INTERVIEW: Actor, Tamara Almeida, Stars In Reboot Of GHOSTWRITER As Young Grandma Tess
Tamara Almeida changed her career path to pursue her passion and now stars in AppleTV+’s reboot of Ghostwriter. She has also been seen in Degrassi: Next Class, Heroes Reborn and Good Witch. Find out more about her journey as an actor in our interview below!
Hi Tamara, thank you for answering our questions! Tell us about yourself and your journey towards pursuing acting as a career. What or who inspires you?
Hi Defective Geeks, thanks for having me! Like many others, I grew up with a strong desire to be creative. I went the long route and had a completely different career in sales before becoming an actor. I’d been terrified to commit to an industry I knew nothing about, but once I started taking classes, I was hooked. I left my career, and it’s been a lot of training and learning over the last decade. There is a lot of opportunity in this industry to diversify and find where you fit. My business experience led me to want to produce, and my technical background has led me to editing. I love storytelling, and am inspired by watching artists in different industries evolve. I’m inspired by the work ethic of Beyonce, she’s someone who is always letting her work speak for itself, and never stops making an effort to top her last efforts. Then there are Brit Marling and Phoebe Waller-Bridge who are content creators, writers, actors, and producers. They inspire the work I want to do, and Waller-Bridge in particular creates the type of content I am so blown away by that she’s the ultimate goal. Watch Fleabag, Crashing, Killing Eve, and anything else she’s done because she’s a genius!
I remember watching Ghostwriter when I was younger back in the day! How did you get involved with the project? Were you excited to be involved with the reboot?
I’m so excited to be a part of this reboot! The process of getting on a show often begins with an audition. My agent sent me the email for it, and I went in to read for the role of Young Grandma Tess the next day. It was a lot of fun and was one of those parts I knew very little about but felt very connected to. I did get an inkling that it was going to be for the reboot for this show and I was beaming at the prospect of working on something that was such a big part of my childhood. I didn’t hear that I’d booked it until almost two months later, so coming back to it was a real surprise. I couldn’t wait to read the scripts take on the challenge of building on the character I’d found during the audition process. It’s been a wonderful experience from start to finish.
Who is your character, Tess, and how does she affect the story of the other characters in the show?
Tess is driven by her values, she’s passionate, and won’t let obstacles get in the way of whatever fuels her. For context, this is a re-imagined version of the original, following a group of four children who team up when a ghost starts haunting their local bookstore. This bookstore is owned and operated by “Grandpa”, and I play the character “Young Grandma Tess”, his wife, who we get to see in flashbacks. I can’t give anything away, and specifically how she affects the story just yet, but I’ll say she pops up throughout. It’s so well-written, I hope everyone checks it out!
What was the most fun part of your experience filming Ghostwriter? How do you think fans of the old show and new viewers will react to it?
For me, I had so much fun in the hair, makeup, and wardrobe! It was a dream. Then there was the incredible opportunity to sit in Tess’ strength. There was something about her confidence, how I felt she sat or responded to things that weren’t my automatic defaults. I can feel very vulnerable, and timid a lot of the time. I, like many, have strong opinions but often keep them to myself, or have been very apologetic for even having an opinion at times. I think they took this into consideration when writing her and many of the other characters. I found that they challenged the way we can often expect to see women on and off screen. Every time I read a new episode, I was touched to see the direction they went with the characters. It was very refreshing. I’m hopeful that the old and new viewers will not only love the re-imagined story, that they’ll find elements of nostalgia while embracing new ways of exploring creativity in this Ghostwriter world. I also hope they fall in love with these kids because they’re incredible! And the wardrobe. And the hair. It’s all so good!
If you could pick a book that could come to life, which would it be and why?
I have been obsessed with space since I was a wee tiny Tam. With that in mind, and with me wanting to be in the world of said book, I would go with “Good Morning, Midnight”. I’d want to play Sully, our complex woman, using space as our landscape, and be met with existential questioning. Yes please, I’d 100% want that!
Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can tell us about? Where can people watch you?
My episodes of Ghostwriter will be out soon on Apple TV+, so expect those shortly! I’ve also worked on several shorts in the last few months that will be out early 2020. I’m also focusing on creating and producing this year, while continuing to audition and take on more writing. I’ll be sure to update my socials with upcoming projects as I soon as I can share them!
For others who are also thinking about changing their careers to pursue their passion, but maybe feeling like it’s “too late”–– what kind of advice would you give them based on your own experiences?
I honestly believe it’s never too late. I think there has to be an awareness that it can be challenging, but truth be told, this industry can be just as challenging for someone who has been doing this since they were five. There is no method to this madness. What I have found quite consistently though, is that if you acquire the skills needed to deliver, and can meet that with full confidence, and a positive attitude, there are many opportunities to work. It may not be on a big series or blockbuster film right away, but everyone likes to work with someone who is willing to show up, be prepared, and commit to whatever they’re doing. I think this is true of any industry. Creative pursuits may feel particularly challenging, but if you come at it knowing why you want (or need) to do this, find mentors and colleagues who are honest with you, have humility in your process, and work your butt off when needed, I truly feel great things can happen. Commitment, patience, determination, and always knowing the why helps. Also, asking for help is invaluable!
If you could have one super power, which would it be and why? Would you be a superhero or a super villain?
If I could have any superpower it would be the ability to time travel. I imagine I’d receive texts, or faxes, or telegrams(?) depending on where I am with the jobs I’m assigned. It would be incredible to see our world in different time periods. I’d opt to be a superhero and help those in need when they need it, but truth be told, I’d have a bit of that super villain vibe. I’d be fighting for good, but maybe I live in that superhero grey area a bit.