Check out our interview with Actress, Director, Producer, and Podcast host, Izzy Stevens who is widely regarded for her lead role in Netflix’s ‘Occupation’ Franchise among other lead roles in films such as ‘Rainfall’, ‘Underbelly’, ‘Puberty Blues’, and ‘Another Mother’. On top of her successful acting career, Izzy has created a name for herself as a powerhouse filmmaker and producer. Izzy’s award winning films have been screened on ABC National Network, as well as at Cannes Diversity, Hollyshorts, Cinema Australia, Tropfest, Redline Int. Film Fest, (Winner: Best Experimental Film), LA Shorts, and more!

Izzy is the ultimate multi-hyphenate. As the CEO and business owner of her consulting and mentorship company, Indie Spunk, Izzy is passionate about helping fellow filmmakers, producers, actors, directors etc. find success in this cutthroat industry. Now, Izzy’s dedication to championing independent filmmakers has inspired her to launch her own film focused podcast ‘indie spunk’ which highlights emerging industry creatives, giving them a platform to share their knowledge, advice, and experience! Izzy intends to inspire listeners through sharing her own personal anecdotes, alongside other film professionals and special guests. With her infectious personality, Izzy is determined to revamp the film sector of the podcast world, as she feels there aren’t many film focused podcasts left standing.

Follow Izzy @indiespunk and @izzystevens

How did you get started in acting?

As a kid I was really into ballet and dance, and worked hard to land a scholarship to a performing arts high school in Sydney. Yet, after one year in the program, I found myself lusting after the theater, hanging with the drama kids, feeling a really big pull to move over to the acting stream. So I did.

A few years later an agent saw me in a play and asked to sign me. A month after that, I booked a lead role on an Australian network TV show, so it was all very kismet! I am still surprised that it happened that way, now knowing how truly difficult it can be to book a role and get a start in the industry.

So I started working professionally at 17 and was immediately hooked. I loved being on set.

Tell us about your Producer and Director’s life and if you have to pick in order, what goes first: Director, Producer or Actress?

Even though this is a truly impossible question to answer because I’m a total fiend for the whole filmmaking process on both sides of the camera, and I love to wear multiple hats… Director really does come first right now. I love holding the vision of a project and executing it through creative collaboration with a team. I love working closely with actors, and taking the audience on a visceral journey. That’s why I also enjoy making psychological thriller films. Finding creative ways to build tension and tell a story is delicious.

I produce many of the films I direct, and of course I am still acting, but the work I do as a director brings me the greatest fulfillment.

What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?

Spunky women behaving badly.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The work I do as a mentor at indie spunk feels very meaningful to me. I love working with creatives, filmmakers and actors in the IS community, and seeing their projects go from script to screen and to life, I love to see their careers take off.

What’s your advice for the newer actors?

Learn filmmaking. Follow your curiosity. Don’t rely on bookings to give you your worth.

Now tell us about your new film podcast “Indie Spunk?”

It’s as though all the things I wish I learned in film school, plus all the things I learned over the past decade in the industry as an actor, got together and made an audio baby. We chat about many of the topics covered in my coaching programs, and feature some incredible special guests who talk candidly about their experience in the industry, too.

You can expect down-to-earth career guidance, micro-budget filmmaking strategies, and the kind of film industry insight usually saved for those behind-closed-doors, high level production exec coffee meetings.

When did you decide to create your own podcast?

I’ve been wanting to launch a podcast for years! But only in the last year or so did I have clarity on what it was going to be, and the timing felt right.

What is different from your podcast to other podcasts?

It’s an honest, no BS account of what it realistically looks like to pursue a career in this industry. So many interviews glide over the messiness or don’t quite hit the mark on breaking down the action steps to move forward. It’s my intention to lay it all out on the line. because tThis life and this career can get messy. I talk all about the missteps I made, the lessons I’ve learned… what I’m still learning. I am no guru. And I hope to keep learning til the moment I stop breathing. It’s what keeps us young!

There are plenty of podcasts highlighting studio & indie films, but indie spunk is different because we’re breaking down the tangible steps. How to practically forge your own career. How to make a micro-budget film. How to get your film into festivals. I grew tired of hearing interviews that were vague and general. I think creatives really want that roadmap demystified, and I believe it will help more diverse stories get told. The podcast is filled with info I wish I learned in film school.

How often do you release new content?

Each week. We’ve got good stuff coming into your ear holes every Tuesday!

What do you think is the secret to having a successful podcast?

Ooof, it’s still early days for indie spunk so when I find out, I’ll let you know! But I suppose the number one goal is to make something people find valuable and want to listen to.

What book should every entrepreneur read?

We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers

What’s next for Izzy Stevens in 2023?

Developing a feature to shoot next year, and a couple short films in the pipeline that I’ll be directing! Also, my brother and his beautiful wife are about to have a baby so I am just too excited to be an Auntie!

What is your favorite healthy food and favorite cheat food?

I am, generally speaking, a bread & pasta obsessed person. And as we do this interview I am actually in Italy. I love the way that Italians culturally practice food and eating. They’re not thinking in terms of nutrients, or ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They literally eat pastry and biscuits for breakfast every morning, and pasta and pizza, it’s all simple and fresh and so delicious. It goes against a lot of what we are taught in western culture about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food. We could take a leaf outta their book!

I also feel like, as long as you’re eating fresh and good quality ingredients, you can eat whatever you want! My mum is also a talented chef and raised me to love food. This conversation has made me hungry.

What is your own definition of happiness?

Sitting in nature with my favorite people, an open bottle of wine, great food to share, music and nowhere else to be. Also, I love to be amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy film set, collaborating with creatives to tell the world a story. I suppose I have two very different happy places.

Do you support any charity?

Absolutely, I support a few, including POLARIS, OXFAM and I like to volunteer with a beach clean-up crew in LA. I also teach crowdfunding inside my mentorship business, indie spunk, and love to share funds whenever I can to creatives raising funds for their projects. We run an ‘Underrepresented Scholarship’ every year through indie spunk, to help more creators from underrepresented & diverse backgrounds make films.

Where can we follow you?

Come find me on IG @indiespunk and @izzystevens


Book: I recently loved Stone Cold Fox by Rachel Koller Croft

Movie: Impossible to pick one, but Denis Villenueve’s ‘Incendies’ left a huge, enduring impact on me.

Tv Series: Can’t get enough White Lotus.

Favorite Food: The fresh kind!

Travel Destination: I am currently in Naples, Italy, and couldn’t think of a more incredible place! However my answer might change tomorrow when we go to Sorrento. Italy is delightful!

Sports Team: What is sports?