You might remember home grown golden girl Tahyna Tozzi carving up waves as Perri in Blue Water High. Since then the Cronulla native has carved out a place as one to watch in young Hollywood.
Her new comedy Trophy Kids has attracted popular and critical praise on the festival circuit and the industry is aflutter over the development of her production company WoodCabinPictures with Hollywood darling Teresa Palmer and their first film Tracktown; described as a cross between Thelma & Louise and The Wackness .
While Tozzi recognises that ‘it’s an exciting time to expand on what I can do’ this young starlet hasn\’t let any of it go to her head; confiding that she stills enjoys sipping on a mug of warm cinnamon milk rather then a glass of wine and she still cries every time Disney cartoon Aladdin hits her TV screen. The tragic tale of a young actress corrupted by Hollywood? We don’t think so either.
Tozzi\’s current flick, the Australian thriller Needle won a swag of awards at the British Horror Film Festival and Screamfest in LA and is set for release in Perth cinemas from July 28th. It tells the story of college student Ben (Michael Dorman) who inherits an 18th century killing device from his father. But when the machine is stolen Ben\’s friends begin to die horrible deaths and he must race to unmask the killer.
We spoke to the down to earth Tahyna Tozzi about breaking into Hollywood, her life in LA, and her role as the geeky Mary in Needle.
Paige: You play Mary in Needle. What drew you to play this role? What is she like?
Tahyna: Mary was originally written as a â€˜fiery red head\’ who is this quiet yet witty student. She keeps to herself and is very much involved in her studies. Â I wasn’t the fiery red head but was looking for a role that would get me away from the â€˜sexy\’ teen girl. I loved that she is somewhat nerdy and timid. I originally read for the role of Kandi but the director said he saw Mary in me. I think the nerd inside that tortured me through high school paid off after all.
Paige: This is the second time you\’ve starred in an Aussie thriller (Tozzi also starred in Beautiful in 2009). Is this a genre that you\’ve made a conscious decision about working in or has it just turned out that way?
Tahyna: No, it has just happened that way. I think a big thing for me is being able to come home to work and work with talented Australian people. I guess that’s the coherent theme with a lot of my choices.
Paige: Just watching the trailer of this film had me feeling pretty spooked. What was it like working on the set of Needle? Did anything scary ever happen? Did you guys have fun and play any tricks on each other?
Tahyna: Well I’m a huge spook, I’m afraid of the dark but nothing happened that shook me. However, perhaps one of the most fun casts I have ever worked with. There was a pretty large amount of pranks going on a regular basis.
Paige: From one Cronulla girl to another â€“ how does living in L.A compare to living in Australia? What\’s the main difference and what do you miss the most about home?
Tahyna: I miss home a lot. I love Australia but I’ve managed to set up a life for myself in LA now. It took three years. There are simple things I miss most like the sunrise over the beach, the green grocer, saying hi to absolutely everyone that walks down the street. It sounds so cheesy but it\’s the truth.
Paige: What does an average L.A day look like for Tahyna Tozzi?
Tahyna: Well I am a complete insomniac at the moment so I\’ve done my best to incorporate as much activity in a day as possible to exhaust myself by nightfall. Usually I go to the gym when I wake then head to auditions/meetings, meet some friends for a juice, go to yoga, spend most of the night writing, painting, playing music, and if I am up until 3am I am usually reading scripts or books. I also scoff down three meals at some point, separately of course…
Paige: If you think back to when you got your first break playing Perri on Blue Water High, what is the most important thing you\’ve learnt about acting, and about yourself, since then?
Tahyna: I have learnt so much since then. Most of it is just growing up and learning to accept myself in an industry were you hear â€˜no\’ most of the time. I can’t take it personally. I know I can’t be everyone\’s taste and those times I do hear â€˜yes\’ I am incredibly grateful. I have learnt I can never take this for granted. I have really come to learn how much I actually love the process of acting and applying it. I am happy I am following my dreams.
Paige: Breaking into Hollywood can be tough. What do you do to stay positive and determined?
Tahyna: There is a huge world out there; Hollywood is not the be all and end all. We only have one shot out here in this lifetime so I just try to remember to take a step outside of â€˜entertainment\’ and remember I am just a person trying to survive and live and I better live it with all I got because I only have now. Life is a gift, it really is.
Paige: Sassi Sam is all about inner beauty, health, and happiness. What do you do to keep yourself healthy, happy, and beautiful on the inside?
Tahyna: I surround myself with people who are positive and live life. I speak to my family all the time and tell them I love them every chance I get. I read interesting stories from around the world, I eat yummy food, I play fun music. When I have those dark days I just have them. I cry, I scream, whatever I have to do. Then I just pick myself up and get on with it.
Needle is released in Perth Cinemas from Thursday the 28th of July. It also stars Jessica Marais, Ben Mendelson, Michael Dorman, and Travis Fimmel.
Category: Film & TV