Neraida Bega is chasing dreams and exercising her talent
Neraida Bega moved from Italy to Los Angeles to pursue her acting dreams, and now she’s a rising star. Bega has been able to use her multilingual upbringing and her modeling experience to her advantage as she’s been picking up bigger & bigger roles. Bega landed an important part in Borderlands 3, and she’s been pursuing motion capture work even further.
Bega has recently been cast in one of the biggest video games in the world. She plays Ash in Apex Legends: Escape, which is played by millions of gamers all around the world. We spoke with Bega about traveling the world, chasing dreams, and diving headfirst in the booming world of video games.
What first made you want to become an actor?
I started playing piano and performing in front of audiences when I was 5. I always loved to perform and the feeling that came with it. But I was also a tom boy that loved martial arts, anime cartoons and action movies. One of the main reasons I began my martial arts training in Italy is because I loved seeing action on the big screen.
While living in Italy and studying to become a dentist I got the opportunity to audition for an action movie. I was so excited and happy at the idea of being part of an action movie and to do the audition. It was in this moment that I made the decision that I wanted to pursue acting and move to the United States. 8 months later with visa in hand, I was on a plane to Los Angeles.
You trained as a dental technician. When was the moment you knew you needed to put everything into your acting pursuits?
The day I left my family and got on the plane to come to the United States I knew I needed to have the courage to go through a lot of changes and put my focus into this brand-new world of opportunity for me. I knew that if I didn’t take the chance to try it out, I would regret not giving myself the opportunity.
Who are some of your acting influences?
I’ve been watching and loving Denzel movies since I was little growing up in Italy. He changed many majors in college before committing to acting which reminds me of my story and the decision to change what I was doing as a dental technician.
I’m inspired and influenced by a lot of actors and I enjoy learning about their personal stories.
What are some of your favorite films?
Leòn, La Vita è Bella, The Matrix, Inception, Sophie’s Choice, Training day, Goodfellas and many more…
You’ve had multiple roles in video games. Do you consider yourself a gamer at all?
I really like video games and being in them, but I wouldn’t consider myself a gamer because I don’t know how to play videogames hehe.
Your most recent role is as the champion Ash in Apex: Legends. How did you come to be involved with the game?
I received the audition through my managers, sent in my audition clips along with my reels and booked the role a few days after. Then, I started working with the team towards creating the moves for Ash.
Apex: Legends has a massive player base, and it’s not often that actors know ahead of time roughly how many people their work will reach. Is it daunting to know your performance will be seen by hundreds of millions of people?
When I received the audition, I did not know it was for Apex Legends. Later I found out and realized how massive the game and the Apex Legends community was. I actually love the fact that millions of people will see my performance and play with my character Ash every day. I knew I had the necessary skills to portray the character and I was looking forward to showing everyone what we had worked on. EA and Respawn and the whole team have done an amazing job with this game. I was in really great hands.
Did you have to do much physical training for the role?
After getting the project I trained every day in XMA, Xtreme Martial Arts with Mike Chat to better prepare for the role. I needed to increase my resistance and to come up with different choreography for Ash. It is definitely not easy physically but I really enjoyed doing all of it. I have been training in XMA for years and martial arts are a part of my weekly routine.
What was it like getting to do motion capture for the role?
It was sooo much fun. I hadn’t done MoCap before and it was a very fascinating process. It was a different way to use my acting skills! The physicality is much more demanding. You have to use your whole body to communicate everything through your moves. Which I loved. It was a whole new world for me…I learned a lot about the making of video games. You also exercise your imagination a lot! I would definitely love to do more video games in the future!
Do you approach motion capture roles different as an actor than you do traditional live action roles?
I prepared for Ash the same way I do for a traditional one. The director and producers wanted to find someone that was ASH, that captured her essence. I had a script and lines to prepare for her even though I was only going to do the Motion Capture. Knowing the character well made my movements very specific. I’m very happy with how her essence is coming through in the final result!
What was your biggest challenge while working on the game?
I didn’t have any challenges working on the game. But I did get a lot of bruises! Ouch!!
Do you plan on continuing to work in video games alongside traditional roles?
Yes, why not, video games are fun! I would like to continue to work on more video games alongside my acting career. Every year they keep getting better and better!!!
What’s been your biggest professional failure, and what did you learn from it?
In the acting industry, us actors fail all the time! We are constantly getting no’s! What I’ve learned is that failure is inevitable, and it’s important to learn from them and do better the next time.
What are some of your biggest goals for the future?
My goal is to produce great work and to work consistently. I would also like to be an action star and do big box office movies! I want to do a lot! More action TV shows and films like Marvel or DC! I’m an actor in the entertainment business. It’s a business. I set many goals for myself, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. I like to track my progress and see what I’m accomplishing each year but I’m a creative, so I really have to focus on staying on track. This is one area where I want to make improvements. Every year I work on growing as a person, and as an artist. I want to learn from my mistakes in 2021 and do better, be better.
Do you have any advice for someone who’s just getting started in the acting world?
We all have a gut instinct for a reason. If you strongly feel that this is the path for you and you love it, then do everything you can to make it happen. Change your city, country, and drop your job if you’re not happy with it, because it is better to try, and give it a shot than to look back later and regret not trying at all. Failure is inevitable. It is part of the process. We become stronger by overcoming hardship. Work hard, keep the faith, stay focused and continue to educate yourself about the business.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming or ongoing projects?
I’m working on a role for an Ai Artificial Intelligence character. I’ve been wanting to do this kind of role for a long time now. There’s a lot of cool martial arts action involved and that’s all I can say for now!