Interview with Angel Parker | A Lifelong Journey
When we care about how we feel about ourselves, we will allow that feeling to expand into everything we do, and everyone we rendesvouz with. Our perspective, the way we perceive life is the reflection of our inner state of being, hence it starts with what we think and feel about ourselves. While we live in a world of diversity in thinking, by letting ourselves to be who we are, we will always expand onto more.
Actress Angel Parker, who portrays Catherine Wilder on Marvel’s series Runaways, which will premiere its Second Season on Hulu today, says:
“I feel that loving yourself is a lifelong journey. In my work and in life, I am loving my strong point of view. It can be different than the way someone else sees the same situation. I no longer try to mute or soften my thoughts and feelings. It’s liberating and fun! I am who I am and have grown to be this woman at this point. It’s time to be ok with that. Others will like it, or they won’t. And that’s ok too.”
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Angel Parker?
I’m a type A mama bear. Always have been. I love taking care of people, especially my family and friends. I’m also a very organized and driven person. Little did I know that this part of me would be useful in my career. I can also pack a mean suitcase. Another great skill for a working actress to have.
- How did your personal journey influence your conscious decision to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena?
I graduated high school at 16 and was on the path toward college. I had only discovered acting in my junior year. So, at the time, it seemed like an impulsive decision to audition for theatre schools while applying to colleges. When I was accepted to AADA, I saw it as a sign that maybe this was my path. It seemed like fun and also kept me in California. So many working actors had gone to The Academy, I sort of thought, ‘why can’t I too?’ It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only did I graduate feeling prepared for a life in acting, but I also met my husband. Sometimes the most impulsive decisions can be what is best for your heart.
- How do you understand acting as a whole and how does your understanding contribute to the feeling of being ready to act?
I think of acting as thoughts and feeling and human interaction. My preparation is quite thorough. I research the character’s background, history, the time period, their given circumstances and relationships. I also study the writer and producers of the script. I figure out what story they’re trying to tell. I also trust my gut instincts and live a lot in my imagination about the moments that may have led the character to this point. Then, when it’s time to work when I am ‘ready to act’, it’s quite easy. I simply think the character’s thoughts and say the words on the page.
- In the film and TV industry, like in everything, it takes a team to co-create and bring an idea alive. How does such a collaborative process affect the final outcome of what we will eventually see on screen?
I love how collaborative our industry is. It truly takes a village. When all the departments are working toward the same vision and goal, the outcome can be so rewarding and fulfilling. It also takes a lot of the pressure off my acting. If the roles have been cast well and the producers have hired a great team, I can trust that by the time the magical word “action” is spoken, all I have to do is my best. Hopefully, everyone else is doing their best too. Or they’ll “fix it in post!”
- The entertainment industry is shifting to more diverse narratives opening opportunities to many talents from different backgrounds. How do those talents themselves contribute to the satisfactory change they want to experience?
The more you know, right? The more people you come across, the more experiences you have, the more well-rounded our world will be. I love that newer writers are being given the opportunity to tell stories. Not just their own, but something they’ve learned, or perhaps something they came across deep in their imagination. People are very interesting. I’m glad our industry is excited to hear different stories and share them with more people. Let’s keep this world turning.
- Many talents within the entertainment industry want to be recognized as equals. How does the idea of loving yourself for who you are versus how others see you play out in the development of that?
I feel that loving yourself is a lifelong journey. In my work and in life, I am loving my strong point of view. It can be different than the way someone else sees the same situation. I no longer try to mute or soften my thoughts and feelings. It’s liberating and fun! I am who I am and have grown to be this woman at this point. It’s time to be ok with that. Others will like it, or they won’t. And that’s ok too.
- How do you feel your way through a script in the process of bringing a character alive?
I read it many times and in various ways. Usually, I start nice and cozy just letting it speak to me. Another time in a more studious way– taking notes and writing down thoughts. Then, I’ll read just my scenes and the scenes of the characters I come across. I’ll write more notes. I’ll find time to read it straight through again to see if something pops up that I may have missed. Sometimes I’ll record my scenes and listen to them while driving. I am an auditory learner and listening to the scene always helps me see something new. My husband is an actor and he loves reading my scripts too. We usually get into some great discussions about it and bounce off ideas. Hopefully, I have a ton of time for this process, but I must admit, this usually has to happen in a matter of days!
- You portray Catherine Wilder on Marvel’s hit action drama series Runaways, slated to premiere its second season on Hulu, today, December 21, 2018. How does allowing to trust your instincts during the process of studying Catherine guide you to the path you want to be in synergy with your character?
Well after two seasons, I know Catherine really well. I trust more than my initial reaction to something that happens in her world is pretty accurate. It’s less homework now and more instinct. She is part of me. I am all of her.
- Within your character’s life story context, what makes Catherine Wilder be the way she is?
Catherine is loyal and driven, sometimes to a fault. When she sees a future with Geoffrey, she starts down a path of choices that will forever change her. Her love and loyalty to her family are what drives her. She only looks forward, but when her blinders are up, she can be downright scary.
- When it comes to family, Catherine is fiercely loyal to her husband and a loving mother to her son, Alex. In her case, what does conditional and unconditional love represent?
There are no conditions to her love. Once you have it and once she has your back, you’re in deep. Her family and their success are the only things that matter. #TeamWilder all the way. There is no other way.
- Runaways is an example of diversity and inclusion representing families with different cultural backgrounds and races. In that sense, what makes Runaways so great and appealing to the audience?
I love that Runaways doesn’t talk down to teens. Young people are growing up in a diverse world and can see it for what it is. These characters are being played in a very real way. Their experiences and relationships are relatable. Even the love and trust of an animal. In “Runaways,” that animal just happens to be a dinosaur.
- Every experience we have is connected to relationships, without relationships, we couldn’t expand. Runaways represent what is considered one of the most significant relationships, family. What is the most important relationship you can have with first and foremost?
I believe in the power of love. I believe in family. I believe in God. I believe in myself. Belief and hope and trust are essential in any relationship.
- How do you revert to your authentic self after you are finished portraying a character?
I just get back to my life! I’m a wife and busy mom of two great kids. They have a way of bringing me back to home base after my work is done. If I have given my all and done my job well, it’s very easy to let it all go. After the harder days, a bubble bath and a glass of red wine can be helpful too.
- Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?
Yes! Running with the Pink Horses is an equine therapy program for breast cancer patients and survivors based out of Weatherford, Texas. Founders Steve and Amanda Stevens of Stevens Natural Horsemanship wanted to share the gifts that horses gave to Amanda during her breast cancer journey. She’s a dear friend, and was one of my bridesmaids, that I met at AADA. I love the lifesaving and healing work they’re doing every single day.
Running with the Pink Horses | http://www.stevensnaturalhorsemanship.net
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is “The Essence of a Joyful Living.” How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?
I truly love my job. Every aspect of it. Even the ups and downs have taught me to embrace the joyful times even more. My life is never boring. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
- When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words by Abraham Hicks. What is your take on such a statement?
I see belief. I see focus. I see a life that should be led by the heart.