Sonya Macari was born and raised in Ireland and is of Italian descent. After achieving success in Ireland in projects such as ‘The Tudors’ and her acting debut in ‘The Clinic’ (Ireland's ‘ER’); she followed her passion for acting to Los Angeles. Since coming to the USA she has had many opportunities to develop her craft in TV, film and on the stage.
It's been a busy year for Macari. Just recently you may have seen her in ‘Chuck’, ‘Like Water for Elephants’ and ‘The Tudors’ which is currently running on BBC America. I had the opportunity to find out more about this Irish actress who is reminiscent of the Iconic Hollywood actresses she loves.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently rehearsing for a film called 'Star Power'. We're starting to shoot in a few weeks.
How did you get started as an actress?
As a very young girl I was quite shy, I lived in my imagination a lot of the time but I would mimic people for fun, my mother always found this hilarious and she was the first one to encourage me to take classes. To be honest though I would sit at home and watch TV and say to myself "I can do that". Of course the key is for actors to make it seem effortless as if anyone can do it, but I really knew in my heart and soul that I wanted to be an actor. I just never shared it with too many people. I started studying at the age of 15 and have taken it seriously since then. A Hollywood studio lot is a long way from the acting class I use to take in Dublin, when I first had the spark of an idea that I wanted to be an actor. I feel very lucky and have a tremendous sense of accomplishment that I stuck to my guns and am now the actor that I am.
You are originally from Ireland how did you end up in L.A.?
After working on ‘The Tudors’ I was invited to LA for an event to celebrate George Clooney. He was being given the Cinematique Award, it was kind of a lifetime achievement award and it was amazing. The event itself was attended by nearly ever Hollywood A-Lister, it was very memorable and for my first experience in Hollywood to have dinner with all these amazing actors was just incredible. Anyway within that week, I had meeting's arranged for me and during that trip I had decided to move to LA. To be honest it was inevitable that I was going to make the move anyway, its very natural for me and the right thing to do, have not once looked back! What a journey it has been so far!
Do you find any differences between working in the US and working in Ireland?
There is only a certain amount of success you can have in Ireland, its essential to branch out, in order to work on a full time basis and to get better roles you have to leave Ireland.
Do you prefer working in film or television?
I love to work! Have no preferences whatsoever, TV is a lot faster paced, however, my career involves both and always will.
What is the favorite role you’ve played?
On stage I loved the roles of a cabaret singer, a gangsters wife and I also played a great role as a murderous teenager which was quite challenging. On film I loved working as Sara in 'Protocol' dealing with the uncertainty of survival in a Post Apocalyptic world and of course playing with guns as an Italian spy in ‘Chuck’. I love every role I’ve done so far being it on stage or for film. My best work is still a head of me because I've learned so much at this point, I'm excited for my next role.
Describe your ideal role?
I like to play interesting strong women.
What challenges you the most about acting?
You examine every type of life; you get to embody different types of characters, experience life in a different way all the time.
What thrills you the most about acting?
Too many things to mention; firstly I just love the adrenalin filled auditioning process. There was a day when auditioning was crippling for me, now I really enjoy it and work hard to own every audition and feel satisfied that at least I've done my best for every one. The satisfaction of seeing a great scene come together on film is always rewarding.
I wish people knew _____
That every day I think about how much of a privilege it is have this as my work and for that I am eternally grateful. Jobs are so few and far between so instead of waiting for a job to come my way, I constantly study, do workshops, audition all the time but always occupied with some form of training or working.
People would be surprised to know________
That I almost prefer being on stage than on TV. Performing live is quite extraordinary. When you play a great role and have the audience wrapped around your finger, there's no better feeling.
What kind of films/TV did you like as a child?
All the classics, ‘Willy Wonka’, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, ‘Wizard of OZ’. Classic fairy tails!
Who are your inspirations?
I have a deep love for old Hollywood classics and admire the great actors from the golden age of Hollywood...... I also love the love the glamour and style of old Hollywood! People like Lauren Bacall and Rita Hayworth. Today I'm very much inspired by people like Cate Blanchett, and Marion Cottilard.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I take each day as it comes, I hope that I can continue to improve as an actor. If I'm lucky to get to play some amazing and exciting roles and work with great people, I couldn't possibly ask for more. Well maybe a large mansion, but that would be a bonus!
For more information on Sonya Macari check out her website at www.SonyaMacari.com