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An Interview with Tiffany Browne-Tavarez, Star of Venial

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2014

Films starring Tiffany Browne-Tavarez on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Venial - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?


Basically, Venial is about a woman who after experiencing a tragedy denounces her faith God. As a result, her mind and household become plagued with demons. At the same time, horrible things begin to happen in her town and people are becoming worried. My character, Claire, in the beginning, is a devout Christian woman with a blessed life. She cannot handle losing her husband in the war and tells God that she will no longer worship Him. Of course, she doesn't realize what this will bring upon herself and her children.


What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and could you find any of Claire's characteristics in yourself?


I will answer the second part first. I do have some things in common with Claire. I am a Christian and also my husband means everything to me. I started with those basic things and then I put myself in her situation; I would be devastated if something happened to my husband or my family of course and I'm sure I would question my faith in God. It's always about creating a truthful performance.


How did you get involved with the project in the first place?


I have worked with Joe Ciminera in many of his previous productions. He contacted me for Venial and let me know he had this role for me.


What can you tell us about your director Joe Ciminera [Joe Ciminera interview - click here], and how did the two of you first get in touch? And since this is not your first movie with Joe, what are your collaborations usually like, and what can you tell us about this one in particular?


with Joe Ciminera at the Venial-premiere

First of all, Joe is extremely creative and driven. He thinks outside of the box and knows exactly where he wants a scene to go. Also, as an actor it's wonderful to work with a director who does everything he can to get his projects noticed. We first got in touch when I applied for his film Purification through Craigslist a few years ago. I have to say we work pretty easily together. He tells me what he wants in a particular scene and I do my best to deliver. Working on Venial really wasn't any different from working in Joe's other productions other than the fact that I had more scenes and shooting days.


Since Joe Ciminera doesn't necessarily work from fully worded out scripts - how much of a challenge is that for you as an actress, and is it in fact also liberating?


Well, normally it's a little of both, but in the case of Venial it was definitely more of a challenge because not only is the film a period piece, but we also had to speak with proper English accents. It really took a lot of preparation. Claire has been my most challenging role yet. And of course, one of the most fun and satisfying.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


Even though Joe works very quickly and likes things done a certain way, the atmosphere on set is overall pretty laid back. We can get a lot of work done in one day but still have time for a few laughs; especially since most of us have gotten to know each other pretty well through Joe's films.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Thankfully, I do have a few things coming up. I recently finished filming an awesome indie feature called Tiger Lily (directed by Matt Hahn) which should be premiering soon. I am currently filming two other features, Redemption (directed by Ryan Callaway) and Histories and Auguries (directed by Milton X. Trujillo), and a web-series entitled The Great Internet Swindle (created by Tom Khan). I'm very excited about those as well. And it looks like I may be working again with Joe very soon so stay tuned for that!


What got you into acting to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


I began acting in church plays when I was a kid. I had so much fun and people would compliment my performance so I decided to take theater courses in school. The rest is history so to speak. I haven't had formal training but I do take classes in various studios in NYC.


You have actually started your acting career on the stage - so what can you tell us about your acting-in-the-theatre-days, and how does performing on stage compare to acting in front of a camera? And which do you prefer, actually?


I consider my theater background to be priceless and I am very proud of it. Of course the main differences between acting for film and acting for stage are 1) on stage you are in front of a live audience and 2) acting for film is much more subtle. For me, there is more pressure involved with acting on stage. And although nailing a performance in front of a live audience is exhilarating, I do prefer working in front of the camera. I feel more confident in front of a camera (and crew) than in front of an entire audience. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't love to work on stage again in the future.


Can you still remember your first time in front of the camera, and what was that experience like?


I can! I was 18 and was an extra in Coca-Cola commercial that was filmed in Virginia where I'm from. It was fun but everyone was doing anything they could to get their face on camera. My first on-camera speaking role was for an indie movie trailer (I don't think anything came of it) that I shot in Brooklyn. I had one line and it was amazing to me. I like to look back on that time and realize how far I've come.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Venial?


Since moving to New York City in 2005 I have been blessed to have worked in several indie films and a couple of true crime reenactment television shows. Most of the roles I play are very emotional and dramatic although I've done a couple of comedic things too.


How would you describe yourself as an actress?


Passionate, dedicated, hardworking, and professional.


Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?


Audrey Tautou, Audrey Hepburn, Johnny Depp, Bette Davis, Jessica Chastain, Juliette Binoche, Juliette Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Bryan Cranston, Christian Bale, Parker Posey, Cate Blanchett, Betty White, Meryl Streep. Just to name a few, lol.


Your favourite movies?


Breakfast at Tiffany's, Funny Face, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Les Miserables, Field of Dreams, The Wizard of Oz.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


This is such a great question but I honestly can't think of any.


Your website, Facebook, whatever else?


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Twitter: @tavareztiffany

Instagram: @tiffanybrownetavarez



Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I can't think of anything. I think you were pretty thorough! This was awesome. Thank you so much!!


Thanks for the interview!




© by Mike Haberfelner

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and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



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On the same day
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directed by
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written by
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Ryan Hunter and
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