Interview by: Lauren Sanchez | Photographer: Andrew Ho | Stylist: Luke Meakins | HMUA: Nadia Duca | August 2, 2022
Actress Allegra Teo sits down with Hazze Media to talk about the making of her US Debut & "The Curious Case of the Dolphin Bay" On Disney Channel.
For those who might be unfamiliar with you and your work, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how the arts inspired you to pursue a career in acting?
I am a 17-year-old girl who is still at school, living in Australia. I have always loved acting and I have always been drawn to exploring different characters and how they all think and act differently. One of my greatest inspirations is Myles Pollard. I attended many workshops and classes that he taught, and I learned so much. I would always bring a notebook to class, and I would come home after with pages of notes from all the advice he gave us. He always said to me to keep acting because someday I would achieve my dreams, this helped motivate me and helped me to believe in myself, I am very grateful to have learned from him.
Congratulations on landing a role in “The Curious Case of Dolphin Bay, that has definitely got to be exciting, especially since it’s on Disney Channel! What is the audition process like? Were you nervous, excited, or prepared?
I was able to send a self-tape as my audition, so I had the luxury of going to Ali Roberts Studio to film my audition. Before I did my self-tape, I did a lot of character research and made sure I understood Jennifer. I was very excited to audition for Jennifer as I was immediately connected to the character as soon as I read my audition scenes. The audition process was quite long as I was on a stronghold for about 2 months for Jennifer and Daniela.
What was going through your mind after finding out you got the role?
When I got the call saying I had booked the role of Jennifer, it all felt like a dream, of course, I was incredibly excited to be able to bring Jacob Stock’s script to life. The first time I read the script I knew that I was going to have the time of my life filming it.
If you were to describe the film in five words or less, what words would you choose and why?
I would choose mysterious, as there are lots of mysterious events that occur and mysteries that need unraveling. Funny because Teddy, played by Jayden McGinlay, is such an animated, hilarious character. Educational because of the underlying theme of marine biology, there are many scenes in a science lab with Charlie, played by Rowan Chapman, teaching the four interns about marine biology. Everything he says is actually very interesting and I hope that the audience can learn something about the marine life and how important it is to sustain it.
What was your favorite moment being on set?
It’s very hard to pinpoint an exact moment that was my favourite because every day was honestly equally as fun. I found that I was my happiest whenever I was on set, just being able to hang out and work with such amazing, like-minded people was incredible. Even on days when I wasn’t needed on set, I wished I could have been there. Every weekend, the cast and I would meet up, we went on a hike, went out for meals together, and my favourite, games night.
What was it like to play your character Jennifer? Do you see any similarities between yourself and the character you portrayed?
I think Jennifer and I have a lot of similarities as we are both quite bubbly and empathetic. Weirdly, I find playing characters that are very similar to me more challenging than characters who are completely different from me. I think this is because I try and disassociate myself from the characters I play as soon as action is called so that I can fully immerse myself into a different world where “Allegra Teo” doesn’t exist and it’s just the character who I’m playing. I think having key differences with characters really helps with this.
Have you learned anything about acting and/or yourself through being a part of this production? How has this role been different from other roles you’ve played?
I think the deeper I get into this industry, the more I love it, so being on set for three weeks made me fall in love with acting even more. I definitely learned a lot, from learning to believe in myself, to learning about the camera and the different filters used. I found that every day I would learn something else about my character Jennifer. Jennifer was the complete opposite of a character I had played a couple of months prior in a film called Pieces. Pieces is a film that was funded by “Helping Minds”, a mental health organization, to create a story about the different experiences surrounding mental illnesses and the people who live with it and in their carers. I played a character called Violet, she is a very confused and hurt character who finds it difficult to cope with her pain. I found it very interesting playing a dark character to then playing a lighter character and how my character research varied for both of them.
Speaking of other roles, are there any new/exciting upcoming projects you can’t wait to be a part of?
I have another project coming up which I am very excited about being a part of, though I can’t say too much about it. In the future, I hope to work with director Greta Gerwig, because I feel like she creates such a creative and free space on set and I would love to work with another female director.