At an age when most of her peers are navigating the tumultuous teenage landscape, Isabella Blake-Thomas is starring in her latest film, 'Kepler's Dream', based on the young adult book by Juliet Bell. It's a wonderful family film playing at this years Mill Valley Film Festival. Don't miss 'Kepler's Dream' at the Lark Theatre on October 7, 6:30pm, October 13, 3pm, or Sequoia Theater October 15 11am.
Describe this movie and your role in it.
Ella is an eleven year old girl whose mom is fighting a fierce battle against leukemia after her parents have divorced. That summer becomes very tough for her to be able to deal with both tragedies so she's sent away that summer to live with her grandma for a few months where she doesn't have any friends and she's stuck in the middle of New Mexico. Her grandmother gives her a tour of her house and when they get to the library she shows her her prized possession, a priceless book called "Kepler's Dream". Only 11 copies in the world were ever made and she has one of them. My character loves this book because she loves astronomy and feels like she can relate to Kepler. The book ends up being stolen and the climax is about Ella trying to find the book which parallels her journey and the acceptance of everything that's been happening in her life.
Your character in 'Kepler's Dream' is really relatable. A lot of kids experience pressures, challenges, and occasional triumph of being a teenager in today’s world. Does the character reflect your own experience?
I'm fortunate that I haven't had a family member with cancer to cause me to feel that kind of pain but my parents have recently divorced. That feeling of sadness helped me relate to the feelings my character felt. I had many friends go through similar feeling as I did when their parents divorced or a family member passed away. But one incredible thing about acting, you don't necessarily have to feel the same emotion the character is feeling, you just have to convey however you imagine it to come across on screen.
Of all the people in the world, why was the story of Kepler chosen for the film?
The premise of the story is about Kepler and his dream. He had this vision or idea of his mother on the moon and there were these demons constantly trying to stop him from saving her. This is identical to Ella's story. She has to fight the demons and save her mom. The demons in the journey are not only with her dad but people not believing her because she's just a child. The only way to save her mom is to defeat these demons by finding the book.
Who first inspired you to take up acting?
I started acting when I was 4. It's actually a story that I’ve heard from my mom because I don't really remember back that far. My mom taught drama and I would go to all her drama classes when I was 2-3 years old and watch her students. As I got a bit older, I performed with them. I love to play pretend and got to do it for as long as I wanted, it's the greatest thing ever.
Then when I was four, I went for an open audition for a TV show in England. I thought, ok, lets try it but there was about 800 kids there and 4 year old me. At that age, I acted very natural and they picked me and everything just dominoed from there.
Besides acting, what else do you like doing?
I love, love, love anything to do with acting and singing but I'm also learning to fly a Cessna, I love aerial arts such as trapeze and hoops, I play guitar and ukulele, and I'm learning piano. I enjoy golf, tennis, horse ride, I'm fluent in French and learning Spanish, I love to write and I'm a professional traveller. Also, one of my screenplays won a platinum award at the Houston International Film Festival and the Action On Film International Film Festival in Monrovia.
How wonderful! What is it about?
It's a horror for kids and we're actually producing it at the end of this year. It's called 'Shadows' which is a series I created called 'The League of Legend Keepers'. I'm going to act in that too.
I hear that you are making an appearance at the Mill Valley Film Festival. That’s exciting.
It’ll be lots of fun. My mom and I are driving from Los Angeles because we love road trips. We’ve driven across the Untied States from California to New York. I've been through 45 of the 50 states and over 3000 miles.
Do you have anything else coming out?
Yes, a movie called, "Pretty Outrageous" about a girl band trying to make it into a competition but lots of obstacles in their way. And I was in Once Upon A Time at the beginning of the year.
Kepler's Dream is a beautifully written adventure of an imperfect family and forgiveness. Don't miss your chance to see rising talent, Isabella Blake-Thomas, at one of the three screenings of 'Kepler's Dream' playing at the 2016 Mill Valley Film Festival.
ABOUT THE MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL
For nearly four decades, the world-renowned Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) has maintained its position as a vital showcase of the global film community, attracting iconic red-carpet talent, burgeoning filmmakers, passionate audiences, and astutely curated premieres. An in-demand destination for film lovers, drawn by unmatched locale and a diverse program of mainstream studio features and new visions from independent voices from around the world, MVFF also hosts an exciting array of filmmaker and industry conversations, panels, parties, and live music Find out more on their website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.