Cole Bernstein played the conniving, manipulative Estel in Chapter 7: “Viral” of DARK/WEB‘s digital series. In the role, she plays the friend you think you know yet will stab you in the back without a second thought if it means getting her way. Prior to her role in DARK/WEB, which you can check out by clicking on the banner above, she has been known for other prevalent roles in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, 2015’s Secrets and Lies and 2017’s S.W.A.T. I had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with the actress to ask her about how her previous roles compared to her character in DARK/WEB as well as her acting influences. Also, Cole will be taking over DARK/WEB‘s Instagram tomorrow, Wednesday, September 25 where she will be answering YOUR questions! Be sure to follow @darkwebshow and ask her any questions you have!
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You have been in some great roles in TV and film including Law and Order, Secrets and Lies and SWAT. What drew you to the role of Estel and being a part of the DARK/WEB team?
I remember my agent calling me and telling me about a new horror anthology series which revolved around the dark web. I’m a sucker for anything horror and suspense so I was extremely eager to learn more about the project. After reading the Chapter 7 episode of DARK/WEB I was completely hooked. The script had the perfect mix of horror, humor, goriness, and thrills. I had also watched Michael Nardelli’s Circle and was a huge fan of his work. So, about a week later, Michael and I met for coffee to discuss the character Estel, a completely evil, unforgiving, and vindictive sociopath. I’ve never really played a character quite like Estel, so I was thrilled to be given the challenge. And after meeting Michael, I knew that the DARK/WEB team was going to be a hardworking, creative, and highly pleasurable crew to be around! Every single person I met while working on the show made me feel like I was a part of a family.
Your character, Estel, is in Chapter 7: “Viral” and is quite the vindictive individual… In what ways did you prepare for your role?
Because I hadn’t played characters like Estel before, it was crucial for me to immerse myself in her world. I watched a number of films to draw inspiration from including Girl, Inturrupted, Heathers, The Craft, and Cruel Intentions to study personality traits of their antagonist characters. I also read a lot of articles about catfishing and online harassment. Before shooting, Michael and I had many discussions about Estel and her look. We came to the conclusion that Estel was blonde, which thrilled me because I had always wanted to dye my hair. Having blonde hair really helped me to embody the character and gave her a more pretentious feel.
How was the role of Estel different than other roles you have previously taken?
Estel is one certifiable mental case. I have never had a role as crazy, vile, and self-absorbed as her. Many of the roles that I have played in the past are distraught, rebellious outcasts. So, given the opportunity to break free from characters that have been victimized, I was able to expand my acting range and really enjoy playing a twisted conniving young woman. Everything from the way Estel walks, to the way she processes information was different from what I have previously portrayed.
Where did you draw your inspiration for your roles? Are there any specific individuals you look to?
I have always been the biggest movie junkie. When I watch a good film, I feel inspired to create art and work harder to achieve my goals. For every role I have portrayed, I study films with like characters in it, read articles online about personalities or situations closely related, and listen to music that I feel would fit the character. For when Estel was in her more pleasant party girl phase, I listened to a lot of Ariana Grande and Rhianna. When Estel viciously turned on Dorothy, I listened to Nine Inch Nails and Blue Foundation. I also gather inspiration from actors I have admired for years and years. Meryl Streep, Michael Shannon, Natalie Portman, and Christoph Waltz are amongst the insanely talented actors I follow religiously. They all are able to precisely depict characters with such skill and rawness. I can only strive to be like them someday!
What current projects are you working on?
I just finished working on a feature film called Take Out Girl. Written and directed by Hisonni Johnson, the story follows a girl who parlays her Chinese food delivery expertise into a profitable drug hustle. We don’t have a release date yet, but I will make an announcement on my twitter account (cole_bernstein) and Instagram (colebernstein) as soon as I know! I have also been writing a lot of music recently and will be in the recording studio creating my first album later this year!
Cole is a wonderful professional and was extremely personable when I interviewed her. Don’t miss YOUR chance to ask Cole your questions when she takes over @darkwebshow Instagram on Wednesday! Have you checked out DARK/WEB yet? If not, click HERE to see what you are missing out on! If you have, make sure you leave a review on Amazon Prime Video!
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Source: LRM Exclusive