Interviste

Cha Cha Real Smooth: Interview with Evan Assante

Evan Assante plays David in Cha Cha Real Smooth, written, directed, and produced by Cooper Raiff.
The film tells the emotional growth path of human beings. Evan Assante gives us a true and sincere story about life, with Dakota Johnson and Cooper Raiff. Chiffon Magazine meets Evan Assante!

Interview with Evan Assante

Interview with Evan Assante
Photographer DaMArko Giancarlo
Wardrobe Fairfax Copenhagen
Grooming Mirlen Quesada

Welcome, Evan! David is a wonderful character. How would you describe him?

Thank you! Happy to be here! I would say that David is the peace keeper of the house. He is constantly trying to keep Andrew and Step-dad Greg from fighting while trying to reignite his friendship with his brother. He looks up to Andrew and I think it’s a hard realization for David to come to when he discovers his big brother is not perfect. But, I also think he learns a useful lesson, and his relationship with Andrew strengthens when he finally accepts him at his best and worst.

How is David similar or different to you in real life?

David and I are actually pretty similar. It was easy for me to embody the role and the emotions. But there were times I couldn’t relate to him. For example, David has to deal with a lot of home and high school drama. These are things I’ve never personally had to deal with. But, overall, I would say I enjoyed the role and worked hard on it.

What were some of the harder scenes for you to shoot?

I’m not the best dancer, so that was a challenge. But I would say the hardest scene would be the fight scene. It’s so short in the movie itself, but on the day, it was actually very hard. We first (at around midnight) had to choreograph the scene. Then we had to film it multiple times. It was hard for me to build up the energy so late at night. After filming it, I was left very unsure of how it would turn out until I actually saw the final product at Sundance. It came together so well and I was so impressed.

Cha Cha Real Smooth is a great film. Growing up is hard! How important is it to tell about human beings, their strengths and their imperfections?

Everyone has times in their lives when they feel uncertain. This is something I think Cha Cha doesn’t just touch on, but centers around. It also shows how it’s very dangerous to put people on pedestals, or in boxes of what you want them to be or who you think they are. Everyone is going to make mistakes in life. It’s part of living. As long as you learn from your mistakes and move on with a newfound appreciation and attitude, that’s what matters. Move on, but never forget.

One of my favorite aspects of this story is the relationship between Andrew and David. What did you learn from this bond that you can bring to others?

I have actually had a lot of people tell me how much they loved my part and how they relate to my character as the younger brother. I think something to take out of the bond is to give people their space to mess up and grow. That was where David ultimately went wrong in the movie. The brothers were really close before Andrew went to college. So where David went wrong was constantly trying to rebuild the type of relationship they had before instead of trying to allow for the changes he and Andrew experienced.

Interview with Evan Assante
TeaTime Pictures, Picturestart, Endeavor Content

Tell me about your experience working with Cooper Raiff. What did it mean to have Cooper there with you?

Cooper was amazing to be around. When I first heard of Cooper and the project I thought it was exciting and I liked the little taste I’d been given of the script. But I also thought that it would be hard to be around Cooper. I was afraid that he would get burned out from doing so many things and working the job of four people. But his energy made David ignite inside of me and we immediately bonded. I also found that his ability to manage so many parts of the movie made it very easy for me to just slip right back in to being David the next day. He wrote and was directing the scene while acting in it with me. So he really knew and articulated what he wanted very well. Ultimately, I would not trade this experience for anything, and I think that the movie wouldn’t have been half as good without Cooper.

How was it working with Dakota Johnson?

Dakota was very nice to me, she always treated me like an adult rather than a child. She is very professional and did an incredible job acting as well as helping with input behind the camera. This movie wouldn’t have been the same without her. Honestly, it was surreal being on set with not only her but with Leslie, Brad, Odeya, and Raul as well. They were all very friendly and encouraging. It was such a great experience.

Is there a film or a television show that made you fall in love with acting?

There were many movies that drew me to acting. I love a lot of fantasy movies like Harry Potter and Spiderman. But some that are not in the fantasy genre that I really enjoy are Good Will Hunting and Bohemian Rhapsody. I really want to be able to do what Matt Damon and Ben Affleck did with writing their own movie, and I’d also like to be in a biopic like Bohemian Rhapsody. I love the art of storytelling. Movies are one of my favorite ways to experience that.

Did you have any role models? Actors or actresses who inspired you?

Many people inspire me, but I am very impressed with Lin Manuel Miranda’s body of work. He went out and created something and then put in the work to star in it as well. Cooper is similar in this way too. I really admire and find inspiration in someone who makes things happen for themselves and doesn’t wait around for things to just happen.

 How would you describe yourself?

I actively work on being nice, helpful, and caring. In these ways, I am probably very similar to David. I am also very creative. I enjoy story telling through writing and art as well as playing music. Despite being an actor, I tend to be more of an introvert. But I’m working hard on putting myself out there more.

 If you were to sum up the word “Freedom” in one image, what would it be?

That is such a great question. For most Americans, an image of freedom might be The Statue of Liberty, an eagle soaring or the American flag. Ultimately, I feel that freedom is the ability to be your true self without having to explain or alter for others. My personal freedom would be having the time to get lost in creating something that is totally mine.Thank you for inviting me to chat with you!

Photographer DaMArko Giancarlo
Wardrobe Fairfax Copenhagen
Grooming Mirlen Quesada

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