For my first interview for the Agony Booth, I had the pleasure of interviewing the delightful actress Benita Ha.
Benita Ha is a Canadian actress who’s appeared in numerous movies and television shows, including X-Men: The Last Stand. She’s also lent her voice to a number of video games, and is also a nurse! I recently had the pleasure of interviewing this talented lady.
Benita, you’ve been in numerous movies, including X-Men: The Last Stand. Are there any movies that you’ve done that are your favorites?
There are movies that I’ve done which are my favorites because of the experience I had working on them. I’ve had many good times and learned so much on different film projects. One highlight was Case 39 because I worked with Renee Zellweger who is one of the most graceful, personable, kind, and friendly actors I have had the privilege to work with. To see her acting up close was a mesmerizing experience for me. Her scene with me involved her going from anger, horror, to shock and then resignation all within a span of 60 seconds without uttering a word. I’m very grateful to have had this experience and to have met her.
You also have many TV appearances to your name. Do any of those stand out for you?
Two that stand out are Mysterious Ways and The Haunting Hour. In Mysterious Ways, I played a Teaching Assistant who turns out to be an Angel. In the Haunting Hour I played a “Tiger Mom” of a 15 year old.
What inspired you to become an actress?
When I came to Canada from Hong Kong, I learned how to speak English by watching TV shows endlessly! Sesame Street, The Brady Bunch, and The Carol Burnett Show were my favorites, and quickly I knew that I wanted to be on TV someday, too. Early on, I acted in school plays and then went to theatre school. I was in love and have been hooked ever since.
Many actresses and actors try their hand at directing as well. Do you foresee yourself going into that field?
There was a period of time I considered this, but it was a brief phase and I eventually realized that my true love is acting. There are many great directors out there and I love working with them!
You’ve also lent your voice to video games. How does that differ from working on movies or TV?
Video games are fun! I don’t have to get all gussied up and try to look perfect, which is refreshing in this business. Also, I can get totally immersed physically in a way that is different than for on-screen acting. Also, I don’t have to worry about lighting, hitting my mark, or getting rained on! It’s a different kind of freedom.
In addition, you’ve been a news anchor and reporter. What is that line of work like?
I’m grateful for that opportunity and learned a lot working in the newsroom. Eventually though, I decided that I like the world of make-believe more. However, I definitely incorporate my real-world news experience into any newscaster, news anchor and reporter roles I get.
Along with acting, you are also a registered nurse. What inspired you to enter that profession?
I’m actually a Licensed Practical Nurse. Years ago, I had the opportunity to take care of an 80 year old man who was half paralyzed and I really enjoyed it. Afterwards, I wanted to continue to be of service in a hands-on way, and so nursing entered the equation. I really enjoy it and haven’t looked back since. Also, I believe the varied things I’ve seen and experienced as a nurse have added depth and helped me be a better actor.
Are there any actors, actresses or directors you’d like to work with?
I would love to work with J.J. Abrams. There are many actors and actresses who would be wonderful to work with as well. Off the top of my head, Jake Gyllenhaal and Meryl Streep.
Who would you say are your biggest inspirations in your life?
Carol Burnett is definitely one. She is a living legend and my inspiration to become an actor. She has brought so much joy and laughter to our world and it was amazing to finally see her perform live here in Vancouver this summer.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming projects?
I have a few projects soon to be released. If you’re a fan of Christmas movies, Christmas Cookies on the Hallmark Channel and Falling for Christmas (originally called A Snow Capped Christmas). I also recently shot a few episodes of Rogue, which is on DirectTV.