Q. What’s your favorite character you’ve ever played and why?
A. That’s a tough one, I have a few. I absolutely loved playing the leading role of Callie in the feature film My Year of Silence. It was really beautiful to be able to portray a character who had such a painful background, but was able to turn their future into something so powerful and pure. I think My Year of Silence was also a really ground-breaking film that put a light on mental illness in a way it hasn’t really been shown through film before and it was so special to take a part in that. I also loved playing the role Sophia in A Writers Block, it was my first sci-fi related film and also, the first time I’d ever held a (fake) gun, so to play the leading part in it was pretty awesome. I also loved playing the role of Addison in the pilot episode for The First Month Is Free and I can’t wait to film the series, it’s been my dream since I was little to play the leading role in a mockumentary show and this is it! Dreams really do come true!
Q. How long have you been acting for?
A. I grew up acting, it was always just a part of me. My grandmother was the first female drama teacher in my home state and my mother was also a drama teacher, so I was pretty much getting acting lessons before I could talk! I performed in my first big stage show, playing the lead role of Mole in The Wind in the Willows when I was about 8 years old and it only got bigger for me from there.
Q. What did it feel like when you won your first big award?
A. Honestly, amazing! Acting is something I’ve been working on and been in love with my entire life, so to be recognized at such a prestigious festival (Hollywood Woman’s in Film Festival) was incredible. Winning Best Actress in a Comedy Pilot for a TV show that I absolutely loved being a part of was a really good feeling. Playing the leading role of Addison Carter in The First Month is Free means so much to me as an actress so to be recognized by such well-established judges, against such a high field of competitors, felt really, really special.
Q. What qualities do you think the judges saw in you that meant they gave this award to you, when it was such a high field?
A. I think the judges saw a very honest performance from me. I spent a long time working on the character Addison Carter and very carefully developed her in a way that was organic. The field of other actresses I was up against for the award was amazing and I feel very honored and flattered that the judges chose me. However, hard work always pays off and I gave The First Month is Free everything I had and the judges could see that. It was the perfect fit for me.
Q. How do you prepare for a part?
A. I will read the full script over and over again until I fully understand the context of it, and can really put myself into the characters head. I personally love to discover certain character traits for my role, that helps me delve deeper into character development and explore what I can do with the script more. It’s so important for me to learn my lines as quickly as I can, so I can really play around with where my character sits in them.
Q. Which actors have you most enjoyed working with?
A. Working with Bella Thorne and Zendeya on Shake it Up was pretty cool. Also working with Emma Watson on Regression was super dope. I was a Harry Potter nerd growing up so I felt like all of my childhood dreams were complete. However, I have also really enjoyed working with all of my fellow cast mates for The Food Porn Hotline. They were all so sweet and we got along so well which made the entire process of filming the pilot so fun.
Q. What’s next for Alli McLaren?
A. I have a couple of huge projects in the works. Both The First Month is Free and The Food Porn Hotline have been green-lit for series so I’m going to be very busy working on them. I also have signed on to do a few big feature films over the next 3 years. Another really cool thing I am filming next year is my own scripted reality show (ReALLIty) which I can’t give too much away on – but you’re going to want to watch it!!
Q. As in internationally established and recognized actress, what advice can you give younger actors?
A. Never give up. It takes time to establish yourself. Make sure you are ready for it when you reach that level. I am often recognized on the street and am constantly watched on social media. Always be true to yourself, work hard, take opportunities and don’t be scared to let yourself shine.
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