Photographer Joshua Shultz
Styling Jaclyn Prophet
Hair and Make-up Ashley Donovan
Story by Joshua Shultz
Check out the behind the scenes video here…
BM: How did you get into acting?
CB: I started out with dance and I had been doing it professionally for about three years when I decided to transition into acting. I guess you could say business was slow and I wasn’t getting as many auditions. On top of that my dad was deployed and I was starting puberty so it was just a lot of rocks being thrown to block my road. It was kind of a decision of finding a new thing to do so that I wasn’t wasting my time and money while I was in LA.
BM: So you were in LA at this time?
CB: Yeah, my dad was stationed in San Diego and my mom was in LA with me so we were paying rent in two places. I started not to work as much as I had been for the last three years and it came down to finding something new or moving back to San Diego so we could be a family. It was a lot of sacrificing so I decided to try acting.
BM: How did that play out from starting acting to ending up on Gotham?
CB: It was tough. It was a lot of training and a lot of auditioning. I went on 93 auditions before I got Gotham. I wasn’t counting. In the heat of the moment and being a very emotional person, my manager went through and counted all of my auditions.
It was very weird and cool timing at the same time because I was so tired of getting no’s, I was so tired of getting rejected all the time. I would go into these auditions and at the beginning I was new to it so I didn’t expect to immediately get a job. Then the further into it I got, the more experience I got at auditioning and I was still getting rejected. I started questioning whether acting was the right thing for me to do or if I should have just decided to move to San Diego. I started questioning myself and the moment I thought of changing my mind and changing my career path, my manager found a breakdown for this 14-year-old street thief orphan where the actor needs to be able to do “cat movements” and it was like this is totally me, this is my role! So, I did my research as far as cat movements go. I looked up cats the musical on youtube and stalked my cat for three days and I choreographed a set of cat movements for my final audition and now I’m here!
BM: What was it like transitioning from booking your role, rehearsal and then watching yourself on the first episode on TV?
CB: Oooo! It was weird for me because Gotham wasn’t my first acting job but it was my first TV show. I am a perfectionist and I am very hard on myself so I was a little nervous going into it just because I wasn’t as experienced as the other people on the show. I didn’t know what to expect. I loved being on set and I absolutely knew the moment I stepped on my first day that I was meant to do it. As far as life changes, my life has really changed except that sometimes people recognize me but I’m still trying to finish school, I still stalk my cat every now and then and I’m just a somewhat normal teenage girl. Sort of? Not really? Haha.
BM: Were you familiar with the comics before you got the role?
CB: No. I started researching the comics and started watching the movies but then I felt that doing that was kind of reversing all the work I had done prior to that because Selina doesn’t know that she is going to become this feline “anti-hero”. She is just living her life and surviving. When I auditioned, I made sure to play her as human as possible because that was what the breakdown had said. I had no idea I was auditioning for Selina Kyle. So, I played her as an orphan street thief, just a kid that is a survivor. By reading the comic books and watching the movies I felt like I was limiting myself to this idea of what everyone sees Selina Kyle as when I am playing a whole different character than what people are used to.
BM: What’s your favorite part about playing Selina Kyle?
CB: I love everything about her. I love her complexity, I love her fashion choices although sometimes the shoes she picks are very uncomfortable. Haha. I guess the main part that I find really cool about playing her is that girls see her as a role model and in turn they look up to me and it’s a very odd feeling but very fulfilling as well because I get to play this character that is a very strong, young, independent woman who doesn’t necessarily need someone for help but still is very human in that she yearns for love. I think that is a very cool role model to not only little girls but teenage girls as well because she is relatable. She is a great example of what, in my opinion, of what every young girl should strive to be.
BM: How do you get into character?
CB: Well, when I’m in the works I watch a lot of recipes and food blog accounts on Instagram. That’s my zen moment while I’m in the works. As far as getting into character I always have to take my moment. My moment literally depends, sometimes I will do my push-ups, sometimes I will go into my dressing room and just breath for a few seconds. It really depends on my mood but I definitely have to take a moment to zone in and focus. If I don’t I’m still Camren when I am in front of the camera and not Selina. That’s part of my preparation, to make sure I take my moment.
BM: Do you feel any added pressure playing Catwoman given that so many great actresses have played her throughout the years?
CB: At first, part of me did because I’m the 7th person to play her but the first to play her as I am, a young version. Then I reminded myself that because I am the first to play her as she is on the show there is no pressure to that because nobody knows what to expect from her. Whatever I give is what they will know because I am the first to do it. So yes, at first I felt a kind of pressure from myself and from the gigantic fan base that DC Comics and the Batman franchise already has but I’ve grown to not be so hard on myself when it comes to that because I’m the first!
BM: Do you use your dance background to help you with the cat like movements required for your character?
CB: YES! I am a strong believer that I would not be able to play Selina if I was not a dancer. Because she is not very communicative and she is very observant, her communication often happens through her body language. Being a dancer has allowed me to not only be comfortable in my body but also know how my body works and what to do as far as what emotions I’m feeling. Because of that, yes, it has definitely helped and because I am comfortable in my body I can do stunts easier than the average person who isn’t comfortable.
BM: Do you do any of your own stunts?
CB: Yeah, yeah, yeah! But it really depends on what the stunts is. Sometimes it’s the weirdest thing because to me it would be the simplest stunt and there are legality issues where I cannot do it because I’m not eighteen yet. But you know, they will have me jump off hanging lamps, or they’ll have me right on the edge of a scaffolding three stories up in New York City, or they will have me do a fights scene. They have gotten a little more lenient as I’ve grown. When we first started the show I definitely didn’t do all of my own stunts.
BM: What do you think is next for the show Gotham?
CB: I hope a season 4!
BM: How would you define beauty?
CB: Confidence, happiness and kindness. A person could be the most beautiful person you have ever seen in your life but if that person is a bully in any sort of way they are suddenly not beautiful to you anymore. That’s how I view people in my life, I don’t like to have any negativity in my life at all. So how I define how beautiful someone is, is the whole package. Are they happy? Because if you are happy in yourself then you will spread happiness. Are you confident? Because if you’re confident you won’t put anybody down. Are you kind? Because if you are a kind person to yourself than you will be kind to others. So, I’d say confidence, happiness and kindness is what defines beauty.
BM: What advice can you give to other artists out there who are working hard and struggling? What advice to you have for them to inspire them to carry on and achieve their goals?
CB: That’s a tough one because I feel like I’m always in need of advice myself. It’s always a struggle so I think the important thing, which I am also having to learn myself is the importance of patience. I think when you are a striving artist and you want to be recognized for your beauty and your work it’s tough as a human being to be rejected and to feel misunderstood. The important part in being a true artist is being confident, happy, kind and patient because patience will make the struggle a lot easier. I have to remember that myself.
BM: Where’s the best place for fans to keep up to date with your journey?
CB: Well, you can hit me up on social media. All of my accounts are my name including Facebook and Instagram and twitter are my name, Camren Bicondova. I also have a website as well where it shows all of my social media in one setting and it shows all of the recent photoshoots I’ve had and things like that. Gotham comes back on the air April 24th at 8 p.m. on Fox so I am very excited for that to come back up.