(photos via imdb)
1. I know you, but some people may not.
So could you please introduce yourself to the world?
"My name is Tonya Cornelisse. I am an actor, a writer and voiceover actor."
2. What was your first job in the entertainment industry?
Also, what did you do before that?
"My first professional union job as aduly was touring
as CHARLOTTE in CHARLOTTE’s WEB ... we went all over America!!!"
3. Did you study acting before getting into the industry?
"I did semi-professional theatre since age 11 and before that danced ballet. I went to Acting Conservatory at NYU and have studied with some greats, like Harold Guskin & George Dicenzo & Allan Arkin."
4. If you could work with anyone you'd want,
who would that person be and why?
"I would love to be directed by Mike Leigh, he is an incredible British playwright and director of fantastic films like Secrets & Lies, Happy Go Lucky & Vera Drake amongst so many others."
5. What does a normal day in your life looks like?
"Everyday is different. Literally. Somedays is spent in my car all day long driving to auditions around LA. Some is spent writing and doing voiceover reads and yoga and meditation and whatever else needs to be done. Some days are dedicated to class and scene work and audition prep. Hanging with my friends and Husband. Traveling. But the BEST DAYS ARE SPENT ON SET OR IN A THEATRE REHEARSING FOR A PLAY. The best days."
6. Where is your favorite place to be and why?
"On Stage... in the theatre !! Also, on set. And, I love traveling and being outdoors. Anywhere a beautiful lake or ocean... in a hammock with something bubbly."
7. If you could, what would be the one advice
you would want to give to your younger self?
"Go for it with all your heart. Be fearless and unstoppable and don’t let anyone or anything, obstacle, get in your way. DO YOU LIKE NO ONE ELSE CAN. Remember : <If it is to be , it is up to me>."
8. What is one of the best advice that you've got?
Who was the person that gave it to you?
"<Leave a piece of yourself on stage, in the room, whenever you have the chance. Give everything, expect nothing:> that is from the Academy Award Winner Bobby Moresco, another mentor of mine."
9. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
"Gosh that is a hard one. Career wise I would say, booking a series in London... it is coming out next year.. called HITMEN. It’s stupid funny, in a great way. That or my NYC stage career before moving to LA. And having 4 films at Sundance FF... that is a big one. Also, being in a film with my great idol Gena Rowlands... the film is called YELLOW directed by the great Nick Cassavetes. Beautiful experience. That was NOT one thing. Ha!"
10. If you could book any role in the next years to come,
what would that dream role be?
"Either working on stage in the WestEnd in London or landing a series regular gig on a great show like RUSSIAN DOLL .... DO YOU HEAR ME GODS OF RUSSIAN DOLL!"
11. Is there anything you can disclose about any new project?
"HITMEN, is a hilarious comedy that will be out end or year or early next on SKY CHANNEL (UK & here somewhere!!) - it is so funny. Loved working on it."
12. What is the best part about life on set?
"The people. Hands down. My co-creators, conspirators.
And people bringing you coffee all the time. "
13. n the end, is there anything you'd like to say to the people who support you?
"Thank YOU ! And go attack your dreams with ALL YOU GOT!!"
Tonya Cornelisse is an actress and a writer, best known for her work on projects like Bent, Mope, Parks and Recreation, Zombie Honeymoon, Catastrophe etc.
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