I never realized how much goes into making a film. There are so many wonderful people behind the scenes to make it happen. I look at movies differently now.
How exciting it is to film. It starts to get addicting in a way. In between films makes me so antsy, and I can’t wait to get back on set.
There can be so many takes for just one scene. I never knew you had to get a lot of takes for a scene.
As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Madison Ekstrand. She is 17 years old, a senior in high school and lives in Northeast Wisconsin. She is an actress but also loves dancing and riding horses. Originally from Niagara, Wisconsin, Madison Ekstrand is a highly trained dancer in ballet, lyrical, contemporary and hip-hop. Her background in dance was a key aspect in playing the role of Lauren Foley in her latest project, the horror series Very Frightening Tales. Ekstrand’s acting performance was also recognized at the New York International Film Awards for the Best Acting Debut and the Best Performance by a Young Actress.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was born and raised in a small town in northeast Wisconsin. I have always been a dramatic kid. I always danced around the house and acted. When I wasn’t dancing or acting, I was outside riding a horse. Honestly, not much has changed when I got older. I still love doing all of these things.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started acting classes at D&A Talent in Minnesota. I ended up going to Los Angeles through them. I quickly got an agent. I then met Suzanne, and she has guided me through my journey since.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The most interesting thing was shooting in a real haunted house. The whole cast and crew were freaked out. We all stayed together when we shot at night. I felt like someone was watching me the whole time I was there.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest thing while I was filming was lying in a dumpster for a scene. We took about 16 takes, and I had to lay there the whole time. When I was done, everyone wanted to take a selfie with me while I was in the dumpster. That definitely taught me patience.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am still working on Very Frightening Tales and I’m so excited! I will also be working on a feature film very soon.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I think diversity is important in the film industry. I believe it is important for people to have equal opportunity in this world.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
I knew very little to what I know now about the industry. I wish someone would have told me:
– How attached you get to the cast and crew. The cast and crew become like a family after filming. I am close to a lot of them!
– I never realized how much goes into making a film. There are so many wonderful people behind the scenes to make it happen. I look at movies differently now.
– How exciting it is to film. It starts to get addicting in a way. In between films makes me so antsy, and I can’t wait to get back on set.
– There can be so many takes for just one scene. I never knew you had to get a lot of takes for a scene.
– I wish someone would have told me how much I would love it. I have so much love for acting. I am so lucky to be an actress.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
The advice I would give is to always stay on your toes. There is always something to learn. Also, continue acting lessons and classes.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to inspire people to be more kind to others. You never know someone’s story or what they are going through. Also, to help people in need. Like, donate items to families or individuals that need them.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Suzanne DeLaurentiis has guided me and taught me everything I know about this industry. I’m also grateful for my parents! Without these amazing people by my side, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite quote is “I think that not being perfect has given me the freedom to keep getting better.” This wise quote was said by Gigi Hadid.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to have breakfast with Gigi Hadid! She is an amazing influence on many people. She also rides horses! I would love to have breakfast with Steve Carell. He is such an amazing actor, and he seems like the nicest guy.
How can our readers follow you online?
Readers can follow my Instagram! My Instagram is @Maddyy.dawn
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!