From the interview archives.
Australian actress Cleo Coleman is known for roles like Sadie on White Famous and more recently, Erica Dundee in The Last Man On Earth. VULKAN caught up with Cleo to talk about growing up in a family of creatively minded people and how her dance career has lent itself to her passion for acting.
Given that you grew up in a family full of creatives, was it difficult convincing your parents when you wanted to explore a new interest or hobby?
Not at all. I was four when I mentioned to my parents that I not not only wanted but needed to do ballet. And I was 14 when I told them that I not only wanted but needed to move across Australia to pursue acting. They were like “ok, cool.”
What was the conversation like when you approached them with your aspirations of acting?
In my family, pursuing your passion is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact it is encouraged. You could say it’s our family business.
Given their experience in multiple facets of the entertainment industry, did they have any advice for you before you dove in?
What are 1 or 2 disciplines that your career as a professional dancer have ingrained in your everyday life?
Physical awareness. I am aware of where my body is and what it is doing. Pilates has helped me continue that. And just the way I approach challenges.
What’s your favourite style of music to throw on when you just feel like dancing?
I have an eclectic taste. All over the place really. But Goldlink is who I’m digging the most right now. And 80’s.
What has been your favourite part of Erica’s character development since you signed on to play her in The Last Man on Earth?
She’s been a little crazy this season. A bit jealous of Carol. Being a mum will do that I guess. I like it most when Erica gets to be vulnerable.
Would you say you’re as politically inclined as Erica is or not at all?
Oh yeah. How can you not be in this day and age?
How is she handling motherhood right now? Will we see more of this side of Erica as the season progresses?
I mean, it’s her entire thing. Being with Gail and being a mum. She’s a graceful mother for the most part.
You also currently appear in White Famous. What made you want to get involved with this series?
I was a fan of Californication. Tom Kapinos and I had been trying to figure out a way to work together for years so I’m glad it worked out.
How has it been working with Jay Pharoah?
He’s so great. He’s hilarious, sweet and professional and as far as I can tell, he has excellent hygiene, which goes a long way when you’re filming love scenes.
What’s the funniest thing that has happened on set so far?
What are some ways you think the industry can move towards being more inclusive?
Be sure to hire people of color and women. From the writers to the showrunners to the actors and beyond. We need to be represented if you want us to watch.
Anything else you have coming up that we should keep an eye out for?
My feature film, Hover, which I wrote. Look out for it in 2018!