Her recurring roles on the popular series One Tree Hill and Friday Night Lights put her on the radar of TV viewers, and she has recently been seen on the TNT hit series Rizzoli & Isles and USA Network's spy-tastic Covert Affairs. She has also appeared in multiple horror films, including Re-Kill, The Collector, and Wrong Turn 2. She's back on TV this fall in the new show Revolution, a post-apocalyptic series created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural, Haunted) and produced by J.J. Abrams (Fringe, Lost, Alias) and Bryan Burk.
I recently had the chance to interview Daniella between takes. Here's the inside scoop on one of fall's most buzzed-about shows!
You are currently working on the set of Revolution. What can you tell us about your character, Nora?
Nora is a very strong woman. Right now, she is fighting alongside the rebels against the militia. She is a good person, but because of everything she's been through in her life, and in order to survive, she's become hardened and closed off! She has a tough outer shell, but deep down, she only wants to help. However, like all people, she is flawed and makes mistakes.
This month, you'll also be seen on the big screen in the film Re-Kill, which also has a post-apocalyptic storyline. Do you think you could survive in a world without technology?
I could absolutely survive in a world without technology. Some days when I look around and see all the remotes and computers and cellphones and iPod and TV and everything else, it can feel overwhelming. I can remember when it was much more simple and peaceful. But, on the other hand, information is at one's fingertips and that is something I don't want to live without! I could live without it for a while but probably not forever.
Were you always interested in pursuing a career in both the modeling industry and the acting industry, or did you study one as an aid to the other?
I've always wanted to be an actress since I was a little girl. I sort of fell into modeling as my first manager Tobe Gibson had me go into Ford and they signed me. It was something I never thought about but I ended up loving doing it and made a lot of friends along the way.
What role or experience do you consider to be your big break?
I consider One Tree Hill my big break as it was the first series regular job I'd ever had. Plus I had to move my entire life from NYC to Wilmington, NC [where the series filmed].
What do you like best about working regularly in television?
The thing I like best about working on TV is the challenge. There is such a short amount of time to work on the material unlike films, so, as an actor, you have to be able to make strong choices rather quickly and also be open to changing them based on the other actor and director. You get out of it what you put in, I believe.
Describe your dream role. It can be any genre, set in any time period, a TV show, film, stage play - you name it!
My dream role would be to play Esther Greenwood in The Bell Jar for a film. I'd also LOVE to work with Wes Anderson. His movies are incredible!
Rumor has it you have studied karate. When did you start, and are you still actively studying martial arts? What belt(s) have you earned?
I started karate when I was 15 and on and off since them. I am a green belt. I also did a little mixed martial arts which I would love to get back into it at some point.
What's the wackiest thing on the "special skills" section of your resume?
I wish I had a wacky special skill but alas I do not...
If you had the opportunity to talk to your teenaged self, what would you tell her?
What I would tell my teenage self is "Stop worrying so much! It causes wrinkles!"
...and with that, Daniella winks and heads back to set.
Watch Daniella on REVOLUTION on NBC Monday nights at 10 PM. The series premieres tonight, Monday, September 17th.
This interview originally ran in Valley Scene Magazine.