All Posts By Justin Grant

“Scream Queen” Brooke Lewis Gets Emotional and Gives Us An Inside Look Of Her Magical Wedding

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There’s no better place to have a joyous wedding than at a magical wonderland like The Houdini Estate. So who is the next person to bring the magic of Old Hollywood back to life with a super fancy soiree? It is none other than the gorgeous award-winning actress and Scream Queen, Brooke Lewis, who is having her marriage soiree at the famous Hollywood landmark. The night will kick off with a private family ceremony before the red carpet opens up and the celebrity performers take the stage for a Dance Party USA. We chatted with the soon bride to be, Brooke Lewis, about how she feels the wedding theme fits her and her fiancé’s personality, the most difficult detail of her wedding to agree upon and what she is most looking forward to on her wedding day.

Cliché: Can you describe the emotions and feelings that you got once your boyfriend Mark proposed to you at Griffith Observatory?

Brooke Lewis: Let me start by saying that I knew that Mark was going to propose to me, but what took me by surprise was the fact that he decided to ask to marry me on my birthday. It just so happened that day was the hottest day of the year in Hollywood on September 1, 2017 – and with that said – the old Cadillac limousine that he rented to pick me up and take me to Griffith Observatory, well as it turns out the air conditioning broke inside the car due to the extreme heat. At one point when we were in the car I thought we were going on some yacht or cruise ship for dinner but little did I know that Mark was going to propose to me at the Griffith Observatory. He proposed to me right next to the James Dean statue and across from the Hollywood sign; it was magical. It is one of the most memorable nights of my life.

Why did you choose the wedding theme, ‘Old Hollywood’? How do you feel the wedding theme fits you and your fiancé’s personality?

Mark and I love everything about Old Hollywood, and we thought what better place to transport our guests into Hollywood than an old famous Hollywood landmark from one of the most notable entertainers in the world – Harry Houdini. We envisioned Old Hollywood movie posters everywhere, black and white dance floors and Old Hollywood films.

I feel that it’s the undying love that we have for one another. He pursued me, which made me fall madly in love with him and then I stayed by his side through a lot of tough times, and here we are, almost four years later, and we feel like our life is a movie.

How would you describe the style of your wedding?

As much as I want it to be a super fancy soiree, we also want everyone to dance with us like its a rockstar party. At the wedding, there will be two big red carpets and a ton of talented celebrity performers. We chose not to make it black tie on purpose but instead we made it “Dress To Your Oscars Best … Of Any Era! Taylor & Burton and Rat Pack Style.”

First, I want to shout out to our celebrity DJ, Jon Gosselin, who is a friend of mine and my family in Philadelphia. He is a reality TV star of Jon & Kate Plus 8, and on top of that, he was voted last year as the No. 2 celebrity DJ in the country. He’s known for playing at clubs in the Northeast as well as Atlanta, but I don’t think the West Coast folks know how badass he is. He was the first person I reached out to when Mark and I decided that we were going full force with this marriage soiree and I said to him, “I beg you to come out. All I want is my dream for you to come out to spin at our wedding.” He responded, “I’m in.”

Another celebrity performer who will be the MC for the evening is none other than the veteran actor Kyle T. Heffner. Kyle and I had worked on a film project years ago, and I’ve always known him to be funny and talented. When I thought who could handle such a challenging job at this incredible long event and who can understand and embody that Old Hollywood vibe, it was Kyle. As for Kyle, he was discovered by Garry Marshall, who put him to work in Young Doctor’s in Love which led to his portrayal of Richie Blazik in Flashdance. Also, he appeared in other films such as Runaway Train, The Woman in Red, and When Harry Met Sally.

The next person I would like to shout out is our officiant Mitra Rahbar who has been a spiritual guide and a friend of mine for 18 years. She got praise from Jennifer Aniston, Gisele Bundchen, Sheryl Crow, and spiritual leader Michael Beckwith. She was one of the officiants for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s wedding as well as one of the officiants for Tom Brady and Gisele’s wedding. When Mark and I got engaged, she offered us to do a blessing at the wedding, and we were grateful and shocked. I also would like to shout out the officiant guy for the wedding, and that is Chris Robinson. He has become a dear friend of Mark and me over the years, and he is the top non-denominational Wedding Minister in Southern California. Not to mention that he did the marriage ceremonies for Hugh Hefner, Gene Simmons, Tori Spelling, Gordan Ramsay, and The Real Housewives.

Last but not least, Mark and I were looking for a perfect Rabbi to do a blessing for my dad, but the truth is that I didn’t know where to go and we found Rabbi Craig Wyckoff whose the Rabbi at Congregation Tikkun Olam in Studio City, California. After we found him, I soon discovered that he was the owner of the first Talent Agency that signed me in Los Angeles 18 years ago. We are honored to have Rabbi Craig Wyckoff doing a blessing for my dad.

How many people are expected to attend? What is the order of events at your reception?

There will be 500 guests attending my wedding on June 1. Recently, I have been receiving messages and DM’s daily on Instagram from fans telling me that they are going to climb the gate at the Houdini Estate and crash my wedding and then take me away so that I won’t marry Mark. I felt that even at my level that I had to get a full security team and bodyguards to stand by the gate and I’m counting on my Public Relations team to stop people who try to crash our marriage soiree. The reason Mark and I are pretty open about the wedding is that everybody already knows about it and we need to protect everyone in every way.

Since we are expecting so many guests, who will be coming in from all over the world, we will have a private family ceremony. Afterward, all of the performances will open up, and then the soiree will open up, starting with the red carpet. Following that, there will be another small ceremony with the officiant Chris Robinson, and we will have a performance by the Sinatra impersonator Vaughn Suponatime from Jimmy Kimmel. Later on, Mark and I aim to have DJ Jon Gosselin come in to spin for the soiree before we dance to the song “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain and then I’ll be dancing with my dad to the song “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel.

The schedule is as follows: From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. we will have a Dance Party USA, and then from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. we will have our dessert display and cake cutting and cocktails. Following dessert, we will have an incredible acoustic guitar player Dani Vargas performing a few songs.

What’s been the most fun detail of your wedding to plan? What’s been the most difficult detail of your wedding to agree upon?

One of the most fun details of my wedding to plan was picking out a bridal gown. I remember walking into the Jovani store and instantly falling in love with their dresses, and Jovani is styling my bridal gown in New York. Another incredible and magical thing that I could ever dream of is the other gown that I’ll be wearing made by one of the most famous Israeli designers – Inbal Dror.

I think having to create a balanced relationship with Mark and understanding each other’s emotions. There were nights where I cried all night because I wasn’t sure if we can pull off this marriage soiree and on top of that we had a lot to deal with emotionally and financially. Also, Mark has put up with a lot of my emotional crying and challenges, and I think the most beautiful thing is that it has given us both insight into one another as well as the strength that we need. I feel that if we can get through this wedding, then we can get through anything. Lastly, we are incredibly grateful for all the support our families have given us.

Can you talk about some of the most important moments leading up to your wedding?

I think some of the crucial moments leading up to my wedding has been the simple moments, emotional and heartfelt moments and the challenging moments which have shown our strengths as a couple and it has shown that if we can get through the wedding and not give up, it will show how strong we are as a couple. Hopefully, the rest of our lives will be easy-breezy from here. The other thing that is magical to me is that I feel reconnected with some of my closest friends from childhood, college, and New York.

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?

The last year and a half have been so stressful about production, and I’ve been under a lot and also not living a fun life. Mark and I chose something bigger than us, and it has blown into something enormous. I decided not to have a bachelorette party and a bridal shower because we just wanted to focus on this big event and have everyone with us. We are looking forward to our love and taking our vows, and I can’t believe I will be calling somebody my husband.

Is there anything you would like to add or say?

I want to shout out my team at Katz Public Relations and Allison Noelle who has done my hair and make-up. I couldn’t even imagine not having her by my side, and she will be doing all my glam, hair, and makeup. I also want to shout out to Eddie at Universal Print and Copy and to our incredible invitation designer Judith Campbell who has a company called Hott Mutt Creative. Lastly, I want to shout out to SHAN Social House, where we will have our family welcome dinner.

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“Scream Queen” Brooke Lewis Gets Emotional and Gives Us An Inside Look Of Her Magical Wedding. Image Credits: Greg Doherty/Getty Images

Meet Israel’s Next Famous Fashion Designer: Inbal Dror

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Attention, brides-to-be: Are you toying with the idea of crafting your dream wedding gown with the help of a couture dress designer, but not sure where to start? To get the ball rolling, it’s time to meet one of Israel’s most talented, illustrious and mind-blowingly creative minds in the bridal dress industry today – Inbal Dror. Cliché got a glimpse and taste of this designer’s craftsmanship, and we’re now infatuated with her gorgeous bridal creations. Who is this genius designer?

Not only is Dror the leading designer of Bridal Gowns and evening dresses in Israel, but she has a keen eye for innovative silhouettes and intricate embroideries. That’s not all, just last year the Israeli designer launched yet another diffusion line of bridal gowns, but this time the collection had all the sex appeal and sheer fabrics of her couture bridal line. Add to that, Dror’s brand has caught the eye of celebrities from Beyoncé and Noami Watts to Bar Refaeli, even receiving an official request from the British royal family to submit sketches for a wedding dress for Meghan Markle. What’s not to love about this designer’s brand? Let’s put it this way: There’s no fashion designer that has the set of skills and the art of hand-craftsmanship like Dror’s. That’s for sure.

Image Credit: Staci Layne Wilson

So in case you’re wondering who the next celebrity who will be wearing Dror’s dream bridal gown will be, it’s none other than award-winning actress Brooke Lewis. Check out some amazing in-house footage of Brooke and Dror at The Panache Bridal Salon of Beverly Hills.

                                                                                Hair & Makeup: Allison Noelle

As the countdown till Brooke and Mark Bellas’ wedding at the famous Houdini Estate has officially begun, the gorgeous fiancée spent a full day with the popular Israeli designer at The Panache Bridal Salon of Beverly Hills. Dror praised Brooke by telling her that if she can think about a perfect bride for her dress it would be Brooke. Brooke responded, “How many brides in a lifetime get to meet their designer?” Brooke then explained that she chose Inbal after nightmares trying on so many gowns, and what was authentic to her soul was this brilliant designer’s work. She added, “Once I saw Dror’s gowns on the rack, Erika at the Pasadena store said that she can already get my vibe and knew the dress that I loved.”

Image Credit: Staci Layne Wilson

Before Brooke and Dror headed home for the day, Brooke left her with this statement about her bridal gowns, “It’s sexy, stylish and we are doing the magic of Old Hollywood in our soirée, it was just perfection for Old Hollywood and feeling that you could transport me back to a magical era and your brilliance will be my absolute honor to wear on that day.”

Be sure to check out Inbal Dror today and begin crafting your dream wedding dress! You can view her beautiful 2019 collection here.

 

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Meet Israel’s Next Famous Fashion Designer: Inbal Dror. Featured Image Credit: Vogue.com

Lexi DiBenedetto Talks “Knight Squad” and More

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Lexi DiBenedetto discovered her passion and dedication to her craft at a very young age and grew up in front of the camera. Before she landed her role on Nickelodeon’s series Knight Squad, she appeared on a few hit television shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family. When she’s not busy acting or working, you can find her going horseback riding and going to the beach. We chatted with Lexi DiBenedetto about her character, Prudence, her experience working on Knight Squad and more.

 

Cliché: How did you first get involved with acting? What inspired you to pursue becoming an actress?

Lexi DiBenedetto: I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be an actor. My parents had me in commercials and local theater when I was young, but that grew into a serious passion very quickly. I talked my way into an adult acting class and began a character study when I was 8 years old. I fell in love with it and knew it was what I wanted to do.

I love being able to bring important stories to life and being part of telling them and I also find people fascinating.

What’s the experience like working on Knight Squad?

The experience working on Knight Squad was a lot of fun. We were able to learn some stunts and wear the coolest costumes while we were filming on a set based in a magical land. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Can you describe your character, Prudence? What are some of the character traits that you share in life with the role you play in the show?

Prudence is a quarter giant on her mother’s side which gives her tremendous strength and a huge heart. She is the caregiver of the group and is extremely loyal to her friends. I would say Prudence and I both share that we are loyal and determined. We also both never miss the opportunity for a snack.

What’s the message of the show and what life lessons do you hope viewers take away when watching the show?

I hope that people learn to embrace themselves and do the right thing. We focus a lot on what makes everyone unique, is their greatest asset.

What’s your relationship like with the rest of the cast?

We clicked right from the start and worked well together while we all found our way with our characters. It was a blast working with the cast.

What have been some of your favorite experiences in your career so far?

I’ve had so many wonderful experiences and I’m very thankful for all of them. However, Knight Squad has been a highlight of my career and I learned so much from working on it.

What was the best advice that you’ve received about the acting industry and who was it from?

The best advice that I received was from my parents and they told me, “Believe in yourself and work hard.” They tell me that weekly.

What are some things you enjoy doing when you’re not acting or working?

I enjoy being outdoors. When I’m not working, I like to go horseback riding and go to the beach.

Are there any future projects that you are working on?

I have a few things I can’t talk about right now. I’ll keep everyone updated on my social media accounts. You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @dibenedettolexi.

 

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Lexi DiBenedetto Talks “Knight Squad” and More. Image Credits: Amanda Ramon

Director and Producer Esther Turan Talks About Her Inspiration Behind Starting Moviebar Productions and Hollywood’s ‘Ugly’ Problems

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Esther Turan is a force to be reckoned with. She proves this time and again through her roles as a creative producer, director, and the founder of Moviebar Productions. When she’s not directing or producing, you can find her empowering and teaching other females in the industry who are inspired to become filmmakers, directors, or producers. We chatted with Esther about her experience making her directorial debut with BP Underground, the challenges that she faced starting her own film production company, and the ways she is helping to empower women in the industry.

 

Cliché: What inspired you to get involved in the entertainment industry as a director and producer?

Esther Turan: I kind of journeyed into it because my father is a playwright and my aunt is a famous actress. I fell in love with the atmosphere that I found on the set. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be, but I knew this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Being born and raised in Budapest, what was the vibe that you got once you came to the US? How did you manage to adjust to a new culture?

The first time I visited the United States I was 11 years old, since I have family in Chicago. I have always been Americanized in a way and I have always been interested in American culture. As a filmmaker, I think we all have to admit that at some point you start to dream about Hollywood, and as you know, once you make it in Hollywood then you can make it anywhere. So when I was a trainee in film school in between my freshman and sophomore year, I did an American production for a huge NBC drama and I had the chance to meet some big names. I also had the chance to witness how to make movies in America and I just really enjoyed it.

I use to work a lot with Americans before moving to the U.S. so there was nothing new for me. It’s not like I come from a completely different world, and you and I are probably similar age and listen to the same bands. The only thing I needed to do was adjust myself to American standards.

What was the experience like making your directorial debut with BP Underground?

My journey as a filmmaker started when I majored in TV directing, and then I focused on becoming a creative producer and I was very involved in the creative process of every project that I was working on. After some point of being a producer, I just had a burnout and thought instead of checking on other people’s projects that I wanted my voice to be heard with a message, and I should get it out.

What inspired you to establish Moviebar Productions? What challenges did you face in starting your own film production company?

Moviebar Productions is not a new thing as I established Moviebar Productions 14 years ago back in Hungary and it’s still a running company. Back in Hungary most of the producers were middle-aged men and I felt that it would be an interesting twist if a young woman under the age of 25 established a film production company and let’s see how it’s going to continue. My parents always taught me not to be afraid and have always encouraged me to dream. Eventually, I teamed up with the best production manager in town named Viktoria Trepper because I knew her and she gave me the expertise of physical production.

I always needed to find ways for people to take me seriously. When I first started out as a producer in the film production company, I found that creating strategies was challenging since you always have to adjust your strategies towards trends and what your goals are for the company. For instance, we started out producing television commercials, and then from the local market we created strategies for the worldwide market and then we reached a certain success.

How involved do you try and be in the creative process of films as a producer?

It depends on the project because every project is an individual project. It also depends on how I resonate with the specific director, producers or co-producers.

As a supporter of female empowerment and an advocate leader of women, can you describe your overall relationship with some other female filmmakers? In what ways are you helping to empower women in the industry?

I am very proud of the fact that my film production company is led by women, and I am also proud that I found a woman named Anna Koltay who would later become my co-director for the BP Underground series. However, I still feel that it’s a man’s world.

I am trying to surround myself with younger female colleagues who I can teach. Since the establishment of Moviebar Productions, we raised dozens of female filmmakers in the industry who started out as a trainee or as an assistant and then moved up to being a producer or production manager or line producer.

What’s the assumption or misconception that you’ve heard most often as a woman in Hollywood?

It’s not just my gender but it’s also me being from Central-Eastern Europe. In some cases, I did witness that some men from Hollywood and Western Europe think that women are easy to get and sometimes things get disturbing on set. I have learned to deal with it and if you’re pretty straightforward about your reaction then they will stop.

What has been the most memorable moment in your career?

The most memorable moment for me as a director was when we recently won a prestigious award for our documentary series BP Underground called Highlights of Hungary where the most creative causes and projects of our country are selected each year. The recognition of our work after investing so much energy and time was definitely a sweet moment. As a producer, there is no single moment but many moments of collaborating with some of the best filmmakers in the world. We’ve just finished a feature film with composer Nathaniel Mechaly and directors Björn Stein and Mans Marlind. I also had the chance to work with superb cinematographers such as  Hoyte van Hoytema, Anthony Dod Mantle and John Mathieson.

At this point in your life, who was the person who helped guide you to get you to where you are now?

I think it would be my father, Robert Turan, and he is a playwright. He always has a huge interest in my taste and love for art, theater, and movies since I was a child.

What is your number one goal in 2019?

I’d love to continue growing our presence in Hollywood and collaborate with more great filmmakers. My dream would be to sell some of my ideas to the biggest T.V. platforms and creatively being involved in television.

 

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Director and Producer Esther Turan Talks About Her Inspiration Behind Starting Moviebar Productions and Hollywood’s ‘Ugly’ Problems. Image Credits: Adam Nagy and Bernadett Fejer

Kai Wener Breaks Down His Character on “The Orville” and More

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With his first major role on FOX’s The Orville, ten-year-old Kai Wener is realizing his dream of becoming an actor. For Wener, working on the Seth MacFarlane created show, which is wrapping up its second season, has been both a lot of fun as well as a great place to learn the craft. When he’s not busy acting or working, you can find him playing video games online with his family and friends. We chatted with Kai about his character, Ty Finn, the feeling that he got being nominated for a Young Artist Award and his upcoming projects.

 

Cliché: How did you discover your passion for acting?

Kai Wener: I realized that I wanted to pursue acting as my career path when I was young. I would watch great cartoons on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel and then I would copy the characters from the shows. Besides doing that, I would also mimic the commercials that came on during the shows. Eventually, I realized that acting allowed me to have cool experiences on different sets while meeting some awesome people. I am having so much fun being an actor, it’s a dream come true for any kid.

What’s the experience been like working on The Orville?

The experience working on The Orville has been so much fun and it’s also been a learning experience. I get to work every day with the best cast like Penny Johnson Jerald who plays my mother and Mark Jackson who plays an artificial life form named Isaac. Another great actor who I get to work with is BJ Tanner who plays my brother. Some of the other great actors around me who are apart of the cast are Adrianne Palicki, Scott Grimes, J. Lee, Peter Macon, and Jessica Szohr. Not to mention that I get to learn about things that happen behind the camera from the show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane as well as from director Jon Cassar.

Can you describe your character, Ty Finn? Do you relate to him at all?

Ty Finn is the youngest son of Dr. Claire Finn on The Orville spaceship. He has one older brother and looks up to an artificial life form who is kind of like a robot, but better, named Isaac. Ty has already been through some pretty neat adventures for his age but is still very much a regular kid. He loves his mom and at the same time, will have fun watching his older sibling get in trouble, so yes, I definitely can relate to him.

Why should people watch The Orville?

The main reason people should watch the show is that each episode is like a mini-movie and there isn’t much of that on television at the moment. Each episode has super cool special effects and alien costumes that are realistic and out of this world. The show’s creator Seth MacFarlane makes sure to have a huge orchestra playing the music throughout the scenes. It’s like getting to watch something like Stars Wars or any other great sci-fi movie for free each week.

How did it feel to be nominated for a Young Artist Award?

After season one of The Orville aired, I started to see how many kids and teens loved watching the show and were fans which made me proud. I was able to represent the younger audience the show has by being nominated for an award that is for kids.

What was the best advice about acting that you’ve received and who was it from?

I’ll give you the same advice that my dad tells me. He told me, “As a young man growing up, to never compromise my values for an opportunity. Be patient, success will come.”

What are some types of roles or genres that you’d like to try in the future?

I’ve been working hard on reaching my goal to work on a feature film but I would also love to do some voice over work for a cartoon. I also hope that I will be able to play a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe…fingers crossed for Miles Morales!

What are some things you enjoy doing when you’re not acting or working?

When I’m not acting or working, I love to play video games. The video game that is my favorite to play right now is Fortnite because it’s a source for me to hang out online with my friends and cousins when I’m not home. I also love to hang out with my parents and older sister at “The “Happiest Place On Earth,” which is Disneyland.

Are there any future projects that you are working on?

I just finished doing a national commercial for McDonald’s that should be airing soon. I’ve also had some great opportunities to read for some awesome television pilots and films. Hopefully, you’ll see me on one of those really soon. Of course, my fingers are crossed for a season 3 of The Orville so everyone can see Ty Finn grow up and go on more space adventures. 

 

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Kai Wener Breaks Down His Character on “The Orville” and More. Image Credits: Birdie Thompson

Actress and Producer Chantelle Albers Discusses Her Film The 6th Friend and Her Bucket List

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For actress Chantelle Albers, she doesn’t wait for opportunities to come knocking at her door but instead, she chases her own destiny. She has a number of shorts and films to her credit, although the film that she holds closest to her heart is The 6th Friend. We chatted with the stunning actress about her character, Melissa White, the misconception that she hears most often as an actress in Hollywood, and the best advice that she’s received about the acting industry.

 

Cliché: What was the transition like to film and television after getting your BFA in Theatre Performance? How do you feel acting has changed your life?

Chantelle Albers: The transition to film is another element of the artwork in acting. It’s a different style but with the same truth and meaning. Acting on stage is filling a bigger space and a bigger physical audience. Acting in film is filling a more condensed space. The intention, truth, meaning, and intensity is the same, but with a different style and a different space to fill.

Acting has changed my life by giving me a solid hold on who I am and my awareness of details. When you’re acting you need to have a solid hold on your own self-awareness, and that self-awareness has grown and matured me into the person I am today. Acting has made me aware of my own actions and instilled in me a sense of childlike wonder. I still feel like a kid in many ways because as actors we need to tap into that part of ourselves that’s uninhibited like a child.

Not only are you staring in your next film, The 6th Friend, but you are also producing it. What attracted you to this project? What was the experience like working on this film?

What attracted me to the film was meeting my friend, Jamie Bernadette. We were filming another movie together and we really hit it off on set. When she said that she had a script she wanted to make and I had the means to finance a film, I thought we would make a good team. After I read it, I loved how it was female-driven, and featured strong female characters. The role of Melissa always spoke to me because she does a 180 in her character, all the while remaining the same personality type throughout. I thought Melissa had a lot of humor in her character and I wanted to play that up, especially in the shocking ending.

Producing this film from the ground up was incredibly educating. As you said, I have a BFA in Theatre Performance, so making a movie is something entirely different. I learned so many aspects of filmmaking on the business end, the technical side, and the creative side. You learn what you are really capable of doing and what can be done when you have the determination and will power to not give up. Having a solid team and always being grateful to everyone is very important in getting the project done right. I’m ready to produce another movie from the ground up and it’s something I want to continue doing in my career.

Can you describe your character, Melissa White? Do you relate to her at all?

Yes, I do. Melissa is the life of the party who constantly needs reassurance, adding a delicate quality to her. She’s a quirky, fiery, redhead with something to say and something to do. She is the diva of the group with a big personality, but there is something tender and genuine about her. Even at the shocking ending, you realize that she never really lied. Instead, you realize this was her the whole time, we just didn’t see it. I think when you are playing a character you always have to find the personal parallels between yourself and the character. As actors, we have to relate to the character and be on their side. It’s kind of like looking at things from multiple angles and having a different interpretation of reality. Melissa certainly has a different perception of reality than the rest of the characters, so playing her made me see the world of the film from her side of the story.

What’s the message of the film and what do you hope viewers take away when watching the film?

What we wanted to create with this film is a sense of strong and powerful women. The last couple of years in Hollywood have really opened up and listened to a lot of issues that have gone on in the industry with women. We wanted to create a female-driven film where it isn’t sex and gore that we are selling. Instead, we wanted it to be about the chase, the strong relationships between these women, and show that women can save themselves and be resourceful. They weren’t waiting for a man or anyone to save them. They bonded together and relied on each other to save themselves.

Can you describe the emotions and feelings knowing that this film won several awards while on the festival circuit? What was your initial reaction once you heard that the film won these awards?

It was sort of surreal when you hear your name being called and the name of your film is called. It’s a very rewarding, thankful, and gracious feeling. We had some nights where my team and I were all smiling from ear to ear at the festivals due to the audience reaction to the ending and hearing your film being called is such a rush of thankful joy.

What’s the assumption or misconception that you’ve heard most often as an actress in Hollywood?

The assumption or misconception that I’ve heard most often as an actress in Hollywood is that actors lie. I’ve heard a lot of people say that you can’t trust an actor because you can’t ever tell if they are lying or not. But I think it’s the opposite. To me, acting isn’t just having a good poker face but it’s being truthful at the moment and showing real emotion which is not lying at all. It’s putting yourself mentally in the situation of your character and telling the truth. If you’re going to lie and have a good poker face, the lie becomes the reality. I think good actors are very truthful and genuine because good acting requires truth and genuinity.

Are there any genres that you’d like to act it in that you haven’t yet?

Yes, I would love to do western. I’m a very experienced horseback rider and I would love to do a scene where I am galloping on a horse. I grew up on a ranch and so I have also herded cattle. I would love to do an epic film like Lonesome Dove where there is adventure, love, pain, loss, and a solid heartfelt story to tell with little action.

What was the best advice about the acting industry that you’ve received and who was it from?

I don’t remember who told me this, but I heard it from multiple sources many years ago, and that is to create your own work. That seems to be where the industry is headed. It’s really great that so many people have access to quality equipment these days. Creating your own projects and collaborating on others is a lot more involved than just acting. As a creative person, I like being involved and collaborating on all aspects of art. It’s part of my love for creating a film that means something to me and I can take full pride in it. When you’re only acting in something and don’t have a creative say, that project might not represent who you are or what you’re capable of. It’s truly rewarding to collaborate and be involved in producing projects that you act in.

Are there any future projects that you are working on or will be working on?

I have several films premiering on the festival circuit and one that I am really proud of called The Desert. It was produced by the creators of NBC’s Grimm, Lynn, and Jim Kouf, directed and written by Ben Bigelow, and produced and written by Gabe Rivin. It premiered in Sweden at the Lund Film Festival and played in London in January 2019. It’s a really cool stylized sci-fi film that examines feminist heroism and was inspired by melodramas of the 1950s. I’m really excited for it to be officially released.

I’m also working on another stylized film called Waiting. I play a “mother”, and all the other characters are stock characters. The baby that I have in my carriage is never revealed because this movie is oozing with symbolism and interpretations. It kind of reminds me of Darren Aronofsky’s film Mother with Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. I fell in love with that film because of all the biblical symbols. I thought it was so clever and creative and when I read this script I was eager to do it.

 

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Actress and Producer Chantelle Albers Discusses Her Film The 6th Friend and Her Bucket ListImage Credits: David Villada and Dawit Andera

Pop-Alternative Artist Novul Talks Her Latest Single “Boys Like You” and Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community

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If there’s one singer you should keep a keen eye out for this year, that would be Canadian-born artist Novul. The sassy pop star peaked at #16 on the Billboard Dance Charts with her debut single “Spark”, and after taking a short break from music, she’s ready to embark on a new chapter in her career. You can listen to her latest single “Boys Like You” on Spotify and YouTube. We chatted with Novul about her relationship with producer Poet Name Life, the creative process working on “Boys Like You” and the greatest highlight of her career. 

 

Cliché: How did you first get involved with music? When did you know you wanted to be a singer?

Novul: I have always known I wanted to sing but there is a funny story to it. When I was 7-years-old I was at my brother’s hockey game and I was asked to sing the national anthem. I was blown away. My mom didn’t know that I could sing but I went ahead and sung for the crowd and just loved everyone’s responses. Then I had the first live television performance that I auditioned for called Telemiracle at age 10 and Gloria Loring was the host. After that, I began taking vocal lessons and decided that I wanted to become a professional singer.

Being a Canadian-born artist and then moving to Los Angeles after graduating from high school, how did you adjust to a new culture?

My mom is American so I have dual citizenship. I started flying to Los Angeles with my parents all throughout high school for training so I adapted quickly into a new culture. I come from a small town in Canada and people would often tell me that I didn’t look like I belonged here. I knew that I never wanted to live in a small town and wanted something bigger.

Can you describe your relationship with producer Poet Name Life? How do you feel he prepared you to be the singer that you are today?

I was in the studio with Poet Name Life and he really liked me. We gravitated towards each other and we really understood each other. He was the one who gave me my artist name Novul. He helped me get out of my comfort zone and pushed me to the next level. We have an amazing relationship and I talk to him all the time.

He has always told me to be myself and to never try to be like someone else. I have learned to not be afraid to say what I want because that is how I connect with my fans by being honest and telling them what I am going through in life.

What was the creative process like working on “Boys Like You”? How did this song reflect your own personal experience?

I had a session and I was going in to start a new song. I started to write a bunch of melodies and then I took it to the studio and presented it to all my writers and producers and everyone really liked it. It actually happened in 2 hours.

Everything I write is from my personal experience. I think people don’t see that side of me and don’t know other things so that’s why I want to be honest in my relationship with my fans.

What’s the message of the song and what do you hope listeners take away when listening to the lyrics of the song?

I think the message is to have a recognition of your part in a relationship and about moving on from a relationship.

What has been the greatest highlight of your career so far?

One of my favorite greatest highlights in my career was when my single charted #16 on the Billboard Dance Charts. That was an amazing feeling. Another major highlight for me was when I performed for Pride events in New York, L.A., and Las Vegas and seeing thousands of people having a lot of energy because it allowed me to connect with them.

What was the best advice that you’ve received about the music industry and who was it from?

The best advice that I received was from DJ Poet and Will. They told me, “Do what you want to do because if you keep doing what you are doing then it’s only a matter of time.”

Over the years, you’ve been a huge supporter of LGBTQ+ equality and have performed at Pride events in New York City, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Why was it important for you to get involved with this?

It was important for me to get involved with this organization because I have such a loving big heart. I love to be involved with the LGBTQ+ people because it makes me feel so good and life is all about love and people should not judge one another on who should be with who.

What is your number one goal in 2019?

My number one goal in 2019 is to make more music and I would like to get on tour. I would also like to spread my music to more parts of the world and connect with people from those parts of the world.

 

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Pop-Alternative Artist Novul Talks Her Latest Single “Boys Like You” and Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community. Image Credits: Novul

Singer-Songwriter Rebecca Crews Steps into Spotlight with New Single “Destiny”

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Being the wife of a celebrity may seem enchanting and exciting, but it can also lead to judgments and people jumping to conclusions when you want to break out with your own career. So that’s why Rebecca Crews, wife of megastar Terry Crews, decided to pursue her music career under an alias, Regina Madre. But now, she’s stopped hiding her true identity and with that, released her heartfelt ballad, “Destiny”, which is a powerful story about choices. We chatted with singer-songwriter Rebecca Crews about her experience performing as Regina Madre, the emotions and feelings that she got after completing her new single “Destiny” and her support for health-centered causes.

 

Cliché: What attracted you or inspired you to want to want to become a singer?

Rebecca Crews: I started singing when I was 8 years old in my church choir. I started playing the piano when I was 9. I started writing my own music when I was 10. Then I started my own choir when I was 13. Later on, as my children got older, I began to feel the creative flame burning again in my heart about performing. My last two songs have been played on the radio.

How much work and motivation did it take you to start working towards that goal?

It was a lot. It took me a period of time to define the genre that I wanted to go down. My primary gift is as a songwriter. As a songwriter and musician, you love all types of music. I have written country songs, gospel, contemporary Christian music, pop, R&B, and jazz. I love artists like Carole King, Carly Simon, Billy Joel, and Stevie Wonder.

Can you describe the emotions and feelings that you got after completing your single “Destiny”?

The funny thing is that I wrote the song 10 years ago. I always say the songs are like fine wine and they get better with age. The emotions around the song were very powerful. When I am writing songs, it’s often with tears and with snot because I am pouring out my heart from something that I live through. In this case with “Destiny”, it was a real heartbreaking decision to put myself on the back burner to raise a daughter that I didn’t see coming. So that’s why I wrote this song.

What’s the message of the song and what do you hope listeners take away when listening to the lyrics of the song?

The message of the song is that your failures aren’t final and that everything can be achieved if you just see yourself as worthy, even though you may have done some things that you didn’t think were worthy.

How does the song reflect your own personal experience?

To me, it was a song about failure because as much as I love my family, I started my family before I planned to. My passion for family and all that encompasses brought so much wholeness to my life.

What was the experience like performing as Regina Madre? Why was being anonymous important for you?

I have done some performing as Rebecca. I didn’t do a whole lot of gigging as Regina because I was trying to hide my identity. I didn’t want to be judged based on the merit of who I was married to. However, I wanted to be judged on, “Do you like the song or do you not like the song?” I felt it was the best way to get support. I am very thankful because people really resonated with my music.

It was important to me because I just wanted to test the market without people knowing what I did for a living.

What made you decide that now was the right moment to start using your real identity in your music career?

I have challenged that notion a couple of times. The reason I came forward was that I wanted to do bigger promotions and press included. We found that hard to do without revealing myself. I looked at all the ways that I could disguise myself and it didn’t feel authentic. I thought I would probably crack up and give myself away.

At this point in your life, who was the person who helped guide you to get you to where you are now?

My amazing husband, Terry Crews. He was the one who taught me to not give up. He is relentless. He also encourages and motivates people around him. I didn’t know what was possible until I watched him bulldoze his face into Hollywood. He just wouldn’t quit. He is a megastar to me.

Over the years, you’ve been a huge supporter of health-centered causes. Can you describe your relationship with American Heart Association, Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, and Padres Contra el Cancer?

American Heart Association was very near and dear to us because my mom is a survivor of a heart attack and stroke. My mother was hospitalized in 2013 and she had a 98 percent blockage in her carotid artery and a 99 percent blockage going into her heart. She is a testament to the early warning notifications. As for the Padres organization, we were grandfathered in through Eva Longoria’s charitable works. What was important about Padres was that they were targeting a community that was underserved and undervalued.

Are there any future projects that you are working on or will be working on?

We are going to be doing some new recording so there will be new music in the new year. I hope to be releasing new singles in January and February. There are also some fun television things that I will be doing. My husband and I did an episode of The Bachelor which will air in January where we are advising the bachelor and his contestants on how to pick a strong woman. We will be doing Family Feud. We are also working on a book.

Lastly, we still believe in our brand as a family aside from the acting and the music. We are passionate about families and couples making it. We would like to see the divorces go down in this country because people don’t know how to stay and work through certain things.

 

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Singer-Songwriter Rebecca Crews Steps into Spotlight with New Single “Destiny”. Image Credits: Piper Ferguson

‘Days of Our Lives’ Star Jen Lilley Discusses Her Debut Single “King of Hearts” and More

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Jen Lilley is more than just an actress and musician. As a foster mom, she is a huge advocate of children’s rights and supports charities that focus on protecting children against physical and sexual abuse as well as human trafficking. Her debut single, “King of Hearts”, was released in October, but is only the beginning, as she is set to release an album in February. We chatted with the actress and singer Jen Lilley about the creative process working on “King of Hearts,” the message of the song and her support for child abuse and treatment organizations.

Cliché: What were some of the signs in your life that proved you were destined to become an actress and singer?

Jen Lilley: When I was younger my dad had retired as a judge and he was always extremely animated. I just remember being at dinner for the conversations at the dinner table and one day he acted out all of the parts that happened in the courtroom. My family is very animated and they always loved storytelling. I also love storytelling. One of the signs in my life was when I was 7 or 8 years old I would get all my stuffed animals and I would put on these horrible plays that I wrote and I would force my parents to come down to the basement and watch this play. I think storytelling is obviously a huge part of singing and songwriting. Another sign in my life was when I was 4 years old my parents asked me what I wanted to be when I was older. They told me that you can be anything you want to be when you grow up. I said, “Anything?” They replied, “Oh yes, you can be anything.” I remember pausing and then saying, “I am going to be a bird.” They said, “No, you can’t be a bird.”

The main signs in my life that proved I was destined to become an actress and singer were my family’s history of storytelling and the horrible plays that I put on and the fact that I wanted to be a bird so that I can sing all day when I was 4.

What was the creative process like when working on “King of Hearts”? Can you describe the emotions and feelings that you got after completing your debut single?

I started working with Adrian Gurvitz in February 2016 and the whole process came about when we would sit around his grand piano while drinking tea in the living room and he would play a little bit from the piano. One day around the piano Adrian and I were playing music stuff and he said, “You know who you remind me of?” I was like, “No!” He replied, “You remind me of Dusty Springfield.” I was like, “Oh wow, that’s amazing.” Then we started taking a 60’s approach and then with “King of Hearts,” it just came in line with being in a song that is uplifting and fun but is also about empowerment and relationship.

We finished the entire album. We didn’t do the single first. After we finished the entire album, we have been strategically planning single releases for the debut album. It launches in February.

I felt so overwhelmed. Even though I am a singer and a songwriter on all of the songs, it took me through a journey and it was such a unique experience when listening to the song for the first time.

What’s the message of the song and what do you hope listeners take away when listening to the lyrics of the song? How does the song reflect your own personal experience?

I am pro boy and I am pro girl. The song is about a girl who has been played by a guy who says that he is going to be with her forever and that you’re the one. Then she finds out that he has been basically playing her and collecting other girls numbers. She comes to a point in her life where she realizes that she has worth and value and that she is better off alone than a relationship that is half middle. The message that I want my fans to take away is that each and every one of them is born on purpose and with a purpose and everyone deserves to be in a relationship where they feel valued. If they are not then they better off being alone because they’re amazing.

Everyone has been played by someone. Luckily, mine wasn’t too late in life. But I was definitely played by a guy in college so it reflects that story and I also think success is one of the best forms of revenge.

Can you describe your relationship with producer Adrian Gurvitz?

I love Adrian. He is amazing and he is a legendary rock star and he makes sure that everyone is aware that he is a legend. I am so delighted that I got to work with him. He is really funny and has a dry sense of humor. He was touring by the time he was 14 years old and he worked with Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston. It has been amazing working with him. When I started working with him, he would tell me that I am so embryonic because I had this amazing voice. The whole two-year journey was him teaching me not only the art of singing but also storytelling.

In 2001, you received the National Educators Award for your work in Guatemala performing in concerts for underprivileged Guatemalan youth. How much did winning that award mean to you? What was your initial reaction once you received that award?

Winning that award was so surprising to me. We weren’t expecting that at all. It meant a lot to me. Once I received that award, it was mind-blowing to me and it felt so underserved.

My initial reaction once I received the award was shock, humbled and honored. We didn’t even know that award existed.

You are very active in charities and you are a celebrity ambassador for the child abuse and treatment organization like Childhelp, ECPAT, and The Dave Thomas Foundation. Can you describe your overall relationship with these organizations? Why was it important for you to take a stand on helping out children who have been abused?

With Childhelp, I am one of the main ambassadors but I am also a mentor for the program like Big Brothers Big Sisters. The program is called Special Friends. I am also in the process of adopting my 2 ½ year old who I have had since he was four months old. I am also fostering his little brother who is eight months old. 100 percent of my share profits from my albums and singles will go to helping children and children’s foster care.

It was important for me to take a stand on helping out children who have been abused because as cliché as this sounds, children are our future. I was blessed with an overall amazing childhood and I think that all children deserve their innocence and so many children in this country and around the world have been robbed of their innocence at such a young age. I find that to be such a travesty.

What was the best advice about the music industry that you’ve received and who was it from?

It was from Adrian Gurvitz. He told me that the best singers are not the ones who can hit notes, they are the ones who can tell a story and make the audience experience the story as they are listening to it. He would often use Bob Dylan as an example. Bob Dylan was definitely not the best singer who ever lived but he could definitely tell a story.

At this point in your life, who was the person who helped guide you to get you to where you are now?

A lot of people. But I would also say my faith in general and my ambitions to leave the world a better place than I found it has really helped guide all of my decisions.

What’s next for you?

My album is coming out in February. With that, I suspect quite a bit will come with that. Hopefully, there will be a lot of awards shows next year and then I am also continuing my work with the Hallmark channel. I am hoping to continue with the acting, singing and I am also hoping to executive produce more in 2019.

 

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‘Days of Our Lives’ Star Jen Lilley Discusses Her Debut Single “King of Hearts” and More. Image Credits: Brandon Kaipo

“The Romanoffs” Actress Annet Mahendru Draws On Her Relationship To Her Character and More

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With Annet Mahendru, there is so much more than meets the eye. The witty actress speaks six different languages, studied competitive martial arts and does comic improv. She’s best known for her role on The Americans. Now, the multifaceted actress can be seen in her new hit show The Romanoffs on Amazon Prime. We chatted with Annet Mahendru about her character, Elena, the message of the show and her advice to people who are looking to pursue acting.

Cliché: What attracted you or inspired you to want to consider acting as your career path?

Annet Mahendru: When I was 11 years old I went to visit a film set and I couldn’t believe what they did to be able to create a real experience. I thought it was magic. I still do!

How do you feel studying in acting school helped prepare you for a successful career in Hollywood?

School like anything else is an experience to help us be comfortable with ourselves so we can better understand the world we live in. Everything I ever studied expanded my ability to adapt to my circumstances and also taught me how I can mold them to fit in. This field of work is completely unpredictable, so I rely on my whole life experience to make sense of it constantly.

How would you say the creative process working on The Romanoffs was different from previous shows you have appeared on?

This episode was a lot like making a film, so that was quite different than being on other shows. Matthew Weiner approaches his stories quite thoroughly: from his choices of music to location, everything becomes a character in them. There is really no room for a missing moment, so our creative time together was very saturated.

Can you describe your character, Elena Evanovich? Do you relate to her at all?

Elena is that kind of woman who leaves people guessing her game. I’m certain she’s been through many of life’s trials and has come out the other end pretty darn steady. She hustles any way she can to make sure kids get a chance at a comfortable home life with parents who are able to take care of them. She knows how much that means first-hand and will do anything in her power to provide that for others. Elena was also loosely based on a real person who helped the writers of this episode, Maria and Andre Jacquemetton, adopt their daughter nearly 20 years ago in Vladivostok. So I have much respect for this character. She has definitely inspired my own transition into motherhood with her blunt confidence. Onset Elena was enabling the couple in their quest of becoming a family and at home, she was championing my husband and I.

What was your relationship like on set working with the cast members? What were some of the challenges and obstacles that you were faced with on set and how did you manage to overcome them?

Jay R. Ferguson and Kathryn Hahn were extremely fun to play alongside with and also gave me some rocking working-parent advice. It was my first time so far away from home as a new mother.

We were all pretty jetlagged and that first week was tough. The baby wasn’t sleeping and I missed him terribly. I’d cry going to work. So it was nice having a couple veteran parents on set who were like, “Yep we’ve been there and we survived.”

What’s the message of the show and what do you hope viewers take away when watching the show?

It’s all about the love we have for one another at the end. The distance we are willing to travel to understand each other, and what actually happens when we get there.

Why should people watch The Romanoffs if they haven’t already?

It’s quite a beautiful show. Especially now with the holidays, it’s a perfect time to watch something so unconventionally family-oriented.

What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?

The most memorable moment in my career so far was when I starred on The Americans. I thought I was so fearless before playing Nina. Then I really dove inside myself to discover all these inhibitions, and now I feel fearless again, until the next role.

What advice would you give people who are looking to pursue acting?

The advice that I would give people who are looking to pursue acting is to know that it’s going to affect you. That it will strip you in every way. But that’s what you are after.

Which actors and actresses are you most inspired by? And why?

One of the actresses that I am most inspired by is Deepika Padukone. Her role in Chennai Express made me fall in love with how quirky she is. It was a hilarious movie. I am also inspired by Shah Rukh Khan who also stars in Chennai Express. Love how crazed he always appears by life in his work! Rachel Weisz is also a familiar soul. I admire her story choices.

When looking back on your career who was the person who helped guide you to get you to where you are now?

My husband, Louie Gibson, who is a writer and director. He has been there from scratch. We met on his thesis film and then we got to experience each other’s career breaks, too. He’s been a true partner in all of it.

What are some things you enjoy doing when you’re not acting?

I love to rollerblade. It feels so silly and freeing. I don’t get to do it that often but when I do, I feel unstoppable.

Are there any future projects that you are working on or will be working on?

Depending on when this article comes out, I may be able to tell you, or not.

 

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“The Romanoffs” Actress Annet Mahendru Draws On Her Relationship To Her Character and More. Featured Image Credits: Ginny Tucker

Australian Rock Duo The Hots Dishes On Their Debut Single “Before You” As They Aim To Take Their Music To The Next Level

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Australian rockers The Hots are an electrifying combination, bringing together front-woman Foxie Kelly’s blazing stage presence and guitarist Ronnie Simmons’ aggressive playing. Recently, the duo released their debut single “Before You” which is the spark ready to ignite the fire of female fronted rock heading into 2019. We chatted with The Hots on “Before You,” the challenges and obstacles that they faced in their career and how they managed to overcome them, and their advice to others looking to pursue the same path that they took in becoming rock stars.

Cliché: What initially sparked your interest in wanting to write music together? How do you keep things fresh and try to stay unique as artists?

The Hots: It happened really organically. We’ve known each other a long time, we reconnected a couple of years ago after going our separate ways and started writing songs together, fast forward and now we are married. Our relationship and our working relationship happened all at once. Life is like that for us, there is never a dull moment. Things are always moving so quickly, we try to be open and ready for things when they happen. I think it comes from knowing who you are, what you want, being open to the world and embracing change.

Being Australian-born artists and then moving to Los Angeles, how did you manage to adjust to a new culture? What were some challenges and obstacles that you’ve faced and how did you manage to overcome them?

It’s interesting because Los Angeles and Sydney are very similar cities, however, we are definitely separated by a common language at times, the slang and humor can get lost in translation. 

I think the main challenge that we (and other rock artists) face universally is people telling you that rock is dead and that you should be following the trends. That is one of the hardest things because obviously, we want to do well and we want to have a career, but we also don’t want to compromise our artistic integrity. We are in a genre that people are saying there is not really a market for. However, we disagree. We are being true to ourselves and sticking with what we want to do, we are diligent and we just push forward. I think having each other and knowing who we as artists help. 

How did you choose your name The Hots?

As well as the fact that Foxie has red hair and both of us have fiery personalities, it comes from having ‘the hots’ for each other.

How do you mentally prepare yourself before stepping on stage? What are some skills that you feel you still need to improve on?

By blocking everything out, it’s really hard sometimes because you can have so many people wanting to talk to you. I try to find the place in my head where I can block all of the noise out. I always remind myself why I started doing this in the first place. I have heard stories about other artists getting stage fright. However, I am quite the opposite. I can’t wait to get onto the stage. It’s also a therapeutic way of me letting out my anger and aggression and I just focus all of my energy on getting up and performing for the people in front of me. I think enhancing that focus can always be improved on. 

Can you describe your relationship with your record producer Mark Opitz?

Working with Mark Opitz was a dream come true. We really did things the old school way with everyone tracking live in the same room at once with no click track, onto an analog Neve console – just like he did with AC/DC on Powerage, The Divinyls with Desperate and all the other classic albums we adore. Mark really knew how to get a good performance out of us, capture a vibe and make us feel comfortable. We had a blast all sweating it out with vintage Marshall amps on 10 until our ears were ringing, fingers were bleeding and throats were sore. To have our vision not only nurtured but respected by someone we look up to so much is such a humbling feeling. To hear Mark compare Foxie’s vocals and attitude to Chrissy Amphlett, the late and great frontwoman of the Divinyls – we were speechless, as she is such an inspiration to both of us. We are very grateful and would love to work with him again in the future. 

Recently, you released your debut single “Before You” with an accompanying music video, how much work and preparation did it take you to record this song?

We had been preparing for well over a year when we went into the recording studio. We had written nearly two albums worth of material, a lot of which was via correspondence while Ronnie was touring the world with Richie Ramone. When it came time to record the EP with Mark Opitz in early 2018 we chose what we felt were the three strongest songs that represented who we were, and accompanied it with the Rose Tattoo cover “Nice Boys” as an homage. 

What’s the message of the song and what do you hope listeners take away when listening to the lyrics of the song?

That we’re grateful to have each other and that we are aware that what we have is very unique and special. We’re in an industry where there are so many destroyed relationships, and just like in life where the odds are usually stacked against you, don’t give up hope. If there’s something worth fighting for, stand your ground and fight for it. 

Over the years, you have toured with some rock royalties like Rose Tattoo, The Screaming Jets, and Richie Ramone. What were some things you learned from those experiences and what did those experiences teach you about your own music?

They taught me more than anything that legacy is the most important thing. Some of these artists that have been around since the ’70s and the Ramones, Rose Tattoo, and The Screaming Jets are legends. What I learned from them is that if you are going to get up on stage every night and play the same songs, you want to mean it and love what you do. And when you’re gone, that is what you’re going to be remembered by. That was what was instilled in me from them and I am very grateful for that. 

What was the best advice about the music industry that you’ve received and who was it from?

It was from the late great Mick Cocks who was the rhythm guitarist for Rose Tattoo. He said, “If you want a friend in this business, buy a dog.” 

What’s your advice to others looking to pursue the same path that you took in becoming rock stars?

My advice to others is to never be ashamed to dream. Don’t quit and don’t lose track of who you are. Recognize why you are doing it in the first place, you really have to want it. Understand that it takes a lot of work and it is a 24/7 job. You’ve got to put everything that you have into it and it doesn’t happen overnight. You will fail more than you will succeed, you will be put down for trying, but if it’s what you really want then it will all be worth it – the people that mind don’t matter and the people that matter won’t mind, it’s your life, not theirs – so get out there and live it!

What’s next for you?

We are working on another music video for ‘Please Me’, a lyric video for ‘Shame the Devil’ and are playing our first show of 2019 for Soundcheck Live, at Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood on January 30th. 

 

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Australian Rock Duo The Hots Dishes On Their Debut Single “Before You” As They Aim To Take Their Music To The Next Level. Image Credits: Tony Mott 

Lisa Durupt Spreads Holiday Cheer in New Christmas Movies and Opens Up About Her Support For Health Foundations

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This holiday season has sure been an exciting one for Lisa Durupt. First, she starred in Hallmark’s Reunited at Christmas, which came out back in November. Now, she can be seen starring in Lifetime’s Christmas Lost and Found. But she won’t be slowing down once the New Year hits, as 2019 will bring even more starring roles for her. When she’s not busy acting or working, you can find her playing sports, hiking, or skiing. We chatted with Lisa Durupt about her character, Gloria, the experience working on Christmas Lost and Found and her upcoming film projects.

   

Cliché: What inspired you to get involved in acting?

Lisa Durupt: At 19 years old I suffered a sports injury which required me to get surgery. After that, I ended up taking a theatre course on a whim at the University of Winnipeg. The first thing that I had to do was review a musical. I saw Chorus Line for the first time and fell in love with Val singing “Dance Ten, Looks Three.”

Your fans are in for a little extra treat this holiday season as you have two big films coming out before Christmas. You will be seen in Reunited at Christmas and Christmas Lost and Found. What was the experience like when working on these two films?

Reunited at Christmas teamed me back up with my very close friend Nikki DeLoach and Director Steven Monroe. Nikki and I had played sisters before so it was easy to work with her every day. We all got along so well. On Christmas Lost and Found, I got to work with Director Michael Scott for a third time so it was like going to camp with one of your favorite counselors. He is so easy to be around and just a kind soul. Tiya Sircar and Diane Ladd were so welcoming and funny.

What would you say is the central theme in both films?

Both shows are quite different, but the common theme is the idea that, at some point, we all need to stop and think about what is truly important to us. What do we want in life and who do we want to spend our time with.

What were some challenges and obstacles that you were faced with while working on Christmas Lost and Found and how did you manage to overcome them?

The biggest challenge was accepting that, after an overnight shoot in a beautiful department store, I was no longer the CEO of that company when we wrapped at 7 a.m. Besides that, it was trying not to laugh at Tiya as she was dressed in wool in almost every scene. Her exact words were “I am a Texan who lives in L.A. and does not do winter! Help!”

Can you describe your character, Gloria? Do you relate to her at all?

Gloria is a no-nonsense businesswoman with a heart of gold. She loves her family’s business but knows it needs an update. I related to her in many ways. I believe in standing your ground for your business or what you want out of life, but you need to do it with grace and compassion. Like Gloria, I think you earn respect, you cannot command it.

How did you manage your time while working on two films?

I was fortunate that they shot back to back so the shooting dates did not conflict. However, I did need to sneak in a couple of quick trips back home, throughout the two shows. I had to attend a wedding of some dear friends, there was no way I could miss it! I wrapped at 7 a.m. on a Saturday, was on a plane by 9:45 a.m. and changed in the car on route to the wedding at 3:20 p.m. I made it just in time and flew home 24 hours later. A week later I was able to fly back home for three days of family lake time before cutting it short to come back and start the next show. You just learn to make it work. You sleep when you can but missing out on really important friends and family time is not an option.

There is also more exciting news as you will be seen in Benchwarmers 2 which is slated for release on February 5th, 2019. What was racing through your mind once you heard you got a role in the movie? Who was the first person you told?

Honestly, I panicked because it had been years since I saw the original. I knew I had to track it down and, of all places, I found it at the public library. Without movie stores anymore, it can be tough to find films that are not on a streaming service. My next thought was to call my hubby and tell him I was playing a pregnant woman, again. I love playing pregnant! This was my seventh time. He knows how much I love it so he got a good laugh out of it.

Are there any genres you’d like to try to act in that you haven’t yet?

100 percent an onscreen musical!

What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?

I have been pretty lucky but I think the day I landed one of my first jobs as a dancer. Shall We Dance, of all things. I was so green and had only been dancing a couple years, so I had no expectations. I went to the open call with a friend and just had fun all day. Six hours later, I was in the top 20 of all the dancers in the city that came out. I got to meet J-Lo, Stanley Tucci, Richard Gere, and Susan Sarandon. It was a “pinch me” kind of moment.

What advice would you give people who are looking to pursue acting?

Take a business class! Being creative is so rewarding but you need to understand the business side of it. Be smart about playing the long game, don’t do it if you just want attention. It will eventually wear you down.

You are actively involved with “Hockey Helps the Homeless” and other causes like Multiple Sclerosis? Can you describe your relationship with these organizations and why you felt it was important to support these causes?

Hockey Helps the Homeless is a brilliant event that puts upwards of half a million dollars of support and assistance right back into the community in every city in which it is held. It is a one-day hockey tournament held throughout the country with NHL alumni. It raises not only money but the spirits of the homeless community, which is sadly growing daily. The cost of housing, unfortunate circumstances, and drugs can land even the most unlikely people on streets in a flash. I see it in my city every day so I was so happy to come across the event and quickly agreed to take part. As for multiple sclerosis, I was diagnosed at 16 years old and fortunately, have had very few complications. I think it is important to give back and lend my support to others that are going through tough times with the disease. Every case is different but if I can help even one person see the positive side to it, it is worth it.

What are some things you enjoy doing when you’re not acting?

I enjoy skiing, running, hiking, and playing hockey. I even took up curling and golf a few years back. I love to paint and draw. There is something really calming about it, it completely centers me. Last but not least, I adore music. I have a little ukulele that I tinker on and I sing around the house all the time.

Are there any future projects that you are working on or will be working on?

I am excited for everyone to check out Breakthrough which will be in theaters on Easter weekend and The Chronicle Mysteries on Hallmark in March.

    

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Lisa Durupt Spreads Holiday Cheers in New Christmas Movies and Opens Up About Her Support For Health Foundations. Image Credits: Kristine Cofsky