Celebrity Interview: Tracey Birdsall, star of the upcoming Rouge Warrior Robot Fighter Talks On Acting, The Disney Connection and Tough Girl Roles

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Tracey Birdsall, a native California girl and the great-granddaughter of Walt Disney Composer Elbert Lewis, is an accomplished star of television and film and is headlining the new science-fiction movie Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter.

Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter, written and directed by Neil Johnson stars William Kircher, Daz Crawford, Stephen Manley, Tim McGrath, Ashley Park,  Livvy Stubenrauch, Aaron Jacques and Marilyn Ghigliotti.

Birdsall who is promoting the film sat down with Emily Roach for Haute-Lifestyle.com and spoke on a the film, her role as Sienna, acting and life.

Below is an excerpt of the interview.

Early Life, Family and The Disney Connection

Emily Roach: Having grown up in California, was it a given you’d enter the arts?

Tracey Birdsall: Actually, it was all that I wanted to do – but my parents had a different idea. Although they supported my love of the arts and performing, they did not wish for me to be IN the industry so to speak. Although I didn’t really understand it at the time, all that I ever loved was performing, acting, and taking on characters and human personalities. I think I could have been born anywhere and I would still be in the same profession – in the same place. I can’t imagine anything else.


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ER: Were your parents in the industry?

TB: No. Not at all. My great grandfather was a famous Disney composer back in the day (Elbert Lewis). I also recently found out that Betty Grable also helms from Birdsall, England – so we are related along the way at some point – unbeknownst previously to me.

Career Then and Now

ER: Who gave you your big break?

TB: I’m one of those people in life who just worked really, really hard. I studied, I lived, I pounded the pavement. I’ve had many breaks over the years, and a series of successes. For some reason I hit a stride about six years ago in my projects where I just haven’t stopped. The sci-fi aspect kicked in about three years ago (when I started working with Neil Johnson), which certainly helped immensely. I’m one of those people who works 1000 times harder than everyone else for every step she takes – and that’s okay – it’s working. I love the work. I thrive on it.

ER: How has your career changed over the years?

TB: I’ve always enjoyed the process. I’ve always enjoyed the work. Over the years I realized that it wasn’t something I could do for a few hours to prepare for an audition or a hundred hours to prepare for a role. I literally have to spend thousands of hours preparing for a role – and I get so immersed in it. It’s what I love. It’s painstaking meticulous preparation.

A friend of mine, Mark Sikes (also a casting director) said to me probably 8 years ago, “Do something each day to advance your career.” I tried that for about 6 months. I upped it at that point to being all that I focused on and my career advanced exponentially. It’s a mathematical equation at that point: the time I put in (times probably 1000) is directly related to what comes back to me. My younger self had no idea just how much effort went into a truly wonderful performance. Thus, vacations and “days off” are now a thing of the past.

ER: Do you still love acting?

TB: More than anything. I live it, I breathe it, it’s better than sex (and that’s a tough one to beat.) It’s my entire being, and so rewarding. There’s just never enough…

On Rouge Warrior, Costumes and Playing the Hero

ER: Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter looks like a real throwback to the fun science-fiction movies of the ‘80s.  What will audiences get out of it, in your opinion?

TB: Rogue Warrior is a really great ride through the universe, through the worlds, through the overtaking of humanity by artificial intelligence. Wrapped inside the film is a human journey and realization. It’s a human journey with science fiction as a backdrop.


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ER: How did you decide on the look for your character?

TB: I had very little “say” on the costuming of Sienna, as the story called for it to be very specific. I had some options, but very few! Sienna’s journey is very specific to the point of her journey, and her wardrobe reflects exactly what she is and what she knows at each point. In her creation, I had a lot of  “say” in her existence and who she was, but the director (Neil Johnson) chose her look.

ER: We don’t often get to see women playing the hero. Why do you think that is?

TB: I don’t really know. I think it’s so important in the realm of humanity - as we do make up a huge part of the population. I don’t see Sienna however as being “just a woman” as I believe men will go on her journey as well. It’s not about being a woman; it’s about being a human being.

ER: Is there anything that wasn’t included in the movie that you wish was? Maybe something you can do in the sequel?

TB: We’ve explored so much of what Sienna is in her journey. We’ve seen what happens to her enduring her journey. What I think would be interesting is what happens next… where does this lead? What would happen to a being that endures what she does? I do think there would be darkness before she could see the light…

ER: What is your goal with the movie and would you say you’ve achieved that?

TB: I really love to explore a being and what makes them tick, and I was fully immersed in that with Sienna. She gave me so many opportunities to explore being a different being of such vulnerability and depth – with such challenges facing her world and her situations. She achieved - I achieved, everything I was looking for… but that’s not the end of the story… and there is so much more to explore…

ER: Tell us where we can see the movie.

TB: Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter,  is now available in selected theaters and exclusively through Walmart until August 15, 2017, at which point it should be available on DVD, VOD, and BluRay nationwide.

Content by Emily Roach of OctoberCoast PR; Creative, Content and Art Direction by Janet Walker. 

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