Exclusive Interview: Briana Roy talks about her projects, role as an influencer, and her thoughts on representation

They say, “dreams don’t work unless you do”. Briana Roy has come a long way since she embarked on her journey. Her impressive resume bears testimony to her art. Delivering her roles with both skill and grace, Briana Roy breathes a new life into every character she adorns for her artistic endeavors.

With an audience of 1.4 million followers on social media, she has managed to showcase her talent and carve out a niche for herself as an actor and a model. Known for her role as young Nina in the thriller RECLAIM, Briana showed off her acting skills alongside co-stars John Cusack, Ryan Phillippe, Rachelle Lefevre Jacki Weaver & Luis Guzman. She has also featured as a lead girl on Usher and Yuna’s music video “Crush”.

Now, we will see her alongside iconic Raven in ABC Family TV series “Recovery Road”. In addition to being an actor, Roy is also a professional model. She has been featured in commercials and has been a part of the runway at LA Fashion Week. Featured on Vogue Magazine, Briana Roy is trying to live the best of both worlds. Beyond the frame of fame, Roy is an advocate of representation, who has been using her voice to spread positivity amongst people. Addressing several issues, ranging from the debate around body positivity to cultural appreciation, Roy uses her platform to inform and help her followers.

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CelebMix got a chance to talk to her about her journey and her projects. Check out the interview below:

Can you please tell our readers about your journey as an actor and a model?

I started modeling in my hometown Miami at the age of seven doing print ads for companies such as Advis Budget, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Old Navy, Target and many more. 

Then I transitioned into the acting industry when I landed my first lead role as “Nina” in the movie RECLAIM which I play alongside veteran actors including John Cusack, Ryan Phillippe, Rachelle Lefevre, Luis Guzmán & Two Time Oscar Nominee Jacki Weaver. The film was distributed by Lionsgate and then got picked up by Netflix.

As I’m growing and working in the acting industry, I joined the Union: SAG (Screen Actors Guild) / member of the Union for the entertainers. In the meantime, I still do modeling such as runways, print ads and yes this has been a beautiful journey for me so far. 

What triggered your interest in the creative field and what part of the creative process do you enjoy the most?

I want to be an inspiration to others, someone they can look up to. I like the fact that I get to portray different characters with different backgrounds that can relate to a lot of different people and that the audience can enjoy!

As an actor, what vision do you hold towards your art?

As an actor I vision myself doing a little bit of everything such as Drama, Comedy, Horror and also, I would love to have my own show and continue to work alongside veteran actors whom I can get more experience and tips from. 

Who do you look up to for inspiration?

I would say for inspiration I look up to so many amazing people in the entertainment industry: Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Denzel Washington, Emily Blunt and many more. 

In your journey as an actor and a model, what has been the best piece of advice/significant lesson that you might have received?

I’m very grateful for all the opportunities that have been given to me so far but out of all the advice and tips I received from all the amazing veteran actors I have worked with it has the be “The best way to play a character is to play an exaggeration of yourself”. I received this piece of advice from the great John Cusack himself while we were filming. 

There has always been an apprehension amongst people towards modeling. We have seen your interviews wherein you have explained how you use the platform for representation and positivity. Can you please elaborate a bit on it?

Whenever I’m being interviewed I like to explain that not only I use my social media to spread my content and my brand but I like to use that as a platform where I can spread positivity across my platform to other people. I constantly receive messages from people asking me for advice whether it’s about natural hair, how to pursue your dreams, individuality, confidence and so much more. I always like to take my time and talk to my fans and my audience about whatever was asked. I also like to talk about expressing yourself through your culture because I am a Proud afro carrier and I always like to give advice on wearing your natural hair and just owning it! 

How has been the experience as a model? Do you have a dream fashion show that you would like to attend/walk on in the near future?

I have always been a person who enjoys fashion. Being a part of that type of industry you meet a lot of people from photographers, designers, magazine editors, and many others. They’re so many amazing designers that I would love to have the opportunity to work with but there is one, in particular, that would be such a blessing to do which is Chanel. I love the whole imagery of Chanel because it is such simple, chic, posh & fabulous couture that I would definitely wear everything which still has that “I slay and I’m fabulous feeling”. 

The issue of representation and diversity in the mainstream industry has become quite significant. As an actor, how do you see the evolution of the industry on these aspects?

I think something that is really important is to have an example, someone who you can look up to as a role model or a public figure. I think there are some amazing black female actresses that are changing the game such as Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Regina King.

What steps can we take to encourage diversity and justified representation in the mainstream media and film industry?

I see that there is a lot of black representation on television that we can enjoy and we can all support. I think something that we can definitely encourage is to see different types of black representation from everywhere where it shows the different obstacles and how we overcome them. 

The list of projects that you have undertaken is really impressive. Which project or role has been the most memorable?

Thank you very much! I have enjoyed playing each role that has been given to me and it has been a huge blessing and I believe there more to come but one of the most memorable for me is when I worked alongside Usher in his music video (CRUSH). Meeting him and working alongside was very cool because he is such a humble and a great person.

Which role has been the most challenging?

I have to say the most challenging role for has to be the role I played which is Nina in the movie (RECLAIM), being involved in a project that had such a strong message about something that happens every day which is child trafficking. The whole purpose of the film was to reach out to the audience and tell a story about how this is something that happens daily.

Can you please tell our readers about your role as Kendra in “Elle Twelve” (The Soci Circle)?

My role as Kendra in the upcoming Web series (THE SOCI CIRCLE) was very fun for me to play in. I love working on projects that have a great message and this one has a message on what Teen & Tween girls are going through on the daily basis whether it’s bullying, shamming, negativity on social media. It’s a project where it could spread some positivity and be relatable to different people. 

“That’s So Raven” is engraved in the hearts of people born in the 20th century. How was the experience of working alongside Raven?

Raven is so funny & she is very professional. Working alongside her gave me some extra tips on how to be and stay yourself whether you are performing or with a friend on a random day. The whole experience on “Raven’s Home “ was fun and such a blessing.

Your social media feed is inspiring. How do perceive the role of social media in the 21st century?

Being involved in social media is one thing. You need to know who your audiences are and how to connect with them and stay connected in a positive way is very important. I’m not going to lie; nowadays having a huge social media presence counts a lot. Therefore, it’s up to you to really use your social media platform to spread positivity, encouragement, and motivation.

Would you like to share with your future projects or endeavors?

Uhm my future projects … yeah, I will be shooting something cool with Brat during the summer. Also, I have a web series that’s going to come out soon, it’s called “Soci Circle” in which I play the role of Kendra.

You can keep yourself updated with Kendra’s projects by following her on Instagram and Twitter.

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Written by Ayushi

Hi! I am Ayushi from India. The only thing that is consistent about me is my passion for writing and reading. Weaving words to form a story is the best thing I know and the only thing I want to do.
"Writer by nature is a dreamer, a conscious dreamer."
-Carson McCullers

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