Interview: Tinsel Korey
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You may recognize actress Tinsel Korey as Emily Young in Stephenie Meyer's The Twilight Saga films. But did you know that this wasn't her first role in a supernatural project? Also, have you heard her sing? Dive right into this exclusive interview to learn more about Tinsel!
What is your background?
I'm from Vancouver, Canada - born in Ontario, but they say home is where your heart is, and my heart definitely remains in Van City. I was one of those overly ambitious kids who wanted to do everything. I guess not much has changed, since now I have aspirations of also one day directing and writing scripts. (laughter) I went to a fabulous acting school in Vancouver called Lyric, where my acting coach Nancy Sivak told me something that has always stuck with me: "Trust that who you are is enough." I started doing commercials as a teenager; then moved in to film & television.
When I moved to Los Angeles it was pretty scary; I was now the little tadpole in a ocean. Los Angeles still doesn't feel like home. I've traveled quite a bit, though, since I've moved here, so I really haven't actually spent that much time here. Also, it's a really hard place to meet people - well, at least [it is] for me. I'm not really a social butterfly. I would be "that girl" at the party talking to the fern. (laughter) Guess the artist in me really comes out in those situations.
When did you first audition for the role of Emily in the Twilight Saga? Had you read the books prior to getting the audition?
I auditioned for New Moon in the beginning of 2009. I didn't know anything about the Saga at all. My little sister told me about the film and how she wanted to go see it. She said it was "like Harry Potter in love," which it's not. When the audition came up - Rene Haynes who had cast me in "Into the West" had brought me in for it - I wanted to get the film more for [my sister]. She got to come to the New Moon premiere, which I think was an awesome moment for her.
Emily is not your first role touched by something supernatural or paranormal. You've appeared in sci-fi programs such as Da Vinci's Quest and Tru Calling. Do you find yourself drawn to these roles, and do you find them to be more challenging than "realistic" roles?
It just has to do with living in Vancouver. Vancouver has this dark, mystical feeling to it, so it makes a good backdrop for supernatural things. I mean, now that I look at my resume, there is a lot of sci-fi. I think that's just what people are interested in nowadays, so they're making those films. It's not something that I'm actively searching out. There's no difference with the acting style I think. You just react to the scary supernatural thing as you would react to something would find scary in real life.
Many of your recent film roles have been dramatic. Are you excited to be filming a comedy next? Do you enjoy traveling and filming on location?
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and yes :) OMG! I know most actresses are looking for something dramatic, but I want comedy. Life is too serious nowadays, and I just want to laugh. People are constantly saying I look too serious. I'm actually not serious at all. I'm normally joking around & causing mischief. BUHAHAHAHAHA. My bored face comes off as serious I suppose. Which I guess isn't all that bad, since I love doing action films as well. A serious face is always required when being gangsta. I do wish I got more comedy roles though. I need to start making faces in all my photos or something from now on.
You're going to be goofy at your next headshot session, aren't you? Have fun! You are also a singer-songwriter. Tell me about your song that was inspired by Into the West.
It was inspired by it, but it never made it on to the soundtrack. I didn't know who to get it to in the music department. Actually, a lot of people said they had bought the soundtrack thinking that my song was on it. But everything has its time and place I suppose. I still actually haven't released the song... which I've decided is going to be my next single.
Fantastic! Do you like incorporating your musical work and your acting work, or do you tend to view them as separate careers, separate endeavors?
Career-wise, they're very different. I realized when I was trying to release my first single "Letter" that I had no idea what I was doing. (laughter) It's such a different industry. On an art level, I view them the same. It's just a different form of my artistic expression.
In the film Mothers & Daughters, directed by Carl Bessai, most of the dialogue was improvised by the cast. Was there a general outline, and/or any lines that had to be included? Who created the story, and how did they handle the official writing credits?
Well, on IMDb, it list the director as the writer because he was the creator. But in the film, it lists us as a collaboration. Basically, we (each one of the Mothers & Daughters teams) would sit with Carl and would talk about our own lives, different stories, thoughts. Carl would videotape our discussion, and start looking for the story structure in it. Then, we would meet again, and tighten up the story, and eventually we had scenes. No written dialogue, but the idea of what would happen in the scene. And then from that, on the day of the shoot we would use that scene structure, and Carl would just let us play in the moment. You don't really prepare for something like this, you just know your story & embrace the moment.
How did you prepare for the shoot? Do you like improv? I love it!
I feel very comfortable in improv. I've studied at Groundlings, United Citizens Brigade & The Second City. So to me, creating things in the moment feels very natural. I would do another movie like that in a heartbeat.
What is the premise of your film Stained? (Release date in the USA: August 30th, 2011.)
Being in the movie Stained was probably one of the most challenging roles I had to do in my life. Isabelle is a lonely bookstore owner with a dark past filled with emotionally abusive scars. On the outside she looks like a normals everyday woman, but on the inside her demons taunt her. She has managed to get her life kind of under wrap with the help of her sister Jennifer (Sonja Bennett). But when her ex-boyfriend James (Tim Fellingham) shows up out of the blue it throws her world in a frenzy. It's a comedy. (laughter) Jokes. It's a horror/psychological thriller.
What artists (writers, singers, actors, painters, anything) inspire you?
Oprah, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, Shania Twain, Michelle St. John, Aurora & Audrey, Salvador Dali, my 95 year old Auntie, and the mystery that is this life.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I don't. I just live for today, 'cause we're not guaranteed tomorrow.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 will be in theatres in November 2011.
Stained will be released on DVD on August 30th, 2011.
Visit Tinsel Korey's official website to listen to her music, read her resume, and find out what she's filming next. Follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.