October 20, 2016

The New York Film Academy welcomed Golden Globe-winning actress Jacqueline Bisset to its Los Angeles campus. The Guest Speaker Series event, moderated by producer Tova Laiter and Acting for Film instructor Phil Kaufman, began with a screening of director Linda Yellen’s “The Last Film Festival.” The film revolves around a struggling producer, played by the late Dennis Hopper, who enters an obscure film festival as his last hope for his failing film. Yellen’s film is about passion and hope when everything is going wrong.

“Women directors have to adjust, particularly to the men,” Bisset said about working with the female director, Linda Yellen. “That was a big lesson to me. Female directors can’t behave like me. Their voice level, their tone, their gestures all have to be controlled at all times. The minute she gets a bit wobbly, everyone jumps on her and tries to seize control.”

As an award-winning actress, Bisset broke into the business at a young age in Roman Polanski’s “Cul-De-Sac.” From there she went on to work with many other renowned directors on major motion pictures and television series, including “Bullitt,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” and, more recently, on FX’s “Nip/Tuck.” Given her extensive background as an actor for film and television, she was able to relay some valuable advice to the audience of aspiring actors.

“Educate yourself,” she said. “We are the breath of other people. We have to empathize with the world and people around us. What you have in your eyes will tell a story. You emanate in your energy and passion. It’s about the make-up and the costumes, of course, I think if you educate yourself you become a more interesting person which means you have more to give. Don’t have a silly life. Try to have a deep relationship soon. All of that stuff.”