Katie Chonacas is one star whose rise to success is imminent. Over the next year Katie has eight films that will have theatrical releases. She will be next seen opposite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in Righteous Kill out today. She can also be seen opposite Jessica Simpson in Major Movie Star.Katie will be seen in A Perfect Getaway with Milla Jovovich and Timothy Olyphant and Streets of Blood opposite Val Kilmer and Sharon Stone – both out in 2009.
Actress Katie Chonacas.
She is currently preparing to shoot Werner Herzog’s The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans opposite Eva Mendes and Nicolas Cage. Katie is also a singer and has just finished her first tour with 50 cent and the G-unit camp. Katie flew to Spain to open for 50 and sang her first song “SO N2 U”. Katie also just wrapped shooting 50’s latest new music video directed by film maker Charles Winkler. The video “Burn Me” will be his first single off of his latest album, due for release this year. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Katie moved to Los Angeles, California seven years ago to follow her acting passion.
In this interview for Beauty Interviews with Marta Walsh, Katie Chonacas talks about her role in Jon Avnet’s latest film Righteous Kill opposite Al Pacino and Robert De Niro which is scheduled to be released in September 12th 2008, her singing career and collaboration with 50 Cent, where she draws her incredible discipline for success from, and some of her beauty secrets.
Why have you decided on a career in acting?
I don’t think I chose acting, I think acting chose me. I always love entertaining people and I get excited making other people laugh. It’s a challenge and so much fun.
Can you tell us about your role in the movie Righteous Kill with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, what attracted you to this role?
I was introduced to the director of Righteous Kill, Jon Avnet. Jon had me come in to read for the role of Jessica. But they needed someone older so I didn’t get that role. In the audition I did three different scenes, each very different. I started producing tears in one of the scenes after being shot. Jon’s exact words were “She is the real deal”. Unfortunately Jon Avnet couldn’t book me for the role I went for originally. He did however want to put me somewhere in the movie. It’s a small role as a waitress shot as Al Pacino and Robert De Niro come into the restaurant to meet and to talk about what’s going on in the movie. I served them, and the interaction with each other was in one or two scenes in the movie. But just being with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro is just blessing. I’m so grateful and I will always take it with me throughout my career. You always have to expect the unexpected.
What was your experience like working with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro?
I was playing back and forth with Al Pacino. Even though everything is just on the script, I would say something to Al Pacino and he would say: “What?” So I had to say it again. Al Pacino almost knew I was a young girl coming up in the game. He was playing in the moment with what we had to work with. It was just so beautiful.
What have you learned about yourself and acting from your experience in Righteous Kill that you are going to take with you?
Being able to work with two legends, I’ll have that for the rest of my life. Not too many people can say that they worked with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in the same moment at the same time. With all eyes on me with all my eyes on them, and that’s what I get to take with me. Now I’m really starting to flourish from it and it’s making an impact on me. I was in shock at first and now I’m able to say: wow how great is that. It’s going to grow with me forever. And throughout my career it is something I’ll be talking about for five or ten years from now. That one of my first breaks, one of my first starts was with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Living in the moment and the way he was acting with me, the way he was looking at me, talking to me, it is something indescribable. You really can’t explain that. It’s a feeling, it’s a sense of knowing and an accomplishment that I can take away with me moving forward with my acting.
What other movies are you excited to work with this year?
A movie I’m currently involved in called: The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, directed by Werner Herzog, who is the best film maker in Germany and one of 35 best film makers in the world. Werner is amazing. I watched all his films before working with him. My role is as an Upper East Side socialite girl. A young teenager mixed with the wrong kind of crowd. I get tormented by Nicholas Cage. All my scenes are with Nicholas Cage.
Can you tell us about your other talent which is singing and your collaboration with 50 Cent?
I’m a poet and I’m a writer. I have been writing my entire life. This is how I get to express myself. I’ve always had a desire for singing. My mother was a singer. My younger sister is also a singer, she sings in five different languages and is classically trained on a piano. So singing is definitely a part of my family. I kept everything in rotation, I would act, I would model, I would sing, I would write, and I would dance. I recorded a song and 50 Cent and his manager said let’s give this girl a shot. I went to Europe and joined their European tour. It was like a test to see how I would do. It was a complete success, I executed it. I was able to do that by having goals. I set out goals of what I wanted to do with my desires, and I accomplished them. Then 50 Cent went on a tour to South Africa and I went on a tour with them in South Africa. I had a plan. I was dreaming and visualizing these things my entire life, so when the opportunity came I was certainly ready and I was able to execute it 100% again. And now when 50 Cent does his American Tour I hope they invite me again because both previous times were successful. I’ll be able to go and perform my songs and open up for 50 Cent. And in the meantime I’ve started a record label called: Lana Records which I named after my niece, and my own corporation called: K STAR PRODUCTIONZ.
Where do you see your singing career go, you seem so busy with acting do you even have time for it?
I definitely have time for it. I’m a go getter, I’m non stop. I guess I just always have to be doing something. If I’m not working on a movie for few weeks, on my down time I’m writing. I can be auditioning for a film, but I’m also in the studio writing with other artists and creating. I would like to work with established artists like Madonna and Justin Timberlake. I also would love to work with Timbaland. I love his beats! I would also love to collaborate with Eminem and I love Nelly Furtado. So on my downtime when I’m not shooting movies I would like to be in a studio recording with these kind of artists for my album.
In your opinion, what does it take to make it in Hollywood as a young starlet?
It takes focus, determination, dedication, and goals. You need to have short term goals, medium term goals, and long term goals. You need to have mentors, people you can rely on and talk to when you’re down and out, and you can refer back on a conversation. Or a mentor you don’t know, you can go to the Internet and you can research and read about these people. Seek out positivity. Because positive breeds positive and negative breeds negative. You need to surround yourself with people, things and environment of which you desire. And this is how you will feel successful and become successful.
You have worked with amazing actors, such as: Val Kilmer, Nicholas Cage, and Sharon Stone. Who would be your dream actor to work with?
Johnny Depp, Reese Witherspoon, and Evan Rachel Wood.
How do you keep you hair so beautiful?
The secret to my hair is that it’s an untouched virgin hair. I’ve never colored my hair. I only wash it only every couple of days to let the natural oils flourish within the hair. Danny M is my great friend from the Lab Salon in Beverly Hills. So when I go to events, or if I need my hair to look in a tip top shape before I go to a set, I go to the Lab Salon in Beverly Hills and Danny M takes care of me.
What are some of your favorite skincare products?
I love Neutrogena and Olay.
How do you get your eye lashes long, sexy, and full?
CHANEL, of course. I love anything CHANEL.
What is the best lip gloss you ave ever owned?
Lip Smackers. I love them. You can get them in Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens. They come in different flavors like in Watermelon and Strawberry. Cotton Candy is my favorite, but, I love them all.
What is your signature fragrance?
Coco CHANEL. You know how when you wear a perfume you can’t smell it on yourself anymore after a while, but with Coco CHANEL I can always smell it. I’m wearing it right now. I’ve been wearing it for two or three years now.
What one beauty products we would always find in your purse?
Bond No. 9 perfume. I always carry it in my purse. I always find that when you are out with your girlfriends and when you put this perfume on it attracts good attention. People want to smell good things and Bond No. 9 perfume flavors are all amazing. My favorite Bond No. 9 right now is New Harlem. It is a unisex fragrance too.
What is your number one beauty secret?
I drink about a gallon of water a day. I used to run cross country. I was the fastest runner in my home state of Michigan and 6th fastest in the nation. I used to run 50 miles per week and I used to take vitamins and drink 2 gallons of water a day. That discipline I’ve learned from my coach from the days that I was running, to take vitamins and drink lots of water, stayed with me.
How do you stay so fit?
Because I built a foundation from a young age. It is all about foundation. My dad taught me that when you stay actively involved in what ever it might be, then your mind is active, your body is active, and your soul is active. You’ll be able to build on that throughout the years. Running all these years gave me a solid foundation. Now I don’t run like I used to at all, but I did start tennis six weeks ago. So I’m active in tennis and play tennis. I eat right, and I also eat whatever I want to I’m just more mature about it. And I’m constantly drinking water. When you are having a positive mental attitude, that fights and breaks down any negativity. This way you don’t mentally lose yourself and you don’t gain weight because you don’t allow it.
Which celebrities do you find most beautiful?
I prefer the classics: Natalie Trundy, Audrey Hepburn, Jean Harlow, and Joan Crawford. These are the icons that I look up to. I also love Natalie Portman.
What one or two things some people may not know about Katie Chonacas?
I love Poker so much. I got involved about a year ago. The first time I played I won the tournament. I have only played about five tournaments so far.
Three Christmases ago I cut 14 inches of my hair and I donated it to kids with Leukemia. They only accept untouched virgin hair and at least 12 inches. It was like my Christmas gift to the world. As soon as I cut my hair I felt weight off my shoulders. I felt so enriched and that I’ve gained so much by giving. It was so beautiful knowing that right now a little girl or a little boy had hair because of me. I don’t know who they are, I will never meet them but I feel we are connected in some way.
Katie was a delight to chat to and I think she is going to make a great role model for all upcoming actors and performers. You can find out all about Katie at her official website: www.katiechonacas.com
Also don’t forget get to add Katie to your myspace: www.myspace.com/katiechonacasmusic