Multi-talented actress and singer Arden Alfonso stops by on Close-up Culture to tell us about her recent role in Collin Friesen’s Sorry For Your Loss.
Q: ‘Sorry For Your Loss’ is now in theatres and will be released on Crave this fall. How did you approach this role as Cindee – the sweet and comical stripper?
A: Yes! So excited about it being in theatres and on Crave. I actually got to see it in the theatre while I was in Winnipeg, so that was really cool.
My character was so much fun to play. This was my first comedic role in a feature, so I was thrilled when I got the part.
I definitely approached the character’s physicality first because I knew that would be a really important element to building Cindee’s character. A few years ago I was in an all girl rock/pop singing group where we had to learn how to dance in heels, so that gave me a lot of inspiration and ideas that I was able to pull from for the performance.
I always try to find qualities in the characters I get to play that I can relate to. Cindee’s playful attitude is definitely reflective of my own life, so that was a good starting point!
Q: From the trailer, it looks like this role brought you up close and personal with Bruce Greenwood. Do you have any fun stories from filming your scenes with Bruce and Justin Bartha?
A: It sure did! Yes, Cindee definitely gets pretty friendly with both Bruce and Justin. It was a lot of fun shooting with them, they were both really great to work with and it was nice because Stephanie – who plays Velvet – had arranged for all of us to get together the night before we started shooting, so that was a great ice breaker.
I remember a lot of laughing between takes and some great 80’s rock music to help enrich the atmosphere.
Q: If I’m right, you grew up not too far from the director Collin Friesen. Was it comforting to work with a Canadian director?
A: Yeah, it was really cool to find out that Collin grew up close to me! I love being a part of the Canadian film industry and being able to work with someone from my hometown was a bonus.
What also made the experience really special was that it was his first time directing a feature and I was honoured to have been a part of that.
Q: As well as acting, you have also pursued a career in music. Can you tell us about that love and how you balance it with your acting?
A: Music has always been a part of my life. I started fairly young singing classical music and performed for a number of years before I studied musical theatre in college. I love being able to take a script and study it as if I would a piece of music. I think music definitely has helped shape me as an actor and how I approach the work.
Luckily, being an independent artist I’m able to pick up from where I left off with my music. If I book an acting job somewhere I can always continue to work on my music outside of that, so its really nice to know that its always there.
Q: Are you working on any music at the moment?
A: I’m working on some projects that I’m very excited about. I can’t wait to be able to report back soon with more details on when I’ll put it out there.
Q: I heard that you enjoy listening to film scores over music. Can you list off some of your favourites? (I’m a sucker for anything by Ennio Morricone – I recommend ‘Investigation of Citizen Above Suspicion’)
A: Yes, I love listening to scores! Ennio Morricone is great, I haven’t heard Investigation of Citizen Above Suspicion but I cant wait to hear! Thanks for the recommendation!
Ok my list is a little long! Some of my top favourite composers and scores are Hans Zimmer (Interstellar, Pearl Harbour), James Horner (Legends of the Fall), Thomas Newman (Meet Joe Black), John Barry (Out Of Africa), Basil Poledouris (Lonesome Dove), Dario Marianelli (Pride and Prejudice), and Jocelyn Pook (The Wife) to name a few!
Q: I also heard that you are a huge Celine Dion fan. Would it be your dream role to portray her in a biopic?
A: Gotta love Celine! I got to see her perform in Vegas and the show was incredible. That would be a huge honour and also some big shoes to fill! I guess you never know what can happen, it’s always been a dream of mine to be able to portray a musical artist on screen someday.
Q: ‘JT Leroy’ and ‘I Still See You’ come out in the UK soon. Do you have any memories to share from these projects?
A: Oh, that’s awesome news. I actually didn’t know that it was coming to the UK soon, that’s great!
Both of those projects were shot in Winnipeg as well. It was really nice to be able to come home and shoot there because whenever that happens I get to spend time with my family.
I Still See You was a really fun project to work on because it was my first time having to do some stunt work. One of my favourite memories from that experience was learning how to free dive and also meeting some amazing people. Some of us had to take a course beforehand, which was a lot of fun. I had no idea I could hold my breath for that long!
Q: What is next for you? Any ambitions to share?
A: I’d love to be able to go somewhere and shoot a film for an extended period of time. Something in the realm of Lord of the Rings would be so much fun or anything in the fantasy genre for that matter. Getting to step into another world and time period has always been one of my favourite things about acting.
Down the road one of my other ambitions would be to direct my own feature film someday.
In terms of my music, I’m really hoping to put more of it out there and stop being afraid to share that part of me. I love being able to be part of this industry and I hope to continue to keep working on great projects and keep growing as an actor and performer.