Chantal Casutt, who stars in the upcoming feature film, ‘Brave Old World’, talks life in Los Angeles as Swiss actress, making movies and being front and center on high-profile movies and TV shows in Hollywood.
Chantal, congratulations on your wonderful achievements to date. What can you tell us about your new movie, ‘Brave Old World?’
Hey guys, yes so ‘Brave Old World’ is a feature film written and directed by Giovanni Zuniga and produced by Christin Walia. The film is a psychological exploration of what it is like to live in and exit a cult. It is a deep and meaningful exploration of loneliness, belonging and identity. It looks at how levels of religiosity and cultic affiliation tend to rise in proportion to the perceived uncertainty of an environment. The less control we feel we have over our circumstances, the more likely we are to entrust our fates to a higher power. Leaving is often not the hardest thing and many cult members tend to come back after leaving the cult. The film explores those social, economic, and psychological forces.
The movie follows a couple, Shiloh and Priscilla, as they meet and fall in love while in a cult. However, Priscilla decides to leave. What follows is the tragic derailment of their relationship as both try to wrestle with their beliefs.
I play a character called Adelaide who becomes a bit of a guiding light to Priscilla. She is an ex-cult member and has started a grief group to support other ex-members. Adelaide at once provides a space where members can feel less lonely as well as share their grievances both with the world outside and inside of the cult. Though innocent and kind, Adelaide herself also displays a lot of complexity. While preaching about the abuse she experienced when in the cult, she also frequently meanders into nostalgia and reminiscing. In Adelaide we see clearly displayed the inner turmoil that cult members go through.
The film is currently in post-production and will soon enter the festival circuit.
From Switzerland to the sparkling city lights of Los Angeles, both are so different. Can you share with us some of your preferred California hangouts?
Where to start? Los Angeles is chock-full of interesting places and the diversity of the city is one of the things I love most about living here. Because Los Angeles is a melting pot of all these different cultures, a real stand-out is the food. So many cuisines represented, some of my favorite restaurants being Angelini Osteria, Bavel, Tao, Din Tai Fung, and Moonshadows.
In terms of hang outs, I love both the Getty Museum and the Getty Villa. The beautiful architecture and gardens coupled with the art collection transports you somewhere else. For the best sunset view the Griffith Observatory is a must. A little oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city. As a lover of Japanese culture and architecture I also love the Japanese Gardens we have in the city, I recommend the one near Van Nuys in particular. It has such calming energy and feels like a respite.
Spending time by the ocean is one of my favorite things to do. My preferred beaches are in the Malibu area. Zuma Beach is great, and I love doing the little hike up Point Dume. If you go in early spring, you might even spot some whales there. Also, El Matador beach is really special and carries a lot of great memories for me.
Are there any creature comforts from Europe that you miss?
There are many, food in particular. I miss my dad’s cooking and great chocolate and the freshness of the produce there. I haven’t been home to the apartment I grew up in in almost three years and I definitely miss the feeling I get there. It’s calm and quiet despite being close to the city center. Also, the weather! I love California weather, it’s one of the best things about living here, but sometimes I long for a stormy day where I can stay cooped up inside with a blanket and hot tea. I also haven’t seen snow in years now which is so strange for someone who grew up in Switzerland.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on a show right now called ‘Godlike Gaming’ and we’re getting ready to shoot more episodes. I also worked on two films and a fictional podcast that should be releasing soon and I’m excited for the world to see. And I’m writing two films that I am hoping to produce in the coming months. There are more projects in the works, but I can’t say too much about them yet!
How can people find and connect with you?
Thank you so much. People can follow me on Instagram | Facebook | IMDb