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Arts and Entertainment

LAist Interview: Lauren McKnight

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Lauren McKnight stars in 'HottieBoombaLottie' | Photo courtesy of Aquarius PR

Two of the great things about film festivals is that not only do you get to see smaller films that don't typically make it into theaters, but you also get to meet the talent involved in the picture. In HottieBoombaLottie, Lauren McKnight stars as Cleo, the tomboyish cousin of Ethan (Seth Packard) who decides to become more feminine in order to capture his attention. LAist had a chance to speak with Lauren just prior to the film's Saturday debut.

So tell me a little bit about HottieBoombaLottie? What's it about? Who is your character?

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HottieBoombaLottie is a very quirky coming of age comedy about an offbeat high school outcast named Ethan who is infatuated with the popular girl, Madison Sweet. What Ethan doesn't know, is that his cool older brother Clay also has an interest pursuing Madison . In Ethan's many attempts to get Madison to notice him, he gets in a bit of trouble and his mom sends him off to live with his cousins Asher and Cleo (which is my character) in California. Cleo, is your average tomboy, and only when Ethan comes to stay does she decide she needs to become a bit more feminine if she wants Ethan to notice her.

Can you describe a typical day for you on the set?

HottieBoombaLottie was just as fun on the set as it was off the set. The cast and crew really got a chance to get to know each other, and it really put off a lot of positive energy. In between scenes a lot of us would get together and just talk and joke, there was always just a laid back casual feeling about the project. And when it came time to get into character, all the actors would help each other get ready for the scene, and we would always discuss the script and talk about what our characters were feeling in that particular scene. The director (Seth Packard) was awesome! Before every scene, he would make sure I was comfortable and ready, and he never rushed me when it came to delivering a good performance, he always asked what I thought Cleo was feeling, or if the scene felt natural to me, and also if I was satisfied with the takes we had before moving on. This film was definitely my favorite project to work on so far in my career.

Of the work you've done, what were you ultimately happiest with and what disappointed you the most?

The happiest I've been with the work I've done, especially if I had a big hand in helping in the film, is probably when I get to see the final product. There's just something incredible about seeing something you worked so hard on come together and be completed. I don't even know if I can describe how excited I am to finally see HottieBoombaLottie as a finished film on the big screen. I'm just so happy it's getting the recognition it deserves. As far as disappointment goes, not much has really disappointed me. Acting is a career full of ups and downs and I've learned to deal with that.

Other than being an actor--or perhaps if you weren't an actor--what would you like to do for a living? What could you not imagine doing?

If I weren't an actor, I would probably be pursuing a career in photography. I grew up in a family of photographers, so I feel it sort of comes second nature to me. Sometimes I'll do some photography for local bands, head shots for friends, or just for artistic purposes. I could not see myself in any sort of career that was not creatively fueled.

Do you see yourself as primarily an actor or are there other aspects of the entertainment industry at which you'd like to take a crack?

I definitely see myself primarily as an actor. Someday I might want to try writing scripts, that could be something I would enjoy.

Who do you feel doesn't get the acclaim they deserve? Or maybe, who would you like to work with?

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As far as people not getting the acclaim they deserve, no one comes to mind at the moment. But if I had the choice to work with anyone I wanted to work with, I would probably want to work with people such as: Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Tim Burton, the Coen Brothers etc. All of them seem to not only make fantastic films, but works of art as well.

When you're not working, what is your favorite thing to do?

When I'm not working, I'm usually out with friends. I love going to movies, or out to local concerts. I like going camping when it's warm out or sometimes I'll just stay home and work on a new painting or photograph.

Describe an ideal day for you in Los Angeles?

When I'm out in LA, I usually like to plan the whole day out. On an elaborately planned day, I sometimes like to go shopping and then out to a nice restaurant with family, or maybe even go to the beach for the day and then come back for a broadway show if I want to. For the most part when I'm in LA, I just like to enjoy the lifestyle of the big city.

Everyone seems to have a secret band or a secret film or a secret book that they wish had wider acclaim. Do you? What are they?

Not particularly, I like a lot of bands that seem to be under the radar. I think that the fact that you don't really here about them in the media, and that not many people know of them makes them more personal and intimate to their fans.

HottieBoombaLottie screens again on Tuesday, June 24th at 4:30pm at the Landmark and The Landmark and Thursday, June 26th at 2:00pm at The Regent

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