Published on May 9th, 2019 | by Landon Buford0
Lara Heller Talks About Her New Project Synth, Her Days As A Figure Skater & More
Lara Heller is an actress from Brighton, England and performs in 4 languages fluently; English, German, French and Persian. She also possesses the ability to switch between 15 different accents. Heller was also a figure skater and represented Luxembourg and Germany until her early teens.
She read law at The London School of Economics and then secured an MA in Acting from Arts Educational Schools London.
Heller’s breakout role was in the film The Cut, which was awarded the Veneto Award at the Venice Film Festival. The film is about a father (Tahar Rahim) in search of his twin daughters (Lara Heller).
She also starred in the British gangland film Welcome To Curiosity, where Heller plays a killer named Duffy. The role was originally written for a male but was later changed and tailored exclusively for Heller. The film is a psychological thriller set in Cornwall.
Heller adores water sports such as wakeboarding, waterskiing, surfing, swimming, flyboarding, and diving. In the winter she can be seen skating and skiing.
Our team at The Hype Magazine recently spoke to Heller about her upcoming project Synth, which explores Artificial Intelligence.
Congratulations on your latest film, Synth. Can you tell us about the film?
Synth is a story set in the world of artificial intelligence. The name Synth stems from the term ‘synthetic’. Our film was actually inspired by true events; Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong created a robot called Sophia. They created an A.I. based on Audrey Hepburn’s face. Interestingly, Sophia is the first robot to have citizenship in the world. I can’t think of many films that explore a world where A.I. rights could be on par with human rights. Synth runs with that idea! That is kind of what is being suggested when one gives an A.I. citizenship.
Synth is about two scientists who are building self-learning AI’s. Michael Monks plays the role of Dr. Penrose and I play Anza. Don Wallace plays a synth called Kai. The film shows how scientists can have different goals. Anza pushes for A.I. research and its development- letting science become art with no limits. She wants to achieve as much as she can in a free environment. Then we have Dr. Penrose who is sticking to regulations, legislation and what the government will permit.
You play a scientist by the name of Anza. Can you tell us about the role and what is it about artificial intelligence that you are drawn to?
Artificial intelligence is an area that I’ve always been interested in. We were blessed to have Ryan C. Coleman on board as our writer. He has written on series like The Walking Dead. He’s an amazing storyteller and brought this project to life. It was exciting for me to play a character that feels science and freedom should be aligned. Anza also has a sense of loyalty to the A.I’s and feels they are more than machines. She has developed these robots, and they have become like children to her. Then we have characters like Kai that start developing emotions and complex feelings like anger and possessiveness.
Synth was created in LA. Can you tell us the back story on why that was selected as the city to make the film?
We filmed Synth in LA as this is where most of our cast and crew were based. We wanted to have a lab where we could shoot everything with proper equipment. We also needed a light airy penthouse with a futuristic feel. LA has all of those locations.
What was it like working with Don Wallace during the creation process?
Don Wallace was a joy to work with. He is a very committed actor and has a great energy. He is also generous with his time as an actor. He is a true artist, and the project would not be the same if he weren’t a part of it.
When you are looking to audition for roles what draws you to a script?
The story is everything! I felt that all the characters in Synth had interesting emotional arcs to them. I also like that there is more than one story happening at the same time.
You were a figure skater for Germany and Luxembourg. Is that something that you still enjoy when you are not working on a film?
Skating was a big part of my life. I started when I was six-years-old. It was a big part of my childhood and has helped define me as an adult. I still love to be on the ice-it’s an opportunity to play. It’s a freeing feeling to glide and dance on the ice and it takes me back to when I was a kid.
You are fluent in English, German, French and Persian. What are some of your favorite dishes from those countries and the US?
In Germany, during Christmas, they serve crispy potato pancakes. It is almost like hash browns and you have it with applesauce. As for America, I have to say the Hamburgers incredible! The Guacamole and chips in LA are on another level as well. I also just discover cornbread- love it! Persian rice dishes are divine and the French have a lot of really good deserts that I can’t resist.
You also have a background in law. How often do you see yourself relying on it when it comes to contract negotiations in the entertainment industry?
A legal background certainly helps when it comes to reviewing contracts. It is a very versatile degree, and I am all for people in the arts pursuing alternative education. Just like when people in the medical and financial sector explore their artistic voices. My time at law school really helped me with self-confidence and training the memory.
Would you want to go back to your legal background at some point?
My heart is in acting and I enjoy creating content. I’m still very grateful for my time at the LSE as it was a very happy time in my life.
Are there any other projects that we can look forward later this year?
I just shot a video game, which will be out in September. I just shot a film called Always A Bridesmaid, and I play a French character called Lily. That was also a fun film to be a part of for me.
Lara’s work can be seen on iTunes and Netflix.