When it comes to her approach to acting AMBER MIDTHUNDER is wise beyond her years. In her current role in the FX series, Legion she plays a true savant living a sheltered, but never dull life. A role that challenges the idea of normality. In real life, her passion for animal rights and environmental activism spreads the message that when you care about something, you can change it. Her humble outlook on life makes her a force to be reckoned with.
The door to acting has always been a tangible thing in your life. Your father is an actor and your mother is a casting director. What were a few things you learned by observing them even before paving a road of your own? And is there a certain piece of advice they’ve given that has stayed with you throughout your career?
AM – Absolutely, I have learned from them. It would have been hard not to. I do not recall any one piece of advice in particular, but more anything they have always lead by example – in their work ethic, attitude, anything.
At what age did you begin to embrace your love for acting? And can you describe those first moments?
AM – Always throughout my life acting was a part of me. That sounds cheesy, but it is true.
Growing up, were there specific films and actors that stuck out to you as inspiration?
AM – Oh, I have had so many inspirations there are too many to name, but I have always been drawn to filmmakers that seemed to lead with instinct and created a fully immersive experience in either film or character.
As an actor, what would you say your process is when preparing for roles?
AM – It can be different every time, but I think if you are rooted in honesty you cannot go wrong.
Speaking of role prepping, your newest project Legion on FX is definitely an exciting topic of discussion. Describe your character building process?
AM – It was interesting. Noah had written a character that immediately jumped off the page in full color, so in a way, it was very clear, but in terms of understanding her day to day life along with what she understood about the world around her and how she interacted with it there was a lot to explore.
In the series, each character is often balancing the vulnerability and sensitivity that comes along with interacting with certain strong characters. What has been the biggest challenge within this role and how do you feel you are growing as the series continues?
AM – Exactly that. Playing a character that’s so fearless and boundless is a challenge in itself but to then balance that with her vulnerable side without being inconsistent was a lot of fun and a great challenge, but that’s also the journey I feel Kerry kind of took throughout the season anyway. She was exposed to feeling more vulnerable than she had ever felt and as a result of that she felt some other things, so it was only natural.
Costume designer Carol Case created an uncanny wardrobe that mirrored both the 1960’s and modern day. How would you best describe Kerry’s personality and style?
AM – Carol does an amazing job of reflecting in each character in the wardrobe. For Kerry, I think what she captured was solid and efficient but also free and kind of playful. She has a physically active role.
You did Jiu Jitsu as a kid and you now enjoy kickboxing. Do you think having that experience under your belt adds to this acting role?
AM – Absolutely. I started kickboxing as a part of my preparation to play Kerry, so I was able to have her in mind while I trained.
You mentioned that your role in the film Hell or High Water had the biggest impact on you and your craft. How so? And what strengths have you taken from this role into your current one?
AM – Being in the presence of such high-level artists who are so great at what they do was an experience that I’m eternally blessed to have had and it will never leave me.
What would be your idea of a dream role and cast in a film or series?
AM – Get as creative as possible! It’s so hard to put my finger on one “dream role”. I think every actor wants to earn being seen as limitless and versatile, so I want to just do as much good work with great people as I possibly can.
On the topic of public awareness, you said that if you care about something you can change it. Talk a little bit more about awareness and how others can make a difference within their community.
AM – I just think that when you truly care about something enough you can open other people’s eyes to what you see and why you care about whatever that is so much, and that’s a place where change can happen. I believe change starts with you and goes outward, so whatever you believe in or feel strongly about you have to lead by example and make those changes in your life first– for me it’s not buying products that have been tested on animals or have palm oil in them. When other people see that you’ve done it change seems more attainable.
Do you have any long-term goals you’d like to work on? Whether it be with acting, activism or other.
AM – I think any healthy person should have long term goals for themselves– personally and professionally… I have tons.