Liz Stauber [Interview]
February 10, 2017 Leave a comment
Today’s interview is a true prime example of why I started this site in the first place. I love to do these interviews with masters of their crafts, and Liz Stauber is definitely a mastermind in the world of acting. Today she is a renowned stage actress who is killing it in that spectrum and moving forward everyday. But, what drew me initially to Stauber was the abundance of film credits that Liz has amassed over the years. I was in love with her work during my younger years and have continued to follow her career very closely. I first recognized Liz in the seminal 90’s classic Can’t Hardly Wait, as well as Teaching Mrs. Tingle. And her impressive list of credits truly goes on and on (The Village, White Oleander, Almost Famous, While We’re Young, etc.)
So, please enjoy this wonderful interview with a truly wonderful person in the world of acting, the brilliant Liz Stauber!
When did you first begin seriously looking into becoming an actress? Was it something you have always been passionate about?
I envisioned making acting my career from a very young age. As a child in plays at Indiana Repertory Theatre I was totally in awe of these adult professionals who lived in New York City and worked in regional theatre all over the country. That was my first exposure to what a working actor’s life looked like, not movies or TV, but theatre. I was really fostered and mentored at that theatre and I feel grateful for that. No one told me that pursing acting was a silly idea or out of reach.
And, what keeps you motivated to continue on in the world of acting?
I’ve re evaluated my relationship to acting as a career many times over the years. There is something very specific and gratifying about it that keeps me coming back. I’ve found a balance in my lifestyle where I’m able to make my living elsewhere. That freedom from the need for a particular kind of monetary success allows me to really focus on the immediate experience when I do work. Even an audition feels like fun to me now, I try to get as much as I can out of every opportunity to act.
One of your first film roles was in the now 90’s classic Can’t Hardly Wait. Can you tell us a bit about this experience? Was it strange jumping into the world of young Hollywood at that time?
It was so fun! It was a great time to be young in Hollywood, there was so much energy and excitement. It felt like belonging to a very cool club, it was kind of like college for me. I made good friends during that time that I’m still close to now.
And I have to ask as a HUGE fan of the work of Noah Baumbach, how was your experience on While We’re Young? Is Baumbach the type of guy that you can be directed by with ease?
I’m also a huge Noah Baumbach fan and I loved working with him. I always feel so honored to be cast by directors I respect so much. He’s very smart in the way that he communicates with actors, very confident and specific in his vision.
I understand you are no stranger to the world of theater as well, especially with the sensational Off-Broadway company at Vineyard Theatre in Manhattan. How does stage work compare to work on television or film, for you personally? And do you have a preference towards a certain medium?
The differences between theatre and film are so vast and so many you could dedicate an entire book to exploring that question in depth! Personally, I enjoy the immediacy of theatre-it lives in the moment, it grows and changes from performance to performance. In a way it is never fixed in time so that makes it more ephemeral. I’ve seen multiple productions of the same play that never feel alike. The audience plays such a big role, their involvement and participation influences the performance enormously. I feel grateful to have had very positive experiences in both mediums but theatre is probably my first love.
If you were given the chance to star as the lead in any Biopic about any female in American history, who would it be?
I couldn’t play her but I recently watched the documentary about Shirley Chisholm, the first woman to seriously run for president, and still the only black woman to run. The story is fascinating and still so relevant. Someone needs to make a good bio pic about her!
So what can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
I think some of the best story telling now is happening in tv. I would love to have a regular role on a smart, character driven show. The opportunity to really take time, to develop a character over the course of a few years is really a dream.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
I attended the Women’s March on Washington this past weekend. That left me smiling with my whole being.