Interview : Nancy Rizk

Navigating the tangled web that is Hollywood.

Australian Actress Nancy Rizk takes on Hollywood.

One of Australia’s newest exports to Hollywood, Nancy Rizk is a name to remember. From humble beginnings in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia Rizk has managed for build a solid career not only here in Australia, but in her second home in LA. In an industry that has evolved faster than black and white to colour and silent films to talkies, Rizk has already adapted to the fast paced industry with a web series, Counter Play. Back in Melbourne to start production of a new film, She’s Not So Ordinary, Rizk’s next adventure takes her back to LA to start filming a new TV series Emergency: LA later this year.

“It has been a crazy shift. Building a career in an industry that is so hard to get your foot in the door is very time consuming”, she said.

Spending the last three years back and forward between Australia and LA Rizk has loved every minute of it. But even though there is a wealth of opportunity in LA Rizk is constantly giving it her all.

“Life in LA is great, you get to be in a place where all you do is push for your dreams and you are surrounded by the best so you must have your A game on. It is cut throat and brutal. You just have to be open and put the work in”, Rizk explains.

If Rizk isn’t taking on a character she will still be in front of the camera hosting or guiding other actors and actresses. With her “no time to waste and plenty to gain” attitude Rizk manages to dominate not only the screen but also forge her own path into the relentless industry of Hollywood.

In a town full of other hopefuls and a lifetime of scripts to be read, Rizk manages to keep strong as she jumps through the hoops to land a role. Though she jokes “it’s more like a tangled web maze with barb wire”, than hoops.

“Being an actor you have to get used to rejection and its not because you are bad, you may not be what they are looking for. So keeping a strong hold on yourself helps incredibly,” she said.

While Rizk has always travelled interstate when she’s in Australia she is excited to be back home for the filming of her latest production, She’s Not So Ordinary. Being back in Melbourne gives her the chance to be closer to her family despite the demanding schedule.

She’s Not So Ordinary is C.A. Milson’s third instalment in his psychological thriller series, The Chosen. Milson is an Australian Director and Author lucky enough to be able to bring his work to life in both mediums. The story is based around Laura who is on a journey of discovery as her life isn’t quite what it seems. When her loving Fiancé dies while on tour in Afghanistan, her life gets turned upside down and the demon emerges.

Rizk plays Katie, Laura’s best friend who has more to do with Laura’s story than meets the eye. “My character is sexy and sassy. No one and I mean no one can resist Katie”, Rizk explains.

“She is a Hell Vixen who can have and get anyone she wants. She is there to help Laura succumb to her real self. What is better then having a best friend who is also the one who is pushing you to the dark side without even realising” she said.

While filming starts this month with a release date towards the end of the year, Rizk is pretty excited by it all. “It has been amazing so far we have been in rehearsals and organising wardrobe”.

Building a career to be able to score the role of Katie might not have been possible if it weren’t for her previous work in a web series also filmed in Melbourne. Counter Play is an online series, which showcases some of Rizk’s amazing range as an Actress.

You can stream each of the six episodes online through the free streaming service, Vimeo, which as already had over a million views. The series has also gained some free to air screen time with Chanel 31 in Melbourne. It’s similar to what you would expect from any rating American television drama, think The OC and Gosspi Girl crossed with Home and Away.  Based in South Point Rizk plays Logan who has come back to town to investigate the murder and navigate through the secrets and revenge.

“I was drawn to the script because Chrys Phillips the Director did something I have never seen in Australia and that is write an American type drama for Australia. Logan’s character drew me in the minute I read the breakdown, she is the character everyone wants to play and wished they were in real life” she said.

After Rizk wraps up filming She’s Not So Ordinary in Melbourne she jets back to LA to film another TV series, Emergency: LA. With most TV shows being streamed from the US to Australia it’s the most accessible and easiest way to watch television and web series.

“I love how the industry has evolved with web series, Netflix, Stan and streaming. There is more work for actors and the demand is huge. I think it will only get bigger and better. Actors can be seen now a lot easier and I believe it will grow dramatically”, Rizk explains.

Emergency: LA is still building traction in the US so broadcasting in Australia could come in any form, either free to air or streaming from the likes of Foxtel or Netflix. Rizk explains the new series as a day to day in the lives of the LA Fire Department, LAPD and Emergency Hospital and all those that protect and save lives.

“I am playing the role of Jenifer Jackson, JJ, a 911 Supervisor who gets caught in the action. Her quick judgment and firecracker personality is what makes her the best at her job. She is straight to the point and makes it her goal to keep everyone safe. She is a problem solver and a brilliant one at it”.

“I am also working along side Kurt Angle, a pro wrestler who is taking on the role of Sargent Gabe Mandell”, Rizk explains excitingly.

Managing to find her way through LA and score some interesting roles while she does it is worthy of the praise Rizk is receiving. This shows that hard work does pay off but in this case, having a great talent really does make all the difference.

“If the passion is there nothing will stop you and that is what I have found. Once the work roles in it keeps going and that is where you need to keep the momentum going and run with it”, says Rizk.

And once you see Rizk in her element, it’s easy to see why she has the right momentum all the way to the leading lady roles.

Check out Counter Play online, find Rizk filming She’s Not So Ordinary around Melbourne and keep an eye out for Emergency: LA when it’s released.

Interview by Jay Cook

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