Caylee Cowan is best known for her leading role as Penelope in the Cannes Film Festival indie feature, ‘ Frank and Penelope,’ a horrifying thriller about a drifter and an exotic dancer who fall for each other and decide to head west and have no destination in mind.
As a rising talent, Caylee’s star is set to rise higher as she embarks on new projects that streamline her path to momentous success. Her other acting credits include ‘Sunrise in Heaven’ and acting opposite Nicolas Cage in Willy’s Wonderland. She is set to star in Spinning Gold with Jason Isaacs, Peyton List, and Vincent Pastore.
When did your love for acting begin?
I used to spend a lot of time at movie theatres and libraries during summer to escape the heat. I first fell in love with acting while watching movies. I loved reading a book and then seeing it become a movie; that was how my love for acting began. It deepened and grew after I started taking acting in theatre and taking classes. I love plays and watching them whenever I’m in New York. I have always loved the idea that I could become someone else for a while and that I didn’t have to always be me.
At what point did you decide to professionally pursue a career in acting?
I decided to pursue acting professionally after deciding I wouldn’t be a doctor. My mother wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer because she was a single mother who worked three jobs and had three children to support. I was the youngest and wanted to make her proud so I somehow found myself in all honors and advanced placement classes, and I was in a prestigious program shadowing doctors at Mayo Clinic when I was 16 and 17 years old. I fainted and puked halfway through the first day when I saw a nurse drawing blood. After that year, I graduated and started taking acting classes, which I really wanted to do all along. I knew it was going to be equally as hard to pursue my dream of being an actor as it would being a doctor. In my mind, it was only a matter of time and persistence. I gave it my everything and never looked back.
How are you and the character ‘Penelope’ in ‘Frank and Penelope similar and different?
Penelope is a loyal ride-or-die character, and I feel similar. Penelope and I are different because she thinks “if a man doesn’t fly into a fit of rage he isn’t in love” and I think violence is never the answer and that it’s much more romantic to be gentle and kind. Penelope is a hopeless romantic who loves a long road trip and I guess you could also say the same about me. I’ve gone on several road trips with my boyfriend this past year. Our latest road trip was down the west coast starting in Los Angeles and ending in Seattle in our Polestar 2 electric vehicle. Penelope and I are different because she is a pole dancer who takes a road trip in a vintage Super Bee muscle car, and I am an actress who plays a pole star in a movie and takes a road trip in an EV polestar car.
Having a boyfriend who is also an actor, Casey Affleck, do you ever go to him for advice?
Casey likes to advise me, even when I don’t ask for it. I’m kidding. I go to Casey for advice, and he likes to ask me for advice too. Except, he almost always already knows the best thing to do. Casey encourages me to be more thoughtful, loving, and honest. He is always challenging me to be a better person.
With experience also in theatre, how does the preparation for such a role differ from film?
When preparing a role for the stage you are given many group rehearsals. You get to rehearse the whole play several times before you share it with an audience. The experience of sharing it with the audience is instant. With a movie, you prepare your character with little to no group rehearsal. Very rarely do you film it according to how an audience will watch the movie. You also have to wait several months, sometimes years, until the movie finds an audience.
What has been your most memorable experience on set?
My most memorable experience on set has been working with Nicolas Cage on Willy’s Wonderland directed by Kevin Lewis. Willy’s Wonderland required a lot of stunt actors wearing costumes reminiscent of the chunky cheese mouse mascot. It was ridiculous in the best way, and working with Nicolas Cage? Well, he didn’t have any dialogue in the movie but getting to act with him and get to know him off-screen was a great experience. He is a phenomenal talent, and I learned so much while having a lot of fun working with him.
What is next for Caylee Cowan?
Well, some things I’m excited about are coming up, but I can’t talk about it yet. I can tell you I’ve been working on a new movie called Holiday Twist with Lionsgate shooting here in Los Angeles. I play a Christmas Angel and it comes out this winter.