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Sharon Pierre Louis from Django Unchained

Sharon Pierre-Louis is a multilingual Haitian-American fluent in Kreyol, American Sign Language, and conversational French. She is a classical/Opera singer and has 5 siblings, including a Deaf older brother. She discovered her love of acting after performing a Langston Hughes poem in the 6th

grade. That following year she was accepted into a performing arts middle/high school (Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts) that changed her life forever. Pierre-Louis went on to performing in community theaters, schools, churches and various programs to positively impact inner city youth. After receiving her BFA degree in acting (Cum Laude) from Florida State University, she made her big move to Los Angeles.

Within her 1st few months there she landed a Toyota commercial, followed by a guest star recurring role on ABC Family’s Lincoln Heights. She has also guest starred on CSI: Miami as well as ABC's Suburgatory. After having shot a couple of pilots, Sharon worked as a series regular as Nisha on ABC Family's The Lying Game. She also had a role as Little Jody on Quentin Tarantino's latest film Django Unchained. She has been quoted as saying, "Acting is a passion of mine... It is one of the art forms that has us look into the heart of humanity and helps us find meaning in our lives. It can also be a tool to step away from the mundane by diving into a world of endless possibilities and imagination. I love it and I am in it for the long run." Pierre-Louis is also an avid reader, and actively involved within the Deaf community.

 

 

Year                   Title                      Role                          Notes

2008                Little Miss          CEOCourtney                   Unsold TV pilot

2008            Lincoln Heights    Stacy Kingston         Episodes: "Sex, Lies and Secrets", "The Price You Pay", "Prom Night"

2009                   Eckford              Elizabeth Eckford          Short film

2009                   Fame                  Broadway girl

2009                CSI: Miami             Marie Gaudreau              Episode: "Count Me Out"

2011              The Lying Game       Nisha Randall                 Series Regular role, season 1 (first ten episodes only)

2012             Django Unchained      Little Jody

2013              Suburgatory             Daisy                             Episode: "Body Talk"

I had the privilege to start the new year with this little chat with Sharon.

 

HB- Can you tell us a little bit about your background? 

SPL- I was born in West Palm Beach, Florida to parents who had immigrated to the United States from Haiti. I am one of six children. I fell in love with acting in the 6th grade and then the following year attended the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts to study musical theatre. Following graduation, I attended The Florida State University (GO NOLES!!!) where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting. 

HB- How long have you been acting? 

SPL- Many years! I remember deciding at the age of 12 that I wanted to be an actress after sitting in on my very first rehearsal for a play my 1st year at DSOA (Dreyfoos School of the Arts.) I knew, without a doubt, what I was going to do & it was exciting. It's funny now looking back that a 12 year old decided what course in life I would take! 

HB- Is there a type of look you have to maintain, to be fit for the roles you are offered? How do you keep with the pressure? 

SPL- It's funny you ask this because I always thought there was a certain look I had to have in order to get into auditioning rooms. Even an agent I had in the past told me I was more marketable with long, straight hair & demanded I not change it. I bought into it for a while, especially because that's what I saw as the standard of beauty in the media growing up but a little over a year ago I felt more of a calling to go the "natural hair" route. I recently answered that call and we shall see what happens. I have learned that it is not about me fitting into the status quo but to be my authentic self & show up where I have something to say. I handle the pressure by checking within myself and making sure it is aligned without. When I listen to my intuition there is no pressure because there is consistency. Show business is like the wind, changing directions along with the fads of the day. If I allowed myself to be swayed by the changing winds, I would be all over the place which causes stress- versus anchoring myself in the work, in what I am there to do. From there, I'm free to flow with what is needed from me in that present moment.  

 

HB- Name some of the best people you have worked with over the years? 

SPL- I have learned a lot from many of the people I've worked with over the years. One of the people I would have to say is Quentin Tarantino. His passion for what he does, his vision, & sheer joy on set was an inspirational lesson that has stayed with me even to this day. I was able to see firsthand why he is the genius that he is in filmmaking. There is something truly freeing when you follow your heart and I could see that in him. It reminded me of my 12 year old self again. It reminded me of the deep joy- even through the struggles- of following your dream. I also got to see Kerry Washington preparing outside her trailer for an upcoming scene. In fact, that was the last visual I had leaving the historical plantation where we were shooting because I had just been wrapped. Besides her warmly embracing me on set with a few words of encouragement on the day we were shooting my scene, I was inspired by her work ethic. At the end of the day, what's most important are people & the work.   

HB- Any particular actor/actress you’ll love to team up with one day? 

SPL- YES! Three actresses whose careers I have been paying attention to from waaaay back are Kerry Washington, Regina King, & Cate Blanchett. Now, I have also added Lupita Nyong'o. It would also be pretty cool to work with Garcelle Beauvais. 

HB- For our readers who have not seen Django Unchained, what can you tell them about the movie? 

SPL- It's intense with some serious comedic relief & there's no way you can walk away from seeing that movie not affected. Definitely exciting to watch and a conversation starter.  

HB- What was the audition process like for the role in Django Unchained? 

SPL- It was fun but scary for me because I got to meet and audition for Quentin Tarantino for the first time. I went in twice to read for one role and ended up being offered something totally different. What was a pleasant surprise was that there was also a reader there for me to play off of because usually the casting director or their assistants read with the actor. The best part was getting direction from Quentin, he was very involved in the auditioning process which made it feel less like an audition and more like a rehearsal- which is always more fun!

HB- What was it like working with Jamie Foxx? Is he as funny in real life? 

SPL- It was FUN working with him. He kept everyone laughing- cast, crew and even background. He definitely shines and is a great storyteller. There is no doubt that he is meant to be an entertainer. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVTyR56OlEc

HB- How does Hollywood treat you knowing that you're a young actress, being Haitian American on top of it? Are there road blocks because of those facts? 

SPL- Well, for me it's more about what is available than anything. What kind of roles are there with quality, depth and longevity for someone like me? Are there opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds to have a voice? I have learned that what others think of me is none of my business, especially if it is my perception of what they MIGHT be thinking. My perception of their perception of me is probably wrong anyway so it seems more tangible to deal with each person before me one individual at a time. The more important question is how do I see myself? What do I want to say or contribute? I do not believe there are any road blocks other than the ones I create for myself. If there are road blocks then they are my greatest treasure because to breakthrough them only strengthens my character and enlivens my spirit. Yes, there are challenges but that is with many things in life. That is the human experience. 

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