She’s an actress in front of the camera, a makeup artist behind the camera. Bunny Stewart is a prime example of talent from California’s capitol city. Although born and raised in the Midwest, Bunny now calls Sacramento home and she has the look and vivaciousness of the proverbial “California girl,” with a real sense of adventure and who makes the most out of her experiences.
Besides making her mark as an actress, with roles in such films as Vert Wright’s Predatory Lender, and Blaine Santos’ Abduction of Jean, Bunny’s modeling resume includes such highlights as her being a 2019 Maxim magazine cover girl semi-finalist. She’s also had the privilege of dancing with the Sacramento Kings’ official dance team, the Royal Court Dancers earlier this year in Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center. Read on to lean more on this amazing lady.
BUNNY STEWART: Thank you so much for giving me this honor! I was actually born and raised in Michigan. I love the natural beauty of the freshwater beaches there, and I visit my family as much as possible. I moved to Chicago after that, then Sacramento. The weather is hot, but it’s so nice to be able to go outside and not freeze to death!
CHRIS: I understand you performed at the Sacramento Kings halftime show earlier this year with the Sacramento Kings’ Royal Court Dancers?
BUNNY: Yes, it was incredible dancing with the Kings Dancers! I was on a dance team and love group choreography. Also, it was really fortunate, since this year they are changing directions regarding the Royal Court Dancers; now they will be comprised of a team of half men, half women, with an emphasis on acrobatics and a brand new name. I’m sad about it because the dancers were so motivational and sweet, but also excited to see what the new team brings.
CHRIS: Besides being a dancer, you’re also an actress and have quite a modeling portfolio. I assume modeling came before acting?
BUNNY: Thank you so much. Acting actually came before modeling, and is my first love. I started in theater and now specialize in film, but I enjoy modeling so much! A lot of times the photographers I work with wind up being really good friends, so scheduling a shoot is like getting to catch up and hang out with friends!
CHRIS: What have been some of your favorite photo shoot locations?
BUNNY: Some of my favorite locations are waterfalls or beaches.
BUNNY: I don’t do nude modeling, but I do still get asked to (laughs)! I don’t mind implied nudity if it’s artful, but I have put my conservative family through enough! (laughs) I’m afraid they would just be mortified.
CHRIS: You also have quite a few credits as a makeup artist.
BUNNY: Yes! I’m a professional makeup artist, and it is so fulfilling! Being able to help each person look their best and most confident on camera gives me joy and a real feeling of satisfaction. Some people may think makeup is kind of superficial, but it goes a lot deeper than that. There is a lot of psychology when you get physically close to people. There is a trust on their part, and I honor that trust by trying to find out how they can go in front of the camera and just feel like their most lovely and confident self. I started applying makeup professionally about 12 years ago, and actually was originally hired as a makeup artist on the film Predatory Lender before they suggested I audition for a role in it! I love doing FX makeup, too, like bullet wounds, slit throats, aging makeup, even adding facial hair and pimples a couple of times! (laughs) Hey, the script called for it!! It’s really fun to help an actor become the role they are playing, physically.
CHRIS: On to your acting. Was playing Julie Bellows in Predatory Lender your first film role?
CHRIS: Which film would you say was the most fun to shoot?
BUNNY: The most fun film to shoot? That’s so hard to say. Every single role is my favorite, especially if I get to do something I’ve never done before, like learn a new accent or something physically demanding. One role I took required me to learn ballroom dancing, so I got to spend two months learning how to!!
CHRIS: How about the most difficult role?
BUNNY: Sometimes the most difficult or challenging role is also the most fun. Traffik, directed by Deon Taylor, a Sacramento native whose talent rocketed him into recognition everywhere, was a difficult one. We shot it in the middle of the night in underground mines in Placer County, I was in lingerie and it was freezing!! But we all bonded like sisters! (laughs) Those kind of adventures can’t be bought!
CHRIS: What have been some or your most rewarding film roles?
CHRIS: Is there anyone in indie films, on either side of the camera, you would really like to work with?
BUNNY: Ooh! I would love to work with Timothy Busfield, and Shia LeBoef. They both wrote award-winning movies and have roots here in Sacramento!
CHRIS: What would you say has been your most physically challenging role so far?
BUNNY: My most physically challenging role had more to do with my personal life. While shooting Under The Palm Tree directed by BCM Films. Wonderful role, excellent cast and crew ….and I hadn’t shared that I was pregnant yet. It was early pregnancy. I wound up finding out that it wasn’t a viable pregnancy the same day I was shooting a scene where I drown. So I was still feeling pregnant and mourning the loss of the baby when we shot it, but there are like a million people counting on you to show up and do your job, so calling in and taking time off is never an option. I think things like that can make a very strong person.
CHRIS: Wow. That certainly shows inner strength and epitomizes the phase “the show must go on.” Shifting gears here; do you stick to a strict diet and workout routine to stay in such good shape?
CHRIS: Well it sure shows. So with that, I’ll thank you again for doing this with me Bunny. In closing, any shout-outs to anyone?
BUNNY: Lastly, I would like to give a big shout-out to my friends and family. My husband, who puts up with my crazy hours and weird roles; my core family, who are so incredibly essential to the joy in my life; and my friends, who have stuck by me through everything. Thanks to my friends and family, I am a 2019 Maxim semi-finalist! Shout-out to everybody who has crossed paths on this journey, sometimes what they think might be the smallest gesture turns out to be a cherished memory in my life. And an ABSOLUTELY HUUUGE THANK YOU to you, Chris. I am so sorry it took me so long to get this to you. I appreciate this chance, and I know I’m a very very lucky girl to have gotten this opportunity!!
November 2018 interview Bunny did with Courtney Dempsey
for channel CW31’s Good Day Sacramento