We all know that being in showbiz is hard and longevity is rare, but actress Latarsha Rose knows how to manage both. Rose, who is best known for her appearances on TV shows such as “Law & Order”, “CSI”, “Bones” and “All My Children”, will be making her first film debut in the new movie, “Hunger Games” where she portrays Portia. Rose talked to Joyce Sparks about her new role in Hunger Games, and how being an actress wasn’t apart of her career plan.
Joyce Sparks: When did you discover that you loved acting and entertainment?
Latarsha Rose: I think I harbored it secretly as a child. I was a dancer. I admired, watched and read everything about Lena Horne as an actress and activist, but I had never tapped into theater [myself]. And I loved watching TV and movies. It was in college when I took an English class that was drama based that I think I got the bug. It was the opportunity to create characters, costumes and the [whole] performance aspect.. After that class, I took a theater class and it lit a fire in me. I didn’t take it seriously though; I didn’t think I could pursue it. I was getting ready to go to law school, but my heart was pulling me towards acting.
JS: What has kept you motivated throughout your television experiences?
LR: Being an actor, you have the opportunity to inspire people and I think for me, my goal
is to inspire and encourage people and entertain them, and there’s something in my heart and
my gut that tells me not to stop.
JS: Describe the moment and feeling that you had when you found out that you landed the
role of Portia in Hunger Games?
LR: Can I actually take you back a month before that?
LR: So, a month or so before, I called my manger and I told him, ‘I think I’m going to
retire from my theatrical career.’ I already earned a living career commercially. I told
him that I’d been doing this for so long and I put my heart into it and that doesn’t always
translate into a work opportunity. It can be frustrating and you come up against this wall.
So fast forward a month later, I had a bunch of missed calls from my manager and my
agent because I was in a commercial audition, so I stepped out and they told me [I got the
role]. I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me?’
JS: How did you prepare yourself for this character?
LR: I started out by reading the book. I read the series about three times because that was
all I had, so I wanted to immerse myself in that world as much as I could. Then I started
to keep a journal of things and ideas that popped up to me as I was reading it. I began to
think about Portia and how she may live, walk and exist in her world. I started to even
explore what, and this may sound silly, but what she may wear, how she may dress and
even what her favorite colors may be. So it was the little background things. I thought
about what their world was like and different things of that nature.
JS: Do you have any advice for upcoming actors or actresses?
LR: Absolutely! Make sure you get your education, its key. An education can open the
world and to be an actor you need to know about a lot of things. You have to tell stories
and I think a traditional education is a great start. Also, work hard and stay focused.
Whatever method that helps you to improve your art, practice and strengthen your art.