Rael (left) with Darleen Rae Fontaine
photo courtesy of R&F Entertainment
Your new movie Maturing
Youth - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us
about your character in it?
from R&F Entertainment is about a man who
despite his age is essentially a teenage boy. He lacks ambition,
dreams and responsibilities. His days are filled with smoking weed,
hitting on girls and collecting unemployment checks. It isn’t until
his past shows up at his door that he is forced through a journey to
maturity in order to make room for his future, his son. My character,
Maggie, is a no nonsense chick with an unfiltered mouth. She is such a firecracker
that you have to see the film for yourself to uncover who she really is.
But I can tell you that Maggie and her best friend, Mae, are two of
the people that shine the light on Roger's flaws and help him realize
his skewed perception on the meaning of life.
What did you draw upon to
bring your character to life? And how much Rael Ba can we find in Maggie?
give Maggie life, I really had to give her a vibrant backstory as to why
socially she is how she is. This involved a lot of research and even
a little bit of method acting. I pulled some of her personality from
work I've seen a few of my idols do such as Taraji P Henson and Halle
How did you get
involved with the project in the first place?
I had seen a
casting call from R&F Entertainment for the film on
submitting for Maggie I was called in and that’s where I met my
amazing co-star Darleen Rae Fontaine [Darleen
Rae Fontaine interview - click here] who plays Mae. We had an instant chemistry
in the audition room. So much so that it was as if we had been friends for
years and the rest was history.
you tell us about your director Divoni Simon [Divoni
Simon interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
Working with Divoni Simon was such an amazing
is a story that he developed and it was
very clear how much this project meant to him. While his perspective was fueled
from a writer and director standpoint, he provided such a safe place for
the actors to explore. It was through Simon’s open mind
that a collaborative environment was able to thrive.
What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and
the on-set atmosphere?
I have found that filming day is always the most nerve racking but
it’s also the most fun. Maturing
was my first professional short film, so being on set
really taught me a lot about how all the pieces come together but
more importantly, the depth of what it takes to make a film. While it
only took two days to film my scenes, it was definitely the longest
forty-eight hours in my life. The weather was insane before
filming. The temperature dropped drastically and a snowstorm swept
through the area. As a result, I got extremely sick the day right before
filming. But seeing how hard everyone was working, how passionate
the R&F Entertainment
team was, and how much care there was for everyone’s well-being, including mine, that immediately uplifted my spirits and made me
feel a lot better. I’m so grateful that the set environment was
such a safe place and that we were all able to come
together to create a beautiful story.
Any future projects you'd like to
Youth, I’ve had the pleasure of
working on several short indie films. One of which is titled Cruelty Free produced by Reel Works and partnered with
The screening for that will be in late September. September 10th,
there will be a screening for a short I did titled Addict
directed by Daniel Pagel. And my most recent project, Good Luck
Kid, in which the supervising director was Trevor White of Star
Thrower Entertainment and was executive produced by Filmsters
be streamable in the next few weeks. I’ll also be doing my first stage
play in NYC this November called Peter and The StarCatcher at the
Schaeberle Theater. If you would like more details on any of these project
follow me on Instagram to stay up to date.
photography by Iris Hayes
courtesy of R&F Entertainment
What got you into acting in the first place, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
is a huge reason I became an actress. She saw the spark in me way before I
saw anything, much less performing, in myself. With the help and love
of my mom I went to a performing arts middle school which allowed me
to discover the impact of art and my responsibility to it. From there
I went on to a performing arts high school and now I am going into my junior year as a BFA
acting student at Pace University.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Maturing
My film experience was very miniscule before working on Maturing
I had done a few student films but considering I was only a
freshman in college I haven't gotten my feet wet yet in the New York
City film world. I did have an extensive background in theater though
prior to Maturing
Youth considering that was the foundation of my
Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?
me start off by saying that this is such a hard question because I am
inspired by so many different working artists right now. But I will
say some of the legends that grew up idolizing and studying were
people like Phylicia Rashad, Denzel Washington, Robin Williams and, of
course, Meryl Streep.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
A few of the movies I fell in love with
this year were The Florida Project,
Blind Spotting and The Shape of Water.
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
Facebook: Rae’l Ba
Films official website:
Facebook: "Maturing Youth" @maturingyouthfilm
Instagram: "Maturing Youth" @maturingyouthfilm
for the interview!