Lana Condor is an actress on the rise whose alluring, pure, and unfiltered talent captivates audiences. The Can Tho, Vietnam native was destined to be a performer, beginning at an early age by channeling her creativity and self-expression through dance. From Chicago to New York to Los Angeles, Condor fine-tuned her craft in several prestigious institutions, including The Alvin Alley American Dance Theatre, The Los Angeles Ballet, the Notre Dame Academy and the Yale Summer Conservatory for Actors. With such a background, the stage is set for Condor to take the entertainment industry by storm. In 2016, she will make her feature film debut in the highly anticipated Twentieth Century Fox Film X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Condor will star as Jubilation Lee, aka Jubilee, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, and Rose Byrne. The film is the sequel to X MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Sharing the screen with some of Hollywood’s biggest award-winning stars is a huge accomplishment for the budding starlet, an accomplishment that is undoubtedly deserved. Condor is already making a name for herself, as evidenced by her ever growing social media presence of 12.8k Instagram followers. Condor could certainly be Hollywood’s next acting prodigy, and is one to watch.
“I would say my answer, in so many words, is exercise. One thing that really helps me with balance, not just in acting but in life, is hot yoga.”
RAINE: From an early age your love for the arts flourished allowing you to attend some of the most prestigious performing art schools. Can you describe your experience at these institutions and how they helped fine tune your craft as an actress today?
CONDOR: I went to Professional Performing Arts School in New York City for my freshman year in high school. It was an amazing experience, one that played an important role in my formation as a performer by providing a really stable foundation. I was a dance major, so I did all of my academics in the morning, and then all my performing arts classes (about six hours of dance and rehearsal a day) in the afternoon. It was physically and emotionally demanding, but it taught me great stamina and endurance plus the importance of the ensemble and teamwork. All of which is extremely important for actors, although I would say I’ve barely scratched the surface of “finetuning” my craft. That’s going to take a lifetime. *laughs*
RAINE: Dance is known as an unspoken art form, it challenges your mind, body and soul. How are you able to keep all three of these ideas in sink?
CONDOR: Oh my goodness that’s a hard question! I would say my answer, in so many words, is exercise. One thing that really helps me with balance, not just in acting but in life, is hot yoga. I do a hot yoga sculpt class that is basically Bikram yoga on steroids. *laughs*. It is a yoga class with cardio, weights, and strength posture training, all in a 108 degree room! It physically challenges your body, and mentally challenges your mind. Your mind is stronger than your body, so when you feel your body giving out under the pressure and rigor of the class, that’s when the real challenges set in with how long you can mentally still push yourself to be your best self. It’s so hard! But it helps me feel balanced and centered. I can bring what I work on in class to life.
RAINE: Name your top five lifestyle hacks you pride yourself on.
•EXERCISE (lol again.) I think you’re seeing a pattern… If anything, get alittle sweat going and those endorphins will start pumping.
•Be kind. Kind is in, it is refreshing! It is a must.
•Don’t gossip. This world is too small for that!
•Eat well. What you put in your body will really show on the outside.
•Find someone who will make you laugh even when you’re having a daythat makes you want to turn into a bird and fly away from all your troubles.*laughs*.
RAINE: Effortless beauty, health and wellness are key components as a performingartist. Who are the beauty gurus you look to when keeping your outer beauty matching your inner glow?
• Shay Mitchell from “Pretty Little Liars.” Gosh she is just so cool… She’s really into exercising and feeling good about the inside, which transposes to the out! She also eats a ton… like me!
• My mom. She is like medicine to me, she always knows what to say to make any inner turmoil go away.
• Anton Khachaturian. He’s my makeup artist on photo shoots. *laughs* I swear to you, he’s magical! Here’s the thing, he makes me look like Beyonce, as well as FEEL like Beyonce! He makes me feel so confident and knows exactly what to say to make me feel like the most special little lady!
RAINE: You will make your feature film debut in XMEN: APOCALYPSE as Jubilee. How did this role come about and what was the casting process like?
CONDOR: I received the audition breakdown from my former manager for XMen last January. It was one of my very first professional auditions so I was extremely new at auditioning and essentially everything that goes along with it. I auditioned and then did a couple callbacks. I waited for about two months to really hear anything else about it. Those two months I was dying. *laughs* I remember every night visualizing what it could be like if I got the role. So when I finally got the call saying I had booked, I was absolutely ecstatic as you could imagine.
RAINE: In the movie your star alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names. What was your experience like working with such a talented cast of artists?
CONDOR: It was surreal and still is. I remember going into hair and makeup one of the first days I worked, and seeing a picture of my face (they take photos of your hair and makeup so they can replicate it throughout the duration of the shoot) up next to Rose Byrne’s picture and freaking out just because my picture was on the same wall as hers! So when I actually met her, it was even more thrilling! I learned a lot from everyone. Some of the cast gave me little tips, others I just learned from by watching them and studying how they conduct themselves on set. I am
RAINE: Word to the wise: What advice would you lend to a budding actor/actress on the rise?
CONDOR: Take as many classes as you can. Begin training before you begin auditioning, so the first time you’re in a room with a casting director you can blow them off the roof. Training would be: classes, reading books, watching how people interact with each other, sharpen your wit with improv classes or standup openmic comedy hours… Anything that stimulates your creative side. Don’t let others discourage you, just keep going. It can be hard, but it’s true.