What’s even more exciting for actress Latarsha Rose is she was afforded the opportunity to become a part of something so huge. The New York-native plays Portia, Peeta Mellark’s stylist in the new movie, which is the first novel of The Hunger Games trilogy.
While Latarsha is reluctant to speak about the details of the movie, she’s definitely appreciative of being able to be a part of the cast especially considering that it’s her first major film role.
“It was awesome,” she admits. “It was definitely an environment that was welcoming. I felt like I was a part of the ensemble right off the bat.”
When you see Latarsha on the big screen in late March, she might look familiar. Even though The Hunger Games might be her first feature film, she’s not a stranger to the industry. She has made numerous appearances on some of your favorite TV shows, like CSI: Miami, Law & Order, and Bones and some TV commercials.
As a young girl, Latarsha studied dance, performing around the world, but was always driven by academics because the importance of education was instilled in her by her parents from a very young age, she admits.
“For me, dance was really a hobby,” she says. “Academics were really important in my family, so that was always my focus.”
However, studying English and Psychology at Georgetown University, couldn’t suppress the urge and desire to become an actress. In fact, she was introduced to acting by one of her English professors, which peaked her interest and prompted her to “dabble” in theater classes at Georgetown.
“My eyes sort of opened up to a whole new world,” she says. “But it wasn’t something that I ever thought ‘Oh, this is what I’m going to do.’ It was just something that I really started to become compassionate about.”
At some point during college, Latarsha admits to having a “gut feeling” about acting and realizing that that was the path she wanted to explore. So, she did, but first she had to break the news to her parents about her putting off law school to pursue what she now feels was a correct choice.
While in New York, she performed in some off, off-Broadway productions. In comparison to TV and film, she admits that they are all three different worlds, especially as far as the opportunity that theater brings to create characters each night, she says. She also points out the “now” of theater makes it a totally different experience as she recalls an incident in a play where candle wax was blown all over her face.
“Now, that was a live moment that I had to live through with the other actor in front of a live audience,” she remembers. “So, there’s an excitement and energy where things happen in the now.”
Even though movies are far from the “now,” being a part of The Hunger Games opened Latarsha’s eyes up to working with an ensemble cast with such an interesting story line.
“It just sort of opened me up to the opportunities that are in front of me,” she says. “I look forward to doing it over and over and over again.”