The stunning and down-to-earth model and actress, Sasha Barrese, recently graced our TV screens as a guest on the CW Network’s ‘Supernatural’. She’s a rising star with a passion for theatre. Here she tells ASW about her upcoming TV projects and her obsession with music and… well… chess!
Q. How and when did you become a member of ASW?
Sasha Barrese : I became a member around three years ago. I’ve known Erik, the founder, since I was little. ASW was much smaller at the time. I thought it was a really great idea.
Q. How do you use ASW and what’s your favorite site feature?
SB: I use it to stay in touch with friends from out of town. I also look up cities I am traveling to for work; recommendations for hotels, restaurants and art shows.
Q. Tell us about your latest role on ‘Supernatural’.
SB: The episode [called ‘Sin City’] aired on the CW network on October 25th at 9pm. The part of Casey was written for me so it was really great. We shot the show in Vancouver, Canada – a very beautiful city. The reviews just came in and they were amazing. I won’t be back on that show but I will be working with the producer, Robert Singer, and the director, Charles Beeson, again soon.
Q. Your first acting role was an appearance on American Pie. What was it like to be a part of a cult American comedy film?
SB: I was very surprised it became such a huge hit. I was a junior in high school when I shot it. I was home on a break from boarding school. The movie was released just after I graduated. Doing that part opened a lot of doors for me, work-wise. I still get stopped by people all the time for it! I guess some people have seen it a hundred times. As for a funny American Pie story… right after it came out I was at an audition. I was looking down in the waiting room reading my lines to myself. This guy next to me says "Hey, weren't you in American Pie?" It was the first time I'd been recognized by someone I didn't know. I looked up beaming and said, "Yes! Wow you must be a big fan of the movie!" (My part is small in it.) And then I realized who he was. It was Sean William Scott – one of the stars of American Pie! He played Stiffler. I blushed the deepest shade of red I could go and said, "But you would be because you’re in it. Arghhhh." Stuff like that happens to me a lot.
Q. You lived in Paris until you were four. What do you remember of growing up there?
SB: Paris is a fantastic place for a child. I go back all the time. When I have a job lined up in the fall, I go to the south of France in the summer.
Sasha Barrese and her mother, Katherine Barrese
Q. What has been your favorite role and why?
SB: I did two plays in Los Angeles that have been my favorite roles: ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ and ‘The Dutchman’. The characters are so well written. A good play feels like swimming down to the deepest part of the ocean. I also loved my character on ‘Supernatural’. It reminds me of my role in ‘The Dutchman’.
Q. What’s your next big project going to be?
SB: I will probably go back on ‘Carpoolers’, a new comedy on ABC, sometime soon. Pilot season is starting early this year because of the writers strike coming up. There are some amazing pilot scripts out there. Brett Ratner is doing a fantastic show called ‘Blue Blood’. I am waiting to hear on that part. I am also trying to secure the rights to a favorite book of mine for adaptation into a screenplay.
Q. Are there any actresses or models from which you would say you draw inspiration?
SB: Yes. For me it’s more about the specific parts they played. Joan Allen – she was in The Contender, which I think is a perfect film; Jane Fonda in Klute; Eva Green in The Dreamers; Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive.
Q. What makes you happiest?
SB: Seeing a great film. I just saw Michael Clayton in the theatres. I went back the next day and saw it again! I cried because it was so perfect.
Q. Where is your favorite travel destination?
SB: New York. I love to go see plays there.
Q. What is your greatest vice?
SB: Playing chess. I play two hours a day. I should cut back but I’m hooked.
Q. What is your favorite restaurant?
SB: I like the little diner underground at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The food is simple and the waitresses are cool.
Q. What is your favorite museum or gallery?
SB: The New Image Art Gallery on Santa Monica Boulevard. Marcia, the owner, has a great eye for new talent. I also love the Moca in downtown Los Angeles.
Q. What is your favorite beach?
SB: In the movie Contact, Jodi Foster’s character goes to a beach in her mind. The sand is made up of all the stars in the universe. I want to go to that beach.
Q. What film has had the greatest effect on you? Why?
SB: I am really into a director named Michael Haneke right now. He has a new movie coming out called Funny Games. It’s an American version of his original movie with the same title. I can’t wait.
Q. What cause is closest to your heart? Why?
SB: There are two:
‘The Brent Shapiro Foundation’
A friend of mine, Brent Shapiro, passed away from taking half an ecstasy pill two years ago. He was a magical person. He brought people together. He was so full of love. He was so loved. His parents Bob and Linelle Shapiro started the Foundation to raise drug and alcohol abuse awareness. Many people still don’t know that alcoholism is a disease. Everyone I know has been touched by alcoholism in some way. Please go to their website: www.brentshapiro.org
In Downtown Los Angeles we have a homeless population of 100,000 people. ‘The Downtown LA Women’s Shelter’ is a fantastic place for women to stay. The facilities are bright and clean. Whenever I go down there, there is always a meeting or class going on. It feels like a warm home, rather then a shelter. There is a large open kitchen in the center of it all. I can’t imagine something worse then being a woman and being homeless on the street. I love to see women helping women get back on track. Their web site is: www.dwcweb.org
Q. What’s one thing you would like to change about yourself?
SB: I wish I could sleep better.
Q. Which artist do you admire most?
SB: I go through phases. For art right now I really love Aya Takano.
Q. What upsets you the most?
SB: Many issues; I hate the fact that many public schools don’t have enough textbooks or teachers for the children. Money is being spent in the wrong places right now.
Q. What is your favorite bar?
SB: Anywhere where the music is good, the couches are comfortable and I’m with my friends.
Q. What gadget can’t you live without?
SB: My BlackBerry. I have work emails all day long.
Q. What are you most afraid of?
SB: Falling from great heights.
Q. Were do you love to shop?
SB: Milk, on West Third Street in Los Angeles. Also, in Saint Tropez and Monte Carlo they have some great stores.
Q. What’s your favorite drink?
Q. What are your top 3 songs?
SB: I am a huge music fan! I love Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails and tons of Indy Rock. I was learning ‘Moonlight Mile’ by the Rolling Stones on my guitar just before I started this interview… anything by the Beatles or Fleetwood Mac… Dylan.
— Laura Jakobovits