Exclusive Interview: Laura Stetman (The Connection)
Q: What attached you to this movie-The Connection?
A: It was honestly the concept! When I heard it was about two people being
emotionally connected even without ever knowing each other before, never having
seen each other before I was hooked! I have this thing where my actual real life has a
way of relating to the kinds of roles that find me, and this one was no exception. When
the director, Nick told me it would be a sci fi film, and also that Vera would be the one
to go down the dark path, it intrigued me, so I had to read this script! When I read it, I
saw many similarities in Vera’s attitude and emotions that I had experienced in a
relationship I was in at the time, it was scary. It called to me in that instant, and I
Q: Tell us a little about your character, Vera?
A: Vera is complex. She’s the kind of girl you just wonder, do we like her? Do we not
like her? Is she good or is she bad? The best way to describe her would be Raw and
Real. You know exactly what she’s feeling when she feels it, there’s no hiding with her.
She keeps you guessing throughout the whole movie, and once you think you know
her, she does or says something that makes you question again. It is that very
heightened quality I think that keeps you drawn to her.
Q: How does this character differ from other characters that you’ve played?
A: Honestly till this day Vera is one of my favorites, because she’s that different. Most
of the characters I play are very emotional, and do go through tough things, but they
relate in a very relatable, typical way. For example if you’re sad in real life, but you’re at
a dinner and feel you must “keep appearances” and push that feeling down, you don’t
talk about it, you don’t act on it. Normally you just put that aside and deal with your
own sadness later, so as to not cause drama. With Vera, she would have no problem
reacting without even thinking, if that means screaming, crying, pouting, talking about
it. I would liken her personality to someone with Bipolar disorder. When they “switch”
you know it. It can happen at any moment, at any time, and it can be one thing to set
her off, which can be intense sometimes, but she also has this way of making people
care about her as well. Because at the very core, she is a deep feeler, and that quality
plays opposite to Foster who is more in control of his emotions.
Q: What was your most difficult scene? Why?
A: Hmmm I’d have to say, the most difficult scene was on our longest day on location.
In the middle of the intimate scene, there was a car show and loud music playing
outside the motel. Everytime we thought it stopped we’d roll, and have to cut again
and again because of the sound. Eventually we had to call the police. For that hour,
that set back filming so much. It ended up being a 20 hour day and I was exhausted.
The scenes were the intimate scene and also the drugged scene. What made them so
difficult was working through a headache I had, on top of exhaustion from all the other
emotions I repeated with Vera that day before those scenes. It got to the point where I
was so dehydrated I could not think and needed salt for the headache. The crew went
out and got me Chinese soup, and also a black tea to keep me going, which I
appreciate so much! It was my emotions physicality, and mind that were tested that
day. And because it was our last day we would have this location, as much as we
wanted to cut it and film another time, we all pushed through. But I do think the scenes
turned out better because of the exhaustion I was feeling, so hey light at the end of
Q: How was it working with Nicholas Naylor?
A: Oh I love working with Nick! I’ve worked with him before on two other films “Lady
Killer” and also “King Charles”. He’s a great director! Really cares about his crew and
cast and that’s what makes working on his films so great! This one was a bit different
because it’s the first time I worked with him as an actor, not just a director. It’s funny
though, what Nick brought to Foster and what I brought to Vera totally worked for
chemistry with the two! I don’t like to rehearse before a scene unless it deals with
blocking and placement. For me it keeps the entire scene, reactions and emotions
fresh. But Nick works differently and wanted to rehearse so he would rehearse with
other members of the crew, but it really is funny. That’s very Vera and Foster. Foster
likes a plan, likes to know what to expect, and Vera there’s no telling where her mind or
emotions will be at until you’re in that moment, and with the connection they have, it
often challenges Foster, so that kind of opposite way of our processes worked
awesome when we shot!
Q: What was your favorite day on set? Why?
A: Hmmm this is a tough one. Reason being, I’m very method when it comes to deeper
characters like Vera, so I mostly kept to myself, and didn’t really talk much with the
crew during filming. They’re so awesome! I’ve worked with much of them before! I
would say on one of the motel days, I did break character once because during a
scene where Vera says “So what if I did?” In her rage she ends up screaming and
throwing a remote, and it actually hit one of the crew members. Out of the corner of my
eye I could see him sorta saying “ow” and I felt so bad I just snapped out of it and said
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I can’t” and hopped on the bed and asked the guy if he was okay,
and that I was so sorry. The whole crew laughed and then called “cut” and my
producer was like “You should of stayed in character!” But I told him I couldn’t help it, I
felt so bad! (Laughs) It was a nice relief to break from Vera in that moment where we
could all share a laugh about it. The other favorite day would be part of the 20 hour
day. Even though we were all at our ends mentally and some emotionally, we all felt
that exhaustion and push through together when we had to repeat, repeat, repeat. I
also made friends with one of my still good friends today Mariah who was the editor on
the film, so that was so so nice as well!
Q: What movie or event from your childhood turned you onto the film industry?
A: Hmmm I would say “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”. Reason being I always loved
acting, but after I moved to California, there was this moment where I was sitting on my
couch at the time when I was in college watching it and I paused that show and was
like “I could do this.” And went up to my room and researched film acting schools in
LA, to which later I would attend Gary Spatz the Playground which is ironically where
Dylan and Cole Sprouse trained, as well as countless other Disney and Nickelodeon
ABC actors. Getting accepted there, changed my whole life and career! That was the
event that turned me fully onto the film industry. Til this day my instructors Gayla
Goehl, Faran Fonte and Gary Spatz, are instrumental in my film acting career. There is
no way I would be where I am now without having first gone to that school and being
taught by them. Gayla had a way of connecting with me emotionally where no other
teacher was able to. She truly changed my life and the way I approached my acting
Q: Name your top three horror films at all time.
A: Oooh! So funny because I am actually not a horror fan. (Laughs) I’ll do horror movies
no problem! But watching it, I’m like, hmm what else is on? (Laughs) If I had to list
three it would be Disturbia, Seven, and Saw. All three of those movies are not just pure
slasher, but make you think, and leave you feeling slightly uncomfortable. I think that’s
why I like those more than just a gory flick.
Q: What inspires your creativity?
A: Ooh watching other shows and movies! I learn so much by just watching other
actors. And other directors that are outside my own bubble of every day shows, or
super comfortable chick flick movies. I try to challenge myself to watch something that
makes me feel uncomfortable or intense, because it only opens up my range of what I
can do, and what I am open to.
Q: What’s next for Laura Stetman?
A: I have lots of things coming up! The most intense project being about Sex
Trafficking. I play the lead in that. I’m slated for two tv shows this year, pandemic
pending. I have a sci fi feature to be filmed in New York as well! Pandemic pending
(laughs) possibly a sequel to the comedy American Bigfoot, A romance film “And Then
Came You” directed by Preston Walden. Finally The Connection is out on Amazon and
then the psychological thriller Todd comes out on March 13th which is exciting! I’m
also working on Chrissy Moon’s audiobook sequel “Daydreamer 2” Exciting things
ahead! It will be nice when this pandemic opens more things up and the industry can
ease a bit more on restrictions. :)