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Meet Cornelia Hanes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cornelia Hanes.

Cornelia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Stockholm, Sweden and moved to the US when I received a full athletic scholarship to the women’s swim team at Long Island University, there I was able to pursue my two loves simultaneously, theatre and elite swimming. I lived in New York City for five years after graduating from college, pursuing acting in the form of theatre, commercials, short films as well as print and modeling work. I also decided to get certified as a personal trainer since I’ve always been a little fitness junky, and that’s when I decided to take the leap and move to Los Angeles.

I have now been in LA for almost two years and I absolutely love living on the west coast, the access to nature and the life quality here is incomparable. Today I am an actress and comedian (I write sketches and I do stand up) and I’m writing my first short film! Ever since I moved to LA I have also become more involved in the production side of the industry, and find work on the other side so fascinating. It truly is a puzzle and each and everyone on the crew has an important role to fill, and I’m realizing how much I enjoy wearing different hats, not just the acting one.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Haha, it certainly has not! But that’s the beauty of life, isn’t it? To grow through what you go through. I’m very close with my family so the fact that I choose to live 6000 miles away from them with a nine hour time difference blows my mind sometimes, and on top of that I have chosen a profession with a lot of uncertainty and competition, not to mention the VISA process that I think all immigrants can relate too.

A big reason I moved to LA was that I felt stagnant in New York; creatively, emotionally, mentally… I am so glad I was brave enough to move, yet again because the reward has been immense. I’m booking more, I’m writing more, just the fact that I am now creating more gives such fulfillment when you are an artist!

Please tell us more about your work.
At the moment I’m specializing in comedy; the sketches I make, the stand-up comedy I do, and also the script of my short film. The sketches you can find on my Instagram @corneliahanes.

Drama, and more so action, is something I’m actively pursuing as well. Since I am an athlete and love to work with my body, I’m currently learning Krav Maga. I would love to perform the majority of my own fight choreography and stunts in the future.

What I’m most proud of is probably my versatility, I’m a 5’10 former elite swimmer from Sweden who also happens to be rather funny… on occasion.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Oh, I have so many! I would always make my own home videos of me imitating Swedish comedians as well as doing sketches with my best friend, I think that’s how I’ve always known I wanted to be an actor. ” Let’s change it to “Oh, I’m fortunate to have so many! I would always make my own home videos of me imitating Swedish comedians as well as doing sketches with my best friend, and forcing my little brother to be the cameraman. I think that’s how I’ve always known I wanted to be an actor.

Everyone was there; my family, my teammates, my coaches and to be able to share that win with them was magic. I was 14. It’s so amazing to think back on because I have so much to thank for my swimming career, it led me to America and has made me the person I am today.

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Image Credit:

Isabelle Kri, Joei Blunt, Mathilda Tennysdotter, Neal Franc

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