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sivan alyra rose: the laterals magazine


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Sivan Alyra Rose is no debutante beneficiary of Hollywood. She grew up right outside of Phoenix on the San Carlos Apache reservation, raised by her mother and grandmother. Unlike those bequest into the industry, Sivan was discovered at 16 years-old, modeling at the Santa Fe Indian Market. This comes as no surprise because Sivan is absolutely captivating. What's even more remarkable than her exceptional good looks is her unique aesthetic; a goth-glam extrinsic projection of the visionary within. Her unconventional upbringing impressed an affinity for abstract art and a passion for civil issues. In 2016, Sivan drew inspiration from Marley Mitchell, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat to exhibit "Hypnotize", her collection of skateboard art in support of the Phoenix Indian Center. A year later, she attended the Institute of American Indian Arts where she was cast as the lead in a short horror story called The Entrada. This was the inception of her artistic odyssey into film and television.

If you are looking for the origin of where nightmares are born, the new series Chambers on Netflix is as ambitious as the material implies. As the newcomer taking stage, Sivan adopts the leading role of a heart attack survivor who becomes beset by the mystery that surrounds the heart she was implanted with. As she gets closer to the donor's parents, played by Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn, things become increasingly disturbing. And to be completely honest, terrifying. In an unpredicted yet novel fashion, the narrative subtly uncovers the intricate dynamics between Native and non-Native America. Veiled behind ominous tropes is an imperative conversation about indigenous culture and appropriation. Sivan's performance is arrestingly mercurial, captivating, superbly relentless, and literally heart-wrenching. Needless to say, we love it when Sivan Alyra Rose acts up.

What was it like when you discovered modeling at the Santa Fe Indian Market?

It was mundane in comparison to the story of how I became Sasha, but it’s just as special and close to my heart. I had gotten the email to a casting director, just through the photographer roundup after a show, I received a self-tape audition months later and I’m sure I bombed it. Years later (18) that same casting director, Rene Haynes, was the one to point me towards Netflix! I believe in genuine contacts and relationships, so I’m humbled she’s even believed in me this long. 

You previously studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Tell us what art means to you.

Art is the base of everything I do. I’m an emotional being and I care deeply. It’s too much sometimes. Art has been the only “thing” too ever soothe me till the next day. The only thing that's not served with side à la alprazolam that is.

Share with us how you got into acting. Is it something you always wanted to do or was there a “moment” where it came together?

I’m a scholar at heart. I fucking love books. Reading is dope, crack is whack. Through (multiple) language education classes I was taught how to read past the text and how to go on and on for paragraphs about dimes, nickels, and oranges. I was good at it too. I love scripts because they’re like books, I love screenplay because it’s like brain sex creating a full and thorough story in your mind. Sorry, didn’t mean too get so heated. ;)

We are so excited about your new series Chambers, coming out on Netflix. Tell us everything about it.

Chambers is a contemporary indigenous horror story. Here to creep you out with blood, holes and glass. Chambers also doesn't forget the horrors of everyday life. White privilege, cultural appropriation, suicide, broken families, and the biggest horror of them all: a teenage girl. Bad things happen for a reason. I hope you're ready.

Tell us about the incredible cast and crew you got to work with. What was one of your favorite behind-the-scenes moments?

Umz (Uma Thurman) gave me what I thought at the time was just a simple shawl, to keep warm, and to keep safe, while she was off doing her scene. I love flowy scarves because flowy scarves you can spin round and round and round like a fancy shawl dancer. Around all this craft food, sharp grip carts, and a whole bunch of fun dangerous stuff. I just thank my deadly sins that when it was returned, it was clean and in one piece. However, in my defense. I didn’t know I was imagining myself in a dance battle for the pow wow princess title in an expensive Hermès shawl. 10/10 on the flow-y ness, would do again.

Did working on this project allow you to see yourself or your craft in a different light?

As a newcomer, it was like acting boot camp. I am now ready to withstand the roller coaster of emotions and fire that is Hollywood.

As an Apache/ Puerto Rican woman, what are your thoughts on representation in film and television?

I am San Carlos Apache from my mother's side and quarter-quarter Caribbean/Creole on my father’s side. That’s a lot of brown, I still don’t see much of myself where’d I’d like to. SO, I’m just gonna go ahead and do some of it for myself. Didn’t think I’d become my own biggest fan and biggest critic this early. Quand même. I have some good ideas anyway.

What do you think the industry can do to stay more inclusive?

Just cast us. As ourselves and not ourselves. Yes, we were in the old west Hollywood glamorized, but we’re still alive, still here today. I love Disney movies, but I don’t like Pocahontas. I like Rapunzel more. Why no classic storybook tale, same tropes and fantasy’s as Cinderella but with a Yaqui girl? Up in the tower with blue birds and mice? What would the harm be?

You have exceptional personal style. What your favorite thing to wear growing up? Is this something you would still wear today?

Thank you, I do. I’ve always loved playing “dress up”. I would wear my halloween costumes long into the winter because being a full time graveyard fairy or is pretty cool. I take halloween seriously now as an adult and the costumes have only gotten more extravagant.

We believe you have a brilliant career ahead of you. What do we have to look forward to next?

Wow, thanks. Well you said it best yourself, look forward to some more brilliance.

Thank you so much for spending time with us. Last but not least, would you agree with Andy Warhol when he said, “Art is what you can get away with?”

Aho! You can never take this life too seriously.