Written By: Jayme Face
Nadia Gray is an actress who can be seen alongside Will Smith in the Netflix action-thriller film “Bright”. The film will be released this Friday, December 22nd. We got to chat with her about the film, what she does in her free time, and more.
Check out our interview!
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about your new movie “Bright” and your character Larika?
Nadia Gray: “Bright” is an action thriller set in an alternate universe that takes place on the dangerous streets of LA. It’s a world where mystical creatures exist, and a human cop is forced to work with an Orc. They’re on a mission to find a weapon everyone is prepared to kill for – including my character, Larika. She’s an elf who’s definitely on the wrong side of the law!
upfrontNY: What was it like working alongside a legend like Will Smith?
Nadia Gray: He was the nicest guy! We all know how hugely talented he is, but seeing the way he interacts with people was wonderful. And same goes for the rest of the cast. They’re all insanely talented and lovely people and I learned so much from them.
upfrontNY: This movie is very much fantasy, you play an elf, how do you get into character and prepare to play something like an elf?
Nadia Gray: Honestly I never thought of Larika as an “elf”. The artist’s that created the looks did such a phenomenal job that once I was through hair, makeup and wardrobe, visually- I most definitely was an elf! I just thought of her as a person like anyone else with desires, objectives, and what really motivates her.
upfrontNY: Have you always been drawn to fantasy movies or is this a new endeavor for you?
Nadia Gray: Oh hell yeah, I love the fantasy genre. It’s funny in my mind to think of Bright as fantasy because its so brutal and grounded in present day. But when I was a kid, some of my favorites were Labyrinth and The NeverEnding Story. Which of course progressed into Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, with some super weird horror mixed in there for good measure. It was a dream come true for me to step outside of the “girl at the bar #2” type roles, where a large part of the job, is to sit there and look pretty. If felt empowering and exciting to look a little bad, a little scary. I feel like the fantasy brings that for all genders and creatures, where it feels normal and at home to be odd.
upfrontNY: There are a lot of stunts in this movie were you able to work on some yourself?
Nadia Gray: Yes!! I filmed my own stunts and had the best time of my life doing it! My director let me train in American Kenpo leading up to the stunts, and I’ve never felt cooler. Way overconfident, I would come home to my husband and be like, “Fight me!! Let me flip you!” I laugh so hard thinking about it now, but I was probably such a nightmare.
upfrontNY: You started out as a model, what made you make that transition to acting?
Nadia Gray: Acting was always the goal. Truly there weren’t really any acting opportunities where I grew up, but there were enough print gigs around to start saving a little nest egg. The day rates were decent, and I crossed my fingers and toes that it could possibly get my foot in the door for acting if I moved to LA. I was never a very good model! I should send all my old print agents gifts and thank you cards!
upfrontNY: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Nadia Gray: I’m such a homebody. When I’m not working, I enjoy my comfy bubble at home with my dogs and my kitchen. My favorite thing is to cook a nice meal and put on a good movie or series I’m into. I’m a healthy, productive human I swear! But if I could just be doing that everyday, I would.
upfrontNY: Is there anything else you would like to let our readers know?
Nadia Gray: I guess just that they have something to look forward to with this movie! I’m the kind of nerd that gets excited about an upcoming film a year in advance and marks it ahead on her calendar. This is so one of those movies, and I hope people get excited to go watch it because it will not disappoint!