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The Featured Presentation

Jearnest Corchado

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Photo By: MLC PR

For actress Jearnest Corchado, her latest project Little America is more than just a binge-worthy series feeding the hunger of an entertainment-obsessed America. It’s a think piece.

Little America wants us to see what we often are not able to on the news or on TV,” she says in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “It hopes to portray the humanity of all of these marginalized people and to show everyone around the world that no matter how different our cultures, races or languages may be, we are all the same.”

Available now on Apple TV+, Little America is an eight episode anthology series inspired by the true stories experienced by immigrants today. In the episode “The Jaguar,” Corchado plays an undocumented teen who becomes a competitive squash player.

We recently sat down with Corchado to discuss the importance of the series in today’s social climate, connecting with her character, and why she would sign up to play a “badass” teen superhero.

TrunkSpace: Art is always at its best when it’s saying something and shining a spotlight on those subjects we need to continue discussing after we leave the theater or shut off the television. Why do you think your latest project Little America is so important given the current political and social climate in the United States?
Corchado: Little America is important now more than ever. The America we are living in now is not the America many of us want to be a part of. It is clouded by hatred and division. Immigrants and people of color are attacked on a daily basis, thousands of people are being put in cages… it is our horrible reality. Little America wants us to see what we often are not able to on the news or on TV. It hopes to portray the humanity of all of these marginalized people and to show everyone around the world that no matter how different our cultures, races or languages may be, we are all the same. We are all dreamers. We are all good people, we all have a good heart – a hopeful heart. We all just want to be happy. To be able to love and be loved. To be able to dream, and to be allowed to do so anywhere we decide to go. Because at the end of the day, no law, no paper, no document can dictate who we are, our values and our worth. Only our hearts can.

TrunkSpace: As an actress, do you feel any pressure when you’re working on a project like Little America because there is a layer to the piece that goes beyond simply entertaining the audience. Does it feel like there are bigger creative stakes involved?
Corchado: Yes, the pressure to be as authentic and as truthful as I can be. When I am lucky enough to be offered a role in a project that goes beyond entertaining, it is always a privilege. As an actress, I always strive to be a part of something bigger than me. Projects that could potentially change lives. I think that’s the beauty of cinema – through our work, we get to influence people and hopefully change their minds for the better. It’s a powerful tool and we must use it with purpose.

TrunkSpace: We live in very politically-divided times. Did you worry how this project and your performance in it would be perceived by the general public on both sides of the aisle and how that could trickle over into your personal life, particularly as it relates to the internet/social media?
Corchado: I didn’t think of it as a political project. I saw it as a beautiful project that followed the lives of beautiful, strong and determined humans. I thought it was brilliant because it finally showed who we are in the most beautiful and authentic light I could ever think possible. There are so many stories out there still to be told… America is the land of immigrants… we were just telling American stories. The ones that we very rarely see on TV.

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on Little America that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Corchado: The truly wonderful relationships I got to cultivate with the cast and crew on Little America is something I will carry with me always. Every single person I got to work with were incredible human beings, so kind and thoughtful. From PAs to the Make-Up department that basically felt like family, to our wonderful director Aurora Guerrero – who no matter how busy our days were, was always so caring and zen. And of course, the insanely talented and kind cast, who made my job a million times easier. I was very lucky.

TrunkSpace: What was the biggest challenge you encountered in portraying – and connecting with – your character Marisol?
Corchado: Understanding where she was coming from and trying to figure out the relationship she had with everyone around her. It was a continuous discovery. And learning how to play Squash! (Laughter) I definitely had to focus and give my 100 percent in order to look like I knew what I was doing. It was very tedious and a lot of hard work but it was incredibly satisfying. Addicting too! I really fell in love with the sport.

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as artist and how do you overcome those self-critical insecurities?
Corchado: Probably auditions. I love the director-actor relationship, which is often missing during the audition process. I like bringing a character to life and getting feedback and taking it somewhere else. I love that continuous exploration. Sometimes auditions feel like a lot of pressure, it can be nerve-wracking… and let’s not talk about the audition waiting rooms! (Laughter) I think I’m very sensitive to energies, which is probably why I need to be 210 percent more focused once I get in the room. I am extremely critical of my work and often wonder how I did it or what I did wrong in the room or what I could’ve done better… but I learned that you just have to let it go and focus on the next (audition)… I’ve failed a million times, but I’m still here playing the game. It’s all about being persistent and being incredibly prepared. “Just do it… and then keep doing it.”

Photo By: MLC PR

TrunkSpace: If you sat down with your 10-year-old self and gave her a glimpse of her future, would she be surprised by where her journey has taken her thus far?
Corchado: Absolutely. I think of that and it makes me tear up. I was just having a conversation with a family friend who told me that when I was 10 or so, she asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, and I replied, “One day I’m going to be a famous actress.” I would always say “I’m going to be,” not I want, or I wish… I’d say it like it was going to happen. Like it was a done deal. I declared it without knowing or understanding the power of manifestation, which now I absolutely believe in. My journey is barely starting, but I am extremely content with where I am today. I still can’t believe it! I feel very blessed.

TrunkSpace: Blank check question! If someone came to you tomorrow and offered you an unlimited amount of money to go out and develop any kind of project you wanted for yourself, what would you greenlight and why?
Corchado: A badass teenager superhero. I think it would be awesome if younger brown girls saw themselves as superheroes on the big screen. I want younger girls to dream BIG! To see themselves as strong, self-sufficient and triumphant young women. I want them to know that they can be their own hero. That anything is possible!

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career as a whole thus far?
Corchado: I consider Little America and Cucuy The Boogeyman as my biggest accomplishments thus far. So many people have messaged me about Cucuy The Boogeyman and how cool it is to see a Latina girl as the heroine in a thriller like that. Little America is probably as, or even more, important for young girls because it’s very real, very authentic and it is based on a real-life superhero – Reyna Pacheco. It was also a big highlight because it felt like I was having my Rocky moment. (Laughter) I love doing athletic things on the job, and learning new skills… Little America was definitely a big one!

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Corchado: Yes. I believe that you create the life you want to live, and I hope to make the right decisions to take me where I want to go. The possibilities are endless… but I hope to work as an actress for the rest of my life. I hope I get to use my voice to change people’s lives for the better and I hope to make a difference in this world. I want to live a life with purpose… don’t we all?

Little America is available now on Apple TV+.

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The Featured Presentation

Josh Blacker

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Photographer: Noah Asanias/Stylist: Joanna Kulpa

For those of us who grew up in the 1980s watching “high concept” television like “ALF,” the idea of a series as big in scope and as deep in character as “See” would have been inconceivable at the time. Television has come so far in the years since the dials were controlled by only three networks that nowadays every night can be spent watching a summer blockbuster in the comfort of your own home. And for the actors who bring amazing projects like “See” to life, it’s no different behind the scenes.

It felt more like being on the set of a big budget blockbuster than traditional episodic television,” said series star Josh Blacker in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with Blacker to discuss embracing the fantastical wardrobe, bringing the sightless experience to his performance, and the role that was a dream come true.

TrunkSpace: A new series. A new streaming service. High-stakes storytelling. How excited are you to finally have “See” going out wide into the world and, we would imagine, finally having the freedom to share that excitement with people once you don’t have to worry about sharing any spoilers.
Blacker: I’m thrilled that people will finally be able to enter into the epic world of “See” that Apple has brought to life. It’s beyond anything I’ve ever been involved in and I think people are going to be blown away by the scope of this series. I can’t wait to hear people’s thoughts about the show and share some of my experiences making it.

TrunkSpace: Not a lot has been revealed about the series yet as much of it be being kept under wraps, but knowing what you know about “See,” what are going to be those must-see elements that you feel will not only pull audiences in, but keep them enthralled for the duration of the season?
Blacker: Oh, man, there are so many elements to “See” that will have people engrossed from the beginning. The talent involved at every stage and in every department is truly remarkable. The scope of the world building is truly epic. The sets built into the middle of nowhere in the wilds of British Columbia are a majestic backdrop to a truly unique story that has all the things people love in a good show. Love, death, secrecy, betrayal, action, and so much more. Our writer, Stephen Knight, is remarkable.

TrunkSpace: Upon last check, the trailer for the series has nearly 28 million views. Does this feel like the kind of project that could be a game changer for you in terms of your career moving forward?
Blacker: I certainly hope so!

TrunkSpace: From what we’ve seen so far of “See,” it looks less like a television series and more like a big budget tentpole film. As an audience, it’s amazing to see how far television has come since our days of watching ONLY the three major networks, but from someone who works inside the industry – and specifically this project – do episodics have that “movie” feel behind the scenes as well?
Blacker: Oh absolutely! From my very first wardrobe fitting to the moment I walked onto set for the first time you could just tell that Apple had spared no expense in creating the world of “See.” It felt more like being on the set of a big budget blockbuster than traditional episodic television.

TrunkSpace: Let’s talk wardrobe for a minute. We hear “dystopian future” and we think, “YES, 10-year-old us would be so excited to be dressing up like Conan.” When you’re working on a project that exists in a heightened, fictional reality, is there a bit of wish fulfillment for you and your inner 10-year-old? Having grown up watching this kind of action, is it surreal to now be performing it on-camera?
Blacker: That’s so funny because it’s exactly what I thought when I first saw the wardrobe and visuals for my character, the Witchfinder Warrior. It was a little overwhelming at first, but as soon as I finished getting into wardrobe and makeup, I looked in the mirror and the 10 year old in me was over the moon. This is the type of project I was transfixed by as a kid and to be able to be a part of it has been a dream come true.

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on “See” thus far that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Blacker: There are SO many amazing memories from the eight months of shooting. But, I think the one that stands out the most is the two-month boot camp we went through at the very beginning and working with our amazing blindness consultant Joe Strechay. He is such an incredibly warm and kind man and his guidance and mentorship in helping me bring the sightless experience to screen authentically was something I’ll always remember.

Photographer: Noah Asanias/Stylist: Joanna Kulpa

TrunkSpace: What are your views on fame as it relates to your acting career? Is it part of the package that you have come to terms with it, or, would you be comfortable focusing on your craft and never having to be recognized outside of the work itself?
Blacker: I think ideally it’d be nice to have a balance between the two. It’s a bit of a catch 22, in that having a degree of ‘fame’ allows you to work on bigger and more exciting projects but it can come at a cost – the loss of anonymity. However, the longer I work the more I enjoy hearing from fans and engaging with them online. Most of them are so sweet and kind and it really does fill me with joy to hear how something I’ve been in has affected them in some way. So if fame means working a lot on really good projects and being recognized by more and more people for that work, I’ll gladly take it.

TrunkSpace: You’ve appeared in a lot of fan-favorite shows over the years, including “Arrow,” “The 100” and “Travelers.” Are there any characters that you wished you had more time to explore given how interesting they were to you personally?
Blacker: I love working on the fan-favorite shows. The fans of those shows are so educated and so supportive it really makes me wish I could explore all of those characters for much longer. I’d love to have had more time with all of those characters, but if I had to choose one, it’d be Magee on “Arrow.” He was supposed to appear in more than one episode, but we had a conflict with the schedule so unfortunately that didn’t happen. He was such a dark, conflicted person and I’d love to have been able to explore his world a lot more.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Blacker: There are so many! Although, working with Jodie Foster on “Elysium” was a dream come true. I’ve admired her work for so long and to finally share the screen with her was an honor.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Blacker: I love the idea of time travel! Someone, please put me in your time travel film or show. But, in real life, I try not to look ahead or back too much. I love the surprises that life and particularly life in this business brings, so I think I’d pass on the journey to my future. The joy I get every time I walk on set for the first time is something I want to experience as it happens.

See” is available now on Apple TV+.

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The Featured Presentation

Chris Agos

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Photo By: The Riker Brothers

Growing up in the midst of the Space Shuttle era, Chris Agos studied the stars as part of his curriculum in school, and although he admired the astronauts who traveled beyond the reach of most humans, he eventually decided that it wasn’t for him.

I think I gave up completely when I learned you had to ride in one of those crazy gyroscope things until you blacked out,” he said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “As someone who gets motion sickness just by standing next to a swimming pool, I was like, ‘Nope!’”

Gyroscopes aside, Agos is now stepping into the moon boots of one of the most famous astronauts of all time, playing Buzz Aldrin in the new series “For All Mankind,” which premieres November 1 on Apple TV+.

We recently sat down with Agos to discuss the pressures of playing an icon, getting lost in Mission Control, and why he chose to write a series of books about breaking into the voice over industry.

TrunkSpace: Taking on Buzz Aldrin seems like it could be an intimidating ask of someone. Did you feel pressure going into this project knowing that you’re not only tackling someone who is an actual person, but even more so, such a WELL KNOWN person?
Agos: There was definitely some added excitement when I realized that not only would I be playing a legendary historical figure, but one that could very possibly see the performance. The way I saw it, the challenge was to do justice to the story being told in the script, while also being as accurate as possible in terms of how Buzz carried himself publicly and privately during the Apollo era. I doubled down on my research and read every book Buzz wrote, watched as many of his public appearances as I could find, and spoke at length with Mike and Denise Okuda, the show’s technical advisors, about what Buzz was like to work with in those days. Honestly, I just hope he doesn’t wrinkle his nose if and when he catches the show. And I really hope he does see it because I think he’d find it fascinating.

TrunkSpace: What type of access to Buzz did you have in order to get an understanding of the man you were going to be portraying on camera?
Agos: Buzz wasn’t involved in the show’s development, so unfortunately, I didn’t have much contact with him. We did exchange a message or two, but not until after the show wrapped production. I hope one day I can shake his hand and thank him for his endless contributions to the nation’s space program.

TrunkSpace: What would 10-year-old Chris think about his future self playing Buzz Aldrin?
Agos: 10-year-old me thought adult me was going to be a doctor, so I’d imagine my younger self would be a little confused (they have doctors in space?) but he’d also be super excited at the prospect of strapping on a real space suit and playing inside an exact replica of Columbia and Eagle, the two spacecraft that made up the Apollo 11 mission. I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to do that?

TrunkSpace: A lot of kids dream about the stars and getting to explore space. Is there a bit of a wish fulfillment aspect for you in getting to be a part of a story like this?
Agos: Absolutely. I grew up during the Space Shuttle era and the program was a big part of our science curriculum at school. It all seemed so exciting and interesting, but also pretty far out of my reach. The more I found out about how much you had to go through to become a real astronaut, the more it seemed like it wasn’t something I could ever actually do. I think I gave up completely when I learned you had to ride in one of those crazy gyroscope things until you blacked out. As someone who gets motion sickness just by standing next to a swimming pool, I was like, “Nope!” So, joining the cast of “For All Mankind” allowed me to pretend that I actually did get to go into space, no gyro required!

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on “For All Mankind” that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Agos: By far my most memorable moment was the first time I walked into our Mission Control set. I had seen pictures of that room in history books throughout my life, so it seemed like a familiar place before I even set foot inside of it. But I can honestly say that I have never been so awestruck by a space, ever. I’m not sure I have the words for it, other than it was surreal. It literally felt like walking through every photo I’ve ever seen of Mission Control. The set was built accurately down to the inch, and the level of detail that went into every aspect of it was over the top. It went way past the consoles and screens, which of course were perfectly recreated. But the little stuff, like the ash trays and period-correct candy wrappers really completed the look. It was like stepping into a time capsule, or a very, very accurate museum where they allow you to touch everything. I spent every bit of time I could in that room looking around because there was always some new detail to see.

TrunkSpace: “For All Mankind” will appear on Apple TV+. As an actor, has it been exciting to watch the various distribution platforms take on original scripted content, because it seems like the race between them continues to elevate the storytelling to the point where it’s almost overwhelming with how much quality television is now available to viewers.
Agos: Yeah, I don’t know how anyone keeps up with it all. What’s great about the state of TV today is all the experimentation going on. When there were fewer avenues to distribute shows, I think people were less willing to take a chance on a new concept or a new talent. Sometimes those risks really pay off, and because of that people are calling this the new Golden Age of TV. I’m not sure I agree with that label 100 percent, but I do think we’re in a time of transition. We’re starting to see new ways of telling stories along with new tech that will allow for experiences that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, and that’s what’s exciting to me. I can’t wait to see what the marriage of a tech company like Apple and great storytellers like Ron Moore will produce, now and into the future.

Photo By: The Riker Brothers

TrunkSpace: Is there a character you had previously spent time with – even in a guest role capacity – that you wished you had more time to explore, and if so, why that person?
Agos: Well, as a serial guest star, I’m always eager to spend more time with just about every guy I play. Writers will often give us just enough of a glimpse into their circumstances to serve the story, but no more than that. I would have liked to spend more time as the head of the President’s secret service detail on “House of Cards,” which was a bucket list show for me. It was quite an honor to not only do that show, but to play in the first scene of the first episode of its final season. I’m a huge fan of HOC and working there was truly a gift. I had hoped to see more of Agent Bowman, but there was plenty for the show to unpack that season, so I completely get why he was not a priority.

TrunkSpace: You wrote a book about breaking into voice over work that was released earlier this year. What was it that prompted you to go down that path as an author and have you heard first-hand how it has helped those looking to explore the field?
Agos: Thanks for asking. Whatever professional milestones I’ve reached thus far have only happened because of my involvement in voice over. It’s where I got started, and it led to my on-camera career. But because it’s a relatively anonymous business, it’s sort of shrouded in mystery for a lot of people. I get asked about it a lot. So, The Voice Over Startup Guide came about in response to that. It’s actually the first in a series of books on the voice over industry written by me and a bunch of my VO friends. It’s only been available for about a month, and we’ve gotten a nice response. I’ve been teaching for years, so what’s presented in the book is very similar to what I would teach in person. Between that and the audio files that come with the book, I think it’s an effective tool for learning about the industry.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Agos: Every time the phone rings with a new opportunity, it’s a highlight. I’m really grateful that I get to do this for a living.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Agos: Sign me up, yeah. I’m all about making decisions using the best information possible, so I’d love to see what I’d be up to in a decade. Maybe there would be steps I could take now that might hasten any success or avoid any horrible pitfalls. Plus, I’d like to see how much hair I’m going to lose between now and then, just so I know.

For All Mankind” premieres November 1 on Apple TV+.

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