Actress and stunt performer Paris Bravo stops by on Close-up Culture to chat about her busy and exciting schedule.
Q: I saw some awesome photos and videos of you cosplaying Rey from Star Wars. How much fun did you have at the San Diego Comic-Con? Any standout events or costumes you saw?
A: Thank you so much for the interview! I had a ridiculous amount of fun at San Diego Comic-Con in July. I met so many nice people that wanted to take pictures with me, as Rey from Star Wars. It was amazing to represent such a strong female character like Rey. I was asked to take pictures with a charity organization that is called the 501st Legion, what an honour to take a picture displayed on Getty Images and on their websites. Major fandom right there!
A super cool moment was when I stopped by a crowd of people thinking I was Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey in the Star Wars series). Of course, I explained I was not Daisey and took pictures.
There were so many standouts at Comic-Con, from movies, to cartoon and comic book characters were represented. The creativity and true to character costumes were unbelievable! At Comic-Con, you could be free to be anyone you wanted. It was incredible seeing A-list actors. The TV and movie panels were filled with top notch actors and stunt personnel in the industry! It truly was an honour to attend.
From the San Diego Comic-Con, I have been contacted by GeekStrong and have filmed some Rey Star Wars collaborations. I have also been asked to attend a kids birthday party as Rey for a Star Wars theme birthday party. Comic-Con has taken me on many a new adventure!
Q: Who is top of your list to cosplay as next?
A: Wow! That’s a great question. I would love to cosplay Bat Girl, as my dad is a huge Batman fan. I truly would like to go as Wonder Woman one day. HIT Girl, definitely as she my age, does martial arts, stunts and even does tactical like me. I love playing Dorothy from Wizard Of Oz as well.
Q: You starred in Maria Pulera’s ‘Between Worlds’. What was it like being on set with Nicolas Cage?
A: Nicolas Cage’s scenes were already completed when I went on set. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to formally meet him, but he sent word that I did am amazing job on my scene and character as young Julie. When I played young Julie, I had to go down sixteen feet in water weighted down to be “drown” and then show the powers come inside of me. It was scary down in the water for long periods of time, but it was a crazy stunt scene that I will never forget!
Between Worlds is a psychological thriller where young Julie drowns as a child and then comes back to life in the water. She realises that she can get choked out almost to the brink of death and walk with the ‘almost dead’ and guide them back to the living.
Nicolas Cage played a truck driver that lost his family in a fire. He meets up with Julie (played by Franka Potente) and she shares her powers so that he can see his family again. There is a major surprise at the end…
Q: You’ve been training and competing in martial arts from a very young age. What has it brought your life and now your career?
A: I would say martial arts has given me the drive, determination and perseverance to keep going. Martial arts helped lead me into acting.
I have been very lucky to have booked several movies, TV shows, music videos and national commercials. Being an actor is hard work. You must study your lines, know the emotion that goes along with the scene. Sometimes re-doing the scenes literally twenty times until the director says you can move on. Then doing the same scene again from different angels.
Acting is a job, not playtime. There will be long days and times you want to “be a kid”, but you are being paid to do a job. The director and production staff expect you to be a professional.
Martial Arts and competition has prepared me for all of the ‘no’s’ not booking a job and corrections in a scene. Also, patience comes from martial arts, being mentally prepared to complete a task and compete for a job.
Q: What would your advice be to young people who are struggling or unwilling to get out of their comfort zone and be active?
A: Try everything once! Take it one small step at a time. Make small goals then lead to more long-term goals. No one can detour you from your goals. For instance, I wanted to learn a very hard 2nd degree Tae Kwon Do Form. Instead of trying to memorise all 82 moves, I broke the form down to 10-12 moves, perfected those and then moved onto the next 10-12 with the previous and kept going.
At home, get active during TV commercials. Do sit ups, push-ups crunches. Also, there are various discount websites to try a new sports or activities – see if you like it! Another way to get active is to volunteer in your community!
Q: On that note, you also devote time to charity and volunteering work. How important is that work to you?
A: Charity work is majorly important to me. My parents have taught me you must give back and give your time, talent and treasures to the community that supports me. I support and raise money, donate time and perform throughout the year for: Talent for Epilepsy, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the Olive Crest for Foster Children, the Salvation Army, the Saffyre Sanctuary, Flying Hero’s Club, and Operation Gratitude.
Q: Is there a particular person you aspire to in the world of martial arts or entertainment?
A: Yes! In the martial arts world, it would be my instructors Caitlin DeChelle (stunt double/actress for Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman), Jesse Graffe (stunt double and American Ninja Warrior star) and Mike Chat (Blue Power Ranger).
Actors – Johnny Depp has influenced me to try every genre and many different characters. Not to be boxed into one role. He plays very complex characters and I love it!
Angelina Jolie is also a favourite actress. She has influenced me to become an action star. Angelina is an award-winning actor that can do her own stunts and can conquer so many different types of roles because of her skill sets.
I love Dove Cameron. She is a young, diverse actor, singer and dancer. She is a role model to millions of children around the world.
Q: What is next for you? Any ambitions or plans to share with us?
A: I am awaiting the release of a new movie called Judy Small. It’s a fun movie about a couple who seek out Judy Small, a marriage counsellor, but the counsellor is more than what meets the eye. I play Zooey, the best friend of Louise (daughter of Susan, who is Alicia Silverstone). This will be a super fun comedy for all to love.
I had a great time on set and enjoyed learning from the director. By the way, Alicia Silverstone and Rob Coddry are so down to earth – they made me feel so confident on set. They are funny and normal human beings. There were no egos on set!
I am super excited to be working with my stunt team, Brazen Action Design, on a few new projects and performing at events this year. I am hoping to book a TV series or a movie. My agent and manager are always working hard to pitch me for new exciting projects!
Looking ahead in my career, I want to be able to put my passion of acting to good use. I hope that I can affect change on subjects that can help teens like me. Tackle taboo subjects to arm people with knowledge and to volunteer. I hope to be a role model for kids to look up to. I hope to inspire someone to accomplish their dreams because I am!
On a personal note: I would like to earn a world title in NASKA Tae Kwon Do and I only have a year to go to earn my 3rd degree black belt. I hope one day to earn/win an Oscar for my acting. The ultimate honour in acting.
You can check out Paris Bravo’s projects on IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6611397/
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