Talking to THE GIRL HE MET ONLINE – Yvonne Zima
“Unfortunately, I play the girl he met online,” Zima blurted out when we spoke about the project. “And, I think she’s probably one of the worst examples ever for young girls. She puts all her values on her looks and her ability to attract a man. So, what happens is she’s left with a hollow face, which is a really scary thing to explore. She’s really literally a void.
“She also does a little bit of The Runaway Bride thing where she pretends to like things guys like. She always shifts and changes according to the man she’s with.
A Tough Role
Though playing the role of Gillian Casey was a tough one for Zima, she did manage to connect with her character in subtle ways. “What’s interesting is she lives at home with her mom and, at the time I shot the project, I was living at home with my mom. She takes care of her mother, and I was taking care of my mom, so there were some parallels I didn’t have to work on. But what I did have to work on was the fact that she’s a sociopath. So, I had to look at videos of people who were deemed sociopaths, and I had to read up on the pathology. I played her with a mental illness, and that was hard, because I’m pretty sane and pretty happy, especially for an actress,” laughed Zima.
She continued. “I didn’t have that much time to prepare. I read about bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, both of which I think she probably has. It’s important for me, when I play a role where someone has a mental illness, to play it with sensitivity from an educated standpoint.
“I think Gillian has the sad disease we all have, which is the want and need to find love. We want to be loved, and we want to be held. But, truly, if I met this person, I wouldn’t like her.”
A Good Start
Zima began her acting career at the age of four, appearing in such series as ER, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and The Young and the Restless. “I think every experience is educational,” she said, “And, I think you build confidence in yourself. Obviously in a childhood role, there’s not a lot of preparation, but the instinct is still there. Sometimes your instinct to do or not to do a certain thing is right, sometimes it’s not.”
One of Zima’s dreams is to act with her sisters, Madeline (Betas) and Vanessa, on a project. “I think it would be great to do our version of the show Girls. I don’t really watch it, because I think it’s like the hipster version of Sex and the City. I loved Sex and the City. A little known fact about my sisters and I is that we’re really funny. We’re really raunchy. I think we’d like to have great female roles, all of us together, definitely a comedy. My sisters are the funniest, the most amazing, talented girls I know.
She’d also like to play Barbarella in the Amazon’s remake of the film. “I love the campiness of the original. And I have the bod and looks for it. I’d love to play her, but we’ll see.”
Upcoming for Zima is a film shot in upstate New York called “The Automatic Hate,” an indie thriller set for a 2015 release, about two families, where one keeps the other a secret. She said, “I’m really excited about it. It’s well-written, and it’s directed by Justin Lerner, whose only 30 but who’s really talented.”
She also recently shot The Last Light, a post-apocalyptic thriller shot in Austin Texas. “In this project, a group of strangers find themselves trapped in a building together, and they have to survive. It’s totally different from anything I’ve ever done and a lot of fun too.”
Look for The Girl He Met Online to premiere on Lifetime on February 8.
Cheryl has been a freelance TV/film writer for more than 10 years. Simultaneously, she has worked in PR for Bon Jovi Productions in NYC, PolyGram Records (also in NYC), and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations. Cheryl has published articles at suite101.com, “Sci-Fi Entertainment” magazine, and “Soap Opera Weekly.” She was also a credited researcher for English author Denis Meikle’s JOHNNY DEPP: A KIND OF ILLUSION. Cheryl enjoys writing for the entertainment industry and meeting new people. She is also an animal lover.