We had the good fortune of connecting with Maisie Grace and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maisie, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Acting is my life. There was never a choice for me, it was all I wanted. There was never anything else I wanted to do, not without also being an actress.
I was always a performer. My mother was a model and signed me and my siblings up as infants. I won’t lie, I was a cute baby and child. I loved performing, smiling, and laughing for the camera, getting to be in travel magazines and clothing stores and magazines. It was my first taste of the spotlight and it was with my family so that made it extra special and bright.
I went to my first acting class at the age of 5. My mum put my older brother in the class with a youth theatre group and I tagged along and, despite being a year too young, I joined the class and that was it for me. I had found my calling, what I was meant to do. Man in the Moon, the name of the theatre group, was my life from nearly 8 years. I was in my first play when I was 7, a dalmatian in a production of ‘101 Dalmatians’. I loved every minute of it, every rehearsal, every show. I did more shows and eventually got my first lead role at the age of 10 in a production of ‘5 Children and It’. I was so happy and excited; it was the greatest moment of my young life. My life revolved around acting, dancing, singing, and performing in any way and often as I could. I often credit Man in the Moon as the reason why I chose to follow the path into the performing arts.
I was also greatly inspired by the films and TV shows I watched growing up. To me, films were magic, and I wanted to be a part of it. ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Narnia’ and Disney movies were what I grew up on, what fueled my imagination and drove my passion for my craft. I wanted to be Hermione, using magic and being the smartest. I wanted to be a Pevensie kid and travel to Narnia and have adventures. I wanted magic and adventure and to go places that were not possible in regular life.
For me, acting has always been about playing, having fun, and feeling free from what was hard at moments in my life, school, and work. I had an escape that took me to magical places and I never wanted to leave. I have pursued and dreamed of a career in acting for as long as I can remember and whilst it has never been easy, my passion and commitment has only grown stronger.
I have quite literally traveled across the world to pursue my dreams and I am only at the beginning of my story. I will not let go or slow down, there is so much ahead of me and I can’t wait to get there!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Acting, for me, is finding peace. Building a new character is like breathing in a new, exciting smell, filling your body with new experiences, thoughts, and feelings. To me, it’s fun and playful, it’s exploring and discovering new things. That’s what I love about acting is getting to experience things that I would not be able to in my normal life. I personally don’t have a specific method I use to embody or create characters. I use what works best for me and then work with that until I have a whole, real person built. I find that a more realistic approach to character creation.
I think what excites me the most is the unknown future ahead of me, there’s a whole world, life, and career ahead of me and I can’t wait to move forward and see what there is for me. There’s so much I can do, and I want to do it all. Acting is one of the only careers where you can do literally anything and be anything you can dream of. I’m so excited to show the world what I can do.
I moved alone to Los Angeles when I was 19 years old to attend film school and expand my knowledge of my art and the industry. I learnt so much during my time at school and living in Burbank, life wasn’t always great, and it was easy to feel discouraged and lost at times. I know many people who dropped out of school or moved on from the industry out of fear or not feeling the passion the same or even finding new paths. I can’t say there weren’t moments when I wasn’t unsure, when I had doubts or setbacks, but I pushed forward and stayed true to myself and my dreams. I will always be proud of myself for taking that risk because it led me to where I am today.
It may sound cliched, but it was this hard work and determination got me to where I am today. I worked on projects where I was nothing more than background and got to see how professional sets are run and had the time of my life. I worked on passion projects that I worked myself to the bone on and got nothing out of it but learnt valuable lessons and grew from the experiences. I worked and I learnt, I got pushed down and got back up and put myself back together.
It was never easy, and it continues not to be. In all honesty the only way to overcome the rejection and fear is to push through. You have to know that this is what you want or the challenges and rejections will break you, it’s hard and it will always be but if it’s the right path for you then it’s worth it.
I want to show that the hard work I’ve put in has been worth it and inspire others to pursue their dreams, no matter what other people say or do. I want to show my talent to the world and lift others up and share their voices and their stories.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think this may be the most difficult question! There’s just so many good places to visit, especially places to eat!
One of my absolute favorite places to get coffee and hang out is a cute, little coffee shop called Priscilla’s on Riverside Drive, just opposite another of my favorites, Bob’s Big Boy. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either. Priscilla’s has some of the best coffee and it’s such a good location to sit outside and do some people-watching while Bob’s is a great place to just sit and hang out with friends with some yummy burgers and fries!
Another recommendation I would make would be Café De Olla Restaurant on West Victory Boulevard. It’s a tiny little brunch place with the absolute best coffee and huge plates of food. I found it way too late into my time in LA. It is definitely worth a visit, although make a reservation as there tends to be a long wait!
Finally a personal favorite and something I miss so much is a small, unassuming donut shop on West Magnolia Boulevard called Donut Hut. The best donuts I personally have ever had, it’s open 24 hours and the people who work there are always very friendly and make the donuts fresh right in front of you!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
People who have supported my career and my dream are few and far between honestly, a career in the arts is not something most people can understand. I am however extremely grateful to the small but wonderful group of people who have always been there for me as I have walked this path.
My mother, father, brother, and sister, who is also in an artistic career as a dancer, have supported me always, even if at times my father didn’t really understand my decision to pursue this career. My mother has always been a strong supporter of mine and encouraged me to follow my dreams and that is something that has meant a lot to me over the years. Having a sister who has chosen to follow a similar path is wonderful because I always have someone who understands and relates to the trials and joys of the industry. The love and encouragement from my family is something I will always be grateful for.
My biggest and strongest supporter is my boyfriend, Antonio Darwiche. He is an extremely talented director and writer who works incredibly hard and deserves all the recognition he gets and more. He is my strength and is always there when I need encouragement or a push to believe in myself. He always has an idea of something we can film together and is ready to help me make as many self-tapes as I could possibly need at a moment’s notice. More than anything his love, support and encouragement keeps me strong and driving forward! Do yourself a favor and look him up, watch his work and hire him for any projects! You won’t regret it! He is simply the best.
Other: Spotlight Casting – spotlight.com/interactive/cv/5898-5644-5249
Antonio Darwiche Fabrice Rizzatto