Interview with Actor/Writer Nicole Stuart (40ish)

“40ish” is the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the June 2022 COMEDY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I got so sick of the things that were happening to me in auditions and losing the part to the directors daughter and the age thing and mostly waiting around to be chosen… I had it and wanted to create my own path. I figured I had been waiting to be picked long enough…

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

The idea was written in maybe 2018.

We shot in 2019 and started to edit then COVID hit and finished in 2021 and now it’s doing all the festivals it couldn’t do in 2022 that’s about 5 years…

Once COVID hit we didn’t know what to do because we had submitted to some festivals before it had hit and didn’t know what would happen and then everything shut down and the festivals we had submitted too… I’d say 90% of them weren’t doing their festival, or went from 750 short films to choosing 150 and doing it on-line or pushed it out another year or simply were on-line only… so this year really feels like a real beginning for us as we’re actually getting a premier in Los Angles this summer and in NYC.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Heartfelt and Hopeful

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

So many obstacles where to begin, raising the money, finding the locations, seeing it through to it’s end. The first cut was super rough and I was like omg… I need to sit with the editor and go through every take and bring the comedy out and we reshot the ending it was entirely improved which was so much fun and then well Covid hit which actually was a blessing in the way that it gave us the time to really edit the entire film and not rush.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was so happy they all said everything I wanted to create without having to say it they said it ALL!! I was super super happy and felt so grateful!!

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I’ve always wanted to I just didn’t know how too… Until I made one other short but it took me too long to make this one. But now I’m in the groove. I’ve always wanted to actor perform I love dancing and acting and look forward to do many more..

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Oh my! Hard to narrow it down. I love so many films. As a kid I saw GREASE the most like 33 times…the I fell in love with John Travolta and to Saturday Night Fever which I saw a lot and still to this day it stands the test of time, Rocky, Ten, Victor Victoria, A Chorus Line, Goodfellas, Casino, Raging Bull, Network, The Owl and the Pussy Cat, Breakfast At Tiffany’s… I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of films I love but these are the few that pop into my mind.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I would say more exposure to more casting directors so we can ultimately be seen and then get hired.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

I’ve had a pretty good experience there’s been a few festivals that haven’t answered me back and I couldn’t leave a review but mostly 90-95% all good.

10. What is your favorite meal?

I love Italian food all of it!!

11. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m really excited about my next film Vegas Girl. I wanted to do another comedy I wrote because I’m loving writing these comedies and filming them but it seems my dramatic film about growing up in Las Vegas seems to be taking the lead… I’m also working on what happens next after the end of this film to Natalie and it’s another comedy One Way To The Top (working title) I can’t wait to finish that as well!


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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