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Hard-working young Italian actress Daria Sarmientos was kind enough to take time out of her busy shooting schedule and chat with us.

Performer of the Day: Daria Sarmientos

Daria Sarmientos is an actress from Italy making her way in Hollywood. Since a young age, Daria has found the world of acting intriguing and watched movies again and again until she knew the lines by heart. 

Daria first took an acting class in middle school which mainly involved comedy and theater. Her love of acting has always been present, but life isn’t always straightforward. Daria earned a degree in political science and international relations, then her love for acting took over.

Daria graduated from one of the best acting academies in Milan, Accademia Artisti, and after graduating in 2017, decided to travel to the movie capital, Los Angeles. She possesses a second degree in acting for film from the New York Film Academy.

In the last month, Daria has been working on two short films as the lead actress: The Death of the Artist and Last Dance, both directed by incredibly talented director Li Songhuan and produced in L.A. These two movies explore, in different ways, the boundaries of the human psyche by bringing the audience into a journey full of surprises.

Before working on these short films, Daria had the pleasure to star in a music video, Sight. Directed by Sharwin Samant, it’s a love story that knows no bounds – and now the short film has been selected for several film festival awards: 

  • Best Music Video at the Direct Monthly Film Festival
  • Finalist at The Greatest Show of All Time film festival in NYC (where Daria was fortunate enough to see her movie screened at Carnegie Hall)
  • Official Selection at Indie Short Festival, Rome Independent Prisma Award, and Best Short Competition

Daria has been so busy since starting her career as an actress. Just last year, she shot twenty short films! One of them, Obsexion, was screened at the Burbank International Film Festival in September 2018 and another, In it Together, at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival in February 2019.

Without further ado, let’s get on with our interview with Daria. Be sure to check out Daria’s Instagram and show your support!

Tell us about your story as an actor. How did you start your journey?

My journey as an actress started later than usual. I’ve always loved movies. Since I was little, I could watch two or three movies per night with my brother and we had so much fun running the lines of our favorite scenes. 

After a while I decided to take theater class in high school, but still I wasn’t thinking that acting was my thing. So I’m not the usual “I’ve always wanted to act since a was a little girl”, but it’s a passion that actually exploded in my heart after my university degree. 

A lot a people (friends and family) kept telling me that I have a very expressive face and that I should start acting. That’s when I got into one of the best film acting academies in Milan and from the very first day it was love at first sight. I’d never felt so right in my entire life! 

That day I thought: “I could do this every day for the rest of my life”, and so after finishing my degree in acting for film in Milan and after a second degree in the same subject at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles I realized acting is something I could never live without. It’s not my job – it’s who I am, and I couldn’t be happier. 

Who are your current influences?

My current influences are Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. I think these two incredible artists are the proof that acting is constantly in evolution; as actors we never stop learning and changing and evolving. I just love them!

What five TV shows do you think everyone should watch this year?

I would say Euphoria for sure! It’s just amazing. It’s brutal and honest and . . . so different. Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones, Thirteen Reasons Why, and Black Mirror too.

Cat or dog?

Dog, definitely.

What was the one movie you saw that made you want to go into film?

Forrest Gump! The plot, the acting, the cinematography: wow! Where should I start?

How was working on The Death of the Artist? What did you learn from the experience?

The Death of the Artist is the most challenging work I’ve done so far. We shot it in a desert. The location was breathtaking, even if during the day we had to work in 105º F weather. We slept on location and the connection we created with the crew was strong – we trusted everybody’s work. I love working with Li, the director; he has a great approach with actors that can stimulate my creativity, and the result was just crazy.

Tell us about your career before you found film.

I have a university degree in political science and international relations, and I worked a couple years in the financed projects department of a pharmaceutical company. I know . . . a little different!

Can you tell us about your creative process on Last Dance?

I usually get into the script very deeply, and after a discussion with the director about his/her vision I just start to become the character. I feel what my character feels, I have the same habits, I think as she does, and in my head I let my character lead me and let everything else go.

What music inspires you to create?

As Walt Disney once said: “If you can dream it, you can do it!” That’s my tip.

Talk us through your creative process.

I’ve alway thought actors have a special power: taking the audience on a journey for the duration of the movie; being capable of causing people to feel what a character is feeling is something magical to me. Being that kind of artist is exactly my everyday goal.

You’re very hands-on with your projects. How hard is it wearing all the hats?

I have to say that being very hands-on with the projects simply helps me to learn something new every time. Every project is a new experience for me, and a new chance to increase my knowledge.

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Forrest Gump, for sure!

What’s your next project?

I’ll be the lead in a feature horror called A Witch in the Dark and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

What has been your biggest failure?

I would say that I regret I didn’t start acting earlier. I wasted time doing something that didn’t make me happy. That’s my biggest failure . . . but hey, better late than never! 

What’s your mission as an actor? Name the most important thing you want viewers to experience when watching your movies.

As I felt inspired by all the movies I’ve seen, my mission as an actress is to inspire the viewers and bring them with me into my adventures.

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