Former East-Coaster Brianna LeBlanc is now a Portland, Oregon-based actress, who says she got bitten by the acting bug while she was working as a extra on Jeremy Saulnier’s 2015 thriller, Green Room. Since then, Brianna has gone on to play some colorful characters in indie films, such as a bored stripper in the short, Age of the A**Hole, to the psychopathic vigilante “Sprout” in Timothy Tick’s 2016 crime thriller, Carnivorous Love.
Also a licensed professional hairstylist, Brianna has applied her skills behind the camera on several film projects as well as for Portland area bands. Those wishing to see Brianna’s work along those lines can check out the Chameleon Salon’s website at the end of this interview, where those who have worked with Brianna may very well also see their names in the shout-outs. Above photo by Barbi Touron. Makeup by Eve White.
BRIANNA: Lifestyle, I am weird! There are talented artists in New Hampshire, but there are way more opportunities for work on the West Coast. Artists move here to Portland, so we have this beautiful “Land of Misfit Toys” collaboration going on. Also, I like the weather.
CHRIS: Is there anything you miss about the East Coast that you just can’t get out here?
BRIANNA: A “no” without an apology!
CHRIS: We have a mutual friend in Lien Mya Nguyen. How did you two first meet?
BRIANNA: My first lead role in the feature film, Carnivorous Love by Timothy Nennig. We were done pre-production and like two weeks prior to shooting, we didn’t have the lead role “Nugget” cast yet. Nugget is basically a crazy cartoon cannibal and we referred Lien Mya and she nailed it without fear. It was serendipitous! She was so professional and so fun. Playful and wise. I am so grateful to have met her.
CHRIS: You’re fairly illustrated. I assume there’s a lot of meaning behind your tattoos. The one that I’d most like to know about is the wolf on your chest.
CHRIS: What was your very first tattoo?
BRIANNA: A pair of swallows on my hips, circa 2005
CHRIS: You’re a hair stylist by trade. I assume a good percentage of your clientele is in the entertainment industry?
BRIANNA: I mean, I upkeep the people I meet, but everyone in the industry keeps their looks the same! Gotta look like your head shot! So, I have this separate life of learning about my core clienteles’ own passions and updating then on my movie making adventures!
CHRIS: What hair color currently seems to be the most popular with your clients?
BRIANNA: What’s really popular now is a technique I love called “balayage.” It’s hand painting highlights on the person’s hair. It’s customized and low maintenance. Also mermaid/unicorn hair. Rainbow hair melt basically!
CHRIS: How did you get started acting?
BRIANNA: I was pregnant and needed extra income so I was an extra on Green Room with Patrick Stewart and that was my first time on set. I watched the hair and makeup, I checked out the wardrobe, but when the actors were acting It was like “I want to do THAT.” So, I started auditioning as an actor and have been doing it ever since.
CHRIS: What was your very first film role?
CHRIS: Tell me about your role in Carnivorous Love.
BRIANNA: Sprout is a psychopathic vigilante who manipulates people to support her personal agenda. I love playing a villain. It was hilarious though, I would meet people that had seen me as Sprout and they told me I was actually very nice! Um, yeah, it’s called acting!
CHRIS: I see you’re in the Veil Anthology TV Series as Alia Alendean. Going by some of the other names in the cast, I assume it’s going to be shot in or around the Portland area?
BRIANNA: Leonel Ortega-Valdez is based in Salem, but does work in Portland and with Portland talent. I enjoy being in part of his third monster animations and adventure tales. I am a video game character! So cool!!
CHRIS: I understand you’ve also had some behind-the-scenes experience on films?
BRIANNA: No budget/micro budget indie films are fun because there are so few of you and you all wear so many hats. So what I am best at is styling and art direction, so I will always use indie opportunities to gain experience for my other passions.
BRIANNA: YES. Okay …Melissa Crosland. I was doing a photo shoot with Dan Baram, he met me on a previous shoot and enjoyed my commitment to the character. He told me about Melissa and that she equally “goes there.” I still haven’t met her in person yet, only social media, but she puts out some stunning work. As do all of these ladies mentioned: Marissa Merrill is super sweet and interesting. When I met her she was a creative breath of fresh air. I would love to actually do a scene with Hayley Stavenger and not just be in the same film as her (laughs). Same with Jaquelynne Faith Bernstein! And a short and hilarious character actor scene with Alison Wiesner.
CHRIS: How about directors?
BRIANNA: Andy Mingo, I know you are doing a Chuck Palanuik “Lullaby” adaptation as well as an adaptation of your wife Lidia Yuknavitch’s amazing The Chronology of Water, so please let the universe help you find me and be intrigued, thank you. Jason Rosenblatt, Jeff Scott Taylor, and Donna Lambert; you have all helped me out in this industry I am forever grateful. Also, I want to be a main character in your films. Thank you.
CHRIS: Would you like to share anything here that only those close to you would know about?
CHRIS: What upcoming projects do you have for the near future?
BRIANNA: Currently on the books this Spring; I am playing Lola, a feral human girl raised by fae in the series Cascadia Mythos, I am playing Jovie, a vagabond thief in the series Here and Now, and I am modeling for photographers and the local line “This is Clothing” by Rosalee Rester.
CHRIS: With that, I’ll thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Brianna. In closing, any shout-outs to anyone?
BRIANNA: Tricia, Mom and Dad, Katherine, Karley, Malora, Shayna, Mackenzie, Kate, Chameleon Salon (ChameleonNW.com), Barbi Tourin (UrbanLaceJewelry.com), Reba Sparrow (MysteryBoxShow.com), Rosalee Rester (NonesuchClothing.com), Stina Mansell, Face to Face Esthetics Lake Oswego, OR, Melissa Robin (MelissaRobinPhoto.com), Todd Siechen (SiechenPhoto.com), Jason Reynolds, Dana Shea, Billy Burgess, Sara Pittock, Lola Beau, Ashley Mellinger, Montetre, Warren P. Abbott, David, Ivy, Tim, Chelsea, Carol, Kathy, and Donna.
Brianna’s most recent demo reel