Recently I got the chance to speak with actress Katie Chonacas about her career and her new film with Val Kilmer, “Streets of Blood”. I want to thank Katie for taking the time to answer my questions and to Jordyn for arranging the interview.
GVK: How did you become involved with Streets of Blood and what can you tell us about the film?
KATIE: I became involved with Streets of Blood through film producer Randall Emmett. I can tell you a little bit about the plot of the film, a police officer’s partner dies during Hurricane Katrina, but he later discovers that his partner may have been murdered. An investigation follows, taking the officer and his new partner into the depths of the criminal underworld. The film has real life situations that go on in everyday life and everyone should see it!
GVK: What sort of research did you do for the film?
KATIE: This was a dark role so I focused a lot on the acting methods I have studied, and I drew influences from a handful of actors that I really admire.
GVK: What drew you to movies to acting after being established as a model and did you find it hard at first to make the transition?
KATIE: My modeling agent had me start going to auditions for commercials, and all of a sudden I started booking a ton of commercials. Then, I was asked to be in a documentary called “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.” I’ll never forget, Marcy from The I Group called me up and told me they wanted me on set. It was freezing and snowing out, but I fell in love with being on set and being a part of a movie. The next year I moved to Los Angeles, and started doing acting full time.
GVK: What was working with Val Kilmer, Sharon Stone, 50 Cent, and Michael Biehn?
KATIE: Working with Val and Curtis “50 CENT” Jackson was incredible. Watching Val was so cool because he did everything like a true professional, with his eyes shut, like acting is effortless. I hope one day I can be like that, a veteran in this business! Also, I have worked with Curtis on numerous projects; working with him on this film was great. He is so sweet, such a smart, nice guy. He is kind and giving, plus a great actor!
GVK: What were some of the more memorable moments from filming “Streets of Blood” and what were some of you fondest memories?
KATIE: Being on set with director Charles Winkler. Being able to shoot a gun for the first time, that was definitely memorable. My fondest memories would have to be just being a part of this great film, and the private lake house we had.
GVK: What future projects do you have coming up that the readers can look forward to?
KATIE: After Streets of Blood, I will be in the film A Perfect Getaway that will be in theatres on August 14. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Timothy Olyphant, Milla Jovich, and Steve Zahn. Then you can see me in the film Bad Liuetenant: Port of Call New Orleans with Nicholas Cage, Val Kilmer, Eva Mendes, and Fairuza Balk (also directed by Werner Herzog). Aside from movies, some of my paintings will be displayed at Groundwork Coffee Shop in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd so if you are in the area, make sure to stop by and check it out!
GVK: Which performers are your favorites and if you could select anyone to be your co-star, whom would it be and why?
KATIE: My favorites are Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp, Ed Norton, Sean Penn, and co-star would have to be Meryl Streep of course! She is the best, her roles are so rich, they are mind blowing. Plus, I love her charm and grace. I would also love to be in a film with Evan Rachel Wood and Ellen Page they amaze me.
GVK: What can you tell the readers about your music and your charity work as between Modeling and acting you seem to have a very full schedule.
KATIE: I have worked with a charity called Team in Train, and raised money with them by running a marathon. I have also been a part of Children International for 11 years now. I have sponsored 7 kids throughout the program, which has been such a wonderful experience. My music is another one of my passions, my mom was a singer and my little sister is a singer as well Stephanie (my sister) is a classically trained pianist, and she can sing in 5 different languages. She is so good, I definitely look up to her. Once in a while I would pop into my sister’s singing lessons and sometimes take vocal training from her teacher. Then I studied with some vocal coaches in Los Angeles. Finally, I met Doc Holiday who I study with now. Doc is one of the best in the business. He started Britney Spears, The Jonas Brothers, just to name a few. It is a honor to work with him.
GVK: I see that you are moving into producing, what can you tell us about how this came about and what are some of the challenges and rewards it presents?
KATIE: I started producing with Mr. Randall Emmett – Randall has taught me everything I know in regards to making a film happen from beginning to end. There are so many challenges when making a movie, I say bring it on! I love a challenge. The first three films that we tried to produce fell through. Randall taught me so much about how to deal with situations like that, how to deal with people and they way they act and work. There are so many rewards to producing as well… you have the chance to learn, live, and explore a whole new side to the business. I think what I have found rewarding is being a part of something so huge, making something happen – and, my family is so proud of me. That is the best reward of all.
GVK: With working in both film and television, can you talk about the differences between the two and which one you prefer?
KATIE: I love them both, I can’t say I prefer one over the other. It is great to work on a comedy with all the boys from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, then hop right over to a film and be on location somewhere shooting a dramatic scene. Both are totally different vibes. Television you often work with the same people for a lengthy period of time, film you jump from place to place, new actors, new people. Both are amazing experiences.