A proverb that is universally understood to most success-driven individuals in Hollywood’s entertainment and media industry is that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. This was the advice imparted to actress Louise Giavas by her fellow co-stars and American confidantes. What was unbeknownst to her in these early days was that she had been preparing for her career from the ripe age of nine.
Born to Greek and Italian parents, Louise describes her modest Mediterranean childhood home in North Balwyn, Melbourne, as being “full of life”. It had an “exaggerated Europeaness” in which each of her family member had their typical role to play.
Taking backyard Disney re-enactments to the next level, Louise took to the stage at a young age, when she was cast in the Children’s Performing Co.
Australia’s productions of Hamlet, Alice in Wonderland, Oliver Twist and The Jungle Book. Her talent progressed through to high school at Genazzano FCJ college, where she received VCE Drama results that placed her in the top five per cent of the state for a monologue she wrote and performed about the Rwandan genocide.
Louise’s passion for acting and performing on stage was clear to all who bore witness to her performances. However, it was on-screen acting which she thereafter expressed to her family that her heart was set on.
“My family have always been supportive of my passion for performing,” she tells Neos Kosmos. “So I applied for AMDA in Los Angeles. When mum accompanied me to my audition, I don’t think she could anticipate what would happen next”.
In 2014, the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself to Louise when she received a scholarship to the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). It was at this point that the vivacious and resilient 19-year-old decided to move to Los Angeles indefinitely to study and find her niche in a competitive industry among Hollywood’s finest. By and large, it is these defining characteristics that have contributed to Louise’s personal and professional excellence in such a short space of time.
Indeed, in February, Louise graduated with honours from AMDA in Los Angeles, trained by the likes of industry professionals such as Eve Gordan (Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves, Ouiji: Origin of Evil) Taylor Nichols (Jurassic Park III) and Kevin Ramsey (Mufasa, Broadway musical The Lion King).
In just nine months, she has acted in seven films and is contracted to three more currently in pre-production for 2017. Upon graduating, Louise’s focus turned to her professional career, dedicating her time to a plethora of auditions, short films, stage plays and festivals.
She booked three films with the Inner-City Filmmakers which premiered at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre Gala in August. In attendance was Brett Ratner, producer of The Revenant and co-founder and CEO of RatPac Entertainment. Louise was cast in Highlights, a short film which was entered into The Sundance Ignite Festival.
More notably, Louise was cast in Liam Burke’s Neptunes for the inaugural Hollywood Short + Sweet Festival, which was voted audience winner in the first week of release. The play, directed by Elizabeth Southard, was an all-female cast including Aussie-born actresses Jennifer Van Heeckeren, Sophia Brabenec and the renowned Anna Burgess, who had recently finished a national theatre tour for Bad Jews.
“After filming these past months and portraying characters that require an American dialect, it was nice to be cast in a play which enabled me to speak my native tongue,” Louise says.
“Liam Burke is an incredible writer, bringing to light the oppression of women through the ages and unmasking the issues of rape in Australia in the 1970s, which is still a prevalent issue today.”
The challenging material showcased the extraordinary talents of these young women, leaving the audience cascading in chills. The performance sent the girls through to the gala finale, in which they performed in front of an audience of industry professionals, including spectator and native Australian Chris Hemsworth.
Louise is currently filming a psychological thriller called The Undone, directed by Christopher Luciano, and has accumulated a fan following from all over the world.
Placed firmly in the Hollywood arena, and with luck on her side, this local actress from Melbourne is a force to be reckoned with.