Based on the books by Justin Cronin, The Passage was a super exciting book that then became a trilogy.Its my type of story, a tale of good versus bad, and science gone wrong, with humanity being in jeopardy. A few years ago, I heard that Ridley Scott’s production company had purchased the rights to make a movie of The Passage and once again, I was excited. But then nothing. and some more nothing, but then only a few days before the pilot episode aired on Fox, I heard there was a show, a ten part season 1 of The Passage, and once again, I was super hyped. Hype is a dangerous thing, but in the case of The Passage, I wasnt let down and the show quickly became my favourite new television show of 2019. So you can imagine how happy I was to be able to speak with one of its cast members who kindly agreed to answer a few questions for the Spending Time With.. series.
Soon to be seen in the film ‘Waves’ (written and directed by Tray Edward Shults) Taisha Perez features in The Passage as ‘Tisdale’ who…..well I cant tell you that. You might not have seen the show and Im all about protecting possible spoilers. So without any more ramblings by me. Lets spend some time with Taisha. Oh by the way. You can follow Taisha on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TaishaMPerez
Is there a book that you have reread more than any other?
I’m one of those people who love to read self-help books. Very rarely do I read fiction. I will say that I have read Amy Poehler’s book “Yes Please” quite a few times, as well as Tina Fey’s “Bossypants.” Oh! And Jenna Fischer’s book called “The Actor’s Life” is another one of my favorites.
Favourite Childhood TV show growing up?
Hey Arnold. Hands down. I’m now noticing a correlation between my love for Hey Arnold and my love for self help books. I feel like I was basically Arnold as a kid, always trying to give my friends advice.
What’s the most ‘starstruck’ you have been?
The first time I ever met a celebrity was when I saw the Broadway show “Memphis” while Adam Pascal was starring in it. I was (and still am) a huge RENThead, and freaked out when I got to meet him. He’s a Broadway legend!
What was one of the most memorable films you saw as a child?
This is an odd one, but “Hope Floats” was the movie that made me want to become an actor. There’s a scene in it with Sandra Bullock and Mae Whitman. They play mother and daughter and get into a huge argument… There’s a specific moment where Sandra Bullock is standing on a staircase and you can see every little thing she’s thinking even though she’s not saying anything out loud. She’s incredible in that film, and so is Mae Whitman. I love that movie.
What do you find the hardest part of your creative process?
I’m still starting out in this business so honestly—patience. Patience with myself when I’m still learning things. Patience with myself when I don’t necessarily feel “inspired” but still need to be “on” anyway. Patience is something I struggle with and it gets in my way quite often.
Was there something on The Passage that you would class as the most difficult thing that you have done?
Honestly, no. I loved that set. I lucked out with my first television experience. Everyone was so awesome and encouraging. The two directors I worked with on my episodes (Allison Liddi-Brown and Ti West) were so positive. I learned a lot by watching the leads work as well. That Saniyya—what a force! And what a fun kid too.
What is one of the best pieces of advice you can remember being given?
My friend Rachael always reminds me that “whatever is meant to be for you, you’ll get”. I forget that sometimes. That’s not to say that life is going to be roses all the time—but if I work hard, what’s for me—I’ll get.
If you could change one thing about the industry you are in, what would it be?
Sometimes I wish social media didn’t play such a huge part in an actor’s life. I totally understand why it does, and I definitely enjoy social media. But it’s difficult because there’s a business aspect involved with trying to get a ton of followers and things like that. I don’t really like that part. I just like connecting with people but I don’t want to have to worry about whether or not I have 300 followers or 300,000.
What is one of your favourite current TV shows? (or let’s say in the past 10 years)
The US version of The Office. Hands down. I’ve watched the entire series maybe 7 or 8 times. I’m obsessed and can probably quote a majority of the episodes. I think it’s brilliant. The entire cast is hilarious. I would LOVE to work with Steve Carell.
Are you a video gamer? If so, what’s your console of choice?
When I was a kid, I loved video games. We had a Sega Dreamcast and I used to play Sonic the Hedgehog all the time. A few months ago I was really into this mobile game called “PubG” but it started taking up way too much of my time so I had to delete the app.
Do you read reviews of shows that you are in?
The Passage is my first tv show, and yeah I read a couple reviews on it. I like to know what people are saying, and if they’re enjoying it. I do that with any show that I watch too. I’ll watch an episode of something like “How To Get Away with Murder” and then immediately after it’s over I’ll read a review on it. That being said, I love to use twitter hashtags for tv shows, and see what people are saying that way. I prefer that actually.
If you had to make a bucket list of people you’d love to work with, tell me one name who would be on it?
Jessica Chastain. I think she’s brilliant and she’s one of my favorite actresses. I watch her interviews like I’m taking a class.
What film always makes you laugh?
The Room. It’s so perfectly awful!
How do you prepare for an audition?
I’ll research the project. I’ll google the directors, the network, the show, etc. Then I’ll try to apply what I learn to the script– whether it be the pacing of the show, the director’s style, etc. Then I’ll play with it and see what happens.
What excites you most about the film world in general today?
I’m seeing more and more people that remind me of myself and my friends in films and that’s very exciting. Though we’ve got a ways to go, I’m seeing a lot more diversity in the characters and stories. Women are playing complicated roles, women of color are playing complicated roles. It’s exciting.
Is there one person who you feel has made who you are today?
I’m a cumulation of a lot of relationships and influences. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one. I will say my parents helped with giving me the work ethic that I have.
What was one of the first music albums you can remember buying?
Album with my own money? I believe Usher’s “Confessions.” I had a lot of tapes as a kid. Spice Girls was probably my first one, followed by Backstreet boys.
Have you ever gotten someone’s autograph?
Only Adam Pascal and Kristen Chenoweth’s. I got both of those when I was a teen—and I have still them ☺
Which is the most memorable for you?
The way someone or something makes me feel. That’s whats memorable to me.
How many movies do you think you watch a year?
A lot. I can’t even begin to count lol
Finally, when someone says to you (like im about to) that The Passage is their favourite TV show of the year? How do you reply to that?
I love it. I’m so grateful to have a tiny part on that show, and I’d tell them to rewatch and to hashtag #renewThePassage. Might as well make it your favorite show for the next few years, right? 😉
Many thanks to Taisha, for taking the time to join me in this online conversation and many thanks to the cast and crew of The Passage for entertaining me across the first ten episodes, heres to season 2 and beyond #renewthepassage