Interview With Diana Hopper | Passionate Being
When we are in a state of appreciation, which equals to the feeling of pure love, we are ready to allow ourselves to experience the best that life has to offer at any given moment. There is no better feeling than going through existence by doing things that you love. Actress Diana Hopper embodies that. When you read her answers you can get a sense of how passion reflects in everything she creates. Being present in a moment paired with love will always lead to joy.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Diana Hopper?
I am a lover of travel, people, new experiences, and all types of food. I believe that life, like many things, is a balancing act. I believe in being present. And never taking anything for granted. I’m also a huge “Lord of the Rings” nerd and a total goofball.
- You are originally from Memphis, Tennessee but currently live in Los Angeles, California. What inspires you most about these two cities?
Memphis is a city with a lot of soul. The people, the food, the music. You can feel it everywhere you go. Los Angeles is a beautiful city in many different ways. I love that I can go hiking in the mountains and then trek down to the beach. I love the ocean! Also, most everyone here is chasing a dream of some sort which I find inspiring.
- Did you always want to become an actress?
I wanted to be a veterinarian until about the age of 12 or so. I’ve always empathized with beings – be it human or animal. I spent most of my time in the theatre in my teenage years, however, and pursuing the craft professionally was a decision that came naturally to me.
- With the appearance of online streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu that are creating great content, the entertainment industry has changed a lot. In that sense, where do you think the TV/film industry is heading to?
The rapid expansion of streaming services that we’re seeing today is wonderful. More content = more opportunity for the artist and more stories available to audiences. I do feel, however, that the act of “going to the movies” is something people naturally crave – not to mention that without cinema holding TV to such a high standard, we might not have our cutting-edge new media content. Ironically enough, this content now holds cinema up to the same high standard. I think they elevate each other and that the future has room for them both.
- In fifth grade, you did your first theatre play in school. How do you remember that moment on stage and what did it mean to you?
It was a magical experience. It was actually my local community theatre – which means there were people of all ages involved. Choosing to spend all your free time together as artists, working towards a common goal – it felt important. And special. And like I was where I was meant to be.
- At age 17 you received a scholarship at the New York Film Academy for a summer. What was the biggest lesson you learned during your experience in New York?
The summer I spent at NYFA was a very important one for me. I met the most wonderful people – both students and teachers. This is really where I fell in love with filmmaking. A book called “Sculpting in Time” was suggested to me there. It really helped mold my perception of acting and filmmaking in general.
- Shortly after attending the New York Film Academy, you got your first lead role in a feature film, “The Wicked”, and moved to Los Angeles. Was that a turning point for you? How did it feel to make such a big decision?
Another very important summer! So NYFA was 2010 and “The Wicked” was filmed in summer 2011. I went from thinking, “Hmm. I should pursue film professionally” to “Wow. So, this is what it’s like.” It was eye-opening and I was instantly hooked. That film was the reason I moved to LA when I did.
- Following that, you also appeared on shows such as “Criminal Minds,” “Lavalantula” on SyFy, and the Lifetime movies “Earthfall” and “Hidden Truth.” What do you believe is the reason for such a great success for you?
The crazy part about my job – and this goes for all actors – is that for every role you get, there are about 50 auditions (or more!) that you did not get. Perseverance is key.
- Now, you can be seen starring in Amazon’s critically acclaimed drama series “Goliath,” which will premiere its Season 2 this summer. What could you highlight from your experience of sharing the set with such a fantastic cast and specifically with Billy Bob Thornton and Maria Bello?
Being at work is the highlight! This job has been hands down the best experience I have had as an actress. I get to work with, unequivocally, some of the most talented people in my industry – cast and crew alike. What could be better than that?
- Do you have a particular practice or process when you want to prepare for an audition or a specific character?
Every character is different so every process is a little different. I start with what I know – what the writer has given me. Then I ‘take it off the page’ as much as possible. This consists of me saying the lines aloud and seeing where my instincts take me. Even when I make decisions about who a character is, it’s always subject to change.
- You also co-produced two short films: “Come Correct” and “Picture Wheel.” What are the differences between producing a short film and being an actress and how do those differences complement each other?
My experience as an actress, on set and in the industry, has certainly helped my informed decision-making abilities as a producer. While they are very different skill sets – being creative is where I feel the most comfortable. I may not always know what I am getting into, but I enjoy the challenges I face with every new project.
- What are other exciting projects coming your way this year?
After such a full and exciting season, I decided to take some time off to travel. I recently visited Japan which has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. But as far as work goes I have a film called “Shooting In Vain” that will premiere at the Dances With Films Film Festival on June 14th in Los Angeles. I feel it’s an extremely impactful film and I can’t wait to see how audiences react to it. Also, I’m currently in pre-production for a new project with a lot of special effects and wire-work. It’s a new challenge for me and one I am thrilled to take on.
You play the guitar and sing beautifully. Could you tell us a little more about your love for music?
Well, thank you! That is very sweet. I’d say Memphis is the place for music. I was surrounded by many talented musicians and I always loved listening to them play. The music that I listened to – especially throughout my adolescence – was absolutely pivotal in my development as an artist and I’ve taken that with me into adulthood. There is a quote I’ve heard that encompasses it all: “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”
- Do you support any charity organization you would like our readers to know about?
It’s hard to pick just one as there are so many important causes I am passionate about. If I had to choose one I’d say the WILD Foundation. They’re helping to restore the balance between humans and nature by ‘supporting human health and prosperity’ as well as ‘securing a bountiful, beautiful legacy of resilient, wild nature.’ They recognize the eternal and imperative truth that we are a part of this world – not separate from it.
- We live in a fast-paced technological era. Being part of the Millennial Generation, what is your perspective on social media communication?
Social media is a great platform for many things (i.e. keeping in touch with loved ones or spreading the word on an important cause.) But like all things it requires balance – and that’s the tricky part. Social media can be very addictive and the dark side of it is pretty ugly. It’s very important for young people to learn how to unplug.
- What do you enjoy doing when you are not acting?
Traveling, being outdoors, and especially cooking. I’ve gotten good at just making recipes up as I go along. The kitchen is definitely my happy place.
Our mantra is, “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words by Abraham Hicks. What’s your take on such a statement?
“Appreciation in advance brings everything you want to you.”