Check out our interview with actress Stephanie Izsak who can be seen as Lena – alongside Randall Park and Melissa Fumero – in the new Netflix comedy “Blockbuster.”
Randall Park leads the series as Timmy Yoon, where he is operating the last remaining Blockbuster Video store in the country. The show follows Timmy and his staff employees, including his long-time crush, Eliza (Melissa Fumero), as they fight to stay relevant. The only way to succeed is to remind their community that they provide something big corporations can’t: human connection.
Stephanie has amassed numerous film and TV credits, recurring on The CW’s ‘The 100’ and Netflix’s ‘Firefly Lane’, appearing in MANY television movies, and continuing holding down the law as Central City’s sweetest cop, Officer Daisy Korber, on The CW’s ‘The Flash’.
Follow Stephanie @stephanieizsak
Hi Stephanie, please tell us a little about you?
Well, I’m an actor, writer, director, cat mom, book nerd Canadian living in Vancouver. And I’m a Taurus, Leo rising, Sagittarius moon, if you care about that kind of thing.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Impatient. Compassionate…Open. Just three is tough!
How did you get started into acting?
I think my parents saw how much energy and enthusiasm I had for life, and they picked up that theater and acting classes would be a good place for me. My mother loves the theater and started taking me at a very young age, and I got hooked pretty quickly.
How has this changed your life?
It’s tough to imagine my life without being an actor and an artist, it’s such a huge part of how I’ve see myself for so long. Being a working actor is such a gift. I get to constantly explore what it means to be a person in a relationship with the world. It’s so much fun and for all of the ways that this job is hard- and that’s a lot of ways- it really fulfills me.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
Best: It’s just the best job on earth. Biased opinion, but I think it is. If I had to narrow it down…the best part is having one of those transcendent acting experiences where you feel so connected and truthful and you’re fighting for something and time seems to slow down…it’s like a high, knowing you’ve done justice to the story and your character, to the best of your ability. Those moments.
Worst: I don’t know if everyone feels this way, but it can get lonely. It can easily get discouraging. It can be hard on you. You need a lot of grit and resilience to deal with all of the silence after pouring your heart into an audition.
How do you prepare for a role?
Every role is different. Sometimes I need a lot of work to understand who I am and to make the circumstances feel real and other times – boom, I just know it. I connect to it instinctually. Comedy is different than heavier stuff, usually. Comedy is a lot more about tone and making sure you know why things are funny but then never playing the joke….see? It’s all over the place…
Tell us about your work in the upcoming Netflix comedy “Blockbuster,” and about your role as Lena.
Yes! Blockbuster was so much fun. I used to do a lot of comedy on stage, but not as much on camera so this was a DREAM. I play Lena, whose mom owns a bait and tackle store in the same strip mall as Timmy’s Blockbuster store. I’m a bit of an outsider, returning home to live with my mom, and I sort of stir things up a bit for the Blockbuster crew.
How was working alongside Randall Park and Melissa Fumero?
Amazing. They’re both such pros, deadly funny and just really kind, gracious people. Doesn’t get better than that.
What other projects you have been part of?
Many! But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my role on The Flash. I’ve been playing Officer Daisy Korber for three seasons and I absolutely love it.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
Great question. I love letting loose and delving into the areas I don’t experience in my real life. So villains are super attractive to me, darker characters with a lot of fight in them. I’d love to do something set in another era as well.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I’m one of those actors who really looks at what we do as an act of service. I’ve been changed by the stories I’ve connected to on screen or on stage. I’m very proud and humbled to be a part of that process, I hope, for others.
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
Love it but don’t take it all too seriously. Learn how to trust yourself and trust that what is for you will find you.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
Be humble. Be kind. Say thank you.
How would your best friend describe you?
Oh boy. Probably that I take myself too seriously! Always working on that…but she’d say I’m an earth mama by default and fiery when I need to be.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
‘Boy, She Tried Hard’. Sometimes to my detriment!
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Chill the eff out, wear more sunscreen.
What’s next for Stephanie Izsak in the last months of 2022 and for 2023?
I’ve got a few projects I can’t quite talk about yet, but I’m very excited about them. I’ll be directing another short in 2023 and am in talks about a feature beyond that. Acting-wise, we’re working on the final season of The Flash, which will air sometime in 2023.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Does popcorn count?
And your favorite cheat food?
Don’t believe in cheat food. All food is good food.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Friday night with a glass of wine, a good movie, my fiancé and my cat beside me, and in bed by 10.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
First person who comes to mind would be Quentin Tarantino, for obvious reasons but also because he just seems like a good time. A close second would probably be Lucille Ball, who I’ve loved since I was a child. I have so many questions for her.
Do you support any charity?
A few! All focused on animal welfare and fighting for legislation that protects animals and animal activists. I really believe people are wising up to how detrimental animal exploitation is, and what that says about us as a society. More and more people feel changed by that and then want to see it change. I’m hopeful. Currently I support the World Wildlife Federation, Animal Justice and the BCSPCA.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
No clue and I like it that way.
Favorite song? Why?
Way too hard to pick one, but right now I’m obsessed with a band called Lucious. Its this duo, two women who sing in these gorgeous Americana-style harmonies. Ugh, they kill me. Something about their voices brings tears to my eyes. I’m not joking- there’s one moment in one of there songs where I will always tear up. It’s stunning.
What do you think of Social Media?
If you see my film Consumer, you’d know…but I think it’s something that we don’t know enough about yet. The effect its had on me…there’s good, but there’s an awful lot of bad, and I don’t see enough being done about that. Social media has been around long enough now that some very scary statistics are beginning to surface about how it affects us, our minds and our societies. I don’t know. It’s complicated, I guess.
Where we can follow you?
Book: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Quote: “I want to feel my life while I’m in it” – Meryl Streep
Movie: The Virgin Suicides by Sofia Coppola or Rosemary’s Baby
TV Series: Too many! Right now: Succession.
Favorite Food: Sushi
Travel Destination: Italy
Sports Team: The Toronto Maple Leafs!
Photo Credit: Farrah Aviva @farrahaviva