15 Minutes with TIFF Rising Star Julia Sarah Stone

Julia Sarah Stone, a rising star in Canadian film and television, talks about the joys of storytelling, social media and her new psychological thriller, Allure.

Julia Sarah Stone and Evan Rachel WoodPhoto: Courtesy of Entertainment One

In Conversation with Julia Sarah Stone

Reader’s Digest Canada: Your new film, Allurerevolves around the manipulative relationship between your character, Eva, and Laura, played by Evan Rachel Wood. What was it like working with her?

Julia Sarah Stone: Evan’s such an incredible person. It was definitely a difficult film to do emotionally, but she was so generous in how involved and connected she was with the moment. It felt safe to go to those dark places with her.

When did you decide you wanted to be an actress?

I was a very lucky kid in that I have an amazing mom, and she signed me up for every kind of class imaginable. I tried team sports for two minutes and decided I didn’t like them. I tried ballet. When I took a theatre class, I fell in love with it, and I wanted to do that one class over and over again. I couldn’t get enough of it. Then when I was 11, I started auditioning.

At the age of 20, you’ve already been in a handful of movies and television shows. Do you ever feel self-conscious being on camera? 

I can’t even look at any of the footage on set. It takes me completely out of it. I can’t be thinking about the fact that the camera is seeing something. I need to be in the headspace of the character and focus on what the character is trying to achieve, and the emotional state that they’re in, and connecting with the other actor. That’s my main focus.

You’ve grown up in the age of social media. Do you always feel the need to be tuned in?

I’m very bad at social media. It’s not something that ever came naturally to me. I’m very internal. I love the art of what I do, but the social media part I see as just something that’s part of my job. That world is all very strange to me. I don’t even have Instagram.

When you’re not working on films, you’re keeping busy as a psychology student. When did you first become interested in that field?

I’ve always been a bookworm. I think the storyteller in me comes from the same part of me that’s interested in why people do what they do and what drives us. That really fascinates me, and part of what draws me to acting. I get to look at all these characters and figure them out out. It’s like putting together a puzzle.

You were named one of the Toronto International Film Festival‘s Rising Stars in 2014. What was that experience like?

That opened my eyes to Canadian film in general, and how amazing a world it is. The whole festival experience was a bit overwhelming at first, especially for an introvert like me. I learned so much from it.

You’re a Vancouver native. How does Toronto compare? 

Vancouver is beautiful but it tends to feel very cold. People don’t talk to each other as much, which can feel kind of isolating. When I come to Toronto, it feels like there’s more of a free and artistic vibe. A bigger buzz, and more laid back.

Allure premieres in select theatres in Toronto on April 6.