SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Grace Thomas: I am actor local to Atlanta. I have lived and travelled abroad but the film industry took a foothold here in Atlanta, Georgia a few years ago and so I returned to take my place in it. I am also a floral assistant, culinary and hiking enthusiast.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?
Grace Thomas: Hahahahaha. I want to be an actor long before I gave in to the deep desire to do so, probably 15 years ago but I tried to suppress the need and ultimately decided to pursue it professionally. You see, I tried not to be an actor because I do value stability and this is not often an industry that provides monetary or geographical consistency but my heart won. If you were born to do something it is difficult to ignore. Also, film acting is a bit different because the lens strips away all facade and sees into your soul- that can be a scary thing.
SKSM: How did you become involved in Rest Stop Dollar Baby film?
Grace Thomas:I saw a posting on Actor’s Access and submitted an audition, I was fortunate enough to be entrusted with such a rich character as Ellen.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Grace Thomas: We all walk around as multiple versions of ourselves and I loved seeing a duplicitous main character who is an outwardly “put together” woman and has a take charge/ even violent alter ego. The characters all have layers and that is always attractive as it allows and audience to explore the levels of themselves too.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Grace Thomas: Stephen cast a large net and posted on Actors Access and luckily I was granted an audition and brought Ellen to life.
SKSM: You worked with Stephen Dean on this film, how was that?
Grace Thomas: He is a great communicator and very generous as a director. Also, as the writer of the screenplay (as adapted from Stephen King) he was not tied to his vision alone. Stephen invited collaboration and watched out for our well being. He is an actors director so to speak.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Grace Thomas: The night we filmed not much went as planned and it was a very cold night but we huddled together and made jokes in between scenes to distract ourselves. It fostered a collegial environment in which to work and with very intense scenes like mine one needs to be able to build in a positive and safe space as well.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Grace Thomas: I don’t. Atlanta is a smaller market but it is quite saturated and I can only hope to work with some of these folks in the future.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Grace Thomas: I get a good bit of commercial work and so that has been a blessing, as well as, preparing for an experimental production of a play called Constellations with a beautiful ensemble of actors in Atlanta, GA.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Grace Thomas: Yes I am a fan. Although, I must admit that it has been at least 10 years since I have read one of his novels.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Grace Thomas: I am an only, a middle, and and oldest child- I know that can be a bit confusing. I am quite positive that each of those rolls has helped to shape me uniquely.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Grace Thomas: The pleasure was mine. Thank you for your support and time spent reading my thoughts. Please support small film productions in your local areas and never ever convince yourself that you are too old to chase your dreams. I believe that you only live one and since you can fail at something you don’t like doing, you might as well spend your life chasing what you love. Be brave and live boldly.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Grace Thomas: No sir, thank you so much for the opportunity.