Bria Lynn Massie is an actress who stars in the film Alone Together. She has been told that she is not pretty enough to be an actress. Here is a link to her website:
Q: What made you want to become an actor?
A: It definitely seeded itself as a young girl, making home videos with my younger brother and spending hours on hours sitting in my house watching movies. It wasn’t until middle school though that I realized this was what i wanted to do.
I was a typical angry, insecure and lonely preteen, often being told I shouldn’t be feeling what i’m feeling, i’m just being dramatic, there are worst things that could happen, that’s not a big deal. Even if the person knew nothing about me, what was going on in my life, or how someone’s actions affected me. It was between acting in the school plays and going home to watch movies that I found my escape where it WAS okay to cry, be disappointed, angry, it WAS okay to even be ecstatically happy, it WAS okay feel these emotions, if only for a few hours someone was validating my human experience. Not shrugging it off and moving on. I knew I wanted to carry on that acceptance, and as an actress, even if for just a few hours, or even just a few minutes, let our public feel that it IS okay to cry, it IS okay to feel and experience these human emotions. It IS okay to care about another person. I think that acting is the only thing in this world anymore enforcing the right to a human connection. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like they are alone.
Q: You have been told you are not pretty enough to be an actress what did they say was wrong with the way you look?
A: My family was fairly poor, both my mom and my dad were working full-time because they were very driven to keep me and my brother in a nice neighborhood with a nice school and with nice things. Even if that meant cutting back on activities or routine that every wealthy child in our area had. Such as Braces. I was blessed with crooked teeth, one of my baby teeth didn’t have an adult tooth behind it so it never fell it, and in turn the other teeth became misarranged to accommodate this, and the infamous “snaggle tooth” smile that Kirsten Dunst has been hounded about. You know, I’ve actually been told that I would need to fix my teeth if I wanted to be taken seriously. I’ve even had a casting director ask me over the phone after seeing my reel, “Do you still have those teeth?”. The most frustrating thing was spending tons and tons of my own money to learn and become better, to have nice clothing, to know how to do my hair and makeup, be the best I could be, but it always came down to something that I just couldn’t work at. No critique could make them better, I would just need to save up thousands upon thousands of dollars to “fix”. Sometimes I’d be called, the girl with the teeth. I have though, been very lucky to encounter individuals who support their look as well.
Q: Why do you think looks are so much more important for actresses then actors?
A: Typical girls like to aspire to be like a celebrity. It seems more and more about the looks and the fame rather than how they became famous or talent anymore. People want beautiful doppelgänger or to be told they look like a beautiful and revered celebrity. Take celebrity icons that made their big break with a leaked sex tape, or known for their party life on top of coming from billionaire families. Women more than less nowadays get their power from being beautiful and wealthy. In turn, women will aspire to be like these icons, learn their tricks, shop in their clothing line, replicate their make up, if it works for them it must work for everyone. Beauty and the appearance of wealth. The “best”. The actresses they see becoming famous or who are famous unfortunately are found following suit, otherwise most women wouldn’t deem them worthy of being so high up in the hierarchy. Jealousy is a terrible monster, and if the actress can’t hold her own for “why” she is up there, being the best of the best, then she is more than likely kicked to the bottom. They can’t show any weakness or it is blown much more out of proportion than someone who isn’t a celebrity. It’s a very sad and barbaric thing that society is doing. I think Southpark even did an episode on that haha. Its easier to gain popularity from being beautiful than being talented.
Q: There have been leading roles for woman playing con artist, bank robbers and serial killers; why is Hollywood so reluctant to make a movie about someone who doesn’t look perfect?
A: Well, hollywood has actually made a great amount of movies consisting of someone who doesn’t look perfect, of which the character is typically played by a beautiful actress who is hidden behind messy hair, glasses, braces etc. and undergoes a transformation pertaining of makeup, hair does, nice clothing etc. Its considered “empowering” for women to gain confidence after getting done up, and even men. We are taught to fix whatever isn’t working and our drive to be the best is so prominent that it blinds everything along the way. The confidence, the attraction from the sexes, being the best. This beautiful actress is what we aspire to be like and hope we can feel like after we undergo our own transformation.
Q: What do you like about Hollywood?
A: The vast amount of opportunities and people here. It amazes me the talent and the array of difference that you can see, even just walking block to block!
Q: What don’t you like about it?
A: It is a very unforgiving and judgemental town. There are just so many people here that it is hard to prove you are the best just by being yourself. But it’s when somebody sees that you are that it is the most rewarding experience I’ve found. And Hollywood seems to be full of a bounty of rewards to those that find them.
Q: Who are some of your acting influences?
A: Helena Bonham Carter, Jodie Foster, Felicity Hoffman, Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci and Kirsten Dunst.
Q: What is your wildest acting story?
A: This was back when I was doing theatre during high school, it was opening night of “Footloose” which is mostly music, I mean…its Footloose! Singing and Dancing in every scene! Well, it was during winter where in WA we get amazing thunderstorms, it’s just taken for granted that every year the power WILL go out. We were all waiting backstage after being called for places waiting for our cue to go, the audience was already informed that the show was beginning and we were moments from the curtain being drawn. Then the power went out and the emergency lights came on in the auditorium. We were lucky enough to have a live band, even if that meant the music wouldn’t be transferred to the sound stage, and after a moment of collaboration from the director, went on in the emergency lights. We were also very lucky to have amazing vocals that could belt louder than the band. We truly brought live stage back to its raw roots. It was an amazing performance and the power came back on after intermission.
Q: What director would you most like to work with?
A: That’s a hard call, there are so many incredibly talented directors out there. Probably between Martin Scorsese and Sam Mendes.
Q: What film role could you have nailed?
A: I couldn’t say as the movies that come to mind, the actress also did a phenomenal job at as well haha! For certain though, if anyone is one day brave enough to write and produce a feature film of the Hunchback of Notre Dame (and sticking to the book), I could nail the role of Esmeralda.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)