There’s amazing people, and then there’s Aqueela Zoll.
I met this super talented and creative through a way-to-long-to-explain story, but here’s the quick recap - she’s insanely hard working, incredibly collaborative, and loves party games - a director’s perfect actor to work with. Her and her husband Ryan are not only awesome creatives, but just beautiful people in general.
Aqueela has been in far too many things to list, but you’ll be able to see her February 14th in Dwayne Johnson’s upcoming film, Fighting With My Family (did I mention how awesome she is?). She’s been Zelda, and was in the series Rush. She’s always involved in something new, so keep up with her on IG here!
Hey Aqueela! This feels so formal, but what do you do?
AZ: I’m an actor! Anytime I’m on set for a film/TV show, I'm working with my director to create the story.
As an actor, what do you like to see in beginning directors?
AZ: I look for a director who knows how to ask valuable questions that can spark personalized thoughts in their actors.
What are some mistakes that you’ve seen new directors make, being on the side of acting?
AZ: Some of the biggest mistakes I've seen new directors make are giving direction like, "Be sad on this line, and then mad on this word," rather than creating the world with the actor.
Also, they are resistant to giving their actors any freedom. Not delegating well enough to the crew so that they can put their focus on directing their players. Though, the latter is sometimes unavoidable of course.
What about you personally - what makes you want to collaborate with an indie director?
AZ: I love looking for a director who is IN LOVE with the story that they're telling. Seeing that deep story inspiration and bond in a director tells me, as an actor, that they're not going to want anything robotic/pre-planned/mechanical anywhere near their story. Which for an actor, is what I love.
Any advice you have for new directors making their first feature films?
AZ: I'd encourage any new director to surround themselves with a team that they can trust to carry their appropriate loads. The director is the person who needs to walk around everywhere with every aspect of the story and how it’s going to come to life in their head, so having producers, actors, and set hands who will do their jobs well is essential.
Any films you’ve seen that you recommend all upcoming directors watch?
AZ: The Green Book. Planet of the Apes, duh. (THEO: We’re BIG POTA fans!)
NOTE: Interview has been edited for clarity.