Cleopatra Coleman Revisits ‘Step Up Revolution’ & Working with Mia Goth

Mar 5, 2023

Cleopatra Coleman’s already accomplished quite a bit in film and television, but 2023 is looking to be an especially big year for the soaring star.

First she starred opposite Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgård in Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool, a film about a couple who learn about an especially twisted law in the fictional seaside country of Li Tolqa. After being sentenced to death for hitting and killing a local man while driving back to their resort, Skarsgård’s James learns there’s a way out — but only for the wealthy. For a hefty price, James can pay to be cloned and have that duplicate executed in his place.
Soon after Infinity Pool arrived on January 27th, A Lot of Nothing made its way into theaters. In that one, Coleman stars opposite Y’lan Noel as Vanessa and James, a couple who opt to take matters into their own hands when they find out their neighbor is the LAPD officer responsible for the latest instance of an officer killing an unarmed victim.

Next up on Coleman’s 2023 schedule? Zack Snyder’s new movie — the highly anticipated epic space opera Rebel Moon due out on Netflix on December 22nd.

Image via Zack Snyder

In celebration of a year packed with highly unique films, stellar collaborators, and loads of significant promise for the future, Coleman joined me for a Collider Ladies Night interview to explain how she went from making short films with her father to working with renowned forces in Hollywood like Snyder, Cronenberg, Goth, Noel, Kaitlyn Dever, and many more.

“I started off as a dancer. I thought I was gonna be a ballet dancer. That was my whole thing. From age four, I was doing ballet. Actually, I went to a class with a friend and then I declared to my parents at age four that I was going to keep going to classes. And I was always the most theatrical one. And then when I was seven, my dad made a short film and I was in that. I played an alien. And then I just decided one day that I wanted to be an actor. I made a list of some shows that I wanted to be on and I knew they were filming in Melbourne, and I convinced my parents to move across the country to Melbourne, and within a year, I was on one of those shows, which is crazy.”

Coleman did score a dream gig soon after moving to Melbourne, but that doesn’t mean opportunities came easy. If she wanted roles, she’d have to convince the powers that be that she was the best fit, even if she wasn’t what they had in mind originally.

“I was like 13 or 14 then and, yeah, just got an agent, and then just went out on as many auditions as I could, and just didn’t really say no to anything. I think, especially in Australia, it wasn’t very diverse so I had to work really hard to convince people. People never really had me in mind, per se, for anything they were writing, and I had to win them over. And I look back at that now and I think, well, that was really awesome because it was kind of like a boot camp in a way. I had to be undeniable. I had to like, have it.”

Image via Summit Entertainment

Coleman ultimately brought that talent, passion, and determination to Hollywood where she scored the role of Penelope in Step Up Revolution, the fourth film in the popular dance movie franchise. She explained, “I got to go to Miami for a couple of months and live in a hotel and film this really fun dance movie and play a DJ, and then learned how to DJ based off that and made friends, and my dad visited. It was great.”

While that didn’t necessarily feel like a “breakout performance” to Coleman, it did give her confidence in her chances of building a career as a working actor in Hollywood. She continued:

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a breakout performance, but it was that moment that you described, of like, okay, I think maybe I can be okay here. I can make money. I can stay here. I can continue my visa, blah, blah, blah. I don’t know if Last Man on Earth is a breakout. Although, again, that went on for four years and I was like, okay, I’m a working actor in LA. That’s happening for me. But I would feel like it’s even more recent. I would say it would be A Lot of Nothing, this film that just came out, because to me, it’s a character I’ve been wanting to play for 20 years. I’ve been acting 20 years. And I’d been waiting for something like that, and that just came out. So it’s funny. The perspective probably isn’t like that at all, but for me, that’s how it feels.”

Image via RLJE Films

Coleman also credits Mo McRae’s A Lot of Nothing with helping her put her personal storytelling and filmmaking goals into perspective. She explained:

“The character I was playing, she’s quite unhinged, and that’s something that I’m really enjoying now, and something that I think — although, I like to have variety. I like to play all different kinds of characters. Like Em in Infinity Pool is very buttoned up and that was a totally different energy. And then A Lot of Nothing, Vanessa is incredibly complex and can be very volatile, and vulnerable and all of these different colors. And then a character I just played, V. Stiviano on [The] Sterling [Affairs], similar thing where there’s just a lot there. That’s something that I want to get more involved with, these sort of deeply flawed, maybe sometimes unlikable female characters. I think they’re important and I think we’ve had a lot of male characters like that, that you might not always like them, but you love them and you’re rooting for them. That’s the place that I want to play in.”

Image via Hulu

While discussing standout scene partners, Coleman brought us back to the Emmy-winning Hulu limited series, Dopesick. The show covers what happened when the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma triggered the worst drug epidemic in American history, an epidemic that claimed the life of Kaitlyn Dever’s Betsy. When asked for a co-star Coleman felt especially in sync with, she immediately pinpointed the past Collider Ladies Night guest:

“I would say on Dopesick Kaitlyn Dever and I, you know, we’re playing lovers and I don’t know if it was because she’s a woman or just specifically her, but we got into sync really easily. And, you know, it’s always like this, of course the love scene is the first day of shooting, so that’s really daunting and our love scene had a lot of dialogue before and crying and things like that. That was a pretty intense scene to start with, and we just kind of got right in there and there was not a moment that I felt she left me, you know?”

Sticking with past Ladies Night guests, Coleman also took a moment to explain what it was like watching Mia Goth take what was on the page and bring the character of Gabi to life in Infinity Pool in a way that only she could.

“She’s very, very intense and very captivating. And, I mean, Gabi as a character is written that way. But she, as an actor, it’s so interesting. She talks with this really soft voice, but she has this guttural thing that she can bring out that is very special and very dynamic. And as an actor, it was oftentimes a challenge to just stay in it because she’s one of those actors that you get lost watching her performance, especially with a character like that.”

Eager to hear even more from Coleman on Last Man on Earth, Rebel Moon, and then some? You can find just that in the uncut version of our conversation in podcast form below:

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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