I recently had the opportunity to interview the beautiful actress Maria Patricia who has starred in a long list of horror, drama and suspense films, as well as many others. Check out our interview below and make sure to be on the lookout for this phenomenal talent!
PL: Where are you from?
MP: I was born and raised in Austria. I literally grew up on a mountain in the Tyrolean Alps. After graduating from high school, I studied Theatre Research, Film and Media Studies in Vienna where I received a Master's Degree. I lived in Strasbourg, France, for two years where I worked at the French-German Public TV Station Arte. I also studied and worked in Madrid, Barcelona, Germany, Greece and Nice, France.
PL: When and how did you get into acting?
MP: I was the kind of kid who loved nothing else more than dressing up and playing different roles all the time. I was 13 when I first wanted to become an actress but I didn't begin working professionally until I moved to Madrid in 2004. From then on I was hooked…
PL: Can you tell me a little bit about the film and television projects you’ve done?
MP: In my last project I was the lead actress in the horror suspense film Host House. My character Marla books a room online at an airbnb-type website and the host turns out to be a crazy guy who tries to kill her. It was a very challenging and fun part to play. Because I was cast in the role a couple of weeks before the shoot, I had the luxury of spending a lot of time to work on creating my character. I wanted to bring as much authenticity to her struggle to survive as I could so I dug deep to find out what it was in her life that she really wanted to live for. The director Lok Hwa was amazing to work with, he told me after the shoot that he loved my work and it was what he had envisioned while writing the script.
Earlier this summer I was the lead in a project called Fruit Punch, the teaser to a feature film that I will be shooting this winter. It's an ironic story about a couple who run out of money, but more importantly their obsession with fruit punch, literally. The husband's logical response is to break into a neighbor's house and steal their fruit punch. My character Sophie loves her husband more than anything so she tags along with him on this crazy mission. I had a lot of fun shooting the project and am looking forward to shooting the feature later this year.
Last summer I was one of the leads in a project called Autokorrektur created by visual media artist Marlene Maier. She has a very artsy and intellectual approach to her work and most of her projects have been shown in museums like the Mumok, Vienna's Museum of Modern Art. The project was very successful and had several screenings at different exhibitions in Vienna, and was also screened at the Kassel Dokfest, a unique film, documentary and media festival held annually in Kassel, Germany.
I also play a photographer in search of the perfect image in the film Image, which was mainly shot at the old Los Angeles Zoo, a location that has a very melancholic vibe to it because of the old empty cages in the middle of nature. Some of my other projects include the films Love on the Edge, The Vision, and Avinyó 36, which was shot in Barcelona, Spain, as well as the Austrian prime time TV series SOKO Kitzbühel.
PL: They are all very different, what made you choose to participate in these projects?
MP: I am constantly on the look out for different projects - I simply love my work. Reinventing myself is a necessity for me to feel alive, I love learning new things and having the opportunity to find the challenges within new characters.
PL: You get approached all the time to work on projects with people, what makes you pick one role over another?
MP: Knowing the filmmaker's previous work can be an important criterion for me, but it is definitely more about having a good script and a good story.
PL: Can you list some of the theatre projects you've participated in up until now, and the roles you’ve played?
MP: I was the Witch in Macbeth, Frankie in Frankie and Johnny, Sara in Stop Kiss, Izzy in Rabbit Hole, Princess Alexandra del Lago in Sweet Bird of Youth, Stella in Streetcar named Desire, and I also appeared in Silencio y Luz-Homenaje a Federico García Lorca by Gregorio Cedillo Mencina.
PL: What has been your favorite role so far and why?
MP: Artistically I would have to say Marla in Host House because I had to work on a lot of different things to be able to capture the depth of the horrible things she goes through when she gets thrown down a hole into the basement where a few other dead bodies are lying already. Story-wise, my favorite role was Helga in Avinyó 36. The film was set in the beginning of the 1950's in Barcelona. I loved the transformation I did every day through make-up and costume, plus we shot in all these cool locations in the old town.
PL: As for genre, what is your favorite? (Comedy, Drama, Horror, etc.)
MP: I am definitely more drawn to Drama, although I just finished a Suspense/Horror film and I loved it. Avinyó 36 was also a film noir, which I really enjoyed...
PL: What separates you from other actors?
MP: That's a hard one because I respect everybody who chooses this path and I’m happy to see others being successful at it.
PL: What would you say your strongest qualities as an actor are?
MP: I definitely work hard on creating the people I play and am not afraid to go deep in to my work.
PL: What projects do you have coming up?
MP: The sequel to Fruit Punch, which will be a feature film called Blood Punch; and, I also plan to work on a feature in the beginning of next year with Lok Hwa, the director of Host House.
PL: What are your plans for the future?
MP: to work on as many exciting projects as possible
PL: What do you hope to achieve in your career as an actor?
MP: To be able to create and bring to life as many different characters as possible– to constantly evolve in my craft and be challenged by my projects, and of course, to continually work with passionate and creative people who I can learn from.
PL: What kind of training have you done?
MP: I first did an Intensive Program and then the Conservatory Program at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in West Hollywood, which offers a very well rounded program that includes Method Acting as it was developed by Strasberg, which concentrates on Relaxation, Sense Memory, Emotional Memory Exercises, Character Development, Improvisation, Scene Study, Animal Exercise etc., as well as Fitzmaurice Voice Work, and the Alexander Technique.
PL: Why is acting your passion and chosen profession?
MP: I have never loved anything as much; you just keep discovering more and more and are never done. Through my training I've also learned to truly live in the moment while acting and therefore experience the most amazing things through my characters. Having the ability to live different lives is incredible– it can be transcendent!