Interview with actress Cheyenne Rae Hernandez
Today on What On What’s Good with Host Jovin Tardif, I am here with actress Cheyenne Rae Hernandez. Cheyenne plays alongside Shia LaBeouf in the new crime thriller film ‘The Tax Collector’. The film premiered on Digital Platforms on August 7th. In our interview, topics include her favorite movies, getting into the film business, behind-the-scenes on the set of ‘The Tax Collector’, why they call her ‘Super Weapon’, and much more.
1. Describe some of your favorite movies growing up?
My favorite movies growing up were Willow, Tombstone, and Last of the Mohicans. I also grew up loving horror movies and have been watching them as long as I can remember. My parents let me watch more than they probably should have, and so while all of the other 4-year-olds raved at school about cartoons, I was trying to convince them that they needed to watch “Jeepers Creepers.” I still turned out okay!
2. What made you decide to get into the film industry?
My brother and I grew up putting on shows for our family and talking about how we would make it big one day. We loved entertaining people and becoming someone else. When I finished my time in the military, I just knew that it was time for me to pursue acting. It’s in my blood and I have a passion for it that I can’t put into words.
3. Tell us about ‘The Tax Collector’ and your role in the film.
“The Tax Collector” is really about a man (Bobby Soto) and his best friend (Shia LaBeouf) who are gang members tasked with collecting taxes in the hood. It shows the main character’s home life and how he is also a family man, and then it shows how the villains (Conejo and I) come in and try to take over the kingdom. I play “Gata,” who is Conejo’s, right-hand woman. Gata is incredibly viscous, and the best way to describe her is Raw and almost animalistic even. She is humanity’s darkest desires, and she has absolutely no inhibitions–she takes and she kills. She serves nobody but herself and Conejo.
4. Any fun behind-the-scenes stories while filming “The Tax Collector”?
There are so many! I really was blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people. I was known as the trickster onset. I went around messing with everyone. I used to sit in my car at night when everyone was leaving the set and honk when people got close to scare them. I had way too much fun!
5. You are known as the ‘Super Weapon’ Please explain.
I’ve had a few people say that to me, and I have to admit, I like it! People didn’t know that I could handle weapons, so they were pretty shocked on set when they saw what I could do. I was put in MMA for the film and my military background really helped me excel. My dad had taught me how to knife fight, grapple, and fistfight at a very young age, and so I was comfortable giving and taking hits too.
Even with that experience, I had never done my own stunts before, so I know David had his reservations about letting me try on the day of filming. He wound up giving in to my begging, and when I saw how proud he was that I pulled it off, I couldn’t stop smiling! It was the beginning of an addiction for me to continue training to do my own stunts.
6. Do you have any advice you can give others about stunts?
What I can say is that I have learned so much about this world, and I still have so much more to learn. You’re going to get hurt and you need to decide if it’s worth it to you. Every single person that I have met in the stunt world has had a passion and a hunger that I have admired deeply. We recognize that passion, and yes, that insanity in each other, and we push each other.
I’ve trained when I could, where I’ve could, and I’ve found that the ones that have been doing this for a while are always happy to share knowledge with people excited to hear it. If it’s something you’re interested in, then find people nearby who already do it, and just ask them questions about where they train and what they train in. You’ll never know if you never ask. I ask my friends so many questions, and I never feel like they are annoyed with me for asking them.
7. Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy doing outside of film?
I’m all over the place. I am writing a screenplay, and I love to paint. I’m a total video game geek, and I collect stray cats to rehabilitate them. I love horseback riding, fishing, and hiking, but my favorite hobby is definitely MMA!
8. Where can we see you next?
COVID is definitely impacting auditions lately, but I have my eye on a couple of projects! People can keep up with me and my adventures on my Instagram cheyennerae_hernandez.