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maart 13, 2024   Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Riley voor Photobook Magazine   Fotoshoots, Interviews, Riley Voelkel

Phoebe was afgelopen week bij de premiere van haar nieuwe Netflix serie “Boy Swallows Universe” in Brisbane, Australië. De serie is vanaf vandaag op de streamingsdienst te zien!

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http//: Shan Shi (Photobook Magazine)

Riley Voelkel, an accomplished and accredited actress, is recognized for her versatile performances across television and film. Rising to prominence with her compelling portrayal of Freya Mikaelson in the supernatural drama series “The Originals,” she showcased her acting prowess and garnered a dedicated fan base. Beyond the supernatural genre, she has highlighted her talent in diverse roles, including her recent portrayal of Renee Segna in the crime drama series “Hightown.” Hightown’s third and final season is airing now on STARZ with its finale taking place on March 8th.

When looking at her work, there is an extensive list of credits from a wide variety of roles. If you could take readers back, what started your initial interest in acting?
My story is a little different than most actors. Growing up I had no idea I would become an actor. I was heavily involved in school and sports but was never in theatre (something I now hope to experience someday). At 18 years old, a month away from going to college to study structural engineering and play softball, I was given the opportunity to move to LA and work as a model. I decided to take the risk and see how things went for one year and then decide if I wanted to go back to school or not. Through my modeling agency I booked a lot of commercials that year and they asked me if I ever thought about acting. I decided to take a class and the day of my first class I fell in love with it. I felt so much fulfillment from performing and creating, and I knew this was what I wanted to do. That’s how it all started.

Whether it be movie, show, or live theatre, I’m curious what would be your absolute dream roles to play?

I’d love to experience a role in theatre one day. I think it’s so different from film and television, and I imagine that it would be an amazing experience. I’ve always wanted to play a badass woman in an action film. I grew up playing sports so I crave the challenge of stunt work and think it would be so fun! Also, I’ve always been drawn to playing a character from another era like the 60s or 70s who is involved the music industry. “Almost Famous” is one of my favorite films and captures an amazing time in music and I’d love to be a part of something like that.

One of your biggest roles thus far is that of Freya on The CW’s hit series “The Originals and Legacies”. Looking back, what aspects did you enjoy most about playing Freya?
Playing Freya Mikaelson was the longest I’ve played one character in a show, and I loved experiencing building a character over the course of many seasons. It allows so much more character exploration when you have multiple seasons to tell a story. Also, the show’s fanbase is incredible. They are such loyal, amazing fans, and I’ll be forever grateful to them for all their love and support. The fans often tell us that the show and the characters brought a lot of comfort to them during difficult times and that has meant so much to me. They have definitely been a highlight of playing Freya. The magic was fun too.

Fans of “Hightown” are eagerly anticipating the return of your character Renee in the upcoming third season. How has your time playing her shaped your life when not on set?
As an actor, I was really craving a gritty role and the experience of this series is something I’ll carry throughout my career. Diving into a character whose life was so dark allowed me to find empathy for her and the fact that she could still find such strength and confidence taught me a lot. When I need to feel strong and confident in life, I can definitely pull inspiration from Renee.

“Hightown” deals with a wide variety of themes, often more serious: addiction, crime, betrayal. What challenges have you faced preparing for the role of Renee and how has it compared to other roles?
Playing Renee was the most challenging and fulfilling role in my career so far. When I first got the role, I was equally excited as I was terrified. I knew I was going to have to dig deep into a dark world to try and understand the perspective of a character whose life was so different from mine. I watched documentaries, went to strip clubs, and had a lot of guidance from our show-runner Rebecca Cutter in her vision for the character. Researching this world was both fascinating and heartbreaking and allowed for a lot of character exploration. I also trained in pole dancing as I couldn’t even touch my toes when I booked the role. Surprisingly, it ended up being an empowering experience.

On a similar note, how has the intense nature of the show impacted set chemistry when the cameras aren’t rolling?
There were definitely scenes that required emotions that were hard to shake after the cameras cut. Luckily this cast was one of the most supportive, professional and talented casts I’ve ever worked with, and we all had immense respect for each other and really became a family. Although we were dealing with intense and dark subject matter, the set chemistry was always positive.

In your seasons of” Hightown,” can you recount any memorable behind-the-scenes moments that fans of the show might enjoy?
Amaury Nolasco, who played Frankie, would always prank me on set. During scenes that were dead quiet he would jump up and scare me. I swore I would get him back and tried multiple times but always failed. We even put a scary doll in the baby car seat and had crew members try to jump out and scare him in night shoots, but he never flinched. The man can’t be scared. I also had the opportunity to shadow direct Laura Belsey in episode 5 of season three and got a real behind the scenes experience. Getting to experience both sides of the camera and truly see what goes into each episode was an unforgettable experience. Laura was an amazing teacher and I have so much respect for every single person on set and their talent in what they do.

Without (or with) spoilers, what can fans expect from or look forward to from your character in “Hightown”’s final season?
Renee is having to navigate the dark secrets she has, and we really see the weight of that on her this season. Fans will get to see all the characters really pushed to their limits and see how far they will go. It’s a thrilling, sexy, heartbreaking season where everything comes to the surface and I’m so excited for the fans to see our final chapter.

Off set, it seems you have a keen sense of style. What things or designers inspire your wardrobe?
Oh, thank you, I’m inspired by designers, fellow actors, and by friends and people in my everyday life. I love style that has an edge, like adding something rock’n’roll to a soft feminine outfit. Alice and Olivia have that vibe to me; I love their pieces. Tom Ford also captures elegance with an edge. For my go-to looks I often shop with Revolve. They have a ton of my favorite designers and I’m always inspired by the looks they put together on their site for my everyday inspo. And I love shoes. I often base an entire outfit off what shoes I want to wear whether that’s a classic black leather boot, white sneakers, or a beautiful heel. Shoes inspire my outfits a lot of the time.

There may be multiple answers to this one, but what artists or actors do you look to when looking for creative inspiration?
I’m constantly inspired by excellence in all forms of art, whether that’s in fashion, writing, painting, music, or acting. There are plenty of actors who have creatively inspired me throughout my career such as Charlize Theron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Denzel Washington, and Uma Thurman, but I’m usually most inspired by the people with whom I’ve worked. I have been so lucky to work with such talented actors, writers, and directors, and I’ve learned so much from each of them.

Following the final season of “Hightown,” what can fans look for next?
With the industry just getting back to work I’m not sure what’s next yet, but I’m so excited for whatever it is. Each project is like a new adventure. I can’t wait to find out what the next role will bring and can only hope it’s as amazing an experience as “Hightown” was.

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