A new project for actress Santana Dempsey is a role that’s been in the making for years. In the past she always played the lovable “tech-savvy nerd,” but her new leading role in the thriller “Lowlife” is just the role to push the starlet into a different universe of stardom.
“It’s the most intense thing I have ever done and I’m so lucky that Ryan Prows, who’s the director, chose me to do this because I kind of got out of those little girl roles,” Dempsey told GGB. “I’ve been wanting to dive into something more edgy, something more dramatic, so he was really the first one to give me this opportunity and I’m so grateful.”
In “Lowlife,” Santana plays Kaylee, a 9 month pregnant heroine addict who is in the fight of her life after being kidnapped. Starring Nicki Micheaux, Ricardo Zarate, Jon Oswald, and Shaye Ogbonna, Dempsey describes the movie as a “Mexican Pulp Fiction” which was pretty “intense” for her having done all her own stunts.
Later this month “Lowlife” gets a world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival happening July 21 in Montreal, Canada. “It’s a ride,” Santana adds about the film stating it will be a cult classic. “Indies take chances on the stories and the actual actors while blockbusters do not because there’s so much money involved and at the end of the day it’s about the money. In independent it’s not about the money it’s about the story.”
Along with her upcoming role in “Lowlife,” in a Mel Jones directed digital series called Leimert Park, and auditioning for reoccurring roles, Santana has tapped back into her written roots sharing a powerful short story called “An Impossible Feat” featured in a book of collected of stories called “The Beiging of America.”
“I’ve never been that person who feels like you should hide things” Dempsey said about her story which reflected and took inspiration from her childhood. “I found this competition about writing a short story, it had to be in narrative format which I never done, and it needed to be on the topic of mixed race or multiculturalism because the book is called the “The Beiging of America,” like the browning of America.”
Thirty-five stories were to be selected and Santana’s was chosen. “Mine has a lot to do with when I had my big curly hair and how my hair was never accepted. It takes place in a foster home. I was there for three years and it’s about how my character, her and her sister got taken away by social services from their birth mom, who’s Caucasian, and their birth father, who was Afro-Latino, wasn’t around. [It’s] their journey of going through this all white foster home.”
The story has deep themes about self-love, self-worth, and the impact on what others say to you. “Words are powerful. I think when you’re dealing with kids, and even like today with social media, that parents, teachers, and our peers we have to be careful with our words and we really need to accept everyone for exactly who they are in all of their beauty and in all of their ugliness.”
Be sure to follow Santana on social media @SantanaDempsey on Instagram, Twitter, and search her name on Facebook. Watch the trailer for “Lowlife” in the clip below. Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Photo: Wolf Michael