10 THINGS – Emily Robinson

You started out modeling at a young age, what made you want to make the switch to acting?

I started modeling when I was five years-old and I absolutely loved being able to tell stories through pictures. As I got older, my interests grew and I no longer thought that actors were miniature people inside my TV screen. I wanted to tell stories and make people feel something. So, I came home one day from school and said to my mom and dad, “I want to act.” The rest is history. 

Are there any actresses that you look up to in the business?

Of course! There are so many people that inspire me, but Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Gaby Hoffmann, Kathryn Hahn, and Lena Dunham are among the first that come to mind. I love their vulnerability, presence, wit, and overall badassery. 

You’ve also made appearances on “Saturday Night Live”!  What are the pros and cons to doing live shows vs pre-taped shows?

Well, I grew up in New York doing theatre. So, I love the adrenaline and high you get from performing live. Knowing that you have one shot to get it right is extremely empowering. That being said, I think that pre-taped shows and movies can give actors the opportunity to explore and experiment in ways that you would never have the opportunity to do if you could not cut and restart the scene.


Speaking of taped shows, you play the young Ali on the show “Transparent”. Is it different to play a younger version of a character that already exists, or do you treat it as a different character completely?

It’s definitely different. Even before I auditioned for Transparent, I watched Gaby in the pilot over and over again to pick up her mannerisms and essence. Even though people change over time, I think the most important thing is to make sure that the audience feels that that they really are watching the same person. So, finding that middle ground of still bringing yourself to the character and finding the character another actor has already created can be a fine line to walk. For season 2, I definitely had a different experience considering I was able to help create the character. Nevertheless, finding both Ali and Rose were both very intuitive processes. 

What has it been like working on the show?

Working on Transparent has been a dream. Jill Soloway creates such a safe and creative space that enables the cast and crew to experiment and push themselves. Working on the show feels like the creative collaboration of my dreams. From starting the season off with a Joan Scheckel workshop to get the arc of the season and our characters into our bones to the magnificent acting lessons that are the Transparent table reads, it’s been such an incredible learning experience. From day one everyone accepted me as part of the Pfefferman family, and for that, I am forever grateful.


You’re so young, and yet you are already making a name for yourself! What advice would you give to other teens trying to make it in the business?

Well thank you! I would just say that it is not an easy field.  You always have to keep pushing yourself and persevering through the sea of rejection. However, if it’s your passion, never give up, because I think it’s one of the most magical things in the world, telling stories. 

How do you feel you maintain a balance of being a regular teen while still working doing what you love?

It’s not always easy. Sometimes I’ll go weeks without seeing my best friends because of school and work. But, if they’re true friends and if you love what you’re doing, it’s completely worth it. We all figure it out. (Skype helps!)

When you aren’t acting, what do you do in your spare time?

If I’m not acting, I’m either reading, writing, binging TV shows and movies, or in bed with my dog Sammy Skyping with my friends and eating dark chocolate.  


Do you have a favorite role you’ve gotten to play so far?

That’s such a difficult question! In short, no, I like to think that every character I play teaches me a little something about the world and myself. But there so many characters I am still dying to portray. I love jumping into other peoples’ lives and immersing myself into their worlds and stories. 

Congrats on everything and we wish you the most success! Are there any other projects coming up we can expect to see you in?

Thank you so much, and yes! I’m in a movie Broken Vows that is premiering this month at Afm, a movie I filmed over the summer, Going Under, should be premiering in the next year, and I’m currently filming Behold My Heart, so please stay tuned!  Oh and please watch Season 2 of Transparent, which premieres today (12/11/15)!

Written by Shelby Gottschalk

Images: Courtesy of TJ Manou

Instagram: @VeryEmilyRobinson

Twitter: @Emily_Robinson