Australian actor and writer Kya Stewart joins us on Close-up Culture to talk about her exciting upcoming projects.
Q: You were recently cast in a supporting role for the feature film ‘Risen’. Can you reveal anything about the film and your role as Rachel Stermon?
A: Yes, excitingly I was recently cast in a supporting role in Risen. It was an amazing and fun experience for me.
While I can’t reveal too much about my character, I play Rachel Stermon, a US Military Official who is assigned to escort an alien to a secret compound.
It’s an amazing film with an incredibly talented cast and crew bringing it to life. I can’t wait for people to see it.
Q: The film takes place in an isolated Alaskan town. Did this setting effect the atmosphere on set?
A: The scenes that were shot in Canada were filmed in minus 30 degrees so it was freezing on set. It definitely pushed and tested people, but everyone pulled through with such strength and passion.
It was so cold that at one point someone spilt a coffee and honestly, before there was even time to clean it up, it had frozen over. It was crazy.
Q: You’ve also written your first film, which is titled ‘Cognitive’. What drew you to the issue of domestic violence and how do you explore it in this short?
A: Yes. It’s a psychological drama about domestic violence and will be released next year.
I wrote the film because I want to raise awareness on domestic violence and the long term effects that it can have on people, particularly children, that are exposed to it.
I’ve had friends and family that have been directly affected by it and I’ve seen first hand the devastating effects that it can have.
I want to spread the message far and wide, start the conversation and bring about change in the world. It is a very prominent issue in society today and something has to be done.
I explore the topic as authentically as possible in the film in a way that hopefully captures the severity of it and does it justice.
Q: What do you want to achieve with your voice as an artist?
A: Ultimately, I hope to change lives with my work through truth and bravery.
To me, art is all about connection. I hope that the work I do as an artist or the voice that I have as a human being can help make people feel more connected.
I think that often our adverse or painful personal experiences can leave us feeling different or isolated when I think it should be the exact opposite.
If people were braver in opening up to each other in a more honest and authentic way, I think people would feel less alone, we’d have less mental health problems in the world and people would have more joy in their lives. It isn’t always easy as we live in a society that pushes or celebrates ideals about ‘perfection’ and ‘togetherness’ but it’s the ‘real stuff’ that I think ultimately unites us.
If I can change one person’s life in some small way then I am doing, or have done, my job as an artist.
Q: What is next for you? Any upcoming projects or ambitions to share with us?
A: I have just finished shooting Risen so I am taking some time to work on my own personal projects at the moment and fuel my creativity.
Now that I have some more time on my hands, I’m going to knuckle down on Cognitive and am excited about some of the meetings that I have regarding funding and cast.
I want to be a role model for the younger generation and teach them to believe in themselves and fight for their dreams. I’m never going to stop working on my personal mission to try and make the world a better place.
I’m auditioning a lot and always working on my craft so I hope to be a familiar face on Australian TV in the very near future.