By Louise Walsh
A young Meath actress who has just landed a starring role in a new film alongside veteran Hollywood actor Kevin Pollak, realises just how lucky she has been in competing for parts against up to 7,000 other hopefuls.
Hannah Rose May landed a movie role with Wesley Snipes in only her third audition when she arrived in Los Angeles two years ago, and she has been sharing the lens with names such as ‘The Rock’ and Ryan Phillippe ever since.
The 25-year-old stunner who was on a short trip home to Navan last week, also admits she was left devastated by the death of former Fair City actor Alan O’Neill – a family friend who took her under his wing when she first took on Hollywood.
In the last few years, she has learned not to kick herself over a part that she missed but to realise just how much she has on her CV in just a short time since she decided to switch from modelling to acting.
“Acting has always been the dream. There was just way more modelling opportunities than acting. So I modelled for years, saved and decided to take the risk and move to LA so I could start auditioning full time as an actress.
” I was lucky enough to find terrific management straight away,” she said.
“A total of 780 girls auditioned for my role in the Sci-Fi movie, The Recall. And it was my third-ever audition. I got really lucky
“The Recall, which was originally aimed at the DVD market but was so popular, it was released to cinema in the US and Canada
“When I landed in LA, what I didn’t realize was it’s actually very difficult to even get an audition!
“For every part in the 18 to 25-year-old bracket, there’s between 5,000 and 7,000 who apply and maybe only 70 who of those who actually get to audition.”
She admits that her profile was raised due to starring with Wesley Snipes in The Recall, which made it easier to get bigger audition opportunities.
“I’ve been offered some really good roles but it’s important to try and pick roles that will challenge you. I can’t be too picky though because you never know when the next offer will come,” she said.
“A role could be looking really positive, in that producers might fly from New York to LA to see you and then they decide to take a totally different direction with the profile of who they are looking for.
“You can never kick yourself when that happens, it’s just one of those things in this business.”
In the last number of months, she has played air-hostess Hannah in the hit comedy-drama ‘Ballers’ and laughs when she remembers being unnerved by star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnston.
Always when I’m playing an American my (very Irish) fam bombard me with calls. Only time I’ll ever decline a call from my mam to then get a text “oh! Forgot you’re on set! Call I’ll put on my american accent too!” Which is just my mam saying “Like OMG” and “Totally awesome!” 😅 pic.twitter.com/82ysSvFsAn
— Hannah Rose May (@Hannahrosemay_) June 22, 2018
“It was my first-ever line on a TV show and it was live with The Rock. I’m standing on the plane, so nervous and he gets on and says: “Don’t f**k up” and walks off seconds before my lines.
“I died. He was joking of course and laughed when he heard I took it seriously. Afterwards, he mentioned me in a lovely tweet, which I geeked out over.”
She has also just wrapped up the film Judy Small as well as a role on the series ‘Shooter’ with Ryan Phillippe where she plays a recruit called Driscoll.
‘That’s the Way the Future Was’, in which she stars with Kevin Polak is also being targeted at the film festivals next year, including Cannes and Sundance.
Hannah Rose is also hoping to land a role in an Irish film as an excuse to come home.
“I’d love to film at home! I’ve always wanted a good gritty Irish role.
“I love LA because it’s been the best move for my career but I miss my family and friends and nothing quite compares to home.
“I know that I’m doing really well and I’m getting closer to that “life-changing role” but I also appreciate what I have and the friends who have helped me get here. I still jump for joy with every part I book and always shed happy tears.”