All Access Magazine Articles

January 24, 2008

Who Is Natascha Hopkins?

Interview

By Laura Phillips

Natascha Hopkins is a new fresh face in town that is going to be so much fun to keep track of in 2008. Whether she’s doing action in Spiderman 3 or Transformers, acting as Jenny Kincaid on “CSI Miami” or Natasha on, “That’s So Raven,” playing the female lead, co-writing, producing, and promoting her new independent film Plan B, or having fun displaying her musical talents at the karaoke clubs, or simply staying in shape through gymnastics, boxing, and enjoying the outdoors, Hopkin’s a sweet success. This Hollywood newcomer has already made a major splash working non-stop in 2007 which has paved the way for her name to rise up on the Hollywood A-List in 2008 along with being increasingly notable in the public eye. Natascha Hopkins enjoys all the great music talent in Los Angeles, and has supported local talent whenever her schedule allows. This rising star from El Paso, Texas brings spirit, dedication, high energy, and passion to film, and she sets a positive example and is a strong role model for young Hollywood.

Natascha Hopkins has the agility and action capabilities of Angelina Jolie, the spirit, charm, and dedication that Jada Pickett brought to Hollywood, and she has Ashly Juded’s thriller ability. Hopkins is not only an actress, but she sings on the side for fun and has a resume of elite stunt-work. Natascha Hopkins is approachable and likeable displaying strength, character, friendliness, as well as being able to bring talent and glamour to both the big screen and television along with her enjoyable performances at the karaoke bar. Well-educated and approachable, Natascha Hopkins is not full of drama, and in 2007 she worked non-stop on the set as both an actress and a stuntwoman. Being hardworking, talented, and easy to work with, Hopkin’s good looks are an added bonus as she has created an increasing buzz.

Whether you see her on the screen or meet her in person, she’s still the down to earth girl from Texas, that even though her dream of becoming a star is unfolding, she will still find time for her love of music and will buy your CD and come see your band play bringing along her smile and enthusiasm. Natascha Hopkins remains real and doesn’t take her talent or anyone else for granted. She loves the outdoors and sports; including gymnastics and boxing. As a top gymnast, she competed from childhood to her recent college years at Texas Women’s University where she graduated with a psychology degree. It was a joy to meet Natascha Hopkins and experience her contagious enthusiasm and revealing to AAM readers, “Who is Natascha Hopkins?”

AAM: You just graduated, and you're already working non-stop. Does your early gymnastic training have something to do with that?

NATASCHA: Absolutely, I believe my gymnastics training has a lot do with my success so far in the business. I did gymnastics for 13 years up to pre-elite in club, and I am an All-American gymnast from Texas Woman’s University. Gymnastics taught me not only how to work, live, and love others despite multiple personalities and backgrounds, but also gave the team the privilege to travel A LOT, teach unity, and gave us families away from home. Also gymnastics taught me extreme discipline, made me even more goal oriented, gave me the ability to really practice, “mind over matter,” and strengthened my competitive nature so the statement, “Only one in a million will make it,” does not scare me, it drives me!!!

AAM: What motivates you to keep up such a fast paced schedule, and how do you stay so grounded after moving from your native Texas to the Los Angeles area?

NATASCHA: The motivation factors in my life come from my family. My parents have been so supportive all my life, but I think this venture was more difficult because they are not here, and there is only so much they could do. If they could call a producer to get me in they would, but they can’t so they have to see my struggles and my success one day at a time. But they are so positive and beyond doubt believe in myself and my talent and lead by integrity which I will do the same. My sister is a great supporter as well; she actually drove half way to California with me, when she was pregnant, and got a speeding ticket. lol My niece and nephew are motivating factors as well and probably don’t even know it. I feel my sacrifice by being away from my family motivates me and keeps me grounded. We are very very close, which I am truly blessed and so thankful for.

AAM: Who would you like to thank most for your success?

NATASCHA: I would have to thank God for my success so far because He knew all along I would be here in LA, and He gave me parents that made my sister and I a priority in their lives until our adult life. He gave my parents the strength to take me to gymnastics every day, even move to Oklahoma for a year to train for the National team for the Olympics. He together, lead by example, and did not let us get away with negativity, or quitting, ever!!

AAM: After an excellent 2007, how does it feel to have people calling you one of the new fresh faces of 2008?

NATASCHA: It feels wonderful with people calling me one of the fresh faces in 2008. There are days where I have to really pull myself together to face all the rejection, or dragging myself to the gym, wishing I could just hug my family just for 3 seconds, or studying lines at 2am when I have to be on set at 6, but then just like that it all is so worth it, and I would do it again, and I will, and I will.

AAM: You love music as well as acting and sports? What is your favorite song to sing when you go out and perform at karaoke bars?

NATASCHA: I love this question, because everyone has ‘that song’ that they sing when they do karaoke. I used to sing “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys until I realized all the pitiful faces in the crowd looked like that because they had pity on me. I am really bad, but I love it. I do Lady Marmalade now, it’s fun and simple!

AAM: On your recent movie Plan B, were you had the female lead as the hit woman, how did it feel to be involved in the creative process and business process as well as being in front of the camera? Who did the music on Plan B?

NATASCHA: On our film Plan B, myself and 2 other women (Jeantte Branch and Jwaundece Candece) wrote, produced, and starred in it. Having to develop the idea and actually interview directors was so cool. It’s our baby. It was definitely a challenge for so many reasons. We had no idea what we were doing, but we learned. I learned that when you write, and produce, and star in a film it is very difficult to ‘just be the actress’ on the day. You still worry about the crew, the budget, when the cameras have to be back, etc. And when you do that your performance may be lacking and you’re not really aware until the next day. I would do it again, but be way more prepared, maybe. lol. I’ll stick to being ‘just the actress’ for now!! Dav Hall did our score in Plan B; he did such an amazing job. Everything on the film is completely original; it truly adds color to the film.

AAM: What kind of music do you like, and since you have done a lot of work in the last 3 1/2 years on the set, what music score or theme song stands out in your mind?

NATASCHA: I am actually very open when it comes to music I love hip-hop, R&B, groove music. I love Beyonce, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blidge, Christina Aguilera, Jay-Z, Ludacris , love the Shop Boys (party like a rock star), but I also like Kelly Clarkson, Natasha Bedingford, I even love listening to the Pantene commercials Natasha has right now (the music). Movie wise, I love fast paced scores like in “Shoot ‘em up,” or “Crank,”it adds that extra rush, I think. But I also like music that really hits your heart at that perfect time in a scene that just makes you cry, like in Beaches or the Notebook. I also think “Grey’s Anatomy” has one of the best scores because if you listen, every word will be so necessary, I love it.

AAM: Do you have favorite bands in both Texas and Los Angeles? What is the independent music scene like in Texas?

NATASCHA: My music taste has not changed that much since I have moved from Texas to LA, I love all music, but not really repetition. The independent music scene is at large in Dallas. A lot of parties will feature new groups; a lot of artists will hand out cd’s 24-7, and get radio play. I actually remember ‘twista,’ rappin on our campus and putting up posters of himself, then couple years later he blew, I love to see that. Here in LA it’s somewhat the same I feel, but I do remember a friend of mine having his new group perform at a party BUT, it was on a yacht. So LA huh, it’s great, I love it!! I don’t remember that being done in Dallas. lol

AAM: What is one of the best experiences you have had in the industry and also on the set?

NATASCHA: One of the best experiences I have had on set was probably working on “Smokin Aces”, in my last scene where I walk out the elevator into the chaos with Alicia Keys and Ryan Reynolds, and I get shot in my head and blood is all over, its so loud cuz of the guns, the chandelier blows up and falls, and this guys is cutting a body in half with an electric saw, it was crazy. And then the director Joe Carnahan is screaming in excitement before he even yells cut. That is the greatest because you know everybody did their job, and its immediate gratification. It’s was perfect! One of my greatest experiences in the industry.

AAM: What advice do you have for women that are breaking into music and film? What advice do you have for artists in general?

NATASCHA: The advice I would give to women breaking into to music and film is to be your own individual. LA has a lot of barbies, and so many girls look the same. Be yourself. At first I thought my voice was too high and was told I would never be a leading lady because of it. Yeah, I was devastated for a minute, looked her up and saw her credits and decided she is not going to determine my career path, I am. I also had an issue with my freckles. Not a lot of actresses have them, but I am beautiful just like my mother, and she gave them to me and my sister and that is a part of what makes me me. So whether you are an actress or an artist do the same exterior and interior. Keep your integrity, be humble, listen to the right people so have discernment, be passionate, network, don’t judge people from where they are now, see potential and grow as a team. Someone once said at a seminar, the good thing about this industry is that there are no rules so if you want to do something extreme or different like put up 100 posters of yourself in the parking place where the casting director or a music producer parks do it, of course don’t overstep boundaries, but be seen. Most importantly, I think is be prepared. Work on your craft because when your door opens you need to be ready because that door might not open for some more years if ever. And be healthy, mind and body because this industry is so fast pace and it will not stop for anybody, and have fun it’s like a dream.

AAM: What do you like best about Los Angeles?

NATASCHA: What I like best about LA are a couple things. I know people are a lot to handle out here because you never really know their motives, but I love the challenge and I love the diversity out here. It is very expensive, so an adult sleeping on the couch and eating roman noodles is not unusual. There are months you might feel rich, and others you can barely eat, it is a struggle that only LA really knows, but we are all in it together, we choose it and love it. So I love that diversity as well as the diversity in the backgrounds here, it is very worldly, as well as the food which I LOVE. I also love the opportunity, it’s addicting. One phone call can change your life forever, that’s very true. So what if that person leaves the day before the audition that would have changed his life, and never got the call?

AAM: What do you want the world to know and remember about you?

NATASCHA: I would love for the world to remember me by the actress that had such amazing range that did it all. From drama, to action; and had such elegance, but also daring choices on screen. She is a workaholic but took time for her family, enjoyed her share of fun, and always took care of her people. She was always very down to earth, playful, yet professional. She also helped open doors to younger ethnic actors. She was also very instrumental in providing help to juvenile children all over the world.

AAM: Who is Natascha Hopkins?

NATASCHA: Who is Natascha Hopkins? I love this question too. Natascha Hopkins is a visionary and thinks of herself as superwoman. That is actually the name of my corp. Anyway, I am a woman of my word, ____!

Go to www.nataschahopkins.net for further information on Natascha Hopkins.

Story and Interview by Laura Phillips
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