Interview with Carlotta Montanari

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Born and raised in northern Italy, Carlotta Montanari discovered her passion for acting at an early age. She studied and graduated with a Master of Visual Arts from the Federico Fellini’s Institute in Riccione where she also studied journalism and communication sciences. Carlotta’s professional ambitions inspired her to move to Rome to study theatre full time and began working as a television host. That first media job propelled her into an on-camera career hosting several live TV shows, which enabled Carlotta to transition seamlessly into acting in commercials and films. Driven by an aspiration to work with the masters of the acting craft, Carlotta Montanari moved to Los Angeles where she landed her first American acting role. In addition to her commitment to the arts, Carlotta Montanari has a deep love and appreciation for animals. Carlotta Montanari began riding horses at the age of 5 and originally wanted to become a veterinarian or a professional horseback rider. She currently volunteers at dog and horse rescues in Southern California.

How did you become an actor
My journey is more precious to me than the actual outcome. My parents divorced when I was very little which caused me a lot of emotional pain. I grew up with a sense of incompleteness that I never knew how to fill. This made me pretty shy and insecure. I soon developed a love for animals which made me want to become a veterinarian. Instead, I followed my father’s wishes and made him happy by studying and graduating with a Masters in Visual Arts. In the end, this path turned out to be very useful. From a young age, I had an intense attraction to the big screen and dancing. Shortly after my graduation, I was invited to a Stanislavsky acting seminary in Rome. It took me some time to save enough money to afford that intensive seminary. I wasn’t even really sure why I was there, all I know is that as soon as I put a foot on the stage to play my first scene ever I felt like that was home. That was the therapy that was going to heal me, that was going to be the space where my feelings and my fears could be free and serve a purpose. That was enough. I’m so grateful for this journey that has allowed me to overcome the challenges I encountered earlier in life.

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Carlotta Montanari in The Mason Bothers

What acting technique do you use
There is so much to learn and know and as I believe techniques are important tools to better reach the range of emotions and the intentions you need, I also believe that the best use for acting techniques is to find ultimately your own style, your own best way. Whatever works best for you, it’s the right way. The closest to me is the Method and Meisner’s teachings are brilliant because is the most truthful acting I have ever seen, and whatever names you can attribute to acting techniques in the end the most truthful one is the one where you don’t “act” but you “live”.

How do you prepare for a role
Depending how demanding the role is, I prepare a lot internally, trying to get as close as possible to the way my character thinks and acts in life and why he or she does and says what is written in the script. And then there is the music which is fundamental for my preparation. It’s the tool I use to make my body and mind creativity open to anything.

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Carlotta Montanari on the set of The Mason Brothers

How did you get connected with writer director Keith Sutliff
In the simplest way! My long-time agency sent me to audition for this role. I got the script once I arrived and I immediately loved “Allena’s” personality.

Tell us about your experience on the set of The Mason Brothers
The fact that this was Keith’s first feature film, one of the things I appreciated the most on the set was that I had the creative freedom to express a strong passion the whole time. The intense effort that everyone put into making this movie was amazing. Working with a young director with less experience is always a double edged sword, because you don’t really know his style or his vision until you practically see the movie. It’s a risk that all actors experience sooner or later and for me, this is exciting. It’s thrilling to be involved in such an intense project where everyone is devoted to giving their best performance.

How would you describe the movie
None of the cast has seen the movie yet; this was the director’s choice to have everyone see it at the premiere. But I can tell that this movie has a nice kick of action and the story is very interesting and unfolds with unexpected surprises all along. I look forward to seeing what effect this movie will have on the cast members and the audience. I’m really looking forward to the red-carpet premiere on April 11, 2017 at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theater. The theatrical release begins in Los Angeles on April 14th.

Tell us about your character Allena
Allena is an assistant and love interest of one of Los Angeles’ most notorious wealthy crime bosses and shot caller, “Frederick”. Allena assists Frederick with organizing deals with smaller gangs and other crime bosses of Los Angeles. She is a confident woman who won’t take no for an answer to help Fredrick complete his deal with the Mason Brothers.

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Carlotta on THE RIFT

What traits do you share with her
I would say the fact that Allena doesn’t take no for an answer is already an aspect we definitely have in common, but she’s also is a fighter and she is strong and puts herself in the game. I like that she does it with a determination driven by the strong desire to do things right and be helpful and make a difference.

What are some of the ‘Behind the Scenes’ scoops you can share
The film was shot in only 12 days and everything was well organized and always on time, which is a pretty amazing feat! We all worked the graveyard shift since almost every scene (except for two) was shot at night from 6:45 pm to 6.45 am. Who says that acting isn’t hard?

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Carlotta Montanari in Americana by Howard Wise

Briefly tell us about your career
I’m very excited about some new projects I am working on. For now I can just say that I feel I am in the most interesting part of my career where things are starting to connect and I can truly measure myself and start playing my dream roles which involve the most challenging and raw characters of my career. I am very grateful and definitely had a lot of fun working on my last few jobs, Being American with Christopher McDonald and Sienna Guillory; Parenthood; Rome; and Trash. I worked very hard to earn the privilege to be part of the family of The Actors Studio and I feel truly blessed to have Mr. Martin Landau as director and to be working with the most genius acting mentors of all time. In addition to acting, I enjoy doing voiceover work, which includes The Vatican by Ridley Scott, Early Lingo- a super fun children’s audio book, Assassin’s Creed, Soul Surfer, The Malice of Fortune and a few others.

What actors would you love to work with
The list is too long! There are so many incredible actors I admire and I would be honored to share a set with. To name just a few: Meryl Streep, Sofia Loren, Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, Diane Keaton. And how about working with Bryan Cranston? I wished I were Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad!

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Khaneye Bi Saghf-Home Without Roof

What advice would you give to aspiring actors
I hope I will get to a point one day where I can give absolute advice. But for now, I can share my point of view! No matter what happens in your life, or what people say, try to feel your most deep instinct and trust the fact that until you have fire and passion for whatever you want to do, you must keep trying to follow your dreams, because this is what life is about. Luck is involved too, but I would say: fight for those dreams, work hard, be prepared for when the opportunity comes. If you believe it and work with faith, it all will come to you. Be nice to people, don’t have attitude because it takes you backward and it paralyzes the creativity that feeds your soul. We always learn and grow and we never “arrive” at the finish line, but rather just go through various stages of this wonderful journey.

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