She’s young, gorgeous, talented and smart. An actor from the age of seven, Alexia Fast has amassed an enviable resume that reflects these qualities and her diversity. She’s crossed genres nimbly playing opposite Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher, Ashley Judd, Julia Stiles. Fast just wrapped Atom Egoyan’s Queen of the Night with Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman and Rosario Dawson. Fast stars in Blackbird, a beautifully made, rather sombre Canadian indie about a misunderstood teenage Goth, Sean (Connor Jessup) falsely accused of plotting a high school massacre. Fast plays Deana, the one friend who sticks by him.The subject matter of the film is incredibly upsetting, that a young man’s future could be taken away because people don’t like the way he looks.
I think that happens a lot in small towns, people can be very closed minded and controlling and I think that happens a lot and it’s a timely subject
Your character Deana stands by Sean when everyone else has abandoned him. How did you understand that bravery?
I think as a young girl, you’re building your self-confidence and it’s hard to step out and be who you want to be especially if that’s someone who has been bullied. It's very scary.You get to take your character on terrific personal journey.
It was fun. She's a very different person than I am naturally at the beginning of the film. She has her parents and friends who are controlling. She’s imprisoned too and she is able throughout the course of the movie to break out of that. It’s interesting.
The film’s tone is dark and there’s an undercurrent of hopelessness. Was it a strange work experience?
I like working on films that have dark storylines, and a good story to tell, and find you identify or fight for your identity. He finds his identity and stands up for what he believes in and my character as well and she breaks out of that mould and that conforming attitude. At the beginning she's popular and wants to be liked and then she finds the way to be true to herself.
Do you learn about yourself and life in general from scripts?
I learn so much from scripts and characters and feel I grow as a person playing characters. You can learn about yourself and your values. Yes, I'm lucky. And I express myself through storytelling in all forms, acting and writing, and I have a needed on some level to express myself to the world and be understood by peers and I do that through characters. I have this love for it and to keep acting. It’s really exciting – since I was young it's all I wanted to do. I’ve done every genre comedy and kind of fun to challenge yourself and an actor – villains which is very different – that’s the beauty of acting.
What was it like showing Blackbird at Cannes?
It was exciting. Blackbird has done well in festivals around the world. It won Best Canadian Feature at the Vancouver Film Festival and Toronto. It's been so well received.
You’ve finished work on Atom Egoyan’s Queen of the Night. It’s dark territory again, about a man tracking down his kidnapped daughter.I'd like to continue to play dark complex characters. Egoyan gave me a very dark role. It suits me very well, I’d love to continue that and do well.