WE CHAT TO ACTRESS ASTA LEIGH

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I was born in South Africa and trained as an actor mainly in London, England before coming to Los Angeles to further my training and explore film. 

Asta Leigh Headshot.jpg

Even as a child I knew the power of a great film.  I would watch “Orca,” the movie with Richard Harris, over and over again and I truly suffered with that big beautiful animal over the loss of her baby and clearly understood the desire for revenge.  I would cry relentlessly, deeply in pain, and my mother would subsequently ban me from watching the movie as she didn’t want her young daughter scarred for life. A drama queen from birth apparently, when I cried, it could go on forever!  Watching that movie almost felt like an immersive experience to me, and one I could never quite let go of. Now I’m acutely aware of the fact that when done well, movies can make an incredible impact and have the capacity to change people’s minds. To think that a story, a character or even a moment can literally change your perspective is fascinating to me.  I think that’s why I’ve always been so attracted to the art of filmmaking and why in tough times I haven’t quite been able to let go of it. Living in LA taught me the importance of having your own voice and to trust in it, regardless of outside opinion. Now I spend my time writing stories that highlight social issues, mainly addressing gross racial atrocities and inequalities.  I recently wrote, directed and acted in a short, “Perception” based loosely on a real life event and continue to make films that educate and expand our ability to truly see others and ourselves on a deeper level.

2. Tell us about the project and how you got involved.
Prior to “Running on Empty” I had worked on a number of Elizabeth Blake Thomas’s films where we became friends and collaborators. Grief and mental health have always been subjects of interest to us both.  In discussing the pain and sadness we hadn’t completely recovered from, we wished someone had removed all of it, making life easier to navigate. Before we knew it we were writing a movie. We made plans to shoot the feature and a deal with an investor fell through last minute.  We had two choices, we could wait till God only knows when for the finances to come together or we could shoot part of the film with the resources we had. We chose the latter and here we are.

3. What's next for you and the project?
With the global successes of ‘Running on Empty’ and interest from investors, we plan to shoot the feature in January 2020, which is very exciting.

THANKS ASTA! X