2017 is going to be a great year for Debbie Sherman. She has three films set to be released this year! “The Vault”, “Day of the Dead”, and “The Forgiven” which are all filled with very talented actors. We got to talk with Debbie about acting, traveling, and her volunteer work while filming in South Africa.
Check out the interview!
upfrontNY: How did you get your start in acting and what do you love most about it?
Debbie Sherman: I originally started in the industry as a singer. I love singing and it is definitely a huge passion of mine. I did a music video then I got married, I had two kids, and that kind of fizzled out a little bit. I spent time with my girls and now I had the opportunity last year to get into acting which I had done before, but not professionally. I had the opportunity to be in “The Vault” which was a really awesome film that is going to be coming out. I played Lauren. That is how I got back in and that led to two more roles that I did last year. All those films are coming out this year and I have more stuff lined up. It all kind of spiraled, which I am so grateful for.
What I love most about acting is that I get to play different people. In life you are always you. It is fun, exciting, and challenging to get to play different characters, different women who have different qualities and traits and things that they can do. It is fun to get to know and develop those characters and be somebody different.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about filming the movie “The Vault” and your role as Lauren?
Debbie Sherman: That filmed in Atlanta. It was the first time I had ever been there and it was fun to go to a new place, meet new people, and experience Atlanta from my own eyes.
I play the character Lauren. I can’t tell you too much because I don’t want to give anything away, but that film was great. I got to work and meet some great actors, Taryn Manning and James Franco, Jeff Gum, and Francesca Eastwood.
I am excited for that to come out and everyone to see it.
upfrontNY: It is a horror film. Is this the type of genre you originally were interested in?
Debbie Sherman: I am not a huge fan of horror films. That is not because I don’t like the screenplays. I think it is so fun, I am just a scaredy cat. It is so funny that my first two films I did were both horror films. I was like oh my gosh am I going to be able to watch these films, am I going to have nightmares. I guess that is the point of a horror film.
It was something I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen for myself, but am so glad I got to do the vault and “Day of the Dead” which are both horror films. I got to be somebody totally different. It is easy for me to act in those roles because I am genuinely scared during the scene, so I guess it worked to my benefit.
upfrontNY: Is there something specific that scares you or that fear of the unexpected?
Debbie Sherman: Specifically I guess I’m scared of monsters and zombies and all of that kind of stuff, but I know they are not real. How they do films now is amazing. How they make that come to life and look so real on the screen, the whole time you are so engaged in the film and on the edge of your seat. You feel like you’re in it.
upfrontNY: What was the most challenging part of filming “The Vault”?
Debbie Sherman: Being my first professional acting performance, it was scary. I’ve acted before in high school and college. I had that background and I was comfortable in front of the camera, but any time that it is your first, you don’t know what to expect. I was very prepared I always am, that is my personaliy. I have an acting coach that I use and love. I was nervous going in, I think every film you do is different. Every film has its own vibe and feel and you’re a different character with different fears and hopes and dreams and things they are scared of.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about The Forgiven?
Debbie Sherman: I absolutely adored this set and the cast and crew. Our fearless director, Roland, he was so remarkable with me. I felt so comfortable and guided by him. He has a huge list of amazing films and credits to his name. He has that presence, the way that he speaks and guides his actors. I hadn’t had that before and it was great.
On this movie it was about the post Apartheid era. Desmond Tutu is who it is centered around and he is played by Forest Whitaker. Words can not express how well he portrays Desmond in this film. Getting to work with him and having scenes with him and getting to act with him was such a highlight for me in my career so I am so blessed I got to do that in my first year of acting.
upfrontNY: Was this filmed in South Africa?
Debbie Sherman: It was. It was filmed in Cape Town. That was my first time going to South Africa. My husband and I had always wanted to go and we were really excited. Cape Town is so beautiful. The people were super welcoming and kind. I hope to get to do something again there because I really enjoyed my time there.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about your time volunteering when you were there?
Debbie Sherman: When I got there I decided I really wanted to give back at an orphanage there. I love kids and that is where my passion is. Especially now being a mom it hurts even more when you see children that don’t have parents or are hungry, lonely, sad, and don’t feel loved. It hits so much closer to home now being a mom. It was a few weeks before Christmas when we were there. We reached out to an orphanage to see if we could come by, and we found a great one. The kids were amazing. There were 22 kids there that we got to visit. It was in a city outside of Cape Town. We visited with them, had lunch with them, we played games. We played duck duck goose for hours. We were able to give them Christmas gifts.
To me it was blessing in my own life that I have the opportunity to give any part of myself to children who wouldn’t have felt otherwise. The women that live there and take care of these kids are amazing and provide them with so much love, nurturing, and guidance.
I would love to go back there and see these sweet kids again. The wonderful lady that runs the organization sends me email updates so that I am able to keep in touch that way which is really nice. I felt like I formed a bond with them even though it was such a short time
upfrontNY: You have filmed in Atlanta and South Africa and travel a lot. Are there any other places you would like to travel and film?
Debbie Sherman: Yes, everywhere! I have a website and my website and one of the sections is about travel. I will post about all of the places I’ve been. I use this company called Flytographer and they are like a travel photographer company. Everywhere we go we hire them and do a short 20 minute shoot so that we can have that as a souvenir of the places we go to.
A place I would like to go that I have not is Greece. I would love to visit some of the main spots in China and Tokyo. The world is not off-limits to me. I want to go everywhere.
upfrontNY: You spoke earlier about being a singer before acting. Would you want to play a role in the future where you were a singer in a film?
Debbie Sherman: I would love that. Music is such a big part of me and always has been. I love it so much. It has rubbed off on my children and they sing all the time. That would be a dream come true!
upfrontNY: Is there anything you want others to know?
Debbie Sherman: I am really excited that everything is coming out around the same time which is really fun. The main thing about being an actor in general is that is a piece of me. I am so much more. I love acting and am so glad I get to have that as a career. I pray that I continue to be blessed with that and get more roles. I am also a mom and a wife and I love traveling. I have all of these other interests as well. I think sometimes people put actors in a category that that’s what they are but none of us are our job.