filmmaker’s eye and landed her first starring role in the Indie festival winning psychological thriller ‘Sonata.’ The role eventually earned her The Jack Nance Breakthrough Performance Award at New York’s VisionFest.

Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Nicole soon booked the female lead in Mark Young’s art-house thriller ‘Southern Gothic’ alongside Yul Vazquez and William Forsythe. Young enjoyed working with Nicole so much that he wrote the lead role in ‘Tooth & Nail’ for Nicole to play opposite Michael Kelly (House of Cards), Rachel Minor, and Rider Strong. Since then, Nicole has earned Guest Star roles on shows like ‘Vegas,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ and ‘NCIS.’ Nicole also recurs as Carol DeParis in Amazon’s Original Series ‘The Last Tycoon’ starring Matt Bomer and Kelsey Grammer.

Next, Nicole will appear as singer Amy Grant in ‘I Can Only Imagine,’ directed by The Erwin Brothers and starring Dennis Quaid. As a lifelong Amy Grant fan, Nicole couldn’t pass up the opportunity to audition to play her in this movie. Post auditioning for the role, a tarot card reader foretold Nicole singing to a large crowd of fans. Cut to a pinnacle scene showing Nicole, as Amy Grant, singing to a massive audience of adoring fans. The impact and touch of fate didn’t fall on deaf ears. The highly anticipated, feel-good film, directed by the Erwin Brothers (Mom’s Night Out and Woodlawn) follows the inspiring and unknown true story behind MercyMe’s beloved, chart-topping song that brings ultimate hope to so many. It’s a gripping reminder of the power of true forgiveness and is sure to touch audiences of all spiritual leanings. Starring opposite Dennis Quaid, J. Michael Finley, Trace Adkins and Cloris Leachman, Nicole steps into the shoes of the “Queen of Christian Pop,” Amy Grant to tackle her show-stopping, pivotal role. Amy a fixture throughout the film connects with Bart (J. Michael Finley) while he is on his journey of fate and self-discovery learning to find his voice after a troubled childhood and mental roadblocks surrounding his relationship with his father.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Nicole courtesy of the Anderson Group and here’s what went down:

1. How were you actually ‘discovered’? A chance encounter on the street? Audition?

I was never really discovered… it’s been a lot of hard work! My first feature film role did come from being “discovered,” I suppose. I was playing Juliet at a theater in Berkeley, and a director saw me and ended up writing a feature film that he asked me to star in. For me, it’s been a series of small breaks like that.

2. What do you like most about acting?

I love the opportunities for learning something new.

3. Can you tell us about your role in I Can Only Imagine?

I play singer/songwriter Amy Grant. I was a big fan of Amy’s when I was growing up, so it was a tremendous honor to play her.

4. What sort of person is going to love this character?

I think this movie will appeal to people from all walks of life. It’s a story about getting through difficult times, finding your voice, and forgiving others. I think most people can relate. Fans of Bart Millard (whose life story the movie is based on) and MercyMe will Love the film.

5. How is this character like you? Different?

Amy Grant is a very grounded, calm person. I really tried to channel that aspect of her. I tend to be a little more animated and excitable than I think she is. But I think we are both kind and humble people.

6. What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

I think the biggest challenge for me was playing guitar! I’ve been trying to learn guitar for years, but am still a novice. I practiced so much to be able to play acoustic guitar in concert for the big scene in ‘I Can Only Imagine.’

7. Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

It would have been fun if Amy had played herself!

8. Besides yourself, which actor in this production is going to blow people away?

Dennis Quaid gives a heartbreaking performance. People will love his transformation in the film. J. Michael Finley, who plays Bart in the movie, is going to be a breakout star. He is so funny and talented.

9. If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?

I would have loved to play a member of MercyMe and gotten to do more concert scenes.

10. What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Definitely playing in concert to 3,000 fans while filming ‘I Can Only Imagine.’ That was an incredible experience. I felt like such a rock star.

NicoleDuport-021318-190RTHigh_preview

11. Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I had a crush on Patrick Dempsey when I was a kid, so working with him on Grey’s Anatomy was a highlight. He’s a great guy – super fun and easy to work with.

12. What sort of marketing do you do to make your image and brand more appealing to the audience?

I try to stay positive on social media and in all my marketing materials. For me, it’s about being authentic and creative. I like to keep it fun and upbeat. That’s my brand, I guess.

13. How active are you on social media?

I should be more active! I can be kind of shy, but I try to post as often as possible.

14. What is your favorite social media platform?

Instagram is my favorite. Follow me! @nicole.duport

15. I’m guessing you’ve been in the entertainment industry for a few years now, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned.

I think the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to take risks and be kind to everyone (yourself included!). Surround yourself with people who are creative, supportive and positive.

16. Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

I try to practice balance. I listen to my body. I try not to compare myself to others and only compete with myself. I eat real foods that make me feel good and move my body every day.

17. What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I’m excited to continue my creative journey. I love to paint, write, direct, as well as act. So, I’m excited to make new things! I’m working on directing a feature this year. And I always look forward to what acting roles will come my way next.

‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie you’ve seen? LADYBIRD

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Everything natural and kind. I think nature and love are the two most beautiful things in the world.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Visit Machu Picchu.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” Sing in a band.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? My crooked canine tooth.

5 Important Tips For Aspiring Talents Looking To Break Into The Entertainment Industry In 2020

566

Image via Shutterstock / lassedesignen

Here’s something most people aren’t aware of – talent alone is actually not enough to make you succeed in the entertainment industry. Besides being talented, if you want to succeed in the entertainment industry you also need monetary investment, the right connections, dedication, persistence as well as a great deal of planning.

Now here are top five tips for aspiring artists, models and actors looking to break into the entertainment industry.

1. Think smart

In business, we call it strategy. In acting, we call it “attack.” In every other aspect of life, we call it a plan. If you want to succeed, you need to be clear in what you want to achieve in your career. Be smart. Plan smart. Create goals and objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

First of all, you wouldn’t want to be wading in an ocean of all sorts of dreams of other aspiring artists, without you first having a definite idea what you are aiming at. You need to specify goals (either long-term or short-term) that can be quantified as doable. These goals should also likewise be pertinent to your career and should also be set to be achieved at a particular time.

If you want to move forward with your career then you need to be smart. Plan ahead and think smart.

2. Network your way to stardom

No one really got anywhere in their career by just doing his/her own thing without anyone’s help. Over the process of building careers, personal as well as business networks are likewise built. You will need the right agents, managers, and producers to help you out on your way to success and be the shining star that you are meant to be.

Can you think of any actor who did not go through personal connections or contacts before actually getting into the spotlight? I bet you can’t even name one!

As you meet people in your quest to stardom, make sure that you keep in constant contact with them—even the most insignificant people you meet. You will never know who these people are related to unless you have already built a steady relationship with them.

Keeping a calling card will also come handy from time to time. Make sure yours had been printed legibly and with the exact details. Always hand them over to people any time there’s an opportunity.

3. Leverage the power of the internet

Consider those people who were discovered through their video uploads via YouTube. Perhaps, you can also leverage on this social media platform as well as other online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. to meet other people who might be able to help your career in the future.

Did you know that Justin Bieber grew up in a small town, and that he didn’t have an agent or any valid connections? He actually only started uploading videos on YouTube for his friends and family who couldn’t make it to his singing competitions, Someone important came across his videos though and liked his voice and voila – Bieber fever was born!

4. Promote yourself

Your first follower is yourself. If you believe in yourself and you are passionate in what you can do then others will catch on and they will inevitably share that same belief with others they come in contact with. It’ll be a ripple effect. Once a portion of water is activated it will set the surrounding water to create the same action.

Preparing your personal portfolio will come in handy any time. Just make sure that the data you include are updated, including the headshots. You should always stick to the truth. Your portfolio may be customised to how you think agents or directors might want to see in it, however the truth will always come out in the end so just be accurate and honest.

Think about Zac Efron who started by auditioning for the Disney Channel movie “High School Musical.” All he did was turn up at the auditions and promote himself and now look at what he has accomplished: High School Musical 1/2/3, 17 Again, Hairspray…The list goes on!

5. Take Charge

Let your passion drive you to your way to stardom. Invest in yourself and commit to learning and mastering your craft. If you’re an actor perhaps you can check out acting workshops or organizations who offer trainings and seminars. You can even start with your local theatre. If there’s any available role you think you are able to perform, audition. Once you’ve appeared in a few performances, you’ll have the experience needed to get an agent’s attention that may be able to find other related jobs for you. A number of stage actors work in commercials, TV and movies, so your theatre colleagues will be able to advise you, and even recommend agents who may be able to help you.

If you’re a model you can always start by doing things for free to get your foot in the door. Start doing portfolio shoots with legitimate photographers and start getting involved in various runway events even if initially it’s for free to get exposure and you never know – someone important might spot you and give you the break you’ve been waiting for.

If you’re an aspiring artist you always can start with the best and easiest social media platform out there – YouTube. Start uploading videos and start making appearances in various events even if there’s no talent fee in the beginning because you’ll never know who will be on these events. You need to start somewhere to get somewhere right?

Building a career is a process, as much as becoming one in a million and shining the brightest. Start with tip number one and then proceed with the other tips. This will pave the way for your next stop over—success!

Get To Know Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral Star Ciera Payton

Ciera1

Photo Credit: Alex Stone

Multi-faceted actress, writer, social activist and entrepreneur, Ciera Payton is the most electric talent to storm into Hollywood and will soon return to the big screen as ‘Sylvia’ opposite Tyler Perry in the highly anticipated eleventh installment of the MADEA/Lionsgate movie franchise, A MADEA FAMILY FUNERAL, helmed by Tyler Perry, and currently in theaters nationwide. The film centers around a joyous family reunion that turns into an unexpected nightmare when ‘Madea’ (Tyler Perry) and the gang find themselves planning a funeral in the backwoods of Georgia.

Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and raised in the vibrant city of New Orleans, Ciera was surrounded by creativity in all forms – from street performers blowing their horns to muralists transforming the city’s landscape to every cook’s special recipe for gumbo. This dynamic environment fed her passion to become a successful working actress. After Hurricane Katrina, Ciera and her family relocated to North Carolina where she graduated with a B.F.A. from the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts. While still enrolled in school, Ciera landed the female lead role opposite Steven Seagal in the action-thriller, FLIGHT OF FURY. Since her breakout role, she has shared screen time with many A-list stars including Viola Davis, Nicholas Cage, Kevin Hart, and Josh Brolin. Past credits include USA Network’s “Graceland,” CBS’ “Bad Teacher”, Spike Lee’s OLDBOY, and “First,” a new web series acquired by the Issa Rae Network. She also recently performed her one-woman show, Michael’s Daughter as part of the Los Angeles Women’s Theater Festival. The piece details her compelling journey from growing up in New Orleans to her present success in Los Angeles through a series of letters with her incarcerated father, Michael.

While dedicated to her acting career, Ciera also manages to find time to engage with her local community. Her dedication to arts education in underserved communities led her to create the Michael’s Daughter Project, an annual theater and media arts summer camp for youth in Panorama City. Ciera teaches and empowers the youth to share their stories through creative writing, theater performance and short film production. In addition to her creative endeavors, Ciera is the owner of Sincerely Cosmetics, an all-natural mineral-based cosmetic company which caters to health-conscious women who have sensitive skin. In the little free time she has, Ciera enjoys sewing, painting, cooking and most importantly: dancing! She continues to have an unwavering commitment to always be her best, challenge the limits of everything she does, while always remaining true to her creative motivations.

We recently caught up with Ciera courtesy of the Anderson Group and here’s what went down:

How were you actually ‘discovered’? A chance encounter on the street? Audition?

I would like to think of my first acting gig as my moment of being discovered. That was when I booked the role of CIA undercover agent Jessica in Flight of Fury. I was working as a hostess at a pasta restaurant in New Orleans. There was an agent named Lee who came in all the time. She kept telling me to reach out to her when I was ready to get into the industry. I had given her my information in hopes that something would come about that I was right for. Well, fast forward to Mardi Gras 2006, a few months post-hurricane Katrina, Lee calls me with an audition for a Steven Seagal movie. I just so happened to be in New Orleans at that time and ended up attending the audition. I booked the role and filmed in Romania. It was an amazing experience, one that I learned and grew so much from.

What do you like most about acting?

I love showing the emotional parts of myself that I don’t normally get to in my everyday life. Acting is something spiritual for me: breathing life into a character, giving them my perspective and gaining new ones for myself. I love it; it’s delicious.

Ciera2

Can you tell us about your role in A Madea Family Funeral?

I play Sylvia, the big sister. I am the peacemaker and the one who keeps the family together. I retain my integrity and dignity through all of the craziness.

What sort of person is going to love this character?

I think everyone will love her. She’s grounded and she fights for her family to stay together.

How is this character like you? Different?

She’s very much like me. I like to keep things grounded and stay in joy as much as possible. I try not to allow myself to focus on things that don’t serve my emotional health. If my vibration is out of wack, I find the best way to fix it quickly. Sylvia does the same all the time.

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

Finding more dimensions to my character is always the challenge for any role I play. Sometimes my old habits kick in, such as only playing what’s written or only saying the lines. I desire to really step in and sink my teeth into any role. I want to totally transform into the characters I play and sometimes my imagination only takes me so far. Seeking, going deeper into the script, and my imagination can sometimes be the biggest challenge for me.

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

I can’t see any other celebrity taking it on and I say that humbly.

Besides yourself, which actor in this movie is going to blow people away?

Tyler Perry, because he’s so funny and keeps the audience laughing and engaged!

If you could play any other character in this movie, who would it be?

Madea, of course! She’s just too fun! And she gets me.

Ciera3

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Madea Family Funeral for sure. I had so much fun working on that film. Tyler Perry was great to work with and be led by. The whole cast and crew were like family. I just loved it. Every minute of it.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Dr. Maya Angelou. I met her while I was in college and got to take her poetry class. She was the true epitome of Mother Earth.

What sort of marketing do you do to make your image and brand more appealing to the audience?

I mainly use my website, social media, and educational outreach. I’m an educator and I work with youth. They know what I do as an actor and are always promoting me and supporting my work. I try to inspire them to go for their dreams no matter what and hope that I’m being a good example of that in all that I do.

How active are you on social media?

I’m on social media weekly. I’ve had to train myself to pull back a little because as we all know, social media can be a bit addicting. So I try to check in a few times a week and only post things that spark joy and have meaning for or from me.

What is your favorite social media platform?

Instagram.

I’m guessing you’ve been in the entertainment industry for a few years now, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned. This can be about the industry or about yourself. Or both!

I’ve learned to keep going! What’s for you is for you; your opportunity has your name on it. Seek to discover and find out who you are. Work on yourself constantly. All of these things I’ve learned and they’ve helped to shape my path along this journey.

Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

I don’t think this industry is solely based on the external. I feel we are drawn to actors and characters because we see parts of ourselves in them. As long as I honor my light within and do my best to tell the story, it will reflect on the outside. Knowing that will always keep me grounded.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I plan to be an unstoppable force who raises the frequency of any space I enter. I intend to take on roles and be a part of projects that promote healing, goodness, strength, power, and joy. I want to be known as one of the greatest icons and artists this world has ever seen.

Find Out More About Selena: The Series Star Madison Taylor Baez

Tamara Tihanyi

Musical prodigy and multi-talented star, Madison Taylor Baez is set to take audiences and Hollywood by storm! Just under 10 years old and already a breakout star, Baez will be making her series regular television debut as “Young Selena,” alongside Christian Serratos (“The Walking Dead”) in the upcoming Netflix original, “Selena: The Series” slated for 2020.

The coming of age story will follow late Tejano singer, Selena Quintanilla’s journey as her dreams come true, and the many life-changing choices on the singer’s journey to success. Ricardo Chavira (“Desperate Housewives”), Gabriel Chavarria (THE PURGE), Noemi Gonzalez (“The Young and the Restless”), and Seidy Lopez (TRAINING DAY) will be starring as the rest of the Quintanilla family.

Not at all a newcomer in the spotlight, Madison has been making waves since she began singing the national anthem for the LA Lakers at just 8 years old. Since then, she has performed for the LA Dodgers, LA Rams, LA Galaxy, Harlem Globetrotters, and this past summer Madison was the first 8-year-old in the history of the Orange County & LA Fairs to perform two 40-minute shows by herself.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Madison courtesy of the Anderson Group to talk about her journey in the entertainment industry so far and here’s what went down:

How were you actually ‘discovered’? A chance encounter on the street? Audition?

My current Manager Kim Matuka of Schuller talent is known for discovering young talent – she actually discovered Oscar winner Anna Kendrick when she was just 10 years old. She saw some videos of me singing when I was 7 years old and she reached out to my parents, that’s how I started acting. For singing it was when I sang the National Anthem for the Los Angeles Lakers also at 7 years old, that’s when my singing career took off. After that I went onto singing the National Anthem for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Galaxy, Los Angeles Kings and many big charity events. My two LA Dodgers performances went viral and received national news earning me the nickname “Anthem Girl.”

What do you like most about acting?

I like playing a character other than myself, its lots of fun to be someone else and I love being on set interacting with the cast and crew.

Can you tell us about your role in Selena: The Series?

I play young Selena who is fun-loving and is finding herself as a singer and a performer in the family band. She also has to deal with the family struggles that came from her father trying to get the band to have success.

What sort of person is going to love this character?

I think Selena fans and those who love to be inspired and may not know of Selena, her amazing music and her story that began with her family and young Selena.

How is this character like you? Different?

Actually, young Selena is me. I have been singing since I was three years old and just like Selena with her father, my father taught me about music, singing and performing. All the practice sessions my father and I have had in our garage, in our home and going on the road to perform are similar to how Selena and her father did it. Selena and I even learned to sing in Spanish at the same age.

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

I would say living and being on location out of the country away from family, friends and my doggies for two months.

Tamara Tihanyi 1

What do you like most about singing?

Seeing all the people smile and the energy I get back from the performances I give. It’s a pretty amazing feeling when 50,000 people are chanting your name.

Which artists would you like to work with in the future?

Bruno Mars for sure, he is amazing and my favorite. Alicia Keys, Beyoncé and Frankie Valley as well, I love all his songs from the jersey boys soundtrack.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

With acting, playing young Selena of course and recreating all the moments in her life and with singing, it was singing the National Anthem for the LA Dodgers on Father’s Day. It was such a special moment to share with my father who has given and taught me so much.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Tiffany Haddish is so funny, Magic Johnson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Lasorda, Cody Bellinger and the cast in the Selena series.

How active are you on social media? Where can we follow you?

Very active My mom and dad handle all my social media for me. You can follow me on Instagram via madisonbaezmusic or Facebook via madisonbaezmusic. My website is www.madisonbaezmusic.com.

What is your favourite social media platform?

Instagram and Facebook

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I want to continue acting and get more roles both on television and in film. I wish to one day be the youngest artist with a number one hit song at the top of the charts. That record is currently held by Stevie Wonder, who I love.

Outside my career, I want to continue to donate my time at charity events and spend time with my family, friends, painting and my doggies.

Madison1

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Star Wars rise of Skywalker

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Sunsets I love to take pictures of sunsets and seeing all the amazing colors. Each sunset is so unique.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Well, being only Nine there is so much I haven’t done and would like to do. But I would like to be on stage and perform with Bruno Mars. That would be awesome.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” Go into one of those scary haunted houses or hold a big snake.

5. What is a trait that you wouldn’t change about yourself? Two traits, being humble and kind. My parents have taught and instilled in me that you never sacrifice those traits for anything.

Get To Know The Talented Upcoming Actor Brett Whittingham

Brett-Whittingham-325207

Brett Whittingham is definitely an actor to watch out for in 2020! He recently won the best actor award at the 2019 Cause Film Festival where he played a man who’s trying to cope with the loss of a child – and we were all in awe of his performance. StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Brett to talk about his career and here’s what went down:

How were you actually ‘discovered’? A chance encounter on the street? Audition?

Well if we’re talking about the role for the short film, Dan Walls, the writer/director is one of my oldest and best mates and we’ve worked together many times before. If we’re talking bigger picture, I’m not sure I’ve been “discovered”… I’m more the acting equivalency of a deep Amazonian tribe.

What do you like most about acting?

It sounds totally cliché but the ability to move people or make them think. It also allows you to express emotions that aren’t necessarily suitable in a regular workplace.

Can you please tell us the name of the short film you won an award from and about your role?

The name of the short film is “Last Seen Alive”, where I play a man who is trying to cope with the loss of a child and finds a grief soul-mate in the form of an empathetic gas station attendant played by Neelam Choudhary.

What sort of person is going to love this character?

Not sure that loving this character is the right question. I think they’ll empathise with him, but given his motivations are unclear it’s probably hard to “love” the character. I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoilers to those who haven’t seen it.

How is this character like you? Different?

He’s gone through loss but I think that’s a commonality for many of us. We’re probably more different in the fact that this guy is going through something I could not even fathom.

Brett-Whittingham-297757

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

Not being a dad, it’s impossible to imagine this level of grief. Again without giving anything away, it’s was more about balancing that grief with the sense of resoluteness this character possesses. The main challenge was doing the role justice. Our writer/director Dan, had written the story as part of an outlet from his own experience with a family member. When you’re dealing with something created from such raw emotion, you really want to do it justice.

Besides yourself, what actor would you like to see tackle this character?

Oh damn! That’s a hard question. If they did an American version, I’d go with Timothy Olyphant (Dan our director knows why).

Besides yourself, which actor is going to blow people away?

I guess we are talking about this film, in which case Neelam is amazing. She bought a truth to her role that made it very easy to deliver on the emotion needed. Not to take anything away from the other actor in the film, Ron Kofler, who I’ve worked with before and is always wonderful, including in this.

If you could play any other character in the short film, who would it be?

(laughs) It’s a three-hander and given I’m not a female of Indian descent or the right age to get away with playing my character’s dad, I probably couldn’t switch roles.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

I did a stage tour with the late Ann Phelan. Given we lost her recently, I’m privileged I got the chance to work with her. But there have been many other highlights, such as performing in the Green Room Award-winning production of The Laramie Project with some of my closest mates.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Another difficult question. There are a lot of interesting actors out there but if we’re talking generally, some of the most interesting people I’ve met have not been actors and are in vocations like teaching or emergency services. I met a woman recently who had lived in several European countries, spoke at least three languages and had recently come back from 3 years teaching in some of the poorest parts of Africa. I never asked her age but my guess would have been 30 tops. I think the most interesting people are the ones that inspire you to make more of your own life either out of inspiration or shame.

What sort of marketing do you do to make your image and brand more appealing to the audience?

I’m bad at this. My brand updates are a new headshot every two to three years! lol

How active are you on social media?

I take a look at Facebook a few times a week and my Instagram is full of pictures of my dogs, but I guess I’d be classified as a fairly passive user. I’m prolific if on holiday, mainly with the goal of making friends jealous.

What is your favourite social media platform?

Instagram. Facebook carries too many ads and is far too curated these days, and Twitter I find amusing but totally toxic. Oh actually, it would be YouTube if you count that.

Brett-Whittingham-325209

I’m guessing you’ve been in the entertainment industry for a few years now, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned.

I’ve been acting in various capacities for over 25 years and I think the one takeaway is never taking yourself too seriously and never overthink!…Oh and make your own work, even if it’s only for passion projects!

Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

Via a well-tuned relative lack of success! LOL

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I work on many of my own passion projects these days. 9 to 5 job gets pretty busy. I do an on-again-off-again series called “Project Management – A Comedy Web series” on YouTube with a wonderfully gorgeous creative woman by the name of Olivia Hogan. Currently, I’m working on a couple of animated projects which I’m hoping to get up on YouTube early next year.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen – Very late to the game but just recently watched “The Darkest Hour” with Gary Oldman.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Dogs. They think the world of you always! One of my favourite quotes is “please help me to be the person my dog thinks I am.”

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Be in a Star Wars franchised film or TV show!

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” Move to Canada or the US for more opportunities at roles.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? Hmmm… good question. Probably my need to please. Although it means I’m probably not as forceful as I need to be in this industry, it means I do have a lot of good friends.

Find Out More About “This Is Us” Star Bahara Golestani

BaharaGolestanibyRussellBaer1

Photo Credit: Russell Baer

Multi-faceted actor Bahara Golestani is definitely the new fresh face to watch on the new season of NBC’s smash hit series “This Is Us.” A graduate of the world-renowned Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre, Golestani is best known for her roles in TNT’s “Animal Kingdom,” Jason Koch-directed indie film Beneath The Black Veil and Michael Bay’s blockbuster film 6 Underground.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Bahara Golestani courtesy of Anderson Group PR to talk about her journey in Hollywood and here’s what went down:

How were you actually ‘discovered’? A chance encounter on the street? Audition?

I started on the stage at Stella Adler in Los Angeles doing theater and absolutely fell in love with American and foreign playwrights. After graduating, I proceeded to get a manager and an agent. I went through the traditional auditioning process and recognition did not happen overnight. I’m extremely grateful to have been a part of projects that I’ve worked on and I am looking forward to growing my career.

What do you like most about acting?

I love being able to put myself in other people’s shoes. I love the fact that I can take a script and, through my words and character work, bring it to life. I love being able to touch the audience through my work.

Can you tell us about your role in This is Us?

I play Dr. Asmaan, a mother who is risking her own life to save others. She is an informant for the U.S. military and she meets with Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) in a village in Afghanistan. She is anything but a stereotypical Afghan woman. She’s strong, courageous and inspiring.

What sort of person is going to love this character?

I think, in a way, all of us will love her. Based on her story and what she’s facing, any viewer could easily have compassion and understanding of the difficult decision that she has to make and the sacrifices she has made and is continuing to do to fight for change, not only for herself and her child but also her entire village.

How is this character like you? Different?

I can relate to her in some ways like being from Afghanistan myself and having an understanding of our cultural history and the circumstances of our country. But I would also like to say that I did an extensive amount of research before portraying this character. It was very important to me to tell the story in the most authentic way possible.

BahariGolestanibyRussellBaer3

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

For me, I would say I always like to challenge myself with any character that I’m portraying. Coming from a very strong theatrical background, research and finding the truth of the character is the most important aspect for me. It was a very emotional scene but I love the fact that I was able to challenge myself.

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

A key factor for this role was being able to speak Pashto in a native dialect. With that being said, I don’t think we have as many actors in the industry who speak my language. I’m looking forward to that changing and having more women from our country portraying these characters. I’m extremely grateful for the “This Is Us” casting department for casting this character in the most authentic way.

Besides yourself, which actor in this show is going to blow people away?

That’s an extremely hard question. If I’m being honest, every single character on the show will blow you away. “This Is Us’ is known for being full of surprises, each and every character will not disappoint.

If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?

Dan Fogelman is an absolute genius and I would never change anything about any of the characters on the show. I love playing Dr. Asmaan. That’s the beauty of the show. Every character is so specific and they did an outstanding job casting each actor that was right for their role.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

I would say being on “This Is Us” and portraying such an empowering Afghan woman on screen has been one of the biggest highlights for me.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I love Los Angeles for the fact that it’s such a melting pot and you are always meeting interesting people from all walks of life. I’ve met so many entrancing people from attending various acting classes. I love the actors. I find them fascinating.

How active are you on social media?

I’m relatively active. I love to post updates about my career and interact with my followers but I also think it’s very important to be present so balance is very important for me. Instagram: @BaharaGolestani

What is your favorite social media platform?

I would say Instagram. I also love browsing on YouTube. You can pretty much find anything from recipes to meditation practices.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I’d like to continue playing strong, fascinating female characters on screen, and empowering other women through my work. Definitely taking care of my health, staying active, happy, humble and surrounding myself with my family and friends and not taking a single day for granted.

‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie you’ve seen. I loved “Green Book!” I’m a huge fan of Peter Farrelly!

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Courage. Throughout my life, the moments that I found my courage were beautiful things. It’s one of my favorite words.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? I would say travel. I would love to travel more, meet different people, seek adventures and get familiar with different cultures.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” go sky diving!

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? I love owning my flaws and I wouldn’t change them.