Transformative Conversation with actress, Alicia Coppola

D'angelo Thompson
3 min readApr 27, 2024

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‘AND YOU ARE..?’ Written and Directed by Alicia Coppola

Photo Courtesy of Alicia Coppola

I was very intrigued by your film, ‘And You Are.’ The short feature explores the relationship between a grandmother, Lynn, played by Jane Seymour, who is declining from Alzheimers, and her transgender grandson, Max, played by Zack Barack.

Thank you for agreeing to chat with me — let’s jump in!

1-DT: First, let’s chat about your impressive career. How long have you been an actress?

AC: I’ve been an actress since 1989, so it’s been over three decades now. My first gig was on MTV’s ‘Remote Control.’ I was modeling and represented by Elite, who sent me on my first audition while I was attending NYU.

2-DT: You must have been on hundreds of sets by now. How has that experience helped with executive producing, writing, and building a strong team?

AC: Building a strong team is crucial. Once you have that, everything else follows smoothly. My vision is clear, and a strong team turns it into a very choreographed ballet.

3-DT: Jane Seymour is such an icon in the industry. Did you approach her to play Lynn?

AC: When I was writing the script, I had Jane’s image in my mind’s eye, inspired by her role in ‘Somewhere in Time.’ Jane was in Dublin on another project, but my co-producer, Sherry Thomas, reached out to Jane’s agent, and she accepted the role a few days later after reading the script.

4-DT: The relationship between Lynn and Max is something many can relate to. Why did you choose a transgender character for Max?

AC: I cast exactly who I wanted to represent. It was crucial for Max to be authentically himself, which is why Zack’s casting was so important.

5-DT: You come across as a very no nonsense person, but the more I talked to you, I sensed that you are a warrior for those that you love and very caring. How would you describe yourself?

AC: That description resonates with me — I am definitely someone who fights for the people I love. Aligning with my Aries traits, I’m fiercely protective and loyal. I remember during an audition for ‘Empire,’ they asked if I could go toe-to-toe with Terrence Howard. I just laughed and said, “I’m a mother of three, what do you think?”

6-DT: Where can we watch ‘And You Are’?

AC: Hopefully, it’ll be featured at a festival near you soon. After the festival circuit, I’m planning to release it on YouTube so it’s accessible to a wider audience.

7-DT: What do you hope viewers take away from this film?

AC: I hope viewers recognize the depth and resilience of human connections, regardless of the challenges they face. The relationship between Lynn and Max highlights the unconditional love and acceptance that should define family dynamics. I want the audience to feel inspired and see the beauty in embracing everyone’s unique journey.

8-DT: Like you, I have produced a few projects, and I get very excited when everything comes together. However, making a film has its challenges. What is the best advice you would give to aspiring filmmakers?

AC: Just do it, NIKE it. Write it, write the song, shoot the short, shoot the feature, see it through. If God gave you the idea, it must be done.

I asked and reached out to people and got many YES(s), it was an affirmation that I am loved and on the right track.

9-DT: What are you grateful for?

AC: I am grateful that I got up this morning. I am grateful everyday. I am grateful I was given a mind and heart that wants to reach people. I am grateful for the children I was given. I am grateful for my husband and his supportive nature. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for work, food, and that the lights are still on. I am grateful to have a VOICE!!

10-DT: What’s on the horizon for you?

AC: LUNCH. I look forward to lunch. We are on the festival circuit. I am auditioning, directing a film, “wifing”, and mothering.

Also, I believe I have another short film in me, but taking the time to let it marinade.

Alicia, thank you for the chat and the immense wisdom. Enjoy lunch!!

@alicia_coppola

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED-D’ANGELO THOMPSON

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