DIORA BAIRD

Photography by EV ALEXANDER 

Makeup by BECKIE DEANGELIS


Who is Diora? Can you tell us about yourself?

I am a mother. I am a feminist. I am a vegan. I am always in need of an iced almond latte.

 

How did acting get start for you?

I started out modeling while I was still in diapers. Then, I began acting in plays when I was 10. It was mainly forced on me in order to help me get out of my shell since I was severely shy and introverted. I hated it at first, but eventually I caught the bug and have been devoted to acting for the last 20 years. Not long at all!

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Do some roles stay with you even after the project is over?

For the most part, I'm able to leave all that stuff behind me, but there have been a couple roles that were harder to shake. Usually, it’s the ones that involve extreme emotional turmoil.

 

You've said before you learned more about acting working with Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”), on the short film “Deep Down In Florida” than in traditional school. How did working with him change you as an actor?

Working with Sam allowed me to tap into some of those deeper emotions that I had yet to uncover. I had never cried on camera before working with him!

 

How important is it to you to balance the big-budget films with smaller independent ones?

Balance is always the goal in everything I aspire to do. At this point in my career, I just want to play well written characters that have something to offer other than the stereotypical object of affection. Budgets mean nothing to me.

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What are your thoughts on the current state of the film industry right now?

At this point in the industry, films are definitely less of value thanks to the vast selection of platforms we are able to produce television on. Working on a mini-series for Hulu or something like that has become the "new indie" in my opinion. It seems much harder to make a living as a film actor than it was just 10 years ago. TV is where it's at!

 

What has acting taught you about yourself?What is the proudest moment of your career so far?

Acting has taught me that nothing in life can be predicted. There is no guarantee as an actor, so dedication and patience is everything. One of my proudest moments was getting the opportunity to work with Mariska Hargitay on Law and Order: SVU. That was probably the most challenging, yet rewarding role thus far.

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Do you have any upcoming projects your fans can get excited for?

Right now, I am in pre-production on a thriller called They Watch that is written and to be directed by Peter Dukes. I'm also just finishing up a documentary based on the book Sexual Fluidity written by Dr. Lisa Diamond that was produced by my good friend Nikki Weiss. My passion project is what thrills me the most right now. I am in the midst of writing and producing my first show along with my girlfriend Mav Viola. This show is literally my dream come true.

 

What is your dream project?

Getting to create my own show, duh! Working with my partner in life is just the icing on the cake.

 

Top 3 favorite films?

Woman Under the Influence. Gena Rowland's gives me all the feels. Annie Hall. Diane Keaton is my spirit animal. Home Alone.

 

Top 3 music in your playlist right now?

Leon Bridges. Kendrick Lamar. Justin Beiber. You can blame my 4-year-old on the last one.

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What show are you currently binge watching?

Give me all the crime shows! I'm currently binging on a docuseries called The Confession Tapes on Netflix. I love a good murder mystery.

Any advice you can give to any aspiring artists out there?

The best advice I could offer is that it takes time. Patience is vital. Stay true to your morals and integrity. There's a lot I wish I could change, so I won't let anyone pressure me into doing something I'm not 100% sure about anymore.

If you’re going to have a book, what title would it be?

Oh geez. Ya - let's stick with that. Oh geez!

If you will be given the chance and opportunity to help a specific charity, what would it be and why?

Well, anything that contributes to our youth -- specifically homeless youth. If we don't invest in them, we are basically throwing away our entire future.