Lauren Hafner – Actress

Posted on November 4, 2014 by

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While Goodish creators describe the film as “a film about friends and colleagues discussing their mediocre sexual exploits from the night before,” the film can also be dubbed a VCU passion project that came to life on found funding and comedic creativity.

Lauren Hafner is just one of the cast members who hails from VCU. She plays female lead, Beth, whose hookup with a friend creates more questions than confidence. In real life, Hafner’s resume includes a BFA in Theater Performance and multiple stage and screen credits. Cville Niche caught up with the actress, dancer, and choreographer to hear her insights on film and excitement over the upcoming Virginia Film Festival.

Read more interviews from The Makers of the Virginia Film Festival series »

Lauren Hafner

Photo Credit: Melissa Blue Photography

Photo Credit: Melissa Blue Photography

How did you get into acting?

Acting has always been something I loved for as long as I remember. When I was 4, my older sister was in a community production of Bye Bye Birdie and I would sit and watch with my mom at her rehearsals. Before long, I was tagging along with the older girls and trying to learn all of their dances. Apparently, the director thought this was so cute that she told my mom to put me in a poodle skirt and stick me on stage. After that, I just kind of never quit.

What drove you to pursue a career (and education) in theater and performance?

What I love about acting is how many possibilities it opens. I love being on set, or being on stage and performing, but getting down and dirty in a rehearsal or in a class is my favorite part. Even when you spend time creating a character – researching, exploring, playing – your work is never done, and in that, lies so much potential.

Any advice you have for the next generation of actresses?

My advice to the next generation would be to cherish every opportunity you get to sink your teeth into a great script, or screenplay. There is a quote by Kahlil Gibran that was introduced to me by a brilliantly talented friend of mine – “Work is love made visible,” and I think that describes how I feel about acting.

Describe the film and your role.

Goodish is a film that every 20-something can relate to. I’m sure that every single one of us has been in an awkward sexual situation at some point in our adult lives. The [romantic comedies] lie to us and, sometimes, you just have to laugh at the fact that things are not going smoothly. Beth is an awkward, nervous workaholic who is trying to give up control, but has a lot of issues doing so.

It sounds like a homegrown project, what does it mean to have it screened so close to Richmond?

I LOVE how much this film embraces Richmond, so it just makes sense to me to have it screened nearby. So many people working on the project went to VCU and we used a lot of classically RVA locations that are close to my heart.

How many Virginia Film Festivals have you attended?

This will be my first VA Film Fest and I’m looking forward to it!

What sets the Virginia Film Festival apart from other film festivals?

Virginia (especially central Virginia) is filled with so many people creating all kinds of art. I think the Virginia Film Festival really embraces that.

Finish this sentence. Acting to me is …

Life. I don’t mean that in a super serious, acting is the greatest thing there is and I have no other interests type of way, but when you break it down, it’s just people, dealing with given and created circumstances and existing in them, which is the same thing we do every day in life.

What films are you excited about seeing this year at the Virginia Film Festival?

I’m not sure if I have any specific films in mind, the schedule looks slightly overwhelming! I’m just excited about the diversity and variety being represented.

— Brandy Stearns

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