Moving over to California from across the pond, Australian-born actress Kassandra Clementi is making a name for herself in the States. Having worked on the Australian TV show Home and Away, she can now be found in between Los Angeles and her home in Adelaide, working on new projects, such as her role in the film, Becoming Bond on Hulu, and the US TV show, UnREAL.
We recently spoke to Kassandra Clementi on how she started out in the industry, her advice to others who want to begin acting, and how she spends her time off.
Taylor Magazine: To start with, it would be good to know a little bit about you!
Kassandra Clementi: I’m from Australia – but I didn’t start pursuing this as a career until after high school. I got lucky, worked on a few projects and ended up over here in LA a couple of years ago. I spent my childhood wanting to be a vet. When acting came around, I immediately loved it. I was doing some classes as a teenager but I saw it as more of a hobby – I didn’t grow up around anyone in the industry, and I grew up in a smaller city in Australia so I wasn’t surrounded by it at all. It felt out of reach to me, and something that would only ever be a hobby. Just before I finished high school, I realised that I loved it so much and there was nothing else I wanted to do with my life. I eventually moved in Australia to study and pursue it.
Taylor Magazine: Home and Away must have been an amazing experience – how was that for you?
Kassandra Clementi: It was amazing, and such a whirlwind! I did a series in Atlanta when I was 18 or 19. I got quite homesick, and actually auditioned for Home and Away while I was in the US because I wanted to be in Australia again. Because I was in the States the producers couldn’t meet me, so I ended up doing two or three tapes and sent them back to them. Then I did a phone call with one of the producers, and suddenly, I was on a flight home getting ready for filming!
Taylor Magazine: How difficult is the transition to different acting roles?
Kassandra Clementi: Working on a show for that long, you become a family with your colleagues so it’s hard. I was on the Home and Away set for four years, everyday. To go from that to nothing, and move away again was quite strange. When you’re doing a show that’s more of a soap-like structure, you film so many episodes per week. You spend a lot of time wearing your character’s clothes, saying your character’s lines and you get attached to that character too.
“I try and write sometimes, if I’m feeling overwhelmed. We all feel overwhelmed sometimes. Writing is so relaxing – to sit down and just write, without self-awareness, is really important.” – Kassandra Clementi
Taylor Magazine: Is there a dream role that you’d like to play?
Kassandra Clementi: I really want to play characters that I would like to see – I want to be challenged and do something different and new every time.
Taylor Magazine: Do you have a dream collaboration?
Kassandra Clementi: I’d love to work with Paddy Jenkins.
Taylor Magazine: What’s coming up for you in the short-term future?
Kassandra Clementi: UnREAL is still coming out now and there are still a few more episodes of this on the way! I’m focusing on that at the minute. Then in the long-term, I just want to keep working and doing projects that I can be really proud of!
Taylor Magazine: Other than acting, what do you like to do in your down time or on a day off?
Kassandra Clementi: I have a dog back home in Australia, who’s currently being doggy-sat by my family at the minute! On my days off back home, I’ll go out and do something with her, and have a little adventure day. Over here, I’ve built up a really strong support network of friends, so often we’ll go out for coffee, lunch or pilates. I love to read a book, have a tea, sit in bed and watch Netflix and block out the world for a day! I’m watching Friends now – I started episode 1, season 1 and watched the whole way through!
“Never compare yourself to anyone. I learnt pretty quickly in my late teens that everyone is running their own race – one person’s situation doesn’t compare to your situation. When I was 16, and a lot of people at 16 will feel this, you constantly want to get to the next corner. Just be happy and present at where you are, that’s totally okay.” – Kassandra Clementi
Taylor Magazine: What’s your all-time favourite movie or book?
Kassandra Clementi: A book I read several times when I was a teenager was Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, I loved that book! I need to read it again.
Taylor Magazine: What’s an unusual fact about you?
Kassandra Clementi: Someone asked me the other day what a weird talent was – and it’s definitely parking. I can park in one go – parallel park, reverse park, I’ve got it!