Samantha Ivers Interview

January 11, 2013 |  by  |  celebrities, faces, interview

Originally Published – July 11th, 2006

Samantha Ivers first came to our attention by stealing a number of scenes in Spike Lee’s top notch heist thriller “Inside Man” as the feisty bank hostage with a penchant for obnoxiously loud cell phone conversations and zingy one-liners that stop ogling men dead in their tracks.

Stealing scenes from that talented cast of actors is no small feat.  Ivers manages to stand out while sharing the screen with Clive Owen, Denzel Washington & Chiwetel Ejiofor.

She was kind enough to accept an interview with us about how she got started in the business, getting her first big break with Spike Lee & what lies ahead in her future.

TC’s Question: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Let’s start with the basics. When and how did you get the acting bug? Have you always known that this was a career path for you?

Samantha Ivers: — I was nine years old at a New Jersey summer sleep away camp called Cejwin. There was this fantastic director with all the passion in the world that told me I was a star. I was playing Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan. Haven’t given it up since and don’t plan to.

Question: Did you study acting in school? I presume that acting is something that no one outside of the Meryl Streep’s of this world ever really master… How are you continuing to improve your skills? Do you have an acting coach or mentor?

Samantha Ivers: — My most extensive and specific training was done at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. There I studied Sanford Meisner’s acting technique in addition to many other classes necessary for building tools for acting, and life. We spent a semester abroad in London studying at Shakespeare’s reconstructed Globe theater, where I received the best classical training of my life. Before Rutgers I was involved in a few theater companies, taking classes and doing as many plays as possible. There is a phenomenal woman that has stuck by me by the name of Allyn Sitjar. She is the spine of first theater company I was ever a part of. She has acted as a coach and friend throughout my years.

Question: Before “Inside Man”, what were you doing as an actress looking for a big break?

Samantha Ivers: — Mason Gross puts on a showcase of scenes and monologues in New York at the end of our final semester for casting directors, agents, and managers. I was very fortunate to have gotten a number of calls, and finally settled down with my current agency; Independent Artists. Two auditions later I landed Inside Man.

Question: Was there ever a time when you doubted that this was the career for you?

Samantha Ivers: — No.

Question: The Internet Movie Database has “Inside Man” as your first credit. Are there any other projects that you have been involved with that you would like to share with us? Have you ever done any stage work? Is that something you’d like to do or would you prefer to remain in film?

Samantha Ivers: — Having been trained in theater my entire life, of course I miss it. The thrill of working through the process of a play is really unparalleled to anything else. Working on Inside Man, however, was the best experience of my life. As far as other projects? I worked on a play called Beirut at Mason Gross. It was amazing.

Question: How did you get involved with Spike Lee’s “Inside Man”? What was the audition process like? Did you read in front of Spike or with any of the stars? How many times did you get called back? Were you nervous at all?

Samantha Ivers: — Like any audition, I went through the NY casting director first, Kim Coleman from Inside Man. She had such a fun and easy going personality. I found it easy to walk into the room and bring ideas that allowed me to have fun with the character. That’s where the Brooklyn accent came in. I believe it was the dialect that had Spike bring me in 2 more times, to finally hear that 2 weeks later he decided to cast me in the movie. As far as being nervous, yes my first time walking into that room, unexpectedly seeing Spike, made my heart drop. But, part of my job as an actor is to let that happen to me, and let it feed me. Then let it go. Auditioning is just as much of a skill and a craft as acting. It takes practice! Throughout the filming, Spike was open to experimenting with the character, and improvising the hell out of it. Any director that has a specific idea for what they want, still letting the actors bring their own creative freedom to it, like Spike did gets my vote. It was ideal!! I remember at one of the parties he threw, he came over with a big smile to tell me that he and some others had been watching the dailys and cracking up at some of the things that came out of my mouth. I don’t care what profession you’re in, encouragement like that made me want to give him my all, and I did!

Question: Once offered the role, who was the first person you called?

Samantha Ivers: — I was in my NYC apartment with my roommate, also an actor, Sebastian Stan and my mother, Sandy, at the time my agent called me that I got the part. I remember screaming and hugging the room (I tend to get dramatic with good news) and calling my dad, Norm, first. From that moment on, my dad has been my biggest fan!!

Question: How was your first day on set?

Samantha Ivers: — My first day on the set was not the first time I saw the unbelievable talent I was working with. Spike had screenings of films for the cast and crew of various movies that had been filmed in NYC having to do with similar topics that were in INSIDE MAN. That’s where I met Clive Owen. Wow! I also developed an immediate bond with Cassandra Freeman and Ashlie Atkinson there. Such talented actresses and awesome people! Then there was the reading of the script. I remember Denzel walking in wearing a grey suit and white sneakers. He has been one of my favorite actors for as long as I can remember. I was awe struck. The reading went on and Denzel was laughing and joking, improvising and throwing jokes back and forth with Spike. It really set the environment and eased everyone into the fun and laid back adventure we were all about to embark on. My first day on the set was in Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy yard. That was the day I shot my interview scene with Denzel and Chiwetel. It only took a few takes and it was done in a flash. I really loved working every minute on this film!!

Question: There is a general buzz that you were able to steal the scenes that you were in. Did you get any comments or compliments from the cast or crew? What was the feedback like from Spike?

Samantha Ivers: — One of the biggest lessons learned at Mason Gross School of the Arts acting conservatory at Rutgers University, where I studied, was to commit 100% to any choice I made. Positive choices, clear ideas and a positive attitude made everything go very smoothly. I did have a wealth of wonderful things said to me from the cast and crew members on the set. Working in such a friendly and family type environment made it all so easy!!

Question: I heard a rumor that some of your dialogue was improvised, most notably the cell phone conversation in the bank. Was that your choice or did Spike just tell you to go for it?

Samantha Ivers: — Both really. The day we shot the scene on line at the bank Spike and Mike Ellis were giving out different props to the actors. A newspaper, a briefcase, an i-pod. I got the cellphone. In the first couple of takes, Mike told me just to mime a conversation to someone on the phone. Then Spike had me miked and told me to go for it! Luckily I had extensive training in improv. I knew who this woman was so within each take I took her further and further. And so, Nancy Mann was born.

Question: You have to tell me about your character’s accent and attitude. It seems like you had fun playing that part.

Samantha Ivers: — I had an absolute blast. Before I had any classes in dialect training I had an idol. I think I was about 8 or 9 years old when I started impersonating Marisa Tomei’s character in My Cousin Vinny. Also, I was in a play called Beirut (my favorite character to date) where I used a variation of the accent. Now continuing on the same path of this type of character, there are 8 episodes of the Sopranos left. I would love something there before they finish. I’m a huge fan of the show and had a couple of call-backs for 2nd auditions , but has not worked out so far.

Question: Did you shoot any scenes that didn’t make the final cut?

Samantha Ivers: — Unbelievably, only one. I didn’t have any lines in that scene but was thrown into the mix. Remember when Denzel and Willem Defoe are planning to take over the bank using force, taking all the bad guys out. Well in a brief moment they consider killing off Kim Director’s character in a fantasy sequence and because all the hostages were masked they accidentally kill me. You see me slumping against the safe deposit boxes after being shot in that sequence but in the end they took of my mask to show they killed the wrong person. That part was cut but a blast to shoot. Nothing like getting killed.

Question: When in a supporting role, is it still necessary to ‘build’ a character from the ground up? Did you feel the need to create back-story?

Samantha Ivers: — Funny you should ask. There is no way to really know if you’ll need all kinds of back story. But, it’s always a good idea so you’re prepared for anything. Luckily I knew about my character’s job, family and sex life before they said action!!

Question: Did you get to consult on your own wardrobe, hair & make-up for the film?

Samantha Ivers: — Not really. Hair, make up and wardrobe are all hired because they are so professional. As a matter of fact, I just finished shooting a Chris Rock film with Steve Buscemi and Kerry Washington. Anita Gibson did the makeup for both of my movies. And, one of my best friends on the set, Kenneth Walker, did my hair.

Question: What was the overall experience like? Was it a friendly set?

Samantha Ivers: — I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!!!

Question: What did you learn from that experience that you didn’t know before?

Samantha Ivers: — Aside from the acting experience, everything was pretty much new to me. I learned how many people it takes to put a great movie together. I learned how much time and preparation is involved and that this is what I want to do right now in my acting career.

Question: Are there any funny stories you would care to share from the shoot?

Samantha Ivers: — There’s a scene when the robbers are transferring hostages from room to room. We’re blindfolded and Carlos Andres Gomes was leading me and accidentally smashed my head into the door going into a room leaving me with quite a welt on my forehead for the remainder of the shoot. Everyone was concerned but I was fine and it kept the cast and crew laughing for a long time. Anita Gibson brought that memory back to me in the honeywagon of I Think I Love My Wife (Chris Rock Movie) and she’s still laughing, as am I. Carlos felt so bad he came to the set the next day with an adorable apology card. No hard feelings!!

Question: What has been the reaction from friends & family since seeing the film? Have any old friends come out of the woodwork?

Samantha Ivers: — My family and friends have been amazingly supportive and I love and thank every one of them for that. As far as old friends coming out of the woodwork, a few have reappeared with congratulatory messages but nothing crazy. Some friends get their kicks messing with me. I’ll get a call from some friends saying, Oh, big superstar now, can’t return a phone call? when it’s only been a day but all in fun. Everybody really loved the movie!!

Question: What has been the reaction professionally? Have you noticed an influx of phone calls to your agent based on the performance?

Samantha Ivers: — Here and there I have gotten calls. Comments on the internet have been overwhelming and extremely flattering. (and I thank you again for your wonderful comments) When it comes down to it though, it is still a very difficult and intimidating business. It’s a fine line for actors. We walk a fine line. We have to be tough as nails with the business side and yet always emotionally available and vulnerable for the art. Luckily, I always love a good challenge.

Question: What’s next for Samantha Ivers? Are there any cool new projects on the horizon?

Samantha Ivers: — I’ve got some call backs in the works. I just finished shooting the Chris Rock movie, I Think I Love My Wife. A comedy, also directed by Chris Rock. I played Steve Buscemi’s secretary in the movie, talk about being in the presence of great actors. And, Chris Rock is a sheer delight to work with. Next, I’ve got a bit part in an upcoming Disney film, Enchanted, with Susan Sarandon, Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams.

Question: Spike Lee has often had the inclination to work with the same actors and actresses multiple times? Have you been in contact with him since the shoot and is there a chance that you’d work with him again?

Samantha Ivers: — I would love to work with Spike again, it would be a honor. I got a call from him a while ago with an invite to a party he threw on the Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. It celebrated 20 years of film making for his company, 40 Acres and a Mule and was a blast. That’s where I first met Chris Rock. Some incredible people were there including Samuel L Jackson, Magic Johnson, Dave Chappelle, Wesley Snipes, Dave Winfield, Reggie Miller and John Leguizamo. I can only hope Spike will consider me for another role is his films.

Question: My last question reminded me of something that one of your co-stars once said. I heard Jodie Foster once refer to herself as an actor rather than an actress? Do you prefer one term over the other?

Samantha Ivers: — I am too inclined to refer to myself as an actor. Though I am a supporter of feminine equality, I am no feminist. However, when asked by others why I call myself an actor, I usually explain that as a society we don’t feel the need to separate the sexes when referring to such professions as lawyers and teachers. The only reason I see fit for the sexes separation in this business is for the awards. Best actor-actress etc. And until there is an equal division of leading and supporting female and male roles, I understand the different titles.

Question: Your character in the film is often objectified by the male characters. Do you find that is something you have encountered in the infamously sexist ‘movie-biz’? What is it like for a woman while trying to break into the business?

Samantha Ivers: — You know there is a lot of denial in this business with both men and women saying, I don’t like or feel the need for type-casting. I give a lot of credit to people who try to go against the sexism and change the way the business views women. But I’m here to act!! I understand what attracts people to the box office. I don’t feel objectified as an actor simply because my character is. People need to lighten up. If 2 cops staring at a big breasted female is going to create some laughs in the movie going public, then why the hell not? There are people who are shallow and sleazy, no doubt. It’s disturbing in everyday life, but hilarious in the film! I’m not big on disrespect and never one to stand for it. And as of yet, working in the business I’ve never felt threatened or objectified.

Question: Okay… let’s lighten things up with a few ‘get to know you questions’. What are some of your favorite films? Classics and recent releases?

Samantha Ivers: — My friends get upset with me because of my limited movie repertoire. But, here are a few of my favorites: A Bronx Tale, Donnie Brasco, Casino, (love the Mafioso and DeNiro) Requiem for a Dream, The Negotiator, Half Baked, Love Jones, The Hurricane, Pay it Forward, Glory, Schindler’s List, Streetcar Named Desire, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Primal Fear, As Good As it Gets, Awakenings, Marathon Man, Million Dollar Baby, Rain Man, Lean on Me, Crash, Shawshank Redemption, Rounders, Pulp Fiction, Gia, sleepers American History X, The Recruit, See No Evil Hear No Evil, Scent of a Woman, and many more!!

Question: What did you think of the Oscars this year? Did ‘Crash’ deserve to win? Can you see yourself on that stage someday?

Samantha Ivers: — I was all about Crash winning., My god, the acting, the story, the direction! I was really blown away. It’s such an important film. I saw it twice in the theater and I don’t ever do that. Can I see myself on that stage someday? That question made me well up a bit. How do I answer without sounding kookey? Hell yes. My lifelong dream is already coming true. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I don’t plan on ever giving this up.

Question: In terms of your career, what would make you happy?

Samantha Ivers: — To continue on this path without ever losing sight of who’s important to me. I’d love to keep learning and growing as an actor. I’d love to keep working with the most talented people in the world. I want to be stretched to my limits and take as many risks as I can. I want to see it all. I hope I will never lose this passion I have for theater. Financially, it would be nice not to have to cocktail waitress anymore. I don’t ever want to feel like I have to starve myself to meet Hollywood / societal standards. I want to make people laugh and I want to make people cry. Wow! Tony, this question is too much, I want so much, ask me again in 5 years.

Question: Go ahead… burn a bridge… What is the worst film you’ve ever seen?

Samantha Ivers: — Worst film I’ve ever seen? Who the hell am I to say? Can’t answer that question.

Question: Do you have any role models? Are there any career paths that you would love to emulate?

Samantha Ivers: — Role models, too many. My grandparents, my parents my sister, Ellen Burstyn, Meryl Streep, Phylicia Rashad, Cate Blanchett, Rachel McAdams, Dave Chappelle, (watch him on inside actor’s studio, he’s inspiring) Lucille Ball, Sanford Meisner and so many more. Career paths’ I like Marisa Tomei’s body of work, Meryl Streep’s not doing to bad for herself.

Question: Who would you most like to work with in the future?

Samantha Ivers: — Robert DeNiro, Edie Falco, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee.

Question: What kind of music do you listen to?

Samantha Ivers: — Brought up on hip-hop love to dance Have a thing for Marshall Mathers.

Question: Actor’s Studio Question – What is your favorite word?

Samantha Ivers: — Nudyun Seretzlek (Hungarian for I love you–that’s for grandma) and I love saying bumper to bumper Say it fast as it rolls off your tongue.

Question: Actor’s Studio Question – What is your favorite curse word?

Samantha Ivers: — Fuck!! Can’t go wrong with the word. My Dad would call me a truck driver!!!

Question: What makes you the happiest?

Samantha Ivers: — Sharing a good laugh with good friends and I’m learning that happiness is a choice and..persistence is key!!

Question: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer all these questions. Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers and the growing group of fans who will undoubtedly be keeping an eye out for the scene stealing Samantha Ivers?

Samantha Ivers: — Tony, thanks so much for the interview.

END INTERVIEW

Originally Published – July 11th, 2006

Samantha Ivers first came to our attention by stealing a number of scenes in Spike Lee’s top notch heist thriller “Inside Man” as the feisty bank hostage with a penchant for obnoxiously loud cell phone conversations and zingy one-liners that stop ogling men dead in their tracks.

Stealing scenes from that talented cast of actors is no small feat.  Ivers manages to stand out while sharing the screen with Clive Owen, Denzel Washington & Chiwetel Ejiofor.

She was kind enough to accept an interview with us about how she got started in the business, getting her first big break with Spike Lee & what lies ahead in her future.

TC’s Question: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Let’s start with the basics. When and how did you get the acting bug? Have you always known that this was a career path for you?

Samantha Ivers: — I was nine years old at a New Jersey summer sleep away camp called Cejwin. There was this fantastic director with all the passion in the world that told me I was a star. I was playing Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan. Haven’t given it up since and don’t plan to.

Question: Did you study acting in school? I presume that acting is something that no one outside of the Meryl Streep’s of this world ever really master… How are you continuing to improve your skills? Do you have an acting coach or mentor?

Samantha Ivers: — My most extensive and specific training was done at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. There I studied Sanford Meisner’s acting technique in addition to many other classes necessary for building tools for acting, and life. We spent a semester abroad in London studying at Shakespeare’s reconstructed Globe theater, where I received the best classical training of my life. Before Rutgers I was involved in a few theater companies, taking classes and doing as many plays as possible. There is a phenomenal woman that has stuck by me by the name of Allyn Sitjar. She is the spine of first theater company I was ever a part of. She has acted as a coach and friend throughout my years.

Question: Before “Inside Man”, what were you doing as an actress looking for a big break?

Samantha Ivers: — Mason Gross puts on a showcase of scenes and monologues in New York at the end of our final semester for casting directors, agents, and managers. I was very fortunate to have gotten a number of calls, and finally settled down with my current agency; Independent Artists. Two auditions later I landed Inside Man.

Question: Was there ever a time when you doubted that this was the career for you?

Samantha Ivers: — No.

Question: The Internet Movie Database has “Inside Man” as your first credit. Are there any other projects that you have been involved with that you would like to share with us? Have you ever done any stage work? Is that something you’d like to do or would you prefer to remain in film?

Samantha Ivers: — Having been trained in theater my entire life, of course I miss it. The thrill of working through the process of a play is really unparalleled to anything else. Working on Inside Man, however, was the best experience of my life. As far as other projects? I worked on a play called Beirut at Mason Gross. It was amazing.

Question: How did you get involved with Spike Lee’s “Inside Man”? What was the audition process like? Did you read in front of Spike or with any of the stars? How many times did you get called back? Were you nervous at all?

Samantha Ivers: — Like any audition, I went through the NY casting director first, Kim Coleman from Inside Man. She had such a fun and easy going personality. I found it easy to walk into the room and bring ideas that allowed me to have fun with the character. That’s where the Brooklyn accent came in. I believe it was the dialect that had Spike bring me in 2 more times, to finally hear that 2 weeks later he decided to cast me in the movie. As far as being nervous, yes my first time walking into that room, unexpectedly seeing Spike, made my heart drop. But, part of my job as an actor is to let that happen to me, and let it feed me. Then let it go. Auditioning is just as much of a skill and a craft as acting. It takes practice! Throughout the filming, Spike was open to experimenting with the character, and improvising the hell out of it. Any director that has a specific idea for what they want, still letting the actors bring their own creative freedom to it, like Spike did gets my vote. It was ideal!! I remember at one of the parties he threw, he came over with a big smile to tell me that he and some others had been watching the dailys and cracking up at some of the things that came out of my mouth. I don’t care what profession you’re in, encouragement like that made me want to give him my all, and I did!

Question: Once offered the role, who was the first person you called?

Samantha Ivers: — I was in my NYC apartment with my roommate, also an actor, Sebastian Stan and my mother, Sandy, at the time my agent called me that I got the part. I remember screaming and hugging the room (I tend to get dramatic with good news) and calling my dad, Norm, first. From that moment on, my dad has been my biggest fan!!

Question: How was your first day on set?

Samantha Ivers: — My first day on the set was not the first time I saw the unbelievable talent I was working with. Spike had screenings of films for the cast and crew of various movies that had been filmed in NYC having to do with similar topics that were in INSIDE MAN. That’s where I met Clive Owen. Wow! I also developed an immediate bond with Cassandra Freeman and Ashlie Atkinson there. Such talented actresses and awesome people! Then there was the reading of the script. I remember Denzel walking in wearing a grey suit and white sneakers. He has been one of my favorite actors for as long as I can remember. I was awe struck. The reading went on and Denzel was laughing and joking, improvising and throwing jokes back and forth with Spike. It really set the environment and eased everyone into the fun and laid back adventure we were all about to embark on. My first day on the set was in Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy yard. That was the day I shot my interview scene with Denzel and Chiwetel. It only took a few takes and it was done in a flash. I really loved working every minute on this film!!

Question: There is a general buzz that you were able to steal the scenes that you were in. Did you get any comments or compliments from the cast or crew? What was the feedback like from Spike?

Samantha Ivers: — One of the biggest lessons learned at Mason Gross School of the Arts acting conservatory at Rutgers University, where I studied, was to commit 100% to any choice I made. Positive choices, clear ideas and a positive attitude made everything go very smoothly. I did have a wealth of wonderful things said to me from the cast and crew members on the set. Working in such a friendly and family type environment made it all so easy!!

Question: I heard a rumor that some of your dialogue was improvised, most notably the cell phone conversation in the bank. Was that your choice or did Spike just tell you to go for it?

Samantha Ivers: — Both really. The day we shot the scene on line at the bank Spike and Mike Ellis were giving out different props to the actors. A newspaper, a briefcase, an i-pod. I got the cellphone. In the first couple of takes, Mike told me just to mime a conversation to someone on the phone. Then Spike had me miked and told me to go for it! Luckily I had extensive training in improv. I knew who this woman was so within each take I took her further and further. And so, Nancy Mann was born.

Question: You have to tell me about your character’s accent and attitude. It seems like you had fun playing that part.

Samantha Ivers: — I had an absolute blast. Before I had any classes in dialect training I had an idol. I think I was about 8 or 9 years old when I started impersonating Marisa Tomei’s character in My Cousin Vinny. Also, I was in a play called Beirut (my favorite character to date) where I used a variation of the accent. Now continuing on the same path of this type of character, there are 8 episodes of the Sopranos left. I would love something there before they finish. I’m a huge fan of the show and had a couple of call-backs for 2nd auditions , but has not worked out so far.

Question: Did you shoot any scenes that didn’t make the final cut?

Samantha Ivers: — Unbelievably, only one. I didn’t have any lines in that scene but was thrown into the mix. Remember when Denzel and Willem Defoe are planning to take over the bank using force, taking all the bad guys out. Well in a brief moment they consider killing off Kim Director’s character in a fantasy sequence and because all the hostages were masked they accidentally kill me. You see me slumping against the safe deposit boxes after being shot in that sequence but in the end they took of my mask to show they killed the wrong person. That part was cut but a blast to shoot. Nothing like getting killed.

Question: When in a supporting role, is it still necessary to ‘build’ a character from the ground up? Did you feel the need to create back-story?

Samantha Ivers: — Funny you should ask. There is no way to really know if you’ll need all kinds of back story. But, it’s always a good idea so you’re prepared for anything. Luckily I knew about my character’s job, family and sex life before they said action!!

Question: Did you get to consult on your own wardrobe, hair & make-up for the film?

Samantha Ivers: — Not really. Hair, make up and wardrobe are all hired because they are so professional. As a matter of fact, I just finished shooting a Chris Rock film with Steve Buscemi and Kerry Washington. Anita Gibson did the makeup for both of my movies. And, one of my best friends on the set, Kenneth Walker, did my hair.

Question: What was the overall experience like? Was it a friendly set?

Samantha Ivers: — I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!!!

Question: What did you learn from that experience that you didn’t know before?

Samantha Ivers: — Aside from the acting experience, everything was pretty much new to me. I learned how many people it takes to put a great movie together. I learned how much time and preparation is involved and that this is what I want to do right now in my acting career.

Question: Are there any funny stories you would care to share from the shoot?

Samantha Ivers: — There’s a scene when the robbers are transferring hostages from room to room. We’re blindfolded and Carlos Andres Gomes was leading me and accidentally smashed my head into the door going into a room leaving me with quite a welt on my forehead for the remainder of the shoot. Everyone was concerned but I was fine and it kept the cast and crew laughing for a long time. Anita Gibson brought that memory back to me in the honeywagon of I Think I Love My Wife (Chris Rock Movie) and she’s still laughing, as am I. Carlos felt so bad he came to the set the next day with an adorable apology card. No hard feelings!!

Question: What has been the reaction from friends & family since seeing the film? Have any old friends come out of the woodwork?

Samantha Ivers: — My family and friends have been amazingly supportive and I love and thank every one of them for that. As far as old friends coming out of the woodwork, a few have reappeared with congratulatory messages but nothing crazy. Some friends get their kicks messing with me. I’ll get a call from some friends saying, Oh, big superstar now, can’t return a phone call? when it’s only been a day but all in fun. Everybody really loved the movie!!

Question: What has been the reaction professionally? Have you noticed an influx of phone calls to your agent based on the performance?

Samantha Ivers: — Here and there I have gotten calls. Comments on the internet have been overwhelming and extremely flattering. (and I thank you again for your wonderful comments) When it comes down to it though, it is still a very difficult and intimidating business. It’s a fine line for actors. We walk a fine line. We have to be tough as nails with the business side and yet always emotionally available and vulnerable for the art. Luckily, I always love a good challenge.

Question: What’s next for Samantha Ivers? Are there any cool new projects on the horizon?

Samantha Ivers: — I’ve got some call backs in the works. I just finished shooting the Chris Rock movie, I Think I Love My Wife. A comedy, also directed by Chris Rock. I played Steve Buscemi’s secretary in the movie, talk about being in the presence of great actors. And, Chris Rock is a sheer delight to work with. Next, I’ve got a bit part in an upcoming Disney film, Enchanted, with Susan Sarandon, Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams.

Question: Spike Lee has often had the inclination to work with the same actors and actresses multiple times? Have you been in contact with him since the shoot and is there a chance that you’d work with him again?

Samantha Ivers: — I would love to work with Spike again, it would be a honor. I got a call from him a while ago with an invite to a party he threw on the Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. It celebrated 20 years of film making for his company, 40 Acres and a Mule and was a blast. That’s where I first met Chris Rock. Some incredible people were there including Samuel L Jackson, Magic Johnson, Dave Chappelle, Wesley Snipes, Dave Winfield, Reggie Miller and John Leguizamo. I can only hope Spike will consider me for another role is his films.

Question: My last question reminded me of something that one of your co-stars once said. I heard Jodie Foster once refer to herself as an actor rather than an actress? Do you prefer one term over the other?

Samantha Ivers: — I am too inclined to refer to myself as an actor. Though I am a supporter of feminine equality, I am no feminist. However, when asked by others why I call myself an actor, I usually explain that as a society we don’t feel the need to separate the sexes when referring to such professions as lawyers and teachers. The only reason I see fit for the sexes separation in this business is for the awards. Best actor-actress etc. And until there is an equal division of leading and supporting female and male roles, I understand the different titles.

Question: Your character in the film is often objectified by the male characters. Do you find that is something you have encountered in the infamously sexist ‘movie-biz’? What is it like for a woman while trying to break into the business?

Samantha Ivers: — You know there is a lot of denial in this business with both men and women saying, I don’t like or feel the need for type-casting. I give a lot of credit to people who try to go against the sexism and change the way the business views women. But I’m here to act!! I understand what attracts people to the box office. I don’t feel objectified as an actor simply because my character is. People need to lighten up. If 2 cops staring at a big breasted female is going to create some laughs in the movie going public, then why the hell not? There are people who are shallow and sleazy, no doubt. It’s disturbing in everyday life, but hilarious in the film! I’m not big on disrespect and never one to stand for it. And as of yet, working in the business I’ve never felt threatened or objectified.

Question: Okay… let’s lighten things up with a few ‘get to know you questions’. What are some of your favorite films? Classics and recent releases?

Samantha Ivers: — My friends get upset with me because of my limited movie repertoire. But, here are a few of my favorites: A Bronx Tale, Donnie Brasco, Casino, (love the Mafioso and DeNiro) Requiem for a Dream, The Negotiator, Half Baked, Love Jones, The Hurricane, Pay it Forward, Glory, Schindler’s List, Streetcar Named Desire, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Primal Fear, As Good As it Gets, Awakenings, Marathon Man, Million Dollar Baby, Rain Man, Lean on Me, Crash, Shawshank Redemption, Rounders, Pulp Fiction, Gia, sleepers American History X, The Recruit, See No Evil Hear No Evil, Scent of a Woman, and many more!!

Question: What did you think of the Oscars this year? Did ‘Crash’ deserve to win? Can you see yourself on that stage someday?

Samantha Ivers: — I was all about Crash winning., My god, the acting, the story, the direction! I was really blown away. It’s such an important film. I saw it twice in the theater and I don’t ever do that. Can I see myself on that stage someday? That question made me well up a bit. How do I answer without sounding kookey? Hell yes. My lifelong dream is already coming true. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I don’t plan on ever giving this up.

Question: In terms of your career, what would make you happy?

Samantha Ivers: — To continue on this path without ever losing sight of who’s important to me. I’d love to keep learning and growing as an actor. I’d love to keep working with the most talented people in the world. I want to be stretched to my limits and take as many risks as I can. I want to see it all. I hope I will never lose this passion I have for theater. Financially, it would be nice not to have to cocktail waitress anymore. I don’t ever want to feel like I have to starve myself to meet Hollywood / societal standards. I want to make people laugh and I want to make people cry. Wow! Tony, this question is too much, I want so much, ask me again in 5 years.

Question: Go ahead… burn a bridge… What is the worst film you’ve ever seen?

Samantha Ivers: — Worst film I’ve ever seen? Who the hell am I to say? Can’t answer that question.

Question: Do you have any role models? Are there any career paths that you would love to emulate?

Samantha Ivers: — Role models, too many. My grandparents, my parents my sister, Ellen Burstyn, Meryl Streep, Phylicia Rashad, Cate Blanchett, Rachel McAdams, Dave Chappelle, (watch him on inside actor’s studio, he’s inspiring) Lucille Ball, Sanford Meisner and so many more. Career paths’ I like Marisa Tomei’s body of work, Meryl Streep’s not doing to bad for herself.

Question: Who would you most like to work with in the future?

Samantha Ivers: — Robert DeNiro, Edie Falco, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee.

Question: What kind of music do you listen to?

Samantha Ivers: — Brought up on hip-hop love to dance Have a thing for Marshall Mathers.

Question: Actor’s Studio Question – What is your favorite word?

Samantha Ivers: — Nudyun Seretzlek (Hungarian for I love you–that’s for grandma) and I love saying bumper to bumper Say it fast as it rolls off your tongue.

Question: Actor’s Studio Question – What is your favorite curse word?

Samantha Ivers: — Fuck!! Can’t go wrong with the word. My Dad would call me a truck driver!!!

Question: What makes you the happiest?

Samantha Ivers: — Sharing a good laugh with good friends and I’m learning that happiness is a choice and..persistence is key!!

Question: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer all these questions. Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers and the growing group of fans who will undoubtedly be keeping an eye out for the scene stealing Samantha Ivers?

Samantha Ivers: — Tony, thanks so much for the interview.

END INTERVIEW


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