StarCentral Magazine Interview With “I Can Only Imagine” Star Nicole DuPort

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Born and raised in Northern California, Nicole DuPort grew up playing sports, and by a twist of fate when her brother came home with an acting audition flyer, jumped head first into the world of acting. Performing in plays at a community college while she was still in high school, Nicole went on to attend UC Berkley with an art history major and theater minor. It was there that she caught the attention of a young filmmaker’s eye and landed her first starring role in the Indie festival winning psychological thriller ‘Sonata.’ The role eventually earned her The Jack Nance Breakthrough Performance Award at New York’s VisionFest.

Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Nicole soon booked the female lead in Mark Young’s art-house thriller ‘Southern Gothic’ alongside Yul Vazquez and William Forsythe. Young enjoyed working with Nicole so much that he wrote the lead role in ‘Tooth & Nail’ for Nicole to play opposite Michael Kelly (House of Cards), Rachel Minor, and Rider Strong. Since then, Nicole has earned Guest Star roles on shows like ‘Vegas,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ and ‘NCIS.’ Nicole also recurs as Carol DeParis in Amazon’s Original Series ‘The Last Tycoon’ starring Matt Bomer and Kelsey Grammer.

Next, Nicole will appear as singer Amy Grant in ‘I Can Only Imagine,’ directed by The Erwin Brothers and starring Dennis Quaid. As a lifelong Amy Grant fan, Nicole couldn’t pass up the opportunity to audition to play her in this movie. Post auditioning for the role, a tarot card reader foretold Nicole singing to a large crowd of fans. Cut to a pinnacle scene showing Nicole, as Amy Grant, singing to a massive audience of adoring fans. The impact and touch of fate didn’t fall on deaf ears. The highly anticipated, feel-good film, directed by the Erwin Brothers (Mom’s Night Out and Woodlawn) follows the inspiring and unknown true story behind MercyMe’s beloved, chart-topping song that brings ultimate hope to so many. It’s a gripping reminder of the power of true forgiveness and is sure to touch audiences of all spiritual leanings. Starring opposite Dennis Quaid, J. Michael Finley, Trace Adkins and Cloris Leachman, Nicole steps into the shoes of the “Queen of Christian Pop,” Amy Grant to tackle her show-stopping, pivotal role. Amy a fixture throughout the film connects with Bart (J. Michael Finley) while he is on his journey of fate and self-discovery learning to find his voice after a troubled childhood and mental roadblocks surrounding his relationship with his father.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Nicole courtesy of the Anderson Group and here’s what went down:

1. How were you actually ‘discovered’? A chance encounter on the street? Audition?

I was never really discovered… it’s been a lot of hard work! My first feature film role did come from being “discovered,” I suppose. I was playing Juliet at a theater in Berkeley, and a director saw me and ended up writing a feature film that he asked me to star in. For me, it’s been a series of small breaks like that.

2. What do you like most about acting?

I love the opportunities for learning something new.

3. Can you tell us about your role in I Can Only Imagine?

I play singer/songwriter Amy Grant. I was a big fan of Amy’s when I was growing up, so it was a tremendous honor to play her.

4. What sort of person is going to love this character?

I think this movie will appeal to people from all walks of life. It’s a story about getting through difficult times, finding your voice, and forgiving others. I think most people can relate. Fans of Bart Millard (whose life story the movie is based on) and MercyMe will Love the film.

5. How is this character like you? Different?

Amy Grant is a very grounded, calm person. I really tried to channel that aspect of her. I tend to be a little more animated and excitable than I think she is. But I think we are both kind and humble people.

6. What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

I think the biggest challenge for me was playing guitar! I’ve been trying to learn guitar for years, but am still a novice. I practiced so much to be able to play acoustic guitar in concert for the big scene in ‘I Can Only Imagine.’

7. Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

It would have been fun if Amy had played herself!

8. Besides yourself, which actor in this production is going to blow people away?

Dennis Quaid gives a heartbreaking performance. People will love his transformation in the film. J. Michael Finley, who plays Bart in the movie, is going to be a breakout star. He is so funny and talented.

9. If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?

I would have loved to play a member of MercyMe and gotten to do more concert scenes.

10. What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Definitely playing in concert to 3,000 fans while filming ‘I Can Only Imagine.’ That was an incredible experience. I felt like such a rock star.

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11. Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I had a crush on Patrick Dempsey when I was a kid, so working with him on Grey’s Anatomy was a highlight. He’s a great guy – super fun and easy to work with.

12. What sort of marketing do you do to make your image and brand more appealing to the audience?

I try to stay positive on social media and in all my marketing materials. For me, it’s about being authentic and creative. I like to keep it fun and upbeat. That’s my brand, I guess.

13. How active are you on social media?

I should be more active! I can be kind of shy, but I try to post as often as possible.

14. What is your favorite social media platform?

Instagram is my favorite. Follow me! @nicole.duport

15. I’m guessing you’ve been in the entertainment industry for a few years now, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned.

I think the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to take risks and be kind to everyone (yourself included!). Surround yourself with people who are creative, supportive and positive.

16. Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

I try to practice balance. I listen to my body. I try not to compare myself to others and only compete with myself. I eat real foods that make me feel good and move my body every day.

17. What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I’m excited to continue my creative journey. I love to paint, write, direct, as well as act. So, I’m excited to make new things! I’m working on directing a feature this year. And I always look forward to what acting roles will come my way next.

‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie you’ve seen? LADYBIRD

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Everything natural and kind. I think nature and love are the two most beautiful things in the world.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Visit Machu Picchu.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” Sing in a band.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? My crooked canine tooth.

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