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The Featured Presentation

Lyndsy Fonseca

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It doesn’t take a time machine to look back on Lyndsy Fonseca’s career, all it takes is time. And probably Netflix.

With her vast body of work, which includes “How I Met Your Mother,” “Nikita” and the “Kick-Ass” film franchise, Fonseca has literally grown up before our eyes. Beginning her career at age 14 in the fast-paced world of the daily soap opera, she calls her years spent working on “The Young and the Restless” a “boot camp” that prepared her for anything, including taking on roles in indie film projects.

Currently the California native can be seen starring in the time-traveling mystery “Curvature” opposite an icon in the science fiction genre, Linda Hamilton. We recently sat down with Fonseca to discuss her own takeaways from the shoot, why she was so eager to tackle such a layered character, and what she’s taping to her dream board following our chat.

TrunkSpace: When you’re starring in a science fiction movie about time travel with Linda Hamilton, who herself was in one of the greatest science fiction films about time travel, that in and of itself has to heighten the experience.
Fonseca: Oh, absolutely. Yes. Also, just what a class act she is as a person! She is really a special individual. She is one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with and so considerate and sincere. It was an honor to work with her, really. She owns up to the hype, for sure.

TrunkSpace: For an audience, the finished product is always what becomes memorable, but for those involved in a project, we would imagine that it’s the experience that stays with you. What do you think you’ll carry with you through the rest of your career from this particular project?
Fonseca: That’s a great question. So many things. Every project you learn so much. It’s such a growing, learning experience when you have your day-to-day challenges shooting, and then when you see a finished product and you get to see how those challenges played out, it teaches you so much. With this one I really had to put my trust in Diego (Hallivis) and Julio (Hallivis), as they’re somewhat newer in this film world, so there was a lot of blind faith. I was really impressed by the way that they spoke about the film and I was really impressed by the fact that they wanted to put their time and money into a female-led movie and a character like this – a story like this. Diego did a really great job storytelling with the camera and making the film look like 10 times the budget that we had.

TrunkSpace: You started your career in the soap opera “The Young and the Restless.” Did working in that fast-paced environment, where you’re shooting dozens of pages a day, prepare you for anything, such as the case of working on an indie where time is in limited quantity?
Fonseca: Oh my gosh! I was 14 when I started working on that soap opera. It was my first job, and it was normal to me to be doing 30 pages a day. The amount of material that I memorized was insane, and it was all I knew. Then when I went to prime time, I’ll never forget, I was working with Milo Ventimiglia on some show that’s not on anymore, and I remember he was a class act, but there was another woman, I don’t even remember who she was, but she was a regular on the show. She was having such a hard time with the one paragraph she had that day, because this is prime time, so you do like one page a day. I just remember sitting there as this 16 or 17-year-old and being like, “Are you serious? I do 30 pages a day, and you’re having…?” Of course, I didn’t say that. (Laughter) But I realized what an amazing foundation that was. It was sort of boot camp. I didn’t know any different, so that totally has prepared me for indie filmmaking, and also comedy. I did a Verizon streaming show last year, and I had to say so much dialogue and work really, really fast.

That was basically like training and boot camp for me, for sure.

TrunkSpace: Science fiction in general comes with a bit of a built-in audience, but a lot of times the fandom can be very particular about what they give a sci-fi thumbs up to. Was the intention for “Curvature” to appeal to that very specific fan base, or does its genre-blend make it a film that speaks to a more general audience?
Fonseca: I don’t really know. I can only speak to what I like because I’m not a comic book lover. I don’t have anything against them, but I’m not necessarily a sci-fi junkie. I like great characters and great storytelling no matter what genre it’s in. That being said, I really hope that the people who are real sci-fi nuts and really are the true lovers of that genre, I really hope they like our film because I think that scientifically it makes sense, and we can back it up. But what I loved about it, too, is that this is a woman dealing with loss and how she’s trying to solve this mystery and come to terms with the reality of her life, now gets her swept up into this thing. That she’s an engineer, and she’s intelligent, and she’s driven and focused… there’s just a lot of elements. I thought it had aspects of a lot of different genres as well, but that, again, is just kind of my taste, so I like that you think that because I really don’t know what other people are going to think.

Fonseca and Linda Hamilton in “Curvature”

TrunkSpace: And much like music, that’s the beauty of film. Five people can listen to a song and each one could get something different out of it. The same can be said for a movie.
Fonseca: Absolutely. That’s what’s so lovely about this medium and the art form. It’s also so terrifying. It’s so hard to make great films, and hard to make great TV, and you just hope people like it. And it’s hard to make indie filmmaking and have people go out and support it so that more indie films can be made.

TrunkSpace: Television must be putting pressure on filmmakers as well because audiences are getting used to the slow burn, long term character journey now.
Fonseca: Yeah, sure. One of the things that I liked about the script and then even more in the finished product was how this story, even though it is a genre film, it really took its time in the beginning of the film to really get into where this woman is. We’re not rushed into just some big action, time travel thing. Diego and Julio are from Spain and it has this really European feel to it, the film, in the way that the score is, the way that the look is, and the way that it takes its time. So I really liked that aspect of the film, that it doesn’t just rush into it – that it’s serious character development.

TrunkSpace: You’ve played dozens of characters over the course of your career. Is the process of discovering who they are, such as the case with Helen in “Curvature,” still as exciting for you today as it was when you began your journey as an actress?
Fonseca: Oh my gosh, absolutely. It’s so hard to find these really layered, complex characters as a female. A lot of times we’re just these girlfriends, or we’re the comedy relief, or we’re just the wife, or whatever. So when there are these opportunities to carry a film, or to have an arc, or to have this giant responsibility on your plate… that never gets old. That is a challenge I’ll take any day because it doesn’t come that often.

TrunkSpace: Is it changing?
Fonseca: I think there’s a shift. I think it has a long way to go, but it’s progress.

TrunkSpace: Are you someone who wants to have a say in content creation and develop your own projects?
Fonseca: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been working on one with my husband, a book that I really want to make into a television series, so there’s definitely things that I have the passion for behind-the-scenes. It’s up to us as actors. I think Reese Witherspoon has shown us, Oprah, Ava DuVernay… so many women are like, “You know what? I’m going to create my own content because I’m tired of sitting around waiting for the phone to ring because it just isn’t out there.” It’s taken these incredible women to start their own production companies to get these women-led films and television shows made. So, yeah, I definitely have a passion for it, and as I get a little bit more… what’s the word… gutsy… it’ll all come to fruition one day. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: So if somebody came to you tomorrow and said, “Lyndsy, here’s a blank check. Go develop whatever kind of project you want for yourself.” What kind of project would it be? What medium would you focus on?
Fonseca: I think it would depend… by the way, that sounds like a very nice scenario, although, that’s not exactly how it works, which is why it’s so hard. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: It would be one of those big Publishers Clearing House-sized checks – one of the giant ones. (Laughter)
Fonseca: (Laughter) That sounds lovely. I’ll put that on my dream board.

No, I think it would depend on the actual material, because I’m going through that with this book deal that I have right now and thinking about, “What is this story and how do I tell this particular story of these women in the best way? Is it in a two hour timeframe or is this a three-season arc?” So, it just really depends on the character and then the story itself.

Curvature” is available now on digital home entertainment.

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The Featured Presentation

DaJuan Johnson

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Photo Credit: JSquared Photography

Fans of the series “Bosch” were recently served a third course of binging when season 3 of the gritty police procedural premiered on Amazon Prime. Series star DaJuan Johnson has seen his character Rondell Pierce go from officer to detective in the span of those three seasons and it’s a promotion that “Bosch” diehards have been eating up. To further satiate the appetites of its hungry subscribers, Amazon recently announced that the series has been renewed for a fourth season.

We sat down with Johnson to discuss how the series has changed his life, how choosing his own adventure as a child has prepared him for an adulthood of crime solving, and how going super would be pretty super.

TrunkSpace: How has “Bosch” altered your life and career the most?
Johnson: You know, I think it opened up a lot of fun doors for me. I played cops or detectives before, but I think once “Bosch” came out and I had a big role in it for season 1, I think more people took me a little bit more seriously. And I think I looked really good in the uniform back then. (Laughter) It just gave me some more… I’m such a nerd. I was going to say beat cred instead of street cred. (Laughter) That was a bad joke. I’m sorry.

TrunkSpace: (Laughter) It was a dad joke.
Johnson: That was a dad joke. (Laughter)

But, yeah, I think in that sense, it definitely has opened more audition doors for me because people know “Bosch” and it’s a well-known name. And being one of the more known characters there has opened more doors for me.

TrunkSpace: It’s funny because you mentioned you have played cops in the past and we actually noticed that you have played quite a lot of authoritative characters.
Johnson: (Laughter) I’m laughing because I think of myself with my kids and I try to be that authoritative dad with them and they don’t listen. They’re just kind of like, “Dad!” (Laughter) It’s nice to be able to play one on-screen.

I think that one of the cool things about all of the cops and detectives that have come into my life is just that when I was younger… I’ve always loved this… but when I was younger there were the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, “The Hardy Boys” or, maybe I dabbled in the “Nancy Drew” stuff, but I loved to solve the mystery or solve the cases, so it’s kind of cool to really do that in real life.

TrunkSpace: Those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books is where it was at, but it was easy to cheat and disregard your chosen adventure if you didn’t like the results. (Laughter)
Johnson: (Laughter) Yeah. And then just go backwards. I loved those. I don’t know why they’re not around.

TrunkSpace: Well, with the way that technology is advancing, we’re getting to a point where “Choose Your Own Adventure” could wind up in television or film and the audience could quite possibly decide how a story progresses and ends.
Johnson: Ohhhh… man. Mind blown! Imagine that? (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: You’re three seasons in and your character has been promoted to detective. As you look back over your time on the series thus far, where were you the most challenged strictly from an acting standpoint?
Johnson: You know, I would say it’s this season… the season as a whole. Being promoted up to detective and really just like, okay, where has Pierce been before this? He was an officer. He’s a by-the-book guy. My partner got shot last season.

No spoiler. That was season 2, so if you haven’t seen it… (Laughter)

Let me back up. Actually, some of the things that I feel very responsible about doing… if I hadn’t done a couple of things in our relationship with my partner… telling him I didn’t want to work with him and all of this stuff, maybe he would still be alive. So this season itself and really just jumping into detective while still holding my values of a by-the-book guy and I think just stepping up to the plate with all of the big boys this season. That’s the challenge. Working with Titus. Working with Paul. Working with Amy. Hands on. I’ve worked with them before, but really, all eyes are on you now. I think this season has been the challenge. A good challenge.

TrunkSpace: Is this the longest you have ever spent with one character?
Johnson: Umm… yeah. I guess when I think about it, yeah. I did nine episodes this season. I’ve done a nice stint on “General Hospital” and some other things, but I think this is the biggest one. Yeah.

Way to bring it home! Way to make me think about it! (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: (Laughter) From a character arc standpoint, that must be so interesting to play someone who you know, but at the same time, not necessarily knowing where he is going?
Johnson: It is really fun to discover where you go, but it’s also cool because I have a base. You have a base of like, “I know my values as this character.” I know my North Star, if you will. Then we get to branch out. We talked a little bit about a wife. We talked about if Pierce will ever go to a not-so-great place. Just different things like that and I think are really kind of cool that I get to keep exploring and keep peeling back the onion layers, if you will, of this guy.

TrunkSpace: With shows like “Bosch” being released all at once, does it change the experience for you as an actor as it gets rolled out? Does it feel more like a movie than a television show upon release?
Johnson: That’s so funny you said that because, yes, and I got asked this question a couple of times on Twitter. The shooting experience is exactly the same… the set of time that we’re actually shooting it. But when it comes out, it’s like this… “YAY!” And then a week, two weeks, or maybe a month the fanfare kind of dies down. And it’s a little bit for me… I don’t know about anybody else… it’s like, “Gosh, we just spent six months shooting this and people have devoured it in 24 hours.” (Laughter) And it’s over. It’s very interesting. Again, I’ve never had that experience before, so it’s very interesting to witness it.

TrunkSpace: The way you just described it in terms of spending six months shooting it and then people devouring it so quickly, that really puts the term “binging” into a new perspective. You essentially spend all of this time preparing a meal and setting the table and then it’s gone so quickly.
Johnson: You are. I’m very interactive with my social media fans on Twitter and stuff like that and I’ve got to tell you, we’ve got some major “Bosch” fans out there and that’s really awesome. I was blown away when it came out on Friday and literally by Friday night or Saturday morning, people were like, “I’m done.” I was like, “What?!?!” (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: The series was recently renewed for a fourth season. When a show is already guaranteed to return, does that change the mindset of an actor? Does it take pressure off and allow you to be more selective in the other things you’re choosing to do, knowing that you’ll be returning?
Johnson: Well, you never know if you’re returning to your show or a season until that season starts. (Laughter) For me, as an actor, I just love to live in that moment. I love to live in that moment, live in that season, and live in what’s going on because you could be working on the first five episodes, and you don’t know it yet, but you could die in episode 10. So I take it moment to moment and I really just dive in. “Where are we going with this and what would I like to do here? How can I just be present and fully engaged in this character?”

But, I think I’m coming back for season 4. Unless you’ve heard something? (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: No. No. Although, nowadays a big thing is the shocking first episode of a new season character death.
Johnson: I think this interview should be over. (Laughter)

Why are you putting doubts in my mind?

TrunkSpace: Sorry. No doubts. Let’s think of it like this. ANOTHER character could die in the season opener and Pierce could be elevated even further!
Johnson: You know, one of the things I did was start a hashtag called Team Pierce. I would have that hashtag going. “Stay strong, #teampierce fans!” (Laughter)

Photo Credit: JSquared Photography

TrunkSpace: What was your journey like from your home in Florida to your move to Los Angeles where you set out to pursue acting as a career?
Johnson: You know, that’s a great question. To be real honest, it was an easy/hard one because all of my family is either in Chicago or in Miami. My mom is in Miami. So leaving all of that to come out to this unknown… luckily I have what I call my village that supports me and my village is basically the people I went to theater school with from the University of Florida. There’s about 10 of us out here that really support each other in our acting. One of my very best friends is on “Orange is the New Black” so we’ve been supporting each other as this has unfolded.

But, just from a physical standpoint, as that young actor, I didn’t feel like I got it or that really things clicked for me until six years of being out here. And I hate to put a number on that because I get worried about people reading that and saying, “Well, that’s six years and if it takes that long then…”

It takes the time that it takes for everybody. It’s just your own time. It took me that long to know the way… the right streets to take to auditions and things. Six years into it. Things started to click after that time for me. Getting the right agents, the right managers, the right roles to take and to audition for. And I think after I booked my first network television TV show, which was “Close to Home” a long time ago, I got it. I think I started to get, “Okay… this is how we operate here. I’m mentally in the game. I’m physically in the game. And emotionally.”

I miss home, man. I won’t lie to you and say that I don’t miss home where my mom is, but, this is home for me now. I’m an LA boy now.

TrunkSpace: We spoke about the many authoritative characters you have portrayed, but as you look back over your body of work, what do you feel is missing? What type of character or project do you want to sink your teeth into?
Johnson: Easiest question you’ve asked today. I’m a big sci-fi/superhero/fantasy guy and I’m gunning for that world because that is what I loved. I’ve loved it since I was a kid. What kid didn’t want to be a superhero? And so, now that we really get to be superheroes, I have been dying to step into that world. I had a close call with it this last fall, but I was on “Bosch” so I couldn’t take this other role. I love what I do on “Bosch.” Literally, it’s so fun to do and to be there, but a little part of me was like, “The superhero dream!” (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: And you got a little taste of that already having been on “Agent Carter,” which is in the superhero universe.
Johnson: Yeah! And get this… I played a cop. I remember walking on set that first day and I was just giddy. I was like, “I’m so excited to be here!” (Laughter) Because I was superhero adjacent. I was that close to my dream and seeing this world… the Marvel Universe…

That’s my next one. My next move. I feel it. My next big move, I think. And I’ll stay there forever!

“Bosch” is available now on Amazon Prime.

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