Get A Life interview with leads


 Abril Tolnay as Tessa Wise (photo by Stephen Wong photography)

1.Tell us a little bit about the character you play in Get A Life, Alright & are you very similar to the character you play?

I definitely feel that Tessa and I share similarities, particularly in our values and interests. She is a performer and a girly girl with a big heart, and an absolute hopeless romantic. But above that, she is caring and considerate with others, and is both humble and confident in her demeanour. Tessa can at times be too trusting of others and easily persuaded, which has the potential to put her in sticky situations if she’s not careful. Being in the spotlight, she has unfortunately had her fair share of hardships, particularly heartbreak and betrayal. But Tessa is lucky in that she has wonderful close friends and family, who have supported and guided her in regaining courage and self-assurance.

2. What is the best thing you’ve learnt or can take away from Get a Life, Alright that you would like to share with its audience.

Get a Life, Alright has taught me the importance of speaking your truth, standing up for yourself and most importantly, effective communication. Nick and Tessa are fearless and ambitious for making their dreams a reality, but inadvertently experience downfalls in their journeys as a result of miscommunication that could have been prevented. However, it is their courage that prevails, and taking action for what they believe in.

3. Why do you want to be an actor?

What a question! Acting is so rewarding. For me it’s the best way of exploring the human condition, of learning about what we are capable of and how differently we all see the world. But to be able to tell important stories, or inspire someone to think differently about something, I think that’s really powerful. Not to mention the collaboration of talent involved in making a film or a series, is always just magical. 

4. What do you like best about acting?

Film and Stage have many similarities, but for me are worlds apart in terms of the experience of acting. I love both, for different reasons. On stage, there is only one take, one audience, one moment. Being able to move freely about the stage, feel the audience’s presence and get lost in performance is incredible. Film is much more controlled; many takes, many audiences (love your work, crew) and many repeated moments. But the way it can be edited and manipulated to look a certain way, and the fun you have on set is just as delightful!

5. What do you do for time out when not working / acting?

I love anything creative; drawing, dancing, singing, even testing my baking and cooking skills. At the moment though, I’m really enjoying learning Adobe suite and exploring digital design.

6. If someone was to make a movie about you, who would you want to play you and why?

Johnny Depp, for obvious reasons.

7. Who is your favourite actor/ actress & why?

I have so many! No bias whatsoever, I love Cate Blanchett and Toni Collette, their performances and range of character always leave me in awe. Paul Rudd is also always so much fun to watch.

8. What is your favourite film of all time and why?

Probably Edward Scissorhands, because I could watch it a million times and it would never get old. It is so nostalgic, and just an all round classic.

9. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

I see myself very well travelled, with a potential fur baby and most of all, happy and thriving in whatever I choose to do.

10. Who would you like to meet (famous or non famous) and why?

William Shakespeare. He was really onto something, I’d very much like to pick his brain.

Satish Kala as Nick Singh (photo by Rose May Photography)

1)   Tell us a little bit about the character you play in Get A Life, Alright & are you very similar to the character you play?

Nick is a happy go lucky guy, who always sees the good in people. He has an ambition to become an actor, but with responsibilities to his family and lack of opportunities, he’s hustling for a break. 

I see myself in quite similar shoes to Nick due to similar priorities and family oriented  characteristics.  

2)   What is the best thing you’ve learnt or can take away from Get a Life, Alright that you would like to share with its audience.

The best thing I can take away from Get a life, Alright is the bond that the family shares. Regardless of the ups and downs in the characters life, they have always been there for each other. 

3)   Why do you want to be an actor?

I fell in love with acting by chance. I had never thought about being an actor. From an ancient history lesson, which turned out to be a stage performance, I felt connected to the stage and the character. 

Being an actor and playing different roles, keeps me excited and wanting to continue learning and developing as an actor.  

4)   What do you like best about acting?

Acting can really be therapeutical. It brings out a lot of behavioural characteristics, that you don’t really get to experience or be exposed to. While playing different characters/professions, you do gain a better understanding of where the character is coming from and how his life has been impacted by the story. I would love to play historical/medieval characters that brings out aura of the past and to relive it on the screen.

In terms of preference, I would definitely prefer screen (film/Tv) as it can reach masses,however I did start of in Theatre (stage) and have loved all aspect of the production. 

5)   What do you do for time out when not working / acting?

I spend a lot of time with my nephew and niece. I love seeing the world from children’s eyes and they thoroughly keep me entertained.

6)   If someone was to make a movie about you, who would you want to play you and why?

I don’t know, it’s too early to say. Maybe some actors from Bollywood. 

7)   Who is your favourite actor/ actress & why?

Tom Hanks. His perfection to different characters sets him apart and I love the way, he can create emotions within himself (perfect example- Cast away)

8)   What is your favourite film of all time and why?

I watch a lot of action movies. My recent favourites would be Marvel “Avengers End game”. 

9)   Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Hopefully Acting 

10) Who would you like to meet (famous or non famous) and why?

I would like meet Dalai Lama and find out about his journey as a spiritual leader in present times.

Aileen Huynh as Sarah Chen (photo by Stephen Wong Photography)

1)   Tell us a little bit about the character you play in Get A Life, Alright & are you very similar to the character you play?

I play Sarah Chen. Sarah is caring, forthright, full of positive and a little zany. I’d like to think I’m a little like her…or working towards being more like her 

2)   What is the best thing you’ve learnt or can take away from Get a Life, Alright that you would like to share with its audience.

That family and the right friends will always have your back – and when you’re feeling down, you can count on them to help pull you through.

3)   Why do you want to be an actor?

For me, It’s been the most authentic act of self-expression.

4)   What do you like best about acting?

I love screen – the medium is something I really connect with when I watch it. It is also an amazing process to be on set and see how vital every single department is.

5)   What do you do for time out when not working / acting?

Gardening, working on my youtube channel – Mad Doctor (Neighbourhood Urology)

6)   If someone was to make a movie about you, who would you want to play you and why?

Good question. I have NO idea! Never thought about it, and I think I would have to ponder over that one for a long while!

7)   Who is your favourite actor/ actress & why?

I don’t have a particular favourite. There is a general appreciation of many

8)   What is your favourite film of all time and why?

Anne of Green Gables – sappy AF and is somewhat a guilty pleasure, but can watch a re-run ANY time and be hooked.

9)   Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Still making, still creating – in some form or other.

10) Who would you like to meet (famous or non famous) and why?

Harry Baker, who created Chiffon Cake, because there would be a large chance that there would be cake at the meet-up.

Leading actress, Abril Tonay says, “People should see Get a Life, Alright because it has everything people want in a romantic drama.  It has the added bonus of a few musical numbers that will stay in your head for days. It’s the first Australian Indie film of its kind, led by an incredible team of talented women.”

“Get A Life Alright is a quirky, fun time that has everything from song, dance and some delicious lamb chops! But most importantly it celebrates love, family and strength in the face of adversity. It’s a film that brings the joy and warms the heart,” says actress Aileen Huynh.


Dendy ticket link

Wallis cinemas ticket link 

The Casting Game (feature film) by Joy Hopwood

The Casting Game is an ensemble piece that highlights the journeys of a group of unconventional actors trying to make it big in Sydney, an Asian-Australian family trying to make a visiting relative feel at home with Might- T- mite and meat pies, and a seemingly ill-fated love.

Gary is a 35-year-old brick layer who has had no luck in love. On a night out with his high school mates – Lynn, Indigo, and Luke – he ends up in a bet to see if he can land a date with the next woman he sees. Along comes Sarah, a beautiful radio producer who is in a wheelchair.


In a Love Actually meets Muriel’s Wedding in a modern day twist, this film explores what it means to find happiness and joy in a diverse, dynamic world, in a beautifully fun and meaningful way.

An Aussie story full of heart and triumph amongst a diverse group of friends, The Casting Game is a relatable story that tugs at our heartstrings while making us laugh. It reminds us that we can find belonging in unexpected places.


Writer / producer, Joy Hopwood, wrote the screenplay just under two weeks after watching a film last September in 2016 and was inspired to write something just as good with diversity at the forefront!

“In our current modern society, I feel that it’s driven by ego, self importance and over evaluation, this film takes us on a journey and reminds us, in a subtle way, what it’s like to step in other people’s shoes from all walks of life and to be mindful of others. I feel that’s what our society is missing – mindfulness and humility. My aim is to entertain people yet bringing that sense of community back into our society, which I feel is desperately missing,” says Joy.



Leading lady, Stacey Copas says, “when Joy asked me to act in her film at our first meeting together I couldn’t believe what an amazing an opportunity it was and I pretty much jumped at the opportunity right away! I’m passionate about everyone getting an equal opportunity and I’m so inspired by Joy and the whole team who have poured blood, sweat and tears into getting the project off the ground. Our camaraderie and joint purpose on set can definitely been seen in the final edit. I’m really proud of the Casting Game; its beautifully told story which everyone will be able to relate to.”


Supporting actress Erica Long says, “During my script read, I found that with every page I turned, I became more and more immersed in the characters’ lives. The characters are all so different (in terms of their personality, ethnicity and personal background) and I loved reading about how they interacted with each other – it’s not everyday that you read a script, which reflects our multicultural society. There’s also so much warmth and hilarity in the script – I knew instantly that I wanted to be a part of the transformation from paper to screen. Pearl Tan (director) and Joy Hopwood (producer, writer and actor) are champions of diversity in this country and you really see this come across in The Casting Game. Joy specifically incorporated into her script a group of friends from different ethnic backgrounds, an intelligent and beautiful woman with a mobility disability, 2 Australian-Chinese sisters (who are more Aussie than Chinese!) and their long lost sister from China. It’s quite a feat! The different characters’ backgrounds of course contribute to the story but the characters are not reduced to a stereotype (e.g. your Asian nerd). During rehearsals we created each character’s own backstory and Joy was happy to make our suggested script changes to ensure that we were each happy with the complexity of our characters. When you watch the film, you will see that Joy has weaved a series of funny and nuanced stories together into a coherent whole and, simply put, you will forget about “diversity” as such – the end result of Joy’s hard work is that you just focus on how the characters interact with each other.”


When asked, “Why did you want to act in The Casting Game?” Supporting actor Nicholas Brown says, “I’ve been a fan of Joy Hopwood and Pearl Tan for a long time. I met Joy several years ago when we both made speeches for the Asian Alliance for parliament We both found a synergy because of our experiences as non Caucasian actors in Australia. Pearl and I have written and worked together for several years. I’m inspired by both of these amazing women, their advocacy and their creativity. Besides fluffing I’d do anything on film for them! Plus it’s rare to see a cast so diverse in Aussie cinema. The fact that there’s no major reference to anyone’s ethnicity is refreshing. The cast are all Australian who just happen to be from diverse backgrounds. My character is a brickie! I love that. The actors have been cast against type and this is exciting and rare.”

The Casting Game, written & produced by Joy Hopwood (Joy House Productions) and produced by Priya Roy (Vissi D’Arte Films) and directed by Pearl Tan (Pearly Productions) premieres at the annual Joy House Film Festival September 10th, 2017. 4.30pm at Hoyts




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