Danielle Nicolet – An Exclusive Interview

Danielle Nicolet Cinema Static Exclusive Interview
This coming Saturday, June 4th, Red Faction: Origins will be premiering on the Syfy Channel at 9 p.m..  It stars Robert Patrick, Tamzin Merchant, Brian J. Smith, Kate Vernon, Gareth David-Lloyd, but most importantly, Danielle Nicolet will be portraying Tess De La Vega.

I had a chance to spend an hour with her and what came of our chat is this exclusive Cinema Static interview with Danielle Nicolet.  I wanted to know everything about our guest.  We chatted about many things about the versatile actress, from her beginnings in Ohio, her journey to So Cal in pursuit of the Olympics and her experience and character in Red Faction: Origins that will be airing on the Syfy Channel this Saturday.

I also asked her to send out some advice to aspiring actors.

I had a wonderful time chatting with this versatile, quirky and funny actress.  And with that, let’s see what  I uncovered chatting with Danielle Nicolet!  If you’re a fan, I think you’ll enjoy this interview.

A Bit About Danielle Nicolet

Danielle hails from the huge mecca of Ashtabula, Ohio!  She grew up there just a few steps from the shores of Lake Erie where she spent lots of time as a kid splashing around in.  In her youth she was pretty good at gymnastics.  Good enough to be invited to train in Southern California.  In her younger days, she pursued the sport and aspired to go to the Olympics.  But as Danielle put it,
My brain wanted to go to the Olympics, my knees did not.
By the age of 14, she had her third knee surgery and that was the deciding factor of when she started focusing on her next love, acting.

But just because she stopped one sport doesn’t mean the girl doesn’t love her sports!  She’s a huge sports fanatic and a huge football fan.  “Go Steelers!“  She also loves boxing and tennis.  (Stay thy hearts boys!)  She participates 3 or 4 times a week in Bikram Yoga.  Yes, it’s that Yoga where they practice in a room whose temperature is set to over 100 degrees.

Thinking of the guys out there, I asked her if there is someone special in her life.  Sorry guys, but there is.  A man outside the entertainment industry.

About Danielle Nicolet’s Acting Career

While Danielle was participating in gymnastics, she had the acting bug in her head.  In fact, she had her acting career all plotted out.
As a kid, I had this correlation between gymnastics and acting.  I figured if I was a really good gymnast, I’d go to the Olympics.  If I went to the Olympics & I won the gold medal, I’d be on the Wheaties Box.  If I get to be on the Wheaties Box, I get to do commercials. If I got to do commercials, then I’d be discovered and get to be an actor.
Of course, she had to own up to telling her parents she wanted to be an actress and it took a bit before the parents came around to this idea.  Dad was very academically focused!

One of Danielle’s first acting experiences was on the show In Living Color, where she had the chance to do a few skits with Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans.  After that, she went on to the series Family Matters, a few smaller roles, then she was in 3rd Rock from the Sun.

She played a part in Stargate SG-1 in the episode titled “Menace” where she played the character of Reese.  She also immediately apologized to all the Stargate fans:
I want to apologize in advance for being the mother of the replicators.  My bad!
She still gets some angst from the occasional fan about that role.

Afterward that, she then landed larger roles in Heartland and later, The Starter Wife.

She’s gathered notoriety from press when Entertainment Weekly called her a “Break out star” in 2005 and later when other press called her the “favorite character to watch” in Heartland.

Those statements “Makes me feel good, and almost makes me shy.“    She said that playing in front of a camera “is a relatively private experience.“  Those first reviews or statements is “suddenly out there in the public for everyone.
I’m incredibly blessed and lucky that someone would take the time to watch the thing that I’m doing.

Nicolet’s Role in Red Faction: Origins


Landing the role of Tess De La Vega

Danielle landed the job in the traditional fashion.  She received the script, locked herself away from the world and absorbed herself in the script, studying the role before doing a reading for screenplay writer Andrew Kreisberg.  After that, she landed the role a week later and it was off Europe for filming.

Funny side-bar shared by Danielle:

The day of the audition, after Andrew Kreisberg watched Danielle’s reading, he headed home.  When he got home, his wife was telling him about this really funny girl on the miniseries Marry Me that would be perfect for his new movie, Red Faction: Origins.

I asked Danielle about her character, Tess De La Vega and she had this to say about her character:
She’s the smartest person in the room, always. She has this personality quirk of having no filter what so ever. This means that she says things that are inappropriate. She never means anything bad about it.
About being the smartest person, she says about her character that,
Other people try to disagree with her and they always find out later that they were wrong.
What was the funnest part about filming Red Faction: Origins?

Tess’s lines.
Kreisberg’s writing style is very easy-going and my character has a lot of great one-liners that come out of nowhere, that are bound to be on the DVD. Red Faction is a very serious movie with circumstances with high stakes & Tess is always the moment of levity that comes in.
So we all had a great time doing these super intense scenes.”
When Does Red Faction: Origins Take Place?
The movie takes place in the 40-year gap between the games “Red Faction: Guerrilla” and “Red Faction: Armageddon.”

She says that
The movie does a great job exploring the characters in the franchise and gives the viewer back story as to what will lead up to ultimately the game that comes out on Tuesday, “Red Faction: Armageddon.” This connection between movie and computer game is called trans-media.
Oh gang, by the way, Danielle says this about “Red Faction,”
“It’s the kind of game I love to play.”
I love first-person shooters and can probably beat anybody in any first-person shooter.
In other words she is pretty sure she can kick your butt in FPS game-play.

What was the hardest part about filming Red Faction: Origins?
The hardest part about it was being so far from home.
They were filming in Eastern Europe in the dead of winter, but they had to shoot there to replicate a terraformed Mars.
The conditions were really rugged and challenging.
Is working on a Sci-Fi show different than working on your previous dramas?

I didn’t carry any guns on The Starter Wife.
I was always in make-up and wore high-heels in The Starter Wife.
There are more elaborate sets and you can dive in to that suspension of disbelief.  As an actor that can be more fun.
Are there any hot scenes that your fans can look forward to?
There’s one scene in the jail cell, that would be a matter of opinion, if one finds it hot.  We’ll leave it at that.
How physical was the shoot?

There was a lot of physicality to the shoot.  There was this amazing cave system that is right outside the border of Romania in an area called Lukovit, where we shot all the Mars exterior scenes.  We didn’t shoot in front of a green screen.
It’s this insane cave system that was very special to be at.

Bonus Questions!

If you’re an individual thinking about the idea of pursuing a career in acting, I asked Danielle about the career… and what someone should bring to this kind of career.  She replied:
Study and be fearless.
She expounded on that by saying that
Some people I see are fearless, but ignore the craft… the art form.  While some will study and are truly talented but they’re not fearless.  They seem afraid to leap into void and give it a go…  to take that risk and go to L.A. and N.Y..
I asked her is there was anyone or anything she’d like to send a shout out to….
I’d like to send a shout out to Cinema Static.org!
(Gang, I did not prompt her!  I have a fan. Hooya!!!)
My final question to Danielle is my trademark interview-ending question.

Where do you see yourself when you’re settled down, sitting in that rocking chair, looking back – what would you like to be proud of in the accomplishment department?
As I’m sitting in my rocking chair at Lake Como, Italy, I would like to know that, setting aside the idea of AWARDS and such, I’d like to know that I made people laugh and forget their problems for a couple of hours in this life.
No 2, I would like to know that I left behind some sort of improvement in the way people will view African American women on television and in film. I would like to know that I broke through and altered at least one stereotype in my lifetime.
If I do that much, the rest is gravy.

Danielle Nicolet, by far, was the most pleasant interview I’ve ever conducted.  It was a wonderful conversation that, being an hour, was far too short, but she would have had to go sooner or later as she was headed off for the premiere showing of Red Faction: Origins, which is airing June 4th, 9:00 p.m.  on the Syfy Channel.

Thanks for coming by gang and checking out my interview and thank you to Danielle for taking the time to chat with me.

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