Chances are you recognize Carlson Young from one thing or another…or another.
She’s played memorable roles in True Blood, Pretty Little Liars, Key and Peele and most recently in MTV’s reboot of Scream as Brooke Maddox—AND so much more. But, her home is full of more than just scattered scripts, she’s also studying creative writing, creating her own short films and reveling in the music-making of her husband Isom Innis of Foster The People. Check out our interview with her below:
What projects are you currently working on?
I just finished a short film that I wrote and directed called The Blazing World. I’m very excited to have it completely done, so now I’m just wrapping up the writing process of the feature version of the short.
Have you always known you wanted to work in the film industry?
Yes. It was always my goal and dream, so I’ve honestly never even thought about anything else seriously.
What was it like being a part of a show (Scream) that was based on such a cult film series? Did people’s expectations scare you?
It was amazing! Of course, the expectations were sort of daunting, but it was a really fun show to work on and we had such a great cast.
What are some films/TV shows that have influenced your vibe?
I watch a lot of TV, to be honest with you. I’m a Twin Peaks kind of gal, with some Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones, Broad City + Abfab woven in there. Favorite 3 films? I’d have to go with 2001 ASO, Lost Highway, and Pan’s Labyrinth. At least that’s what I’m feelin’ at this particular moment.
You’re from the South, where I feel individual style isn’t necessarily celebrated—it’s not stifled, but it’s definitely still an aesthetically conservative place. Did you feel a shift in personal style when you moved to the west coast?
it definitely has an aesthetically conservative vibe! When I moved away, I felt like it was easier to assimilate my own person and style in general. Getting out of your comfort zone, whether it’s leaving the south or really just your home in general, is so vital in that process of personal evolution.
What advice would you give someone who is trying to cultivate their own personal style?
I’d say force yourself out of your comfort zone and figure out what you really, truly like—what speaks to you, what you identify with, what makes you feel the most like yourself.
I read that you’re studying creative writing—could you tell us what compelled you to do so?
Yeah! I did. I always loved writing growing up—English was my favorite subject in school, so it was a no-brainer for me to study that come college. I really wanted to gather acting knowledge and experience from actually working and being on sets, but academically, writing always came easiest for me. It’s been a really great component for me while working as an actor.
A lot of people think that school can crush artistry, but I beg to differ. How do you feel that the structure of school helps cultivate creativity?
Oh it’s such a breeding ground for creativity! I absolutely loved going to school, but it’s interesting because I deferred a year so I was a bit older starting out and it made me appreciate every class SO much more. I feel like I was listening to my professors in a totally different way after just having that little time off and life experience. I can’t recommend that enough!
How is your husband’s craft inspiring to you? Do you guys ever collaborate creatively?
My husband is entirely and completely inspiring to me. He is the most talented person I know, and yes, we actually collaborated for the first time on my short film (he did the music). We came to a place by the end where we really understood each other, even though we speak different creative languages.
Finally, tell us what you’re currently obsessed with:
I’m currently obsessed with: Dennis Villanueve, Anderson Paak, (the anticipation of) Search Party season 2, and (maybe a little biased) the new Foster the People album.