Natalie Sharp Talks “Hit The Road”, Working With Jason Alexander, Her Inspirations And More
If a TV series about a travelling musical family touring the countryside sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the 1970s series “The Partridge Family”, but then again you might just have seen a preview for the new series called “Hit The Road”. And it’s important not to get the two mixed up, because whereas “The Partridge Family” was for families, “Hit The Road” definitely is not. The series was co-created and stars “Seinfeld” alum Jason Alexander as the patriarch of the dysfunctional family. We had a chance to discuss the new show with Canadian actress, singer and songwriter Natalie Sharp, who plays Jason’s eldest daughter Ria and lead singer of their group.
Real Style: Tell us about your role on Hit The Road. What did you do to prepare for the show?
Natalie Sharp: I love playing the role of Ria. She does what she wants, when she wants to. She is stubborn, sassy, daring, and loves to challenge her dad (Jason Alexander). She has big dreams, she just doesn’t quite know how to get there.
Prep came quite easy because I know exactly what it feels like to have a dream, and not know if it was ever going to happen. I understand how scared Ria is and how desperately she wants it. Having such a phenomenal cast was half the battle. We were a family on and off set, and the environment was so playful that our banter just naturally developed.
RS: Was there something in the script that drew you to it?
NS: I remember reading the pilot in a cute little coffee shop before going in to audition, and I found myself obnoxiously laughing throughout the entire thing. I love that this show pushes the boundaries. It is refreshing to see something so unapologetic and unfiltered. I fell in love with the incredibly dysfunctional Swallow family, and the fact that Ria was the lead singer of the band. I knew I had to be apart of it.
RS: How is it working with Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander?
NS: It has been the ultimate dream. Yes, he is an incredible actor, but he is also an incredible person. He has totally become my other dad. There were a lot of firsts on this show for me, the big one being that it is my first series regular role. He was so supportive and positive and gracious. He really took all of us under his wing and we learned so much just by watching him. He was even teaching me self defense on the side!
RS: When did you know you wanted to be an actress?
NS: I was watching the “Lizzie Mcguire” movie with my mom. There is a scene where she has to get over her stage fright and sing in front of hundreds of people. I remember watching her rock out on stage and I pointed to the screen and said “I want to do that.” I looked up to the character Lizzie Mcguire. I felt inspired, and I wanted to inspire people too.
RS: Who are some of your favourite actors or actresses that you look up to?
NS: Jennifer Lawrence is someone I really look up to, not only in acting, but also because she is not afraid to be her witty, loud, goofy self! She is not pretending to be someone she is not. I would kill to be a part of Jennifer Lawrence’s and Amy Schumer’s best friendship. They are definitely my kind of people! Jake Gyllenhall has to be one of my favourite actors right now. I got the opportunity to hear him speak at my university, and it was incredibly inspiring and enlightening. He takes on some of the most challenging roles, and shows their humanity through so many intricate layers. Even the darkest characters he plays are somehow beautiful and you cant help but fall in love with them.
RS: Do you prefer Vancouver or LA ? And why?
NS: I may look like a California girl, but I definitely belong to Vancity! My heart will always be in Vancouver. It is my home and has the perfect balance of everything for me. Having said that, there is no place like spending your college years in LA! I feel so lucky to call California my second home!
RS: How do you balance school and work?
NS: It can definitely be stressful between class, auditions, having a social life and SLEEP, but I have somehow managed to balance them all without driving myself crazy! It is a lot on my plate but I am so thankful for it. I am also very lucky to book major projects toward the end of the semester, so that I end up filming all summer. It has been weirdly perfect timing the last couple of years.
RS: What do you love the most, singing, dancing, or acting?
NS: Singing comes much more naturally to me. When I am singing, it’s blissful and freeing, but acting means more to me. It is more of a challenge; I am much more critical of myself and when I finally tap into a character, understand them, feel what they are feeling and tell their story honestly, it is the most rewarding feeling in the world.
Hit The Road premiere tonight on the Audience Network.
Photo 1: The Audience Network Photo 2: Ryan West
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