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Caylee Cowan: Keep doing the things you love to do and never give up on them

Updated: Oct 28, 2022


You started your on screen acting career just two years ago in Sunrise in Heaven, how was it for you? How did you feel when getting the part for Jan?

I had a great experience. it was my first time being on a set having come from a primarily theater background. It was a crash course on movie making as we had roughly 11 film days. I got to work with Corbin Bernsen, an actor who's work I was familiar with and excited by. He was great in Shane Black's movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Travis Burns, Aitana Rinab, and Connor McRaith were also talented actors I had the pleasure of working with. We all met at the second round callback. When I heard I booked the role from my agents, I was getting off a plane and had to book a returning flight back to Los Angeles for fittings. Overall, I had a great experience and I think it's a beautiful love story.


How do you manage to bring life to your characters? Do you have a specific routine for that?

It's a process and it changes with each role. When I'm auditioning, I usually read as much of the script or source material available, and then I make intuitive choices about how I think the character might move or sound. Once I get further along in the process, I comb the script three or four times, looking at what the character says about themselves, what they say about their relationships with others, and what other people say about them. I look at their character arc and their objectives. I take it beat by beat. I usually make a playlist for the character of music that they might listen to, or music that I can listen to that makes me think of them.


When you get a part, how do you prepare yourself for the movies and the craziness of the studio life?

Well, I'm going through that process right now as I'm leaving Los Angeles to film a movie in Texas for a month. I start preparing immediately and become a bit of a hermit weeks before I get to set. I call up the person who helped me with the self-tape and thank them and then I call up my acting coach and dialect coach. Every time I get an offer I send the project to my acting coach to have them read. If the character has a specific skill set, I start picking it up. If they skateboard like my character Gemma in the Geo film, then I get a skateboard. If she's a pole dancer, then I find the best pole dancer in town, and I work with them.



The movie Willy’s Wonderland came out sooner this year, and you got the chance to work with a lot of great artists, such as Nicholas Cage. How was that experience for you? How do you think it aggregated your acting skills?

Working with Nic Cage was a special experience. There aren't many actors who can carry a whole movie without saying a word and still have an audience captivated and hanging on their every move. He's truly a remarkable performer and it was a pleasure working with him.


Do you have a favorite character that you portrayed? If so, what is it and why?

Thus far, my favorite has been Jan in Sunrise in Heaven but I'm excited to work on Penelope in my upcoming movie Frank and Penelope. Penelope reminds me of Roberta in Danny in the Deep Blue See by John Patrick Shanley. There is so much depth and intelligence to her even though she doesn't have a formal education. I'm excited to work with Sean Patrick Flannery who's very much an actor's director. He has had quite a lot of success with his acting career and this is his directorial debut.


How did you feel in your first movie premiere? Do you still feel the same way every time or did you get used to it now?

Premiere's are still very new to me. It's a different part of filmmaking, and I'm not used to it. I've only been to a few premieres in my life, but it's always fun to share the movie you've to work on with an audience and to be a part of that process.


Frank and Penelope, one of your next projects, seems really intense. What can we expect from this movie?

Well, Frank and Penelope is a movie that you probably won't get to see until 2022 as we are filming it in the summer of 2021.

I can't say much yet, but It's a wild ride.


Your upcoming movie, Spinning Gold, is your first documentary movie. What is the difference between acting in a fictional story and in a real one?

Spinning Gold was actually my second movie that was based on a true story. Sunrise in Heaven was also based on a true story though it was not a story that was documented as heavily as Neil Bogart's of Casablanca records. When acting in a fictional story you have more creative liberties you can take, whereas when you are acting in a movie that is based on someone's real life story you want to do that story justice and tell it as authentically as you can.


Still on the Spinning Gold topic, the movie happens in the 70’s. How are you bringing to life something that happened in a time where you weren’t even born? How are you getting the specific details?

Well, I like to watch movies and documentaries that were made about or around that period in time. I try to do as much research as I can before taking on a role in period piece. I really enjoy the process of reading scripts and breaking down a story from different perspectives. I enjoy educating myself in general. You know some of the greatest actors are the smartest people. You have to know what it was like to be of a certain socioeconomic class in a specific region of the world and how that affects the attainability of your characters wants, needs, and deep-rooted desires.



How did you discover your passion for acting, and what was your first ever experience as an actress?

Learning and working with talented people in film is very exciting to me. I first discovered a passion for acting from reading books actually. I had a late start reading, but once I picked it up I couldn't stop. I had read a lot of young adult books when I was in high school, and saw them made into movies. I wanted to be a part of those stories.


You are very young and already super successful, so what would you say to aspiring actors and actresses that are just starting on this path?

Thank you, that's very flattering. I still feel that I'm just at the beginning of a very long journey. I still have so much to learn, but if I was asked for some advice from another young aspiring actress or actor, I'd say keep going. Keep doing the things you love to do and never give up on them and eventually it'll work out as it's suppose to. It's not a competition or a race. We're all just walking each other home.



Photographer: Ty @mrtcrazed

Stylist: Alex Shera @a.shera.style

Hair: Paul Desmarre @desmarrepaul Actress: Caylee Cowan @cayleecowan

Makeup: Kendall Coyer @kendallcoyermakeup

 


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