5 minute read

Shantel Van Santen

Can you tell us more about your character on Shooter ? I play Julie Swagger, the wife to Bob LeeSwagger, a decorated Marine sniper who gets caught up in a government conspiracy theory in season one which is still unraveling now as we move into season three. Julie is not just a wife but a mother and her family is the foundation for her life. She is a loyal, strong, and equal partner to her husband. As we have seen in past seasons she has used all her knowledge to help save her family and herself in many situaions.

What made you want to play in this show? I like to find characters and shows that challenge me and help me grow. I was a fan of the movie and knew the show was going to dive deeper. Each season is based on a series of books by Stephen Hunter. To play strong females is a requirement for me, after meeting with our creator John Hlavin, I knew I could bring my stories to this character and it would be a wonderful fit. Also, I think, the action aspect of the show was very intriguing for me, I like to do physical activies and to be able to let that translate into the story is a fun part of being on the show. My bruises are Julie’s war wounds.

"One Tree Hill" was your first tv show as a recurring character. It's a show that has had a lot of impact on people and still remains in the memories today. Would you be up for a revival of the show? I know so many people want revivals and I’m grateful to the fans for the support and love. Sometimes the magic which happened that lives on is best where we left it and in the hearts of those who are so loyal.

I loved playing Quinn and getting to work with my co-stars. We have all moved on and from there have been fortunate enough to keep working with or around eachother on other projects. Its amazing to see us all grow up and evolve. But I guess we can never say never… who knows what the future brings!

Do you have a model, a person who made you want to become an actress? And a movie? I didn’t grow up wanting to become an actress. Theatre was always a hobby and a passion of mine but I didn’t know it could be a career. I was studying to be an investigative journalist in college and I still have this urge inside me to travel and write about things in this would. But truly, this happening, being an actress is a dream come true. All that being said there are many characters, movies, and actors which inspire me daily in my line of work. Anyone making bold choices and baring their soul for art is an inspiration to me.

A moment in your life that you won’t forget? There are so many. I have an amazing memory and I am very sentimental so I cherish many moments in my life. The last time I saw my grandmother is a moment I will never forget. We knew it was our last time and had to say goodbye. Those moments define your whole life. You cant prepare for them, for loss, you have to just open your heart and be guided with love. Tell us about your work with LUNG FORCE and American Lung Association. Giving back is an important part of life to me. I work with Lung Force, which is an inititive of the American Lung Association. I have been working with them for the last 4 years since the passing of my grandmother, Doris Dooyema, from lung cancer.

She was a living example of selflessness and love. She was diagnosed as a non smoker with stage 4 lung cancer and only had a short battle of less than 7 months. It wasn't until she was sick I learned the staggering facts about lung cancer.. like how its the number one cancer killer in America, there are many causes other than smoking, the death rate has doubled in the last few decades and it can happen to anyone. Educating others for me is the most important part because it allows people the opportunity to get ignited. I want people to join the force with me, share their stories, raise awareness and funds as well. You can get involved by visiting lungforce.org and signing up for a walk, donating and educating yourself on the risks.

You played on TV shows and movies. Which one do you prefer and why? They are both so different in TV you live with a character for much longer but you don’t know where the story will take you. Each script feels like another revelation into a deeper understanding of this person. It’s a longer journey but one you truly live day in and day out. Movies are more contained in the sense they have a shorter shooting time and you see the entire script before. You know where and how the story ends. I love being able to do the research and develop someone for a movie; knowing the exact reason you are telling the story. I love them both. Its all an art expression and both forms allow you to tell stories that entertain and impact people.

Someone you’d love to work with? Or a show you’d love to be on? So many wonderful shows are being made right now and as a woman its an exciting time to look at the projects being made. I am obsessed with Handmaids Tale, every aspect of it is magical, but the story its telling is brave and relatable. Beyond that necessary for people to hear and see. I love the show Glow as well. I see more movies when Im working on a show because I don’t have as much time. Now that we just wrapped season 3 shooting I will be on my couch binge watching many shows. The think you love the most in working as an actress? The opportunies I have been given to collaborate with creative artists across the board. To see the world through their stories and how they perceive characters or moments. Its magical when everyone expresses their vision with vulnerablitiy and you see magic come to life you know will impact or inspire others. A little advice for young girl who love cinema and want to make it to Hollywood? Don’t ever try to “make it” because in this, you will never be satisfied. Know this career is an evolutionary process of baring your soul. You have to put in the work and have a strong foundation of self-belief. Know what you have to offer this world is unique and your voice and talent are your own. Know each opportunity is a blessing to learn something more and take it all in so your constantly growing. I believe in you.

Photographer: Hudson Taylor
Makeup: Jessica M. Crocker
Styling: Beckey Thompson
Hair: Glen Coco Oropeza