Bra and panties by L’Agent by Agent Provocateur
DA MAN: Moving back to the very start of your acting career, one of your very first roles was in “The Break-Up.” What was it like playing in a big production like that from the get-go?
Mercedes Mason: I had no idea what I was doing when I was on the set of “The Break-Up.” I had just finished modeling and was still in school when I booked that role. My first role ever. I didn’t know what continuity was or finding your mark or anything of that sort. Luckily, I was paired with Vince Vaughn who was kind enough to show me the ropes. He even improvised with me, which now remains one of my favorite parts of being on set. That is when the writers and director will allow you to go off-script a bit. It’s so much fun!
DA MAN: Looking back at that first movie appearance of yours, were there any specific “Aha” moments that made you think, “Yes, this is the kind of work i’d like to be doing more of”?
Mercedes Mason: When I shot the film “Red Sands,” the second project I ever worked on, I remember having long days on set. I spoke Aramaic, a dead language, we were enmeshed in a constant sandstorm in the boiling desert, and yet I couldn’t get enough. I was so excited every time I walked on set. That excitement remains to this day. If you ask any of my cast mates, past or present, they’ll tell you that I have the energy of a puppy. Someone wise once said: every day that you do something you love, it ceases to be “work.”
DA MAN: What about the most memorable roles or filming experience you’ve had so far?
Mercedes Mason: I remember all my roles fondly. However, if I had to choose, I have a soft spot for “Quarantine 2: Terminal.” I booked the lead even, though I’m considered “ethnic” in Hollywood. Traditionally, most ethnic roles are those of the best friend or the buddy to the lead. The director, John G. Pogue, hired me because he believed in me. My skin, hair and eye color didn’t matter. I appreciate him for that. I believe things may be changing a bit in Hollywood now due to people like Shonda Rhimes. Diversity is finally allowed to sit at the cool kids’ table.
“Acting is reacting. Listen to your partner. Listen to your own instincts”
DA MAN: Before that, you had quite a successful modeling career, right? Tell us about your days as a model.
Mercedes Mason: I didn’t appreciate my modeling career nearly as much as I should have. I was young and naïve. I traveled the world, was exposed to great art and culture and yet I didn’t understand nearly enough of it. I was too wrapped up in the competitive aspects of modeling and the need to remain relevant when a horde of younger, thinner and prettier girls were coming up behind me. That being said, I do have some fond memories as well as some instances that taught me important life lessons. Also, i developed a love for fashion that remains strong in me to this day.
DA MAN: What was it that made you switch to acting?
Mercedes Mason: Acting was my passion since I was a little girl. When other kids played hide-and-seek, I would put on my mother’s clothes and pretend to be a shipwrecked maiden on an island full of serpents. I would have to swim to safety, battling sharks and eels all the way. After I graduated college, I knew that if I didn’t try to act then, I would always live with regret. So, I left all my belongings and moved to LA on a whim. I literally slept on couches before i was able to afford my own apartment. It was a struggle, but I’m so happy I did it!
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