We recently caught up with British Indian actress Demi Mann who spoke about what inspired her growing up - her love for acting and what projects she is currently working on. Here is what she had to say:
Please introduce yourself to the readers and how you first got into this field of work:
I’m a British Indian actress who has I’ve been performing since I was a kid. It has always been a gift and a dream -and I loved re-enacting scenes from so many movies and then performing at parties -even dancing and doing school plays.
Who were some of your influences growing up?
Wow where do I even start? There are so many! But firstly it has to be Mr Steven Spielberg -his films were so iconic and I was immersed into his films and the experiences from Jurassic park, Back To The Future to Indiana Jones.
The Terminator films drew me into this futuristic crazy world and Bollywood films were also a big influence. I would go around dancing to all those beautiful Bollywood songs and performing fun scenes at birthday parties, playing these amazing characters. Disney films also paved the way for me especially classic films like Aladdin where Robin Williams played the genie. As far as influential actors, Iloved Julia Roberts, Michael J Fox, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Heath Ledger, Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek and the list goes on and on.
As an actor, what has been your favorite project to work on so far?
The movie Frank & Ava was one of my favorite projects where I played a British stewardess called Annie. It has won so many awards, and also stars Eric Roberts from The Dark Knight which is one of my favorite movies and Lukas Haas -both are really amazing actors. All the cast were amazing, it was set in the 1950’s and based on iconic stars Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. It was great to go back in time to this era playing this character.
If you had a chance to work alongside anybody who would that be?
Oh gosh this is a tough one. There’s so many but here it goes: Working on a Steven Spielberg project alongside him, would be a dream come true and of course an honor! I looooove his films and his work has made such a difference in my life. One of the reasons I love movies is because of his films -he’s a legend and I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
Working with the British director Gurinder Chadha would be a dream come true as well. She’s really leading the way in making top films and her genres of Sikh Indian Punjabi history and British history are great and being Sikh myself, I really want to be part of that storytelling. I loved the film Bend It Like Beckham -and of course she’s female and I think it’s great that there’s more and more diverse female directors out there. I’m excited to see what shes doing next and would love to be part of those projects. I also like how actor Dev Patel is playing a Sikh character on his upcoming movie -his role in the movie Lion and his other films were superb as well. I would for sure want to work alongside Dev Patel as well.
Patty Jenkins is an amazing director whom I would love to work with too- playing a bad ass superhero! Wonder Woman was so fantastic! Ever since I watched Dusk To Dawn starring one of my favorite actors Salma Hayek -I would also love to work alongside her. I became a fan of Robert Rodriguez, and his way of film making, so I would love to work with him as well. Shape Of Water director Guillermo Del Toro is another director I would love to work with and Tom Hanks -who is hands down the best actor and I would love to work with him. Oh and I can’t leave out Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch -both of whom I also would like to work with.
What have you learned most about this business?
Sometimes it’s hard to know where you fit in especially with diverse looks, but what I’ve learned the most about this business is -with hard work, drive and dedication to your craft really pays off and patience is the key.
What was your favorite audition?
Auditioning for the role of Jasmine for the Disney film Aladdin was a great opportunity for me to play a Disney princess -who was not only unique, an icon and a princess that I loved and adored since I was a kid -but someone who looked like me, was strong, kind hearted, courageous, a true leader who really loves her people and wants to protect them.
What projects do you have coming up?
I am starring in a television series called Emergency LA, playing the lead role of LAPD Officer Helen Dorsey.
What is your best piece of advice for aspiring artists?
My best advice is to believe in your prophecy, share your uniqueness and to be easy on yourself -sometimes we can be our harshest critics - and live your dream!