Sé Marie On acting, stunt work, and life by Alex A. Kecskes
Photo by Tony Moux
SÉ MARIE began her career as a stunt double for Rachel McAdams and Vinessa Shaw. She soon transitioned into acting full-time, leading several feature films to major film festivals, including the first ever Virtual Reality feature Career Opportunities in Organized Crime (which premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival 2016) and Careful Not to Cry (which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2017). Sé later starred in a live Zoom play titled Water Child, which featured an international cast and was critically praised as the first ever live Zoom theatre production. She subsequently produced, directed, and starred in A Very Covid Christmas, an original web series that won three 2021 Telly Awards for Best Remote Production (actor, director, and producer). A member of SAG-AFTRA and Women in Film, Sé now serves on the Telly Awards Judging Council. She is also in the upcoming feature Unsinkable about the aftermath of the Titanic. In the comedy feature Movers Ultimate, Sé is Susan, the daughter of a recently divorced woman (Annalese Poorman), who hires two reluctant movers (Shawn Knox and Andy J. Carlson), best friends who hate their jobs. Thank you for taking the time for this interview. What drew you to this quirky comedy? Sé: Actually, I’m more of a dramatic actor. But I wanted to get more into comedy, so when I read the script, it struck me as the perfect recipe for me as an actor and where I am right now. In this ensemble of comedic characters, I consider Susan to be the dramatic relief. She’s the person that brings everyone back to reality, that there are real-world consequences at stake. 38 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY BLACK CULTURE
Many actors have a love-hate relationship with auditions. Did you audition for the role of Susan? Sé: I did. There were two or three rounds of auditions. And they were self-taped. But different methods work better for some actors. For me, I love going into the audition room because there’s an impression you can make that you can’t make on a self-tape. But the downside is you usually only get one chance to perform and you can’t decide what you want to present. I did love the self-tape process because there were several rounds of auditions. So having that control over what I put out there was very nice in that instance. But when you go in live, you get that human connection, to show off your ability, to instantly get into character, and to walk into the room as the character. With tape, they don’t know whether you’ve spent three hours getting into character and then pressing “record.” There were some laugh-out-loud scenes in this film. Have you ever encountered movers like Chad and Ryan? Sé: (laughs) I must be one of the rare few that have never hired a moving company. It’s all been with friends and family. But I do know people that have had nightmare moves. And I know people who have worked for moving companies that have complained about their jobs. Yet they won’t leave their jobs. Can you go into some of your favorite scenes? Sé: The bed bugs scene. It’s the only scene where every cast member is in one room at the same time. The way Ben (Rood) directed that scene, we did take after take and it was chaotic and everyone was free to react how they felt their character would react. So there were so many things that were cut out.