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Interview with Monique Edwards

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Monique Edwards is a multi-talented actor, singer and humanitarian who is steadily building a solid reputation in television, feature films, the stage, and commercials. We made a short interview with her:

  Monique Edwards

When and who was the first to inspire you to be an actress?

When I was younger, I was mesmerized by movies. It was such a great escape. I loved the stories, the relationships and the power of the performances. I also loved the range of human emotions that could be displayed as well as the ability of films to change lives. You might be surprised at this but Frank Capra is my favorite director. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great directors that I admire but his films have had a really deep impact on my life. I just love the old classics. I think Jimmy Stewart is my favorite actor. To me, he was the quintessential every man. He was just so “average”. Most of his roles seemed to be about a regular guy in extraordinary circumstances. I love stories about underdogs as well as stories of hope.

With all the different roles that you play in your life, which is your favorite and why?

I really enjoy playing dramatic roles. I don’t like a lot of drama in my life so it’s really fun to play these roles. I’ve been really fortunate to work with a lot of great people. But I have to say that my favorite working experience was when I worked on “Philly”. I had initially auditioned for “Woman D.A.” but by the time it was over, I was playing “A.D.A. Teena Davis” and had done 8 episodes with more and more story lines. That was only a small part of it. What really made it special was the entire production crew. Everyone was absolutely brilliant to work with. The atmosphere on the set was very professional and virtually as stress-free as I’ve ever seen. Everyone was just really happy to be there and it showed. If the show had not have been cancelled, I’m sure there might have a lot of great friendships that could have come out of that experience.

During your education, which incident is the most impressionable and how is it relevant to your acting career?
I’m not sure if you’re talking about formal education or acting classes. I’ll answer about acting classes… When I first got to Los Angeles, I began studying with a well-known acting coach. He had written books on acting and also had begun teaching. I was completely intimidated. It was a scene study class that ran for three months during the summer. I can’t remember exactly how it worked but somehow I managed to get out of doing a scene for most of the summer. I was just too terrified and intimidated. I also, made sure that I sat directly behind him during class. I think I was thinking that if I stayed out of his eye line he wouldn’t notice I was there. At any rate, it was about two months into the class and once again I was sitting directly behind him while he was critiquing a scene; and without even turning his head, he said “Miss Edwards do you ever plan on doing a scene in my class?” I was mortified. I sheepishly said “Yes”, as that was all I could manage to get out of my mouth. So he assigned me a scene for the following week. The scene went swimmingly, his critiques were very positive and I was on cloud nine. Since that time, I try to “dive in” whenever possible. Things still get scary from time to time but ultimately the payoff is worth it.  


What kind of acting roles given to you has ever make you feel the most challenged?

I know it’s semantics but I had to laugh at the word “given”. It’s rare when an actor, even stars, are simply given a role (on a big production) . When it does happen it’s absolutely wonderful. I’ve had it happen on more than a couple of occasions and it’s just bliss. But I digress. I think the most challenging role I ever had was in a play. It was a period piece where I was playing a woman about 30 years older than I was at the time, she had nine children and was living in abject poverty and I also had to do a dialect. On the face of it, we had very little in common. (Once again, I was really scared of this role.) But as I began to do the work, our common humanity began to shine through and I realized that I was this woman. The only thing that really separated us was our circumstances and our priorities. It was a really fulfilling role because when we take risks we can’t help but grow.

How do you handle the scripts when there is a special (local) accent required?
As a rule, I don’t really do accents. There’s a difference in being able to do a couple of lines in a generalized regional or international accent. Like I did in an episode of “Friends”. But to carry a film or television show that requires an accent takes a lot of work. Generally, they will provide you with a dialect coach and you will work with them hours on end to get it right. That being said, there are some people that are just naturals at it. They have great ears and can pick up accents really quickly. For now, I’ll leave that to them. Eventually, that is something I want to work on. I can do a lot of accents/dialects in short bursts but sustaining them while saying someone else's words is the key.

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Interview with Monique Edwards Reviewed by JaamZIN on 10:45:00 PM Rating: 5
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