Thursday, June 4, 2015
Interview: Shauna Rappold on Fantastic Four, Zipper, and Wanting to Be a Rock Star
Celebrity Extra: Can you tell me how you got your start? Have you always wanted to be a performer?
Shauna Rappold: Oh yes, this is something that as soon as I was able to make a decision on what I could do or what I could be when I grew up, it was always that I wanted to be an actor or to tell stories or to be in this industry in some way. I think I did my first pilot when I was 7 years old. I was one of those girls who would sing into her hairbrush. And I’d be like: “I’m going to be a rock star. Or I’m going to be a movie star.” There are lots of incriminating photos of me as a kid.
CE: You’ve got “Fantastic Four” coming out Aug. 7, which was filmed in your hometown of New Orleans. So many TV shows and movies are being filmed there nowadays; it’s becoming the new Hollywood East.
SR: It really is. It’s awesome, because I moved to California and I lived there for a year last year, but I kept flying back to New Orleans to work. So, I got to move back and live near my family and my friends. New Orleans is just a really cool, magical place, and it’s awesome that I get to do what I love there.
CE: I know it’s really hush-hush, but what can you tell me about “Fantastic Four”?
SR: I can’t really talk about my role, but I can say that the people I specifically worked with were Kate Mara, who plays Sue Storm, and then Reg Cathey (Dr. Franklin Storm) and Tim Nelson (Harvey Elder). All of these people were phenomenal. Everyone was playful, but extremely professional, and really open and wonderful people.
CE: How about working with director Josh Trank?
SR: He knew exactly what he was looking for, so it made it easy to deliver and give him just that. The communication was there.
CE: This is one of those summer blockbusters I can’t wait to see.
SR: Me too. When you’re filming something, you know what you’ve done, but you never know how it’s going to turn out. And you never know how it’s going to fit into the big scheme of things. But I’ve heard things of how this is going to come out, and I can tell you that it’s going to be great.
CE: How was the cast to work with?
SR: They were really great. I will say this about Reg Cathey: He was always smiling and making jokes. I had to check myself and be like, “OK, stop being one of those bad kids in class and focus.” He is just so funny, you want to cut up on set. But you can. It’s work time, and you’ve got to get it together. There were, of course, long hours, but the morale stayed up.
CE: Tell me a bit about “Zipper” and your role in it.
SR: It premiered at Sundance in January. I worked directly with Lena Headey, Patrick Wilson and John Cho; all of these people were so awesome. I play Lena’s best friend — her character’s name is Jeannie Ellis, and I was her best friend, Heidi. I’m a career woman who’s not quite finding my relationship to be as successful as my career. Heidi is very jealous of Jeannie, but little does either of them know that maybe the men weren’t so good.
CE: You mentioned Patrick Wilson …
SR: He plays Lena’s husband, Sam, in the movie. Heidi always makes these comments on how good Jeannie has it. There are people getting busted for escort services, which Sam has been using, and Heidi talks about it, not realizing that Jeannie knows about it, and Sam’s involvement. So, Jeannie knows, but Heidi doesn’t know what is going on, and she’s telling her how great her life is. I can’t wait to see this film. It’s going to be amazing.
CE: You’ve been singing for a while now too; tell me about that.
SR: I took five years of voice lessons. I’m a mezzo soprano. I trained with Greta Hardey in Louisiana. More Broadway-type songs, but to be honest with you, I love to rock. I’m a rock ‘n’ roll fan. Growing up in New Orleans, of course I love live music. I love going to see jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. If there is a live band somewhere, you will find me there. I would love to be in a band. My boyfriend, Armando Leduc, has a band in New Orleans. They were voted as New Orleans’ best wedding band in 2014. I’ve sung with them every now and then. But I would love to be in my own band. If I had an ultimate dream, I would like to be in a movie where I got to sing.
CE: Then it would be the best of both worlds for you, artistically speaking.
SR: Exactly! When “Black Swan” came out, it made me realize that I want to do a film where I have to train for something — whether it be for dance or to learn an instrument better than I already know it — and then use that in a film. It would be a huge dream come true for me to do something like that.
CE: Where would you like to see yourself in five years?
SR: I just want to be able to tell stories that inspire me, that effect a visceral change in other people. That is honestly why I got into this in the first place, because a lot of people go to the movies or to the theater or to see some sort of art because they just need a pause. They need a pause to focus on something else. Or maybe they are already on a high in their lives, and they want an extra high by being inspired by art. People like to be entertained for different reasons: to laugh, to cry, to learn something, to be turned on, to be entertained. I want to be able to do that for people as my full-time job.