By TRILBY BERESFORD | Reporter
Having just emerged from an audition for a “dark comedy on FX [network],” Highlands resident Ali Eagle was feeling energized. “I love telling stories,” she expressed to the Palisadian-Post at Village favorite, Palisades Garden Café.
Eagle has felt a natural inclination to entertain since the age of 2. Her childhood involved drama and musical theater at Marquez Charter Elementary School, with guidance from a teacher she remembers fondly: Jeff Lantos.
Eagle cultivated her passion for performance at The Adderley School with veteran actress and coach Janet Adderley and in the arts program at Crossroads School. “Theater was so serious there,” Eagle said of Crossroads. “It really shaped me.” She went on to receive a BFA in drama at NYU, majoring in musical and experimental theater.
“Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is Eagle’s first theatrical film role. It follows the story of WWII veteran and Olympic runner Louis Zamperini (first introduced in 2014’s “Unbroken,” directed by Angelina Jolie), who survived imprisonment in a Japanese POW camp in 1945.
Eagle described the project, releasing on Sept. 14, as a “mainstream and faith-based film” that has the potential to cater to a wide audience.
She also appears as the “sassy best friend” in Lifetime TV movie “House of Darkness: New Blood.” “Grab your wine and cover your eyes,” Eagle said with a laugh.
In addition to pursuing comedic and dramatic roles in film and television, Eagle makes her own work. She is currently preparing to pitch a musical comedy TV series called “NOLA,” with longtime writing partner Melissa Lehman.
“She lives in New Orleans, and the show is about being a fish out of water in the South,” Eagle explained. To set it apart from traditional content, each episode will contain a music video.
During our meeting, Eagle received a draft of the electronic pitch deck and whipped her iPhone out to show me. “Oh, my God, we’re both looking at this for the first time!” she said with a burst of adrenaline. Each page displayed a colorful interpretation of their sense of humor, which felt both quirky and sophisticated.
Eagle and Lehman have written, produced and performed in numerous short-form projects with their Litterbox Gang production company. For something completely different, they also sell vintage and recycled clothes together.
While Eagle said she recognizes that acting is simply “playing pretend” at the end of the day, she receives immense joy from her work and feels compelled to discover unique points of views.
“Everyone has something to say,” she said, before promptly turning the interview around and asking me a barrage of questions. Nicely done.
Visit unbrokenthefilm.com, alieagle.com and @sheismeali on Instagram to learn more.