I realized the other day that it is long overdue that I update my website, as both my life and the world have changed greatly in recent months.
Navigating life in both a new city and a new country in the wake of global pandemic has been challenging to say the least. I feel both lucky and privileged to continue to connect with creative people, and to be able to work in film, theatre, and visual art.
Since moving to Los Angeles from Paris, I have had the chance to delve deeper into the film industry, and to add credits to my name as an actor, and as a producer and assistant director.
A highlight for me has been my work with Emmy-winning director Jaclyn Bethany. I played Thalia, the personification of death, in her feature film Highway One. Highway One was filmed in Laurel Cannon in December and is now in post-production. I am now playing the cameo of Abby in Jaclyn’s pandemic film Before The World Set On Fire, for which I am also working as an associate producer and assistant director. We wrapped the first part of shooting in early July, and will shoot the second half of the movie in New York City in August. We take the coronavirus very seriously and are taking every precaution that SAG has mandated so that the cast and crew remain safe.
I am also continuing my work with pioneering queer film director Jake Yuzna. Jake’s debut feature Open was the first American film to win the Teddy Jury Prize and the Berlin Film Festival. Jake is also the youngest recipient of funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. I believe that Jake’s work is ahead of its time and I am very happy to work with him. I had a supporting role in Jake’s film After America in 2019, which is still in post-production. Jake and I are now working on a new feature film together in which I have the starring role and am co-creator. For this film, Jake has received a McKnight Fellowship.
In addition to working with young up and coming directors, I am creating much of my own work. I am constantly striving to become the best artist I can be. I recently received a grant and residency for writing at Chateau Orquevaux in Alsace France. There, I will be able to focus on more of my own writing, in addition to connecting with artists from across disciplines.
Before the pandemic hit, I was also set to have a weekly performance residency at Box8, owned by acclaimed photographer Peter Eaten Gurnz. I hope that the studio will be back and running soon, as I admire Peter’s art and work greatly.
I worked briefly with Film14, which gave me the opportunity to work with Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown, who is radiant, confident, and inspiring.
In my spare time, I assist with RoleCall podcast, hosted by Adam Cushman and Raul Julia Jr. These two were very kind to me when I first moved to Los Angeles, and through them I met many incredible stage and screen actors.
I have maintained by connection to both London and Paris. This would have been my first year at both the Cannes Film Festival, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I hope that my team and I will be able to attend next year.
Sophia Dunn-Walker is an American actor, writer, and multi-disciplinary artist. She will be living between Paris, France and Los Angeles in 2019/2020. She graduated from Reed College with a degree in French Literature and Theatre and a focus on directing, theatrical adaptation, and translation. Her Reed thesis, To Passion Sorrow Clings, was an adaptation of the Vietnamese national poem The Tale of Kieu. Intrigued by how what is lost in translation can be rediscovered through dance and theatrical adaptation, Sophia went to Vietnam to study dance in preparation for her 2015 senior thesis at Reed. She now resides in Paris, where she completed a three year course in French acting training at Cours Florent, and founded a theatre company. She has immersed herself in the international and interdisciplinary arts world of Paris, and has had the opportunity to act in several plays, short films, commercials, and editorial modeling work. Her modeling work can be seen in British VOGUE June and July 2018, and some of her acting work can be seen on AmazonPrime. She had her first major role in a feature film in January 2019 in Jake Yuzna's An Alternative (release late 2019), which was funded in part by Creative Capitol. She also had several leading roles in short films produced at École de la Cite de Luc Besson, and subsequently had a small appearance in Luc Besson’s recent feature film Anna. She also writes and creates much of her own work. Her original ten minute play, Dressingroom, was showcased at the Ten Minute Play Festival at Le Fondation des Êtas-Unis. Her original play Cowabunga! was first showcased at Cours Florent and is now being adapted into a web series, and part of her production Across the River Styx was award an all expenses paid writing residency at the Houara International Theatre Festival in Morocco.
In Paris, she also worked as an intern at the Mona Bismarck American Center (an American cultural and performance center) and volunteers for Good Chance Theater (a company that brings creative opportunities primarily to migrant and refugee communities). She has worked as a hostess and translator at events such as the 7th Annual Chinese Film Festival with Juliette Binoche and attends film screenings weekly. In the summer of 2016, she rediscovered her love for language and poetry while she studied Shakespeare in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. It was during this program at RADA where she met Jeremy Stockwell, who she now works with regularly as an individual tutor and mentor. As an actor, she is attracted to playing characters who are strong and psychologically complex. While she tends to have a tragic undertone in many of her roles, this intensity can also amplify her comedic moments. Some of her all time favorite roles include Lady Bracknell from The Importance of Being Earnest, and Ariel from The Tempest. In acting, she wishes to blur the divide between what is considered masculine and feminine, as well as the divide between what is considered human and what is divine. She is committed to becoming the best version of herself as an actor, writer, and director, and is determined to fight injustice in the communities she is a part of. She is currently developing a podcast about her genetic visual disability and hopes to be the voice she wishes she had as a child and teenager. She recently started doing stand up comedy as a way to keep her acting and writing voice fresh. She finds comedy to be both exciting and challenging, and continues to perform at least twice a week to improve her act. She strives to be a voice of empowerment for young adults, and in particular queer women with disabilities. Much of her work deals with themes of transformations of the body and dying and being reborn.