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Every Day, a chat with Sofia Masson, Nicole Coulon and actor and director Tara Alexandra Brown.

Here today we have the director of the feature Every Day, Tara Alexandra Brown, who also Paige along with her co-stars and Sofia Masson as Maddie and Nicole Coulon as Laurel. Thank you for being here! Tara, we already met you in the technical interview with your co-director Vin Chandra and John Severin, one of the producers of this wonderful project.


Sofia and Nicole, tell us a little bit about yourself:

Sofia Masson- I’m originally from New York City so the creative arts, naturally, have always been a part of my life growing up. I spent my elementary school years in Berlin, Germany, performing small skits and scenes and eventually, during my middle school years in Miami, Florida, I joined the Miami Children’s Theatre where my love for musical theatre blossomed. I was constantly performing both musicals and plays onstage. I have a strong background in dance, having trained at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Steps on Broadway, and I have extensive vocal training as well. My passion for performing subsequently took me to McGill University in Montreal, to study Theatre and World Cinema, where I earned a bachelor’s degree. I only very recently started exploring film professionally when I moved to Los Angeles in 2020, and as a relatively new actress working in Hollywood, it has been quite exhilarating.


Sofia can be seen opposite Billy Zane in an upcoming Marlon Brando biopic. Sofia’s other film credits include “The Wrong Cheer Captain” and “The Wrong Blind Date” on Lifetime Television. Most recently, Sofia stars in a drama, "Castaways" now streaming on Tubi.

Nicole Coulon- Hi, I’m Nicole Coulon I play Laurel in the movie Every Day, I’ve been acting since my second-grade play Space Mouse and I moved to LA from NYC almost nine years ago now. I studied theatre in New York and come from a big Italian family with a lot of sisters which now include niece and nephews whom I’m obsessed with. I recently got engaged to my boyfriend Skyler who I met at AADA acting conservatory in NYC. I love storytelling and traveling and had a great time making this movie with such talented kind people.


When did you discover your career path?

S- I knew from a pretty early age that I was going to be performing in some capacity. Since I was a child, my older sister Julia and I would do little skits and plays in the living room. We loved to tell stories and make our little audience of family, friends, and classmates laugh. We both knew early on that it was more than just a hobby. Also, studying theatre in college and working as an Executive Producer for McGill’s student-run production company, where I’d work both in front of and behind the camera, solidified my passion for the arts and sparked my interest in pursuing film.

N- As early as elementary school I knew I loved performing for people and being on stage and making people laugh. My first play was in second grade, I did five acts in a fifth-grade talent show so it was pretty clear what made me excited and made me happy. Any chance I get to do what I love I take it but I also balance having a real life and real relationships and my mental health because this business can be very draining and confusing and obviously full of rejection.


Who inspires you in the industry?

N- Maybe this is a question just for the directors but just in case, I’ve been most inspired the past five or so years by women storytellers and women writers/producers like Ilana Glazer, Rachel Bloom, Issa Rae. Watching stories about women that are told by the women themselves has been so inspirational for me just realizing that our voices have been written by men for so long and finally, we have these shows and movies available that are directly from the source feels like such a big step in the right direction. It also started my writing path with my writing partner Burdi, I don’t know if I would have realized how much I love writing if it weren’t for some of those women showing me that I can.

Your project faces many different themes, such as sexual identity, friendship, becoming of age, but the main theme here is what happens after an assault, everything is a trigger, everything can destroy a long-term build up balance. What does ithis project mean to you?

S- Films often portray sexual assault and its immediate impacts, both physically and mentally. However, there aren’t many portrayals of how this trauma becomes so deep-seated and internalized over time. This brings a whole new set of challenges. This internalized trauma is even more difficult to heal, and with Maddie’s case, has contributed to certain habits and lifestyle patterns such as eating disorders and body dysmorphia. No two experiences of sexual assault are the same and effects vary from both physical to psychological to emotional, but it is very common for survivors to bury their pain as a survival mechanism.


N- Every Day was an amazing acting challenge and opportunity for me. The story was one that I have not seen before. The beginning of Maddie’s story we’ve seen and heard about and had our hearts broken by but her being re-triggered with a woman was a new turn. On top of that being that women was difficult to say the least. I had first read the story as a short and played Laurel so being able to really dive deeper and elongate the story and give more depth and understanding to the character was very therapeutic and as actors were not often given the chance. Every Day to me represents the fact that we’re all broken in some ways and trying our best.


What was your biggest challenge in this movie?

S- I like a good challenge. The preparation, the shooting, even letting Maddie go, in a way, once I was done. All of it was challenging. Also, I didn’t want Maddie to simply appear as a victim. I wanted to play to her strengths as well. She represents a voice of courage and resilience in her ability to seek help and come forward, even if that means losing people who mattered to her. I hope that others feel encouraged to also speak up as well, and to put themselves and their healing first.


N- The biggest challenge for me was feeling like the bad guy, just feeling isolated from the cast and crew sometimes even though it was helpful for my character/performance.


Tara, you directed Every Day with Vin, but also played a very important role at the same time, how was your experience with it? Was it difficult for you to stay focused on your directing vision and acting in such a difficult role?

T- Vin was my partner in crime on this project. It was essential that we had each other’s backs on a film of this scale, and we really did. We each had defined directing responsibilities, my focus was the actors and their performances, Vin’s focus was cinematography and crew management. That being said, we each played a part in both directing elements, and worked as a team throughout.

It was very challenging to separate from my role as director when taking on the character of Paige. It was thrilling but intimidating to guide a scene while taking part in it. As an actor, feedback from a director is crucial because you can’t be two places at once. Ironically, that’s exactly what I had to do for this film. Ultimately, it came down to trusting myself, Vin, and the other actors. Their support and commitment to being present in each scene really helped with the transition from director to actor.

You had to act in many heavy scenes. How did you two prepare for them?

S- The process of creating Maddie was difficult and required a lot of preparation and research. Luckily, I had a few months to work through the script. I read personal stories by those who were brave enough to come forward about their experiences. I watched documentaries, looked into studies about the psychological damage of assault, and I was lucky enough to be able to rehearse with Tara and Vin, our incredible co-directors. The extremely heavy scenes were mainly filmed with Vivica Fox, whom I have worked with a few times before, so we were very comfortable with each other. I also created personal journal entries for Maddie, crafting a full backstory. Then it’s just a matter of trusting that the work is there and will show up for you on the day. It’s quite thrilling.


T- Sofia and I had a great rapport from the beginning. We both take our work very seriously and have a similar approach to character development. Sofia is a fantastic actress and was committed to understanding Maddie inside and out. I had the same commitment to Paige which meant the two of us spent a lot of time discussing and rehearsing outside of the shoot dates to really understand the relationship between the two friends. Communication was key - acting is all about reacting. Before each scene, Sofia and I would talk about our motivations and the emotional state of Maddie and Paige in a given scene. We were a very lively, fun set despite the heaviness of the material, so we had to carve out moments of time for quiet and concentration during the most crucial scenes. I definitely had to find quiet moments for myself to switch from director to Paige before shooting.


N- For heavy scenes I usually try to stay in a quiet place on set to separate from the chatter and small talk and get in the headspace of the scene.

Nicole, we can confidently say that your character is the antagonist of Maddie, Laurel, how do you approach a character like that?

N- Approaching Laurel I couldn’t have her as the villain in my head. I had to see her as a whole person deeply in need of a loving relationship. She doesn’t really know what that means yet and definitely makes mistakes but she loves Maddie hard. Laurel was always a bit too much but I’d like to think later on after working her stuff out she could find acceptance.


A fun fact about shooting Every Day

S- My boyfriend makes an appearance in the film! N- Laurel’s room in the movie was actually the room I was staying in while we filmed at the location.


Your feature won as best LGBTQ+ representation with us, what message would you like to send to the community?

S- It is important to highlight that sexual assault happens across all sexual orientations. Films typically portray men as the abuser and women as the victim, however, this heteronormative view is extremely antiquated and dismissive of the LGBTQ community. Those who identify as LGBTQ should be paid attention to and given the same respect and value as those who identify as heterosexual. This goes beyond the topic of sexual assault. Anyone can be an abuser and anyone can be a victim. Sexual assault dynamics do not conform to gender/gender norms. There must be true equality in all aspects of life.

N- I love that this project represents the community, I live in West Hollywood so the LGBTQ community is so celebrated but it’s nice to work on a project that can make its way to a broader audience and just share all types of experiences, not just stereotypical things we’ve seen over and over.

What’s your favorite part of your job? What’s your favorite step in the process?

S- I love when I can finally show up on set and let my preparation go and just dive into the work. We were lucky to have some rehearsal time before cameras were rolling, but there’s nothing like showing up on the day and finally being able to just play.

N- My favorite part of the process is usually the parts where I get to do the work and play in the scenes so rehearsing and filming and letting things surprise you in the moment just being there and letting all the prior research and work and thoughts fall away.

Sofia and Nicole how was it for you to work together and create your character’s chemistry?

S- It was so lovely working with Nicole! She’s an extremely generous scene partner and we had an absolute blast working together despite the heavy subject matter. We both found so much joy in the work. She’s also from the New York area, so we immediately bonded and I felt so comfortable with her. We had some preliminary rehearsals, which were helpful, but a lot of our on-screen chemistry is due to the friendship we built while filming. I’m so grateful for her and how much she gave to this film.


N-I loved working with Sofia, she has an organized elegant way about her so it was natural to view her as Maddie. Even though we may have been different I always felt accepted and that she was open to me which made my job 1000 times easier. Sofia is a beautiful hard working person and it was a natural progression working on our chemistry and dynamic.

Sofia, you are Brazilian-American. How does that influence you as an actress? What do you think about these countriesfilm industries?

S- I have a profound appreciation for how these two cultures have created who I am. I’m Brazilian, with half of my family in Brazil, but I was born and raised in the US. I mainly connect with my Brazilian culture through my family by speaking to them in Portuguese and whenever I am in Brazil, watching movies together is a ritual. Brazil has a thriving film industry and one of my all-time favorite films dates back to 2002 with “City of God.” This film portrays the growth of organized crime in the Cidade de Deus suburb of Rio de Janeiro and having been to the slums of Rio—the favelas as they’re called in Portuguese—where the film takes place, is pretty surreal. My multicultural upbringing has undoubtedly helped me with my acting work in that it has made me open-minded to different ways of life. That’s what we actors are: observers and creators of stories about human beings navigating different lives from our own.


Sofia, what would you like to say to someone who went through the same unfortunate events as Maddie?

S- I would like to say that your voice matters. Though it feels personal and small, it’s important for us to be dealing with it and talking about it. If we’re going to move forward, we need to heal that trauma collectively. Maddie found the courage to seek help. You can too.


Nicole, we read that you come from the East Coast and currently live in LA, what do you think about this change? How would you compare the two coasts professionally? N- Personally I’ve loved the nature and weather here and being able to start camping and just enjoying the outdoors way more than I would in NYC. Professionally, I do miss the hustle vibe in NYC and just going to castings and meetings seemed more energetic and simple but it’s also the fact that times have changed after covid and now most things are just taped alone and sent in.

Nicole in LA LA LAND with Emma Stone and in FAN GIRL with Kieran Shipka

Nicole we saw your showreel and your portfolio is stunning: La La Land, Fan Girl..tell us a bit about these amazing experiences. N- Thank you so much! That’s so kind. Fan Girl with Kiernan Shipka was the last thing I filmed in New York before moving here and it was an amazing experience, I got to go back to high school and be that over-the-top mean girl. Then La La Land was one of my first big La projects and obviously working with Emma Stone and Damien Chazelle was a dream! I never wanted to leave set and be done. He was so open and down to earth as a director he even let us improv multiple takes and have fun with it, best time ever.


Sofia, you won many other awards. What does winning these awards mean to you?

S- Yes, I won Best Actress for “Every Day” at the American Golden Picture International Film Festival. I’m just happy that this film is getting the exposure it deserves and this story is being told. It’s important to raise awareness about sexual assault because it’s often tabooed and people have a hard time talking about it. This film was a labor of love, so I’m glad it’s being recognized.

What would you say to someone that wants to start the same artistic path as you?

S- Go for it! But always be prepared, work your hardest, be patient, be kind, and also be prepared to relinquish the need to control how things go.


N- If you need it in your life do it, you can always find a way to flex the muscle and work on the craft. If you want to get your name out there, have fame and fortune it’s probably not the right path just because there are so many factors in the business you can’t control.

What do you regret about your path, and what would you want to know earlier?

S- Not a thing. I believe everything is meant to unfold the way that it is and that when preparation meets the right opportunity, everything will fall into place.


N- I regret the years I spent trying to fit into someone else’s idea to mold myself to be what I think they may want out of me. I wish I realized earlier that what you naturally see and get out of the character is what you need to go with, the unique quality of you is what sets you apart. People feel good watching the truth watching something they believe to be honest and real not as much something you curated to please a larger audience.


Maria Schneider

What’s your dream project?

S- I’d love to play Maria Schneider in her biopic. She was a French actress who rose to fame at the age of 19 after she starred across Marlon Brando in the erotic drama “The Last Tango in Paris” whereby she performed a rape scene that the director Bertolucci did not reveal to her until just before they filmed it. This story feels important regarding intimacy on set and sexual exploitation in the workplace. Performing in a foreign language and using my French-speaking skills for a role would be so much fun.


N- I co-wrote a comedy series that I would love to make (so far we have the pilot) and then down the line I dream of making a horror film based in New Orleans, I’m a big fan of horror movies so that would be epic.


Who would you suggest this movie to? Who is the target audience?

S- I think this film is relevant for all audiences, but I certainly hope that survivors feel seen when they watch “Every Day”. Dealing with the effects of sexual assault is often difficult to articulate, so hopefully this film can express what many struggle to put into words.


N- I think anyone who’s been through a traumatic experience or has been affected by someone who has been.


What do you expect from the future? What do you hope it will bring you on a personal level?

S- I try to keep my expectations hopeful, yet realistic. COVID was an important time for self-reflection where I was able to reassess what matters most in my life: my relationship with my family and with my close friends. When I’m not working, I expect to spend more quality time with them in the coming months.


N- Hard to say, life is so unpredictable but I would hope to make more projects with my partner and friends and maintain a balance in this crazy life.


Are there any upcoming projects for you?

S- My latest film “Castaways” was just released on Tubi! It’s a fun watch and very different from “Every Day”. I can’t share too much as of yet on upcoming projects, but thank you for this opportunity!


Thank you so much for your time, it was so nice to chat with you!

S- Thank you for having me!


N- Thank you so much! It has been so fun to go down memory lane and really stop and think. Appreciate you guys :)


PS: Visit NicoleCoulon.Com and for skits I’ve written/produced https://youtube.com/@charlieandlily4566


CLICK HERE to read our interview with Tara Alexandra Brown, Vin Chandra and John Severin about the technical aspects of their feature EVERY DAY.


EVERY DAY, the trailer:


FOLLOW THEIR JOURNEY HERE:

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If you also want to do an interview with us, send us your works on Film Freeway.








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