TIFF 2019-An Interview With Actress Victoria Dunsmore From “The Last Porno Show”

Kat Harlton

The Last Porno Show is about a struggling method actor who inherits the city’s last adult cinema from his estranged father and gets caught up in the pornographic underworld as he struggles to resolve the traumas from his youth and reconcile with the father he barely knew.

We had the opportunity to speak with Victoria Dunsmore who plays Ashley, a naive and ambitious actress looking to be a star. She convinces herself she will do whatever it takes to get there and after landing the role in an indie film, her tune starts to change.

Kat: Can you talk about your role in The Last Porno Show? Was there anything about your role that was particularly challenging?

Victoria: I play the role of Ashley in the film, who is a young aspiring actress, cast opposite the main character Wayne in an art film where they are expected to perform unstimulated sex on screen. She initially takes to the opportunity with the naive frame of mind that this will further her career, as she is the star. She soon comes to realize the pitfalls of her decision and begins to struggle with how to maintain her integrity, while not wanting to forfeit her role. The most challenging aspect of this role was to not affect or steer the character too much in one direction or another, which my over-analytical brain sometimes wants to do. I would love to reinterpret and have her be a brazen, vocal, chest thumping feminist who won’t stand for the treatment she’s receiving, but that’s not what was going on. She’s afraid. And as someone who grapples with a lot her fear herself, the easiest and hardest part was not layering anything on top of that.

Kat: What was your favourite scene to shoot, and why? (without giving away spoilers)

Victoria: My favourite scene to shoot was the rehearsal scene with Wayne. It was my longest day on set, and the tug-of-war dynamic of the scene itself was fun to play. Not to mention the set dressing for that particular apartment was incredible! There were a ton of random and obscene sex toys just laying around that I’d never seen before, and the whole place was a freaking mess. It was such organized chaos, and I felt like a goofball maniac by the end. It was a quirky time, very memorable.

Kat: What do you hope the audience takes away from the film?

Victoria: I hope people take away a reinforced sense of family and community. Where we come from impacts us so heavily, sometimes in ways we don’t even realize, as Wayne discovers. As for Ashley’s part in the film, the character arc is very topical, falling under the #metoo umbrella. She is cast to serve the male protagonists, and to an extent director Chads, sexual and romantic gratification. Ashley grapples quite heavily with her fear to speak up, a realistic and honest portrayal of how difficult it is to fight for what you deserve. Women are still having to choose between opportunity and self-preservation and I truly believe Ashley’s story reflects that.

Kat: Do you have any role models or mentors that you look to for inspiration?

Victoria: I mean, I have my celebrity go-to’s that always manage to inspire and re-inspire me with their work, Meryl Streep being the primary. I could watch Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Emily Blunt, Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, I could watch any of those people forever! I never get tired of them.

Kat: Do you have any advice for others who are looking to act or work in the entertainment industry?

Victoria: Don’t wait around for the moment you feel ‘ready’, because it’ll never come. Dive in. And something I was discussing with Nathanael and Kire last night that I feel is worth mentioning; you absolutely never know who will be where ten years from now, so treat everyone with generosity and kindness. Karma is a real thing, especially in this industry. It’s also just good advice for leading a decent life and being a decent person.

For more on The Last Porno Show and screening times visit: https://www.tiff.net/events/the-last-porno-show

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