Appearing on screen since the age of 12, it became instantly clear that Swiss sensation Lara Pictet was somebody who would take the entertainment industry by storm. Now set to appear in a bunch of different pictures, and with her varied history within the business behind her, the actress is hoping to continue displaying her brilliant talent in the coming months and years.
We got the opportunity to put some questions to Lara all about those projects – which include the DC-inspired web-series Monarchs which she and the cast hope will be officially picked up by DC on their online streaming service – and she had a lot to say!
When did you realise a career in the world of acting was something you wanted to pursue?
I always knew deep down this was my life goal. Ever since I was four years old and forced my poor family after dinner to watch me perform my ‘1 Person Shows’ by myself. I knew this is what I wanted to do and what I was going for, I never thought of doing anything else, really.
Who and what are some of your favourite stars and productions in the entertainment world?
Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Heath Ledger, may he rest in peace… The list goes on… [They’re] just a few of the performers I truly admire. They fully immerse themselves in their characters and take us with them on their journey and you just sit there, captivated.
There are lots of remarkable independent production companies who have had an effect on me with their choice of movies, but I do have to say, at the moment, there is a specific one called We Do It Together. It’s a non-profit film production company uniquely dedicated to the empowerment of women and focusing on gender empowerment altogether.
Who I long to work with in the near future? It really makes a different to know things are starting to shift in Hollywood, for the better.
What can you tell us about your DC-inspired web-series Monarchs and taking on the role of Harley Quinn?
The DC-inspired web-series Monarchs [that] I’m currently working on is one of the projects I am most thrilled about. The story is being portrayed from the villains’ point of view, which is quite a change, because we don’t get to see the anti-hero’s story. Being able to represent Dr. Harleen Quinzel and her drive to becoming Harley Quinn is a beautiful challenge, as I get to understand who she was and take the audience with me on her journey. I just hope to do [the character] justice for all the DC Comics fans and the rest of the strong cast we have.
You’re also starring in sci-fi western film Western Wonderland; what can you tell us about that movie?
I really believe Western Wonderland will be revolutionary in its own way. The way it was shot is one of a kind in its innovation and never been done before. I can’t wait for people to see the end result and see what kind of reactions it’ll get!
What was it like working with director Reza Safai on that picture?
Being able to work with director Reza Safai was truly enlightening; he’s an incredible, out of the box director. He’s very artistic in the most unimaginable way. Reza’s by far one of the most creative people I’ve ever worked with, constantly pushing the limit of your own imagination and have it come out the way it did.
Can you tell us a little bit about the feature film you wrote and are in the process of developing?
The feature film I’ve written and am in the process of developing is a very heartfelt project for me. It’s about homosexuality in our society and how ‘justice’ can be so corrupted when it comes to rape. It’s such a taboo subject, which is why I have to be very careful in the way I portray it but at the same time, I want everyone to be aware of its issues, especially in our society and world today. It’s based on true facts but exposed in a fictional manner that can be relatable to an audience. Think of a rawer version of Thelma and Louise.
How about the short film based on Hollywood you have in the works?
The short film I am working on with my dear friend Audi Finn is about Hollywood and the lengths people go to get famous, and their misconceptions of fame and money. People look at the entertainment industry and only see the glamorous side to it, so we’re trying to depict both the positive and negative aspects of this industry with real-life stories.
Have the recent scandals coming out of Hollywood changed the approach to that short film and influenced it at all?
Yes absolutely; we started working on this story before the scandals came out because they may have come out just now, but this has always been a present issue. It just gives us more hope in knowing that the people who will be watching it will understand that this is, in fact, the reality of the situation and not just an attempt to create solid entertainment.
Roles for women seem to be becoming a more common thing; what do you think of the current entertainment landscape when it comes to women getting great jobs? What else can change?
I really think Hollywood is on a shift right now in trusting women to carry out such strong and powerful roles. I remember in drama school, it was always a pain to find strong female characters, just because those roles were always written for male characters. But, with the current evolvement, it’s encouraging to see great roles written for women and with that, receiving such positive reactions from the public and audience. It’s already in the works, but I’d love to see more female directors; for instance, Patty Jenkins who did an astounding job with Wonder Woman; hopefully that will motivate more women to direct! We’re still in the midst of a big transition in the industry so, baby steps! Slowly, but surely!
Are there any big franchises you’d like to be a part of moving forward?
Absolutely! My dream role is to play the female James Bond. I even came up with my version of what her name would be in my head; Jane Bond! But as I said earlier, baby steps! I don’t think the world is ready to lose their James Bond… just yet! *laughs* Other than that, I do love the James Bond franchise and I’d love to be able to follow my fellow Swiss compatriots’ footsteps as a Bond Girl, and of course the Marvel and DC Comics universe!
Do you have any tips for those who may want to carve out a career in this industry but don’t know where to start?
I’d say a great way to start is by getting some training under your belt, even if you have a natural talent. You learn so much about yourself and the different methods that work for you, which evidently expands your knowledge as a person as well as a performer. Even though my main goal was to do film, I was very adamant to get my theatre base down first and I think if you can succeed at theatre, film will come in way easier. It’s always better to be too big and have to bring it down a notch rather than be too small and have to force it.
On top of that, the people you meet during your training will be your support system and friends for life (well, most!) You learn from them; they learn from you; you feed off of each other. I’d also say, one thing that helped me tremendously and that I still do, is to really embrace every life experience as they come, regardless of whether [they’re] good or bad because you can use them in your work and that’s how people will relate and connect to you! Don’t be scared to go for it and scared to fail because (as Morihei Ueshiba puts it so beautifully): “failure is the key to success, every mistake teaches us something”, and as long as you have the courage to continue, that’s all that matters!