You just got your first major movie role, and you’re starring opposite Robert De Niro and John Cusack. That’s what happened to Brazilian actress Rebecca Da Costa, who stars in the upcoming psychological thriller The Bag Man. She talked to OKMagazine.com about her big break, and creating chemistry with a serious A-lister.
OK!: What do you miss the most about Brazil, culture-wise?
Rebecca Da Costa: Right now in LA, I don’t know how it is in New York, people just text all the time. They don’t pick up the phone and actually call someone. It’s rare, and I miss the time when I would actually talk to someone on the phone. We should still do that. I just came back from Brazil, and everybody called you up, “Hey, what are you doing tonight?”
OK!: Can you explain the story of The Bag Man?
RD: It’s about trust between a fixer, played by John Cusack, and his boss, played by Robert De Niro. John’s character’s job is to go collect a bag, and wait for the mail to arrive. And while he’s waiting for the mail to arrive, he meets my character, Rivka. She’s very witty and sharp, and they develop a relationship. She says she’s a stripper, but he’s not too sure if that’s true or not. The big question is, does she know what’s in the bag? How does she know the other characters in the movie?
OK!: Do you have an American accent in the movie?
RD: No, it’s Israeli. I worked with an accent coach.
OK!: So you are a Brazilian woman speaking English in an Israeli accent. How does your brain work like that?!
RD: Very difficult. To act in another language is very hard. It’s one extra thing I need to think about. When I’d go to set, I’d work with the accent coach, and go over the lines many times, until I felt comfortable enough that I didn’t need the accent anymore. It’s a long process, but everybody does that, Penelope Cruz, Sofia Vergara. It’s part of my career.
OK!: What was the process of being cast? Did you test against John Cusack, or Robert DeNiro?
RD: No, I didn’t. I went to the audition two times, but I didn’t know they were attached. Once I got the phone call that I got the part, I just started screaming, and they go, “And guess who’s in the movie?! John Cusack!” I just went crazy. I tried to get ready as fast as I could, because I knew I was up against the best of the best. I had to prepare in order not to feel overhwhelmed or nervous.
OK!: What was it like to work with them?
RD: Fantastic. The job of a lifetime. I learned a lot throughout the process. They were very giving. Sometimes, just to watch them act—it was the best acting class I’ve ever had. John is my love interest in the movie, and we knew a big part of the success of the movie relied on our chemistry. And that’s what he told me: “Our connection must be real. If our connection is real, then everything’s going to fall into the right place.” So that’s what we tried to work on. You will see in the movie that we’re always trying to find each other’s eyes.
OK!: Did you guys have meals together or try to bond separately?
RD: We did spend a lot of time together before shooting scenes. We both arrived two weeks early in New Orleans and had meetings with the producers and dinners, and every weekend we would spend time together to make sure it would be a natural chemistry.
OK!: How did you get your start in Hollywood?
RD: I was a model first, in LA, and taking acting classes. I didn’t want to be unprepared, so I took classes for six months and then said, Okay, I’m ready. My first job was for Entourage, and from there I started.
OK!: What would your dream project be?
RD: It changes, every day it changes. I went to see Black Swan, and I was like, my god. I couldn’t believe it, what she did. I’d love to book something like that. Then I got a part that was very similar. That movie is coming out in the summer. I wanted to do something in action, and then The Bag Man came along. I think now, my dream role would be a comedy.
OK!: Is there someone whose career you look up to?
RD: Of course Helen Mirren. She has been in the business for so many years. her career is amazing. Another artist I admire a lot is Viola Davis. She’s just wonderful. She’s what acting should be.
How would you handle meeting John Cusack and Robert De Niro? What is your favorite movie of theirs? Do you think you’ll check out The Bag Man? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.