Stefania LaVie Owen New Hollywood Star
Young actress Stefania LaVie Owen, 21, from New Zealand stars in The Beach Bum alongside Matthew McConaughey and will appear in a Netflix show later this year. Owen talks to the The New York Times about her big break.
Born in Miami and raised in Pauatahanui, Owen now lives in Manhattan. According to the Times, she’s “an actress and fashion plate in high demand … whether she’s appearing off Broadway with Lucas Hedges in Yen, or touted by Vogue as a ‘young starlet on the rise’.”
Her self-effacing nature defies young Hollywood typecasting, the newspaper writes. “Coming from New Zealand, I never had the idea that I would be an actor or that it would be a job,” Owen said. “It was just something that I thought was really fun.”
As a student at Lower Hutt’s Chilton Saint James School, she was recognised for her precocious acting talent. She made her professional debut at 11 in The Lovely Bones, a 2009 film directed by Peter Jackson, a fellow New Zealander.
“It was a small part, but because it was an American film, it opened up this whole world to me,” Owen said. “Everything just started spiraling from there.”
She stars alongside McConaughey and Snoop Dogg in The Beach Bum, a film by Harmony Korine. “I’ve never worked with anyone like Harmony,” she said. “He allowed us the flexibility to use the script as a base and then jump from there. It was a little scary, but it was also really freeing.”
Honing her craft with Jackson and Korine may have delayed her university plans, but she plans to attend the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University in autumn. She will also star in Messiah, a biblical suspense thriller produced by Mark Burnett for Netflix, due out later this year.
The show was shot throughout New Mexico, and it gave Owen a taste of communal campus life. “On our days off, there would be these big thunderstorms, so we would have to close down set and play games in a local church,” she said.
Original article by Alex Hawgood, The New York Times, April 3, 2019.
Photo by Rafael Rios.