Close-up: An Interview With Allison Moses

Actress Allison Moses drops by on Close-up Culture to talk about her role in Luisa And Anna’s First Fight, memories of her first acting gig, life away from the camera, and much more.

Q: ‘Luisa And Anna’s First Fight’ was one of my favourite short film experiences of last year. There is such fresh energy and life to it. How did the opportunity to star in it come about? And did you have any idea this short film would turn out as it did?

A: I actually got the chance to audition for the part in front of Lena Tsodykovskaya, our wonderful director, and Gianna Butler, who cast it! Gianna is so talented and kind and a force to be reckoned with. She cast some amazing shows and films! I was honoured to get into that office and meet her and thankful that they chose me to tell this fun story.

Knowing all the cool things Gianna cast and hearing about some of the cool work Lena had worked on as well, I had a feeling it would turn out as fun and entertaining as it did! Plus, the script was cute and hilarious and I loved the quirky friendship that immediately popped out. 

Q: A huge part of the short are the performances given by yourself and Olivia Taylor Cruz. How did the two of you set about capturing that authentic friendship?

A: Olivia is such a kind soul and incredibly talented. We got along right from the beginning, and were excited to jump into this experience together! We bonded a lot while actually on set, just in between takes and getting ready. We both wanted to do justice to Lena’s vision and found a special bond in doing so. It was a smaller set, so it felt like we could all get to know each other really well while shooting, like a little functioning set family. 

Q: Given the energy and fun that radiates through the screen, I picture the filming of ‘Luisa And Anna’s First Fight’ to be just as electric and chaotic. What was the atmosphere like during filming? Any fun stories?

A: Absolutely! Lena and our cinematographer, Konstantin Mazov, had previously worked on things together, as well as some other crew members. We also had amazing producers that I looked up to! It felt like we had all been friends for awhile, not just three days.

Lena was such a wonderful director as well because when she was excited about a shot or how something went, she would get visibly charged and her electricity and excitement would spread to the entire cast and crew. She was great at getting everyone on the same page and working together, even for the short amount of time we all had together! 

Olivia Taylor Cruz and Allison Moses

Q: The short has made me extremely excited to see more of director Lena Tsodykovskaya’s work. How was your experience working with her and having insight to her creative brain?

A: Lena is super inspiring. She’s a kick-ass woman with exciting stories to tell and an unique voice to do it! She sees what she wants so clearly and knows what kind of story she wants to tell.

I remember a couple of times, we were doing these crazy fun fast shots and I was like, “I wonder how this is all going to piece together?”, but Lena just knew exactly what she needed the whole time on set. And then when I saw the final thing, it was so fun to see that vision come to life. 

Q: You’ve been in the entertainment industry for over 10 years. What are your memories of the first gig you got?

A: One of the very first things I booked was a commercial for a hospital in my home state. I had to be fitted for a fake arm cast, and stand in front of a real horse while being pushed across a giant greenscreen. It was so crazy working with a real horse in general, I remember being so nervous. My dad brought me to set that day. He was pacing around in the back, also nervous, and stepped in horse poop! We laughed the entire way home. Even now I still make fun of him for it!

Q: You moved from Colorado to California to pursue your acting career. What have been the biggest challenges of that move so far?

A: I know this is cliché, but I think my biggest challenge is being away from my family. I try to visit home when I can, but it’s hard when your main support system lives in a different state. I am lucky enough to have wonderful, supporting parents and it definitely has been a challenge to pursue a dream that has to be far from them.

However, I definitely do not miss the snow and cold weather from Colorado! I think I was always meant for the sunny California days. 

Q: And what have been the biggest rewards of that move so far?

A: Honestly, the biggest reward is just knowing I am pursuing the thing that truly makes me the most happy. I cannot imagine myself living a different life, pursuing anything else. No matter what happens with the ups and downs of an acting career, I will never have the regret of always wondering what could have been. I never wanted to live a life where I knew I loved something so much but never have the chance to just 100% go for it.

Acting just makes sense for me, and constantly keeps me grounded and alive and hopeful.  

Q: One of your past projects that stands out to me is the interactive video game, ‘Telling Lies’. How did you find that experience and taking the role of Alba?

A: Telling Lies was an amazing experience! It was one of the first sets I was able to work with some actors I grew up watching and look up to–like Alexandra Shipp and Angela Sarafyan. It was a surreal moment for me, even just having my name listed on the same project as them.

My role was the future version of Viven Lyra Blair, who is absolutely adorable and filled with talent. I had just watched her in Bird Box when I got the call that I’d be playing the older version of her. It was an honour to get to share the role of Alba with her!

And lately, I’ve seen more and more interactive video games that tell stories the way movies and shows do, and I’m super glad I got to experience that side of the industry. 

Allison on the red carpet

Q: I read that you have all kinds of hobbies away from the camera. What do you find are some of the best ways to switch off from acting and enjoy life?

A: One of my biggest hobbies is going to concerts. I absolutely love live music! I love seeing some of my favourite songs live and being in a room with people from all different walks of life, but knowing we all have something in common — we all relate to the same music.

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I constantly have music playing, no matter what I’m doing. I have bonded with some of my best, lifelong friends over music and created some of my best memories because of it!  

Q: What are your hopes and ambitions for 2020?

A: My biggest ambition or hope for 2020 is that I am trying to enjoy the journey! Sometimes, with this career, I can get too focused on what I see for the end result. It’s hard not to get sucked into the vortex of comparison and rejection.

This year I’m really trying to focus on enjoying the journey while I work my way towards what I hope to accomplish in my life. I would love to enjoy the little things and steps along the way a little more, instead of wishing them away. It’s hard to do but it’s going well so far!

Keep up with Allison

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