Actress extraordinaire Debbie Sherman talks filming The Vault starring James Franco, and returning to acting after having kids. Debbie also talks about getting education while pursuing your dreams.
You have three high-profile films releasing in 2017! Congratulations! One of the film “The Vault” is a horror/thriller starring James Franco, Taryn Manning, and Francesca Eastwood. You play the character of Lauren. Tell us more?
Thank you so much! I can’t wait for all three films to debut this year! The Vault was the very first film of my career and the first step of what I hope will be a very long career in this industry. Lauren was my debut supporting role. In this film, two estranged sisters are forced to rob a bank in order to save their brother, but this is no ordinary bank. Just watch and see!
Horror films are interesting type of medium because, of how much emotion goes into the character. Can you tell us how you approach these types of roles?
The horror genre often goes hand in hand with very emotional and terrified characters. I always do my best to fully immerse myself in the moment while filming and take on the emotions that the character would be experiencing throughout the scene. This is quite intense and can lead to me feeling pretty exhausted after shooting. Needless to say, I sleep like a baby after filming scenes like that, due to the sheer energy it takes to give off that much emotion scene after scene. Honestly, I love every second of the process!
You will appear in The Forgiven with Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana. You play Linda Coetzee. Tell us more about the film and the character of Linda?
This was my largest role yet and man, was I excited to film with such legends and on a film that radiates so much truth! The script made me feel so many emotions when I originally read it and I knew I had to be a part of this film. I am beyond blessed to have been given the incredible opportunity to work on this movie. I had the most wonderful experience filming. Everyone from the makeup department, to the whole cast and fabulous crew made my experience one of a kind. The whole team was top notch and I can’t wait for the premiere of this film!
You graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration. You started your career as a talented singer before becoming an actress. Did you use singing as a way in? Did you take any acting formal classes?
I have always had a love of the arts: singing, dancing, acting, etc. I am a performer at heart and I love to perform. I took singing and acting classes throughout my schooling years. After college I had an opportunity to start singing in a group with one of my best friends. We had the time of our lives writing original songs and performing them. We even had a music video that I will forever cherish. I look back so fondly on that special time in my life.
My first role had nothing to do with my singing career. After having my two daughters, I wanted to get back into the entertainment field and a good friend of mine is an actor. He was able to introduce me to some wonderful producers who I had the opportunity to audition for and, from there, I was able to secure my roles. I feel blessed to have met so many wonderful people in the industry. I always relish the opportunity to read for a new role in a film that takes me on the story of someone new. That is the beauty of acting: you are never the same person twice (unless you are in a sequel of course).
What advice would you give young actors looking to break into acting? Do you think it’s important to have an eduction to fall back on?
Knowledge is power. It always has been and it always will be. Having a degree is necessary, in most cases, in today’s world. You can pursue your passions (acting, starting a business, singing, etc) while earning a degree. There are so many online options these days as well. My advice is to go for you dreams! Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. Don’t let anyone make you feel silly for pursuing your passions and chasing your goals. You are your own worst enemy and your biggest fan. Make a conscious decision before you enter this industry to put your faith in yourself and let other people’s unwarranted opinions go in one ear and out the other.
Can you tell us what types of roles do you hope to be cast in moving forward? What’s your dream role?
I’d love to have opportunities to play strong women, women of character, role models. You know… fun, classy, independent, loyal, courageous women who aren’t afraid to stand up for what’s right. Women that are multifaceted, because that is real life. We are so much more than just beautiful, or just funny, or just strong, or just anything. We are women of many talents and treasures and we should be portrayed this way on film.
We’re interested in finding out what you enjoy doing in your free time? What summertime activities do you enjoy?
I just got back from a one month summer holiday in Prague. I had the best time exploring a new city with my husband and two girls. We have a passion for travel and it has certainly rubbed off on my little sweet girls. We will spend the rest of our summer swimming, spending time at the beach and exploring our local farmers markets. And since I am a travel addict, we may have to fit in one more trip before the summer ends. Oh, and let’s not forget reading scripts and filming! My summer wouldn’t be complete without some lounging by the pool with a good script in my hand. The one I am currently reading has me on the edge of my seat. I could barely put it down to do this interview! I literally have it on my lap right now!
Do you have any upcoming projects that we can talk about here?
I am working on some films and I am really excited about them. The roles are new and unlike any I’ve done before. I am also launching some new content on my website (www.debbie-sherman.com). I will be sharing more about my travels from around the world and my experiences filming in different countries. I will be combining two of my greatest passions, acting and travel! ?