SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Valerie Weak: I’m an actor and teaching artist based in San Francisco. I work in live theater, as well as indie film (like Big Driver), commercials, voiceover, and my bread and butter work is what I call high-stakes role play. Basically, these are emotionally charged, semi-improvised scenarios designed to let professionals practice their communication skills – I play crime victims for pólice officer training, patients getting difficult news for doctors in training, etc
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?
Valerie Weak: I can’t pinpoint a specific moment – I started doing amateur theater as a kid, and it snowballed from there.
SKSM: How did you become involved in Big Driver Dollar Baby film?
Valerie Weak: I auditioned and got cast – not a very exciting story…
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Valerie Weak: I think Stephen King is a really great writer – the suspense in this piece, as she pieces it all together and realices she was set up, it’s really terrific.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Valerie Weak: Nope, I auditioned
SKSM: You worked with Ian Wolfley on this film, how was that?
Valerie Weak: Great! This was a super organized project, and a really well put together shoot. Ian was open to collaboration, and sharing ideas.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Valerie Weak: The day we shot with the cat was a funny day – there were some tricky shots, including the one where I throw up the breakfast in the sink, the cat is there, and then I threw the bowl – it was a wide shot and difficult to get the cat to be where he needed to be. I remember also a very cute dog – he actually belonged to the owners of the property we shot at, and got ‘cast’ in the film while they were location scouting!
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Valerie Weak: It’s mostly via social media at this point – some folks have moved away from SF, but we check in there.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Valerie Weak: I start rehearsals for a play in a few days – a new play called ‘You Are My Sunshine’ playing the sister of a man who has just been released from prison after 20 years.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Valerie Weak: What I’ve read, I’ve enjoyed. I really like the story Big Driver and some of the other stories in that collection. The Shining, both book and the film are amazing.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Valerie Weak: I think I’m actually pretty even-keeled and not that surprising, unfortunately.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Valerie Weak: Don’t know that I’ve got many ‘fans’ out there. I guess I’d say thank you, and thank you to you Oscar for reaching out to interview me, as well as for maintaining this website and this project.