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Sticky notes of student sayings on flunk day.

Bree Elrod '00

Brooklyn, New York

Major in Political Science

Bree is an actor who has starred in numerous stage productions and films including the award-winning film Red Rocket (2021), which was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

How did Knox prepare you for your career? 

My time at Knox was instrumental in the development of me as a person. It nurtured curiosity in life. It opened me up. I loved my late-night studying in Seymour Library. I met so many great people during my time there, many of whom I am still in touch with. I loved that at Knox I could major in political science, yet still participate in Rep Term. I was able to take all different kinds of classes that helped me develop more deeply as a human and thus as an artist. 

Liz Carlin Metz, Doc Bob [Whitlach], and Ivan Davidson all were so encouraging and supportive of me as an artist. I always looked up to Liz as a teacher, artist, and human. I loved traveling to Chicago during my time at Knox to see plays she had directed. She taught me so much about living in my body as an actor. Until I met Liz, I was a very cerebral actor. She got me out of my head and into my body. I am forever grateful to her for that. 

What's the film festival circuit like?

It’s a bit of a whirlwind! I truly loved every second of it. I loved sharing this film at the different festivals. Each festival had its own personality, and it was fun to experience that. You start to see the same people at the festivals because a lot of the same movies are submitted, so it almost feels like summer camp. I loved hearing audiences react to the film. Also, I really enjoyed the Q&As following some of the screenings. I found it fascinating to hear what questions people had and what people took away from Red Rocket.

Who has inspired you? 

I am inspired by so many people. I find inspiration from the daily interactions I have with people on the streets of New York. I am inspired by so many talented people I have watched on stage and seen in films: Mark Rylance, Frances McDormand, and Viola Davis, to name a few. I have had the good fortune to have studied and worked with some amazing artists over the years (Alan Rickman, Martin Scorsese, etc.). My brother Carson is an incredible actor and fierce arts advocate and has always been an inspiration to me. I have been in continual awe of his passion and commitment to raising awareness of the plight of art workers in this country. I am also deeply inspired by my mom, who taught us the value of pursuing a path that brings you the most fulfillment and joy in this life. I grew up watching her love what she did and seeing how happy it made her. I aspire to that. 

What's the coolest place you’ve traveled to for Red Rocket?

Well, I mean … it doesn’t get much cooler than having a world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Bastille Day. But also Telluride was just so awesome. People were watching movies under the stars surrounded by purple-shadowed mountains. It’s very laid back and fun … filmmakers and actors are passing each other on the streets in cowboy hats. I mean, that’s pretty damn cool.

Where do you see your career going? More films? More plays?

Ah, the career of an actor is so hard to predict. I hope to do more of both! Though at the moment I’d love to focus on film. This was my first large role in a film, and I really enjoyed learning about film acting and the filmmaking process. I would love more opportunities to explore this medium.

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Printed on Sunday, July 14, 2024