Actor Dakota Shapiro. Photo Credit: Bettina Niedermann
Actor Dakota Shapiro chatted about starring in the new film “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.”
On being a part of this new movie, Shapiro said, “It was great. It was such a big thing to be a part of. I was on a dry spell with work so it came into my life at the right time. I am so happy to be a part of it.”
“When I found out that I booked the part, I was in my living room and I didn’t even know what to do with myself. It was just a massive relief. It was a memorable moment. I sat on the ground in my apartment and just started at my phone,” he said.
Playing Billy in the movie
Shapiro opened up about playing his character Billy Taupe. “I like that Billy is a complicated character and not in just one way. I felt like I identified with a lot of his traits. It felt like an easy in for me; it was fun,” he said.
“I enjoyed meeting the other young actors and getting to work with them, and see how they work and learn from them. That was the most fun for me; also, being in Germany was cool,” he added.
Synopsis of the film
This movie follows a young Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) who is the last hope for his failing lineage, the once-proud Snow family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol.
With his livelihood threatened, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from the impoverished District 12. But after Lucy Gray’s charm captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift their fates.
With everything he has worked for hanging in the balance, Snow unites with Lucy Gray to turn the odds in their favor. Battling his instincts for both good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will ultimately become a songbird or a snake.
“With this movie, I hope people get an insight on how that authoritarian thinking develops. That is a cool theme in the movie, and that’s what I took away from it ,” he said.
On his daily motivations as an actor, he shared, “I am really motivated to work with other great artists in my field. I really want to work with people that I’ve admired for so long, and learn from them. That way, I can see why they are so great. I just want to keep getting better, that’s the main thing.”
The digital age
On being an actor in the digital age, Shapiro said, “Everybody is feeling the pressure of technology. It definitely opens up new avenues. I think more content is being made now more than ever, which is great for us. There are more opportunities and jobs.”
“On the other hand, with AI, we all may be replaceable soon. I am hoping that is not the case,” he added.
Regarding his future plans, he said, “To keep working, to keep booking cool jobs, and act my socks off. Those are my plans.”
He revealed that his favorite motto to live by is: “take it easy.”
On the title of the current chapter of his life, he responded, “Fall in Love.”
Advice for hopefuls in acting
For young and aspiring actors, he encouraged them to “keep trying.” “Trying over and over again is the game, and just don’t get discouraged. The ones that make it are the ones that stick around,” he said.
Shapiro defined the word success as “being able to make a full living as an actor, and doing what that he is proud of.”
To learn more about actor Dakota Shapiro, follow him on Instagram.
Dakota Shapiro talks about ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes’
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