Q&A: Eugenie Bondurant, actress, singer, model, and more

Meet Eugenie Bondurant: Hunger Games alumnus, St. Petersburg resident, natural cross-collaborator. Bondurant is a working Eugenie Bondurantactor, former model, cabaret singer, voiceover artist, and acting instructor. Her reputation as a teacher is visible; she’s warmly embraced by no fewer than three students during our interview at the Black Crow Coffee Company.

“There’s this artistic growth in St. Petersburg; it’s really a special place,” she says, in between mini-visits. “If you have an
eclectic idea, there’s support here.”

She’s part of that support. As a teacher at Andi Matheny Acting Studios across the street, she ‘walks the walk’ by supporting her students’ acting journeys as she continues to navigate her own. Her breakout role, as Tigris in The Hunger Games series, concluded in 2015 with the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. She’s been steadily traveling a creative road of creative success since.

For a snapshot of Bondurant’s current projects and more reasons why she believes in St. Petersburg as an eclectic, inspiring locale, keep reading.

Q: What film projects have you been involved in lately?

A: It’s been busy! Over the summer, I wrapped I Saw a Man with Yellow Eyes, which was written and directed by Castille Landon. Castille has local roots; she is originally from Bradenton. I play the role of Dani McConnell in the film. Immediately afterward, I started another major project that will be released in September 2020. Darlin’, a coming-of-age horror film, was released in July; I play the role of Mona. 

Q: You teach the Meisner Method at Andi Matheny Acting Studios. Who steps in for you if you have to be on a set?

A:  There are so many talented people who live in this area, so I know my students are always in great hands! I always tell my students that I hope they too miss class because of one reason. I booked a job, so I can’t come to class is the best excuse I can imagine.

Q: Take us on the journey from model to teacher to actor. Was it a natural progression?
A: It was! I modeled, and then I began teaching modeling. During that time, I started to do commercials. The school where I taught modeling dropped that; they replaced it with acting. I ended up in Los Angeles and joined the Union; by the time I moved to Florida, I’d taught both acting and modeling.

Q: How did going from Los Angeles to Florida affect your career?

A:  I didn’t want to go all the way to Miami for commercial auditions. I was teaching a lot, and I stalled a bit. When you’re an actress, you can be stuck in between age groups. I found other things to do to stay connected to the arts, like voiceovers. Visit the special exhibits at The Dali museum, and you’ll hear my voice as narrator, for example. During this time, I moved to St. Petersburg from Tampa and began to sing cabaret.

Q: Next came The Hunger Games, right?
A: Yes! The role of Tigris came at a perfect time. I fit what casting was looking for in the role extremely well. At that moment I had stepped back a bit from the business, but I still had my feet in. I was able to take advantage of the opportunity.

Q: How do you support the arts locally?

A: I’m on the board of two nonprofits: ProjectALCHEMY, a St. Petersburg dance company focused on collaboration, and Pitch Her Productions, a female-focused production company. 

Q: What do you mean when you say this area has a wonderful opportunity for cross-collaboration?

A: There’s this artistic growth in the St. Petersburg area. If you have an idea, there’s support here. Pitch Her Productions is a great example of this; it helps female filmmakers connect with others in the industry.

Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?

A: I was the first teacher for the Patel Conservatory in 2004. 

Keep up with Eugenie by visiting her IMDb page.

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Read more articles by Amy Hammond.

Amy Hammond is a freelance writer and author of children’s books that encourage the next generation to attend college. When not indoctrinating youth about the necessity of higher education, she enjoys exploring the paradise that is her St. Petersburg home. She holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida and a Masters in Secondary English Education from the University of South Florida. Her work has appeared in such venues as the Tampa Bay Times. Children’s Book Titles by Amy Hammond include: When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Gator; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a ‘Nole; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Bull; When I Grow Up, I’m Bama Bound; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Tiger.