In the last few years, Netflix has grown to be one of the most popular platforms for watching TV. Not only does the streaming service allow users to access a multitude of TV shows and moves on demand -- it also has its own original series.
One of those series, which premiered in 2016, is "Haters Back Off" -- a show that follows the life of Miranda Sings, real-life comedian Colleen Ballinger's fictional YouTube personality. The show is a comedy that was written by Ballinger herself and features a variety of characters.
One of those characters, her sister Emily, is played by up-and-coming actress Francesca Reale.
Though Reale may be newer to the acting scene, she's definitely making a name for herself.
We had the chance to talk to Reale about her time spent with Ballinger, her advice for aspiring actors and more. Check out that interview below!
#YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases rising talents. To see more past interviews, including more features on Francesca Reale click here.
How has social media helped you along in your career, or how do you use it as someone in the public eye?
We are still learning how to use social media on my end. All of the lovely 'Mirfandas' called me Granny Franny -- that's my internet nickname because I don't get social media for the purpose of work yet, I'm figuring it out. I didn't have a Twitter before because I literally had nothing to say, or nothing of value at least. I could tell someone I woke up at noon -- but who would care. Instagram always felt like my personal picture book that I share with friends. Then, it became something where I had to share memories from set, but also while posting things from my regular life, and two days of work pictures and one day of personal pictures. There really is an algorithm to it. It's fascinating. I met with someone at Instagram and he told me that I need an aesthetic, something like I should decide if I like vertical frames or horizontal frames or certain filters. I thought I could just post a photo of me with a latte, but he was like 'oh yes that could be your personal photo,' or whatever.
Then with Twitter, I talked to Colleen a lot about Twitter because she really gets Twitter. I asked her what I should do. She told me to write anything, like anything about my day. Apparently the fans want to be involved and know what you do and what you're up to during the day. So, I've used it a little bit for inspiration quotes that my mom sends me, and I use it for work, and occasionally I'll throw in a personal thing. I still don't get the replying part, but we're learning. It's very confusing and a tad stressful, but once I get the hang of it it'll be like second nature.
What's been the best and worst part of working in this business so far?
The best for me, and it'll always be the best part, is getting to be so many different people and have so many different careers. You are an actor as your career, but as an actor you get to, for at least a couple minutes if you're just at an audition, be a doctor, and learn a bit about what that's like, even if it's just a vibe. It could be anything -- a firefighter or a vet or a princess. You get to jump into the lives of what real people do and experience it. I think that's the coolest part, because I could never just settle on one job. The tough part is adapting to the attention, I've found that's been the toughest part for me. You're so used to being under the radar, or being able to yell in a coffee shop and no one will care. But, you have to reevaluate how you present yourself publicly, which is an adjustment. I have a lot of good friends who always help me, they remind me that I'm in public.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I just saw "La La Land" and the director Damien Chazelle, he also did "Whiplash," I need to find a way to work with him. All of his movies are about artists and their struggles and their work and he makes such a real interpretation of how that struggle looks and feels and is. I don't care what his next movie is, it could be about a ballerina, I will learn ballet and I will do it. I think he's incredible -- he's so talented. I would also work with Cary Fukunaga -- I loved his interpretation of "Jane Eyre." It is very depressing, but he knows how to tackle drama in a way that a lot of directors really don't understand.
As far as actors, I mean, Meryl Streep is still out there and I'm ready. Let's collaborate on something -- haha. I'll play her daughter or granddaughter or her friend or neighbor.
Who has been your biggest inspiration as you've grown as an actor?
Audrey Hepburn has been my absolute inspiration. Always and forever. I love the way she acted. I love how natural and easy it came to her. I've read all of the biographies and essays about her, and there have been times where it was really hard for her to act, whether it be a personal problem or whatever -- but she made it seem so effortless. Her general poise as a human and how she presented herself in public is such an inspiration for me. She's never let anything or anyone from the outside into her personal bubble, but she shared enough with them. She did a great job with the balance of personal and professional life, and dealing with attention and her stardom in a really poised way, which a lot of actors struggle with now.
A post shared by Francesca Reale (@francescareale) on Dec 15, 2016 at 12:14pm PST
What has it been like working with Colleen on the show and getting to be a part of her vision?
It's been incredible, purely because she has a vision. It's a very strong vision, and along with that she has a very strong voice that comes along with it. As a female working in an industry where females can really struggle, it has been a privilege and really great lesson to work with a really strong female who won't let anyone tell her differently. She knows her character so well, and she's always open to opinions and changes, but at the end of the day she knows the character backwards and forwards. She's willing to put her foot down when she knows something isn't a Miranda quality or isn't a part of her world. When I first saw it I was a little scared. I thought to myself, she's going to get yelled at or something -- she's just telling the set people what's wrong. At the end of the day, the show turned out amazing, and all because of these little tweaks and things she was specific about. She used her voice and her vision. I am just thrilled to be working with her. She knows how to say it all in a really nice way, even when she's putting her foot down it all comes off very nice. It's impossible to be mad at her. It's a very unique way of being able to talk to other people.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors and actresses?
I went to a Q&A with J.K. Simmons and someone asked him this question and he said: "get another job," which I would love to tell an aspiring actress, you know, find another profession. I guess my biggest advice would be that there's a difference between being stubborn and being resilient.
I went to school with a lot of actors who really thought that anything outside of theatre or outside of New York was garbage and was not qualified for their talent. They thought they were being resilient and following through with the craft and the artwork, but instead they were just closing themselves off to how the world is adapting, and how art is forming in new ways. Resilience is just -- to all actors who want to act -- you have to be resilient in that you just take the grunt work and the tiny parts and the one day on the crime show or whatever. I did it! I died on Blue Bloods for a day, I literally went and laid in a pile of dirt to get SAG eligibility so I could audition for shows like "Haters Back Off." A lot of people think they can't do that because it will reflect badly on them and badly on how they see themselves as an actor. I think that's the most important thing to step away from and just never think you're above any role, any job, or any network or outlet.
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