A rising star with fierce talent and ambition, Natalie Malaika is an up-and-coming force ready to make her mark on the film and television industry. Having been involved in the arts, mostly as a dancer and musician, since the age of five, Natalie has always had a passion for performing. However, her love for the art of acting didn’t start until she was cast as the lead in her first school play, The Yard, in elementary school. Her eyes then turned from the stage to the screen when she saw one of her junior high schoolmates in the Jessica Alba film Honey and knew that is where she belonged.
Natalie, who has since found her place within the film and TV industry has now appeared in numerous productions including The CW’s Charmed, Hallmark’s Good Witch, ABC’s Conviction, and the feature film Picture Day with Tatiana Maslany.
Next, Natalie can be seen in the upcoming Netflix thriller Fractured alongside Sam Worthington, and in Neon Cinema Films’ The Color Rose.
Welcome to TV Series Hub, having been involved in dancing and singing mostly, how did the transition to acting begin?
My transition into acting began in high school when I got my first talent agent. I still remember my very first audition. It was for an Xbox commercial with the Jonas Brothers and it couldn’t have gone worse. I was so nervous and so new to all of this! But it just propelled me to want to get better, so I enrolled in classes and got more serious about acting. Needless to say, my audition skills have gotten better since then [laughs].
Being a very versatile person, how does having these many skills and talents come in handy?
No skill comes easy; it takes hard work and dedication to achieve anything in life. Learning those principles from a young age through training in each of my crafts taught me an immense amount of discipline. Plus as an actor, it’s great to have those skills in my back pocket.
You have worked in different sets already, which one has been the most memorable?
I’d say they’re all memorable in their own way and for different reasons. My work on Conviction was special because I learned I have the capacity to deliver emotional work. Working with director Brad Anderson on Fractured was special because I admire his previous work on The Call and The Machinist, plus the opportunity to observe an established actor like Sam Worthington was undeniably insightful. I have a project coming out next year that’s special to me as well because I got to work with an actor who was on my bucket list of people to work with. So they’re all special and memorable to me.
How have you benefited from these different experiences so far?
After every project I work on, I feel like I come out on the other side with more knowledge about the industry and myself as an actor. And that’s what I want. I want to always be growing and developing and getting better, so that I can find longevity in this industry.
Several actors/actresses tend to explore their hands-on working behind the scenes, do you have any thoughts on eventually trying out other aspects of filming?
Absolutely! I would love to write and bring a screenplay of my own to life one day. I have some ideas, so we’ll see. And I would definitely like to dabble in directing and producing at some point in my career. It’s another form of creativity on the other side of the camera that I’m fascinated by.
What should we expect to see in the horror movie ‘The Color Rose’?
You can expect a twisty, turny, dark storyline! Lots of mystery, lots of little pieces to a puzzle that’ll eventually come together by the end of the film.
Your latest project is a Netflix original film called ‘Fractured’. What is the movie about?
It’s a story about a husband and wife, Ray and Joanne, who stop at a local hospital on their way home after their daughter gets injured. Of course nothing goes right at the hospital and their simple visit leads to a spiralling of dark and twisty events, and a mystery that goes unsolved until the very end. Amazing writing.
What was the best thing when filming the movie?
I mentioned it briefly a bit earlier, but getting to work with director Brad Anderson and Sam Worthington was awesome. There were a lot of incredibly seasoned cast and crew associated with the film, so it was great getting to rub shoulders with and learn from people whose work I truly admire.
Out of all the characters you have played, which one relates to you the most?
I would probably say my character on Charmed. It was a small role but I got to play a college student who was very outspoken, confident and who intentionally pushes boundaries; not in a bad way but in the sense that she steps outside her comfort zone for the sake of change. So I’d say that is pretty close to who I am as a person.
How is it living in the moment as you don’t consider yourself a long-term planner?
It’s great! I’ve done things in my twenties that I never thought I’d do. I’ve lived in Asia, I’ve backpacked solo, I moved from my hometown of Toronto to Vancouver to pursue my career goals. I’m constantly pushing myself outside the boundaries of my comfort zone and discovering things about myself through these experiences. I just think it’s really important to embrace spontaneity, especially when you’re young. That being said, I haven’t always had this outlook on life. I used to be big on planning and always needing to know where I was headed, and I guess that part of me will always be there and accessible, but in the meantime I enjoy letting go and letting flow.
What other projects are you working on?
I recently worked on a Lifetime movie that’s being produced by Robin Roberts and her production company. It’s based on a true story and will be accompanied by a documentary that follows the real people that are portrayed in the movie. That will be coming out next year!
Finally, thank you for joining us. If you could play a character in any show, which one would it be?
As in a character that’s already out there? I’m really into the show Power right now, that would be a great show to be on. The fan following is wild too! Naturi Naughton plays a badass gangster wife type character on the show, that’s a role I’d love to play! It appears I have a thing for playing badass women, what can I say?!