July 14th, 2008 16:52 EST
Chase Von Interviews Famous Actress, Shawn Richardz!
Chase Von: Hi Shawn and on behalf of myself and the Student Operated Press, thank you so very much for finding time in your hectic schedule to do this interview! You are one of the most sought after actresses in all of Hollywood so I know fitting this in wasn`t easy. So thank you so much again!
Shawn: This is an extreme pleasure and very much an honor. I would make sure this interview is SQUEEZED into whatever I was doing!
Chase Von: Before we talk about your truly amazing career, I would like for our readers to learn more about you yourself. How old were you when you decided acting was your calling and since making that decision, have you ever had any regrets?
Shawn: I can recall my first `doe eyed` moment was when I saw some cable special of Marilyn Monroe. I had to have been about 7 years old. I believe it was Marilyn`s birthday and I had watched every movie she ever did. My grandmother made me go to bed; it was a Saturday night around 10:30pm. I had no clue of the plot to any of the many films she starred in from her first walk on role to her last incomplete film. I just knew what ever she did, was what I wanted to do! Can you believe the power of television? I saw nothing as an obstacle as a kid and I probably had no idea how to articulate being an actress. It was my little secret until maybe high school.
Chase Von: Were there any lean periods you went through where you weren`t sure if you would reach the levels you are at now? And as for that level, you are now acting opposite "A" list actors and actresses all the time! I`m sure your resume makes even famous actors and actresses we all know do double takes!
Acting however is certainly one of those professions where many try but few are chosen.
You are succeeding and excelling in an incredibly difficult and challenging occupation! So was there ever a time when you thought, maybe I`ll just go on and be a full time model or something else?
Shawn: Well modeling is something that became a career path in the last few years since I relocated to Los Angeles. Growing up in New York where the models are our skyscrapers and super heroes, it was really not an option at all. But most of my family members were not really supportive. I didn`t indicate this is what I really wanted to do so, it was HUGE a surprise.
My dad however handed me an amazing book about the life of actor Montgomery Clift. I was about 13, yes 13 years old at the time. My dad is and was such a non-traditional parent and I love him for it. That was again a tragic superstar`s life cut short between Marilyn, Montgomery, and then I went and bought Jayne Mansfield`s biography with my weekly allowance. Why you ask would anybody want to be an actress after reading about those three???
lololol, I believe that was the real reason I could never tell any authority figure my dreams. I had many diaries and I made up what my life would be like for me when I grew up.
I would cut out pictures and hide them. My senior year in high school I took acting classes. In the summer at the famed and well respected HB acting studios, I was in awe!
I knew from that moment after I left my last class for the day I was HOOKED AND THIS IS MY CAREER!
Chase Von: So you were you certain all along you would reach where you are? I`ve interviewed Jason Seitz of the acclaimed movie Elephant and Kimberly Prendez who starred in, and wrote her own movie, Until Next Time, both are accomplished actors in their own right but I know they would consider it a part of heaven to be able to act along side of you and each has told me how difficult it can some times be!
Shawn: I knew and my certainty came and never left me. I just wasn`t comfortable letting anyone else know except my father and even though he had an idea, I don`t think even he knew how deep my passion truly was.
Chase Von: I`ve read that your father truly was a huge part of encouraging you to pursue your dreams though. And from there, you took it upon yourself to study about all the other legendary actresses and actors yourself.
But how much do you think your taking the time to really analyze the greats before you, helped you to become a great actress yourself?
Shawn: There is no business like show business and being raised by my grandparents I watched older programming more than most, I knew legends existed and it seemed tragedy was a part of the road to success but, only if you allowed it. How I knew that I don`t have any idea.
Maybe because my grandparents were mere mortals... lololol
Chase Von: Aren`t we all? Smile:) How much did reading the greats influence you?
Shawn: Everyone and everything influences an artist, from family, friends, life and even something they heard as a child once can change a destiny. Very difficult to pinpoint. I embrace everything.
Chase Von: Do you really like Cool Whip whip cream?
Shawn: I LOVE COOL WHIP AND ALWAYS HAVE. I remember there was Cool Whip in the fridge back when I was in junior high. I opened the container and ate a little each day with a spoon and I got in trouble because the dessert my grandmother was going to make needed that. She laughed as I was scolded. Now look at the irony of that!
I thank you KRAFT!!!.
Chase Von: Since you`re in that commercial that is being aired all the time, I figured I would ask. (Smile). And also, you`re very attractive and thoughts of you and whip cream are... Let me stop before I say something wrong here. (If I already haven`t, heh, heh:) But how seriously do you stay in such great shape?
Shawn: THANK YOU Chase! Mom and dad! It`s genetics! I don`t go to the gym. I hike, that`s it. I don`t lift weights at all. My family is slim on both sides so I am truly blessed!
I also love outdoor activities though, but I have never been a member of a gym or a gym rat. I haven`t eaten red meat, beef or whatever since I was a kid. I have eaten chicken and fish since I could remember. I never liked hamburgers really or junk food like ice cream and chocolate are just not really something I ever crave. I came up in the age of frozen yogurt so that was on the grocery list almost always. I am a self-proclaimed `FOODIE`, but food and crap are two different things.
Alcohol`s not my thing either.
Chase Von: OK, just for curiosities sake. What are some of your favorite meals and how often do you get to enjoy them or do you have to sacrifice having them to stay in such great shape or hike more if you do have them?
Shawn: I love sushi, Caribbean, rice, bread. I`ll put it like this; I rarely pass up a meal. My workout regimen is hiking Runyon Canyon daily or at least 4 times a week. I need to start doing yoga like I use to do a while ago but I am afraid that it.........that`s it, no secret to a better body. lololol
Chase Von: You have appeared opposite James Russo, who has starred in over 90 films over three decades, one of which being Beverly Hills Cop and also in Donnie Brasco. Dana Carvey, Blair Underwood, the living legend actress Holland Taylor and also appeared in a video with none other than music legend and Super Star Keith Urban! Women reading this would be touched perhaps for the remainders of their lives if they just met Blair Underwood! Dana Carvey of Saturday Night Live fame and the all time classic `Wayne`s World` is one of the best comedians alive today! James Russo is also an incredible sought after actor and Holland Taylor has worked with just about every actor or actress in Hollywood! She is an `Emmy Award Winning Actress` and definitely a living legend and certainly one of the best actresses to ever live! How much has working with people of the caliber you have, enhanced your own acting skills? And each time you do, do you think that makes you an even better actress?
Shawn: Working with the people you named makes you step your game up. The professionalism that this business requires gives you longevity and a calling card. The actors you named were the most helpful, humble, grateful people you would ever want to meet.
Chase Von: Is there any one in particular you would like to work with in the future or would love to work with again?
Shawn: I want to work with Dirk Craft director of nip/tuck more. The writers, the crew, the creator Ryan Murphy are all geniuses. I have to say I have been blessed and every person from makeup, to casting directors, to even craft services that have been a part of my journey has helped me prepare for living my reality. I can learn something from whom ever so bring the work on!!!! I WANT MY TV CONTRACTUAL ROLE!!! THANK YOU!!!
Chase Von: In some of your pictures, you resemble Whitney Houston. I hope you take that as a compliment and she does as well because you are both beautiful. To my knowledge though, as of yet, no one has done an actual autobiography of her life. If one were done though, would that be a role you would be willing to play?
Shawn: I get that we resemble comment frequently and she is beautiful. Whitney Houston is someone I would love to play! She has had a journey that so many people have been intrigued by and everyone wants her to succeed.
Chase Von: Your hair is like a trademark:) How do you do your hair so our women readers that might want to try that style as well will know or... Is that a secret? (Smile).
Shawn: I had a bad reaction to a product some time ago to make my hair straight. Well, it fell out straight to the floor! I have been natural ever since! This isn`t a style; it is 100% percent natural! With my favorite products: Mixed chicks www.mixedchicks.net Bumble and Bumble leave-in conditioners, and Biolage.
Chase Von: You yourself have been in the video`s `Every Day` by Rascal Flatts, `Somebody Like You` by Keith Urban, Nip/Tuck, Knife To Gun Fight, Bros. The film Tic, Back From Reality, The Invincible Scripture, Guest Starred on Saturday Night Live and to be honest I would rather put a link here to your resume because it`s seemingly endless and that is such a small portion of it! (Smile). You have also hosted the Golden Globes in 2007, TheStream.tv as a guest host, and the Oscars 2007 as the host! One thing that I also saw was nuyorican Poets Cafe which of course interest me because I am a poet. I also just published a friend that has been many things but she is also a professional model and is now not only a poet but a spoken word artist. Her books title is Vanity? The Pieces of Audrey Michelle.
She is doing something another friend of mine Willard Barth teaches, and that is expanding her comfort zones. She can`t yet see it, but I wouldn`t be surprised at all if she herself ventures into acting. But expanding one`s comfort zone is something I believe all successful people learn to do. I was once an author, then I learned to publish as well. You obviously have expanded yours from modeling to acting to dancing to all your many credits in theater and hosting shows, doing voice overs, being a spokes model and well, your list of accomplishments is mind boggling to say the least. What I wanted to ask though is do you ever see yourself directing?
Shawn: Maybe, I wouldn`t rule it out. What a responsibility though! I see it maybe way down the line in the future. So not now, my plate is so full, I would have to be the best, not just average.
Chase Von: Do you ever see yourself writing scripts if you aren`t also already doing that as well because having read your resume, I for one, would not be at all surprised. (Smile).
Shawn: Now writing is closer to me doing in the near future than anything. (Smile).
Chase Von: Judyth Piazza herself is going to be in a movie called Horrorween. I was wondering if you might be coaxed into doing a cameo appearance in that one as well. I bet Judy will ask you about that also. (Smile).
Shawn: HORRORWEEN? Bring it on! I heard about this project a while ago, that would be fun!
Chase Von: And now a tough one for you Shawn. I was born over seas to a military family. I have spent much of my life in different states and countries. Still, what happened on September Eleventh though really hurt me to the core. When I was in Kuwait in Operation Iraqi Freedom on a flight line, a man shook my hand, thanked me for serving our country and walked off to shake more hands. He had left a New York City Fire`s Fighter lapel pin in my hand.
When I asked someone that was also there, who he was, she told me he was a man that had lost both his son`s on that day. One a fire fighter, one a policeman. I have two suit lapel pins. One for retiring from the Marines, and one from that man that lost two sons. I don`t really feel I need any more. Being a proud New Yorker yourself. How were you affected by that and also, how proud are you of your New York people that have bounced back from that horrific day and made New York a place that is still as strong, and popular even after that historic nightmare?
Shawn: I still get physically ill thinking about it Chase. New Yorkers are unique and they didn`t surprise me with their reaction. I was in Los Angeles when that happened. The entire world was there for the Big Apple, that is humanity.
Chase Von: How important is family to you, and what is your take on the state of our current world?
Shawn: Family is who ever you choose to allow in your intimate space, not just for the sake of saying `family.` The world is going through a change and it is long over due!
Chase Von: What would you say, if you were standing in front of a microphone that could be heard by every child on the planet and regardless of what language it was they spoke, they would understand you? What positive advice would you give the children, if that were possible?
Shawn: No excuses for mediocrity. Life is a gift, appreciate every second and make it count!
Chase Von: How can our readers find you and more about you? I know you are also the featured actress right now on the popular web site for artist called www.nextcat.com. You know your different web sites and movie links out there so they can learn more about lovely, incredible actress and model, spokeswoman and dancer, and so many other things it is truly hard to list but all make up the unique and talented Shawn Richardz?
Shawn: My web site is constantly being updated and I love hearing from positive and inspiring people. www.shawnrichardz.com They can from there find all the other different links to include my resume and my Myspace and videos are there as well.
Chase Von: On behalf of The Operated Student Press and myself, thank you again so much Shawn for finding time in your hectic schedule to share yourself with our readers. I also wish you continued success with your career and I would be willing to share some Cool Whip with you at any time. (Smile).
Shawn: Thank you for your consideration and your thought provoking questions and, if I ate my grandmother`s Cool Whip, that she had set aside for a recipe? Do you think I`d share now? (Smile).