Actress Valerie Sue Love is excited about her role in the Studio 11 Films’ Nice Guy. The Ft. Lewis, Wash. born actress has been exposed to many cultures. As she puts it, “[I was] raised in five states and two countries – Washington, Korea, Hawaii, Missouri, Tennessee, and I have spent the majority of my life in Atlanta.”

Atlanta is where she connected with the studio for their groundbreaking program the 11Eleven11 Project and was selected for the female lead role:  Sharon B. Goode.

Here, rolling out chats with Love about acting idols, film preferences, the worst job she ever had and objects of her female crush. –yvette caslin

Zodiac Sign:
Aries – a female Aries, it’s a totally different zodiac all it’s own.

Why did you take this role?
I was actually hooked from the very beginning at the table read. I loved the story line, the lighthearted comedy, and my character [Sharon B. Goode] was adorably portrayed as a person with a very common and normal flaw that everyone can relate to. I think we all go through this phase of being the person we think others will accept, when in actuality we should just be authentically the person we wish to attract.

Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations as a young actor?
I had tons. I had awesome teachers growing up. Hardly any of them taught drama or acting, but all directly impacted my path as an actor, an artist. They were openly supportive, challenging and super caring and most importantly they expected greatness, that’s the bar they set up for me so I did everything to reach it.

The one movie – attended – that you will never forget:
Kinyarwanda – the film is captivating. I had the pleasure of attending a screening that concluded with a Q&A with the director Alrick Brown. It’s obvious that he’s a great director, but he’s kind of more than that. I can only describe him as a human spirit specialist who just so happens to create films.

Your personal acting idols:
Sidney Poitier. I remember seeing the 1961 feature film version of A Raisin in the Sun and marveled at his performance in the kitchen scene with the character, Bobo. I said to myself, ‘Now that’s what I want to do.’ I adore Audra McDonald. If I only had just half her grace and elegance.

Last good movie you saw:
Restrepo

Some films you consider classics:
La Vie En Rose, Tsotsi, The Notebook, Steel Magnolias and The Help

Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Sidney Poitier

Pop culture guilty pleasure:
Then it wouldn’t be a guilty pleasure.

Favorite cities:
Savannah, New Orleans, and any other city that’s apologetically Southern, has historic charm, natural beauty and kind locals.

First CD/Tape/LP you owned:
Toni Braxton’s CD

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
I feel it started early on, it’s something I’ve always known. We watched television as a family and programming was so much more fulfilling back then. I remember seeing young actors who were the same age as myself on T.V. Shows, competing in the Olympics, starring in movies with Michael Jackson, and singing on “Star Search,” and I would get so excited at the possibilities of being like them. I mimicked Madonna’s dance moves, I was obsessed with Mariah Carey, and was in awe of Aaliyah. I just always knew I was going to be a “performer” in some way or another. My very first stage production was in 5th grade during a school musical production of “The Pied Piper.” I was the mayor. I thought it was fun, it felt totally natural.

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
You know what? I’ve never had a mishap big enough that I can remember [knocking on wood as we speak]. I’m overly obsessive about preparation so oftentimes I’ll memorize everyone’s lines so that I can help to move the scene along in case someone misses their cue, although I’ve not found myself in this situation very often. I learned this scary lesson in high school during a one-on-one scene with an ill-prepared actor and it took that one time on stage for me to understand my full responsibilities as an actor.

Most challenging role you have played:
When I was in college, I landed my first role in a university production in which we all ended up referring to the play as the other ‘M’ word, a totally accurate name since the play title was spelled with an “M.” The original “M” word in theatre refers to the play Macbeth which is a forbidden name used inside a theatre based on an old theatre-world superstition (though heavily obeyed), you know, to sort of avoid bad luck and mishaps during the run of your show or within the theatre itself. During our production, we dealt with everything from injuries, to faints, to weird objects being placed in bags that would later be used to hit someone in the head, to falls, and the list goes on. My professor remained calm and emphasized how “the show must go on” and indeed, it did, successfully. At the opening night, two of the most talented understudies ever took to the stage with scripts in hand, and bulldoze their way through a flawless performance. They were grad students and I remember how I was just in awe of what they accomplished, they blew me away, audience included.

Worst job you ever had:
I’ll never speak ill of any past job/employer. Not even the sucky art store one.

Career you would want if not a performer:
An educator.

Three things you can’t live without:
My mom, my dad and my siblings.