Rebecca Field – Dreamchaser
Words + Interview By: Tyrone Davis
Actress and director Rebecca Field has been in the film business for over 10 years and is most known for her roles in “American Reunion”, “Kittens in a Cage” and “A Star Is Born”, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
Student loan debt has crippled a lot of people, financially. What is your take on this issue, being someone who has attended college and has either experienced taking a loan or known someone else who has?
Yes, it is such a problem in our country! We need to further our educations, but at what cost? It took me years and years to pay off all of my student loans and I went to a state college (now a university). Although it was cheaper than some, it still was stifling and loomed over my head for a very long time.
Aside from earning your Communications degree, in what ways did college prepare you for life?
I think everyone should experience college. I had the most fun, learned how to cook for myself, do laundry, live on my own, be responsible for my own well-being, make friends outside of my comfort zone…..I mean, the list goes on and on. Can you tell I loved college!? Ha!
A lot of aspiring entertainers have to move to a bigger city to make major progress in their careers. What steps did you take to relocate and how was the overall experience?
Well, I finished college, then right out of college I did summer stock theater and a summer theater training program at circle in the square in NYC. Then, I moved back to my small town and worked 2 jobs for a year to save money to move to L.A. It was tough. I wish I could have just had the money to move right after school or the courage, but I wanted to be a little thoughtful about the process and make sure it lasted opposed to it failing terribly. So, that year working at home really prepared me (financially and mentally) to take the leap.
R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” opera was something unlike many of us had ever heard before and I remember my friends and I discussing the chapters as they were released. So, when the actual videos came out, we were excited to see them. How did you land the role as “Bridget” and describe that experience.
I was so excited to see them when they came out and no one could ever have known what a phenomenon they would become in pop culture. I auditioned just like I do for every role. I got called in and had to sign and non-disclosure agreement. The whole thing was very hush-hush, but it was exciting. I guess I really just got lucky to land it so early.
Was “singing” along with R. Kelly’s vocals and acting it out at the same time any different than learning your lines for a traditional acting role? I imagine it being very “different”.
It was strange at first but they are really just words, just like acting and speaking. It just entailed learning a song instead of traditional lines. It was a lot of fun and very different.
Being that this was an early project for you, is there anything you learned from the cast that you’ve held onto throughout your career?
It was very early on and it was one of my first big things. I learned that even though there were some huge stars involved (like Michael K. Williams), they are just people, very nice people and it helped me relax around other people I worked with later on as well.
You’ve played quite a few different characters with different personalities. Is there any type that you prefer over others?
I love them all but I really loved playing the serial killer in Criminal Minds cause that sinister side of humanity was something I had never done before.
Which emotion is hardest to convey on screen?
Just realizing that being a person when the cameras are rolling and all the little nuances that are captured when you truly listen and react is what is the hardest and best. I mean, of course if there is an emotional scene and you have to do it over and over again, it can be difficult. Intimate scenes are tough as well.
Tell us about the film, “A Star Is Born”.
Yes, I am so fortunate to play Gail, Jackson Maine’s (played by Bradley Cooper) assistant. It was a small part, but so much fun to work with such wonderful actors and artists. Being a part of this was special and we knew it even during filming.
What was your most memorable moment while on set?
When Lady Gaga gave a mini concert at the Greek for her fans who were extras in the audience. It was amazing! I was like 20 feet from her and she is so powerful and talented. It was truly something to behold and I will never forget it.
Did you get a chance to work with or meet Dave Chappelle during this film at all? If so, what was that like?
No! I soooooo wish I had. He walked by me at the premiere and I froze up. I wanted to say, “Hi, you were great and I think you are hilarious” but I just couldn’t say anything.
For someone like myself who has mostly seen Lady Gaga in elaborate costumes during performances, music videos, etc., what can I expect from this film being that her character is a person I’d see everyday?
You will see a pared down, vulnerable, raw and open Lady Gaga. It’s stunning.
In the age of social media, is real romance still alive?
I don’t know. I think it’s hard with the disconnect. We “talk/connect” with each other online so much, people are losing their ability to connect when they are together, in person.
What’s up with an Oscar? Is this film is going to take it?
I mean, who am I to say, honestly? I know this….it is a great film, it stays with you, it moves you and it’s one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time as a viewer. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga will no doubt knock your socks off and I’m superstitious but of course, I hope it takes the Oscar.
You have recently joined Showtime’s series, “Shameless”. Break that down for us.
Yes, so excited! It’s honestly one of my favorite shows and to be able to be seen on it is a dream come true. I play a new assistant manager at Patsy’s Pies. That’s all I can say, hahahaha!
Being that Emmy Rossum unexpectedly left the show after 9 seasons, what expectations did you have coming into this project?
Well, we didn’t find that out until halfway through shooting the season, so it didn’t really affect my expectations about the show nor my storyline, honestly. I get to work with her and that’s exciting.
Explain the significance of “Easy Cheese” in your life.
Haha, Oh Boy! When I was in high school, my friends and I made up a rap during study hall called Easy Cheese. It’s pretty silly, but pretty great. You’ll have to wait for my big album release somewhere down the line of ridiculous songs I have made up over time. It’s a doozy!
What has been your best acting experience to date?
A Star is Born because I am working with that caliber of actors and artists who are at the top of their games. It is the dreams I have dreamed my whole life. Even if it’s small, to be in their company and be a part of it is a dream come true! I wish for many, many more!
Do you watch/enjoy your own work?
I do watch it at least once to see how it turned out. I like to see what I felt on set and if it translated that way to the big (or little) screen.
What is the biggest misconception about being famous?
That you’re rich, hahaha! Everyone thinks you are taking money baths when you really are just saving what you make to live off of when it slows down again or to pay off all the debt you’ve accrued while waiting for that next gig!
Name 2 causes you feel most strongly about.
The environment and cancer research. The environment is everything. If we destroy our planet and are unhealthy, we have nothing. I hate what greed and ignorance has already done to our home and unfortunately, we have lost a lot of loved ones due to cancer and I’d love to see us eradicate it.
What are you into when you aren’t acting?
I’m hanging with friends, learning new skills, hiking, traveling when I can and being with my family.
Name your “Top 5” music artists of all time (any genre).
Janis Joplin, Biggie Smalls, Led Zepplin, Whitney Houston and Lady Gaga.
What’s next? What does the next year look like?
Well, there is really no way to know. But, I hope it looks like me booking an amazing series and doing some more incredible movies with more A-list actors. Meryl Streep, perhaps?
Any last words?
Stay in school, learn, be smart, educate yourself and others, work hard and be kind. Thank you for having me!
Follow Rebecca Field on Instagram and Twitter @rfieldma.
Photo By Marc Cartwright