Currently starring in Hulu’s “Everyone Is Doing Great,” Cariba Heine adores diving into different characters who are unlike her as it gives her the opportunity to do and say things she may not do as, well, Cariba. Finding the balance between her character’s flaws and positive aspects, the actress brings heart and soul to every scene she shoots. Aware of the hard work it takes before even getting to set, Cariba continues to wow us all with her dedication and passion! Also very into health awareness and well-being, she continues to discover new ways to keep her body feeling the best. Keep reading on to discover more of Cariba Heine.
As an actress, what is your primary goal when stepping foot onto set?
So before I get to set I spend most of my pre-production time figuring out how my character serves the story. As a lead character it’s a little more directly attached to whatever arc the character will traverse but I love breaking down scripts as a supporting character too because I can go through and figure out how my character is pushing the story forward in each and every scene. In both instances your character is serving as a catalyst for other characters arcs so doing that work really satisfies my fascination for peoples psychology and how a tightly written script works. Once I’m on set it’s putting all of that into action while bringing the story to life in a way that’s as believable as possible. Easy peasy (ha!). I think a good analogy for a set is a puzzle and everyone involved is a puzzle piece so the aim is to look after my little puzzle piece spot as well as I can. After all, that’s all you’ve got control over on a set as an actor!
Do ever feel like your character on-screen leaks into who you are off-screen?
In my case, sadly, yes. I love playing people that are unlike me because I get to do and say all the things I, as Cariba, could never. Sometimes that freedom goes to my head a little haha. No, it can actually be very cathartic, I always note how I’d like to be more like a character I’m playing and it is often ‘good practice’ to live out that life. Now, the trick (without judging your character) is discerning the things you admire versus the flaws and accountability that character could probably take for their part in whatever is going on in the script and making sure you take the good stuff.
Have you ever had a moment where you connected with your character more than you would have imagined?
Ooohhh yeah, I would say that my character in ‘Everyone is Doing Great’ could very well be the version of me that really ran with the fantasy of being an actor in LA and with a little heightened drama I could say that I feel like I have to fight those same fantasies every day that I’m in LA. Izzy really bought into that world so I think I got a little second-hand relief from the exhaustion of trying to keep my feet on the ground. Once that had happened it was almost too much fun leaning into it all. I had the greatest time. Izzys a hoot.
Share with us what it means to “achieve your goals” in your opinion.
When I was younger I just wanted to be a dancer so I expected to work my ass off for not enough money but be so fulfilled that I’d skip down the street (with all my blisters). As I’ve got older I’ve learned that I’ve felt the most amount of fulfillment and peace through achieving things that definitely do not fit the mould of a standard goal. So I’ll set a bunch of external goals but I’m glad the definition of “success” is changing because it means I have to fight less daily to remind myself that my fulfillment and peace are the only goals I’ll achieve that will give me exactly what I’m after.
On set of Hulu’s “Everyone Is Doing Great,” what did you enjoy the most?
This is a trick question. Impossible to answer. It’s a dream job working on Everyone Is Doing Great. I get to play all day with my friends (James Lafferty, Stephen Colletti and Alexandra Park) who are also my bosses. ‘Working’ shouldn’t be allowed to be that fun. That’s a joke. My only objection is that I don’t know how to appreciate it enough in the moment. It’s a fun set filled with people who want to be there that pokes fun at something silly with a very healthy amount of awareness and respect and it champions the friendships that make life bearable and worth living all at the same time!
Any advice your director gave you that stuck with you?
Without ever having had this exact conversation with James, I think he operates similarly to me in that the bulk of the work needs to have been done before everyone gets to set. The logistics of shooting (time, light, budget etc.) mean that by the time everything is set up for cameras to roll, it’s go time. Like get-it-done-yesterday-go-time. James has a super light touch as a director (my favorite kind of director). He has to be feeling the stress but you’re not feeling that as the actor, it’s quite a skill to act as that buffer on a set. He’ll make sure everyones on the same page, and then it’s play time (but get it done time remember) and he trusts you to do that. That’s huge. It’s rarer than you’d think to feel trusted as an actor (he’d know all about that) so I made sure that feeling stuck with me. That’s worth more than advice in my book.
Share with us a success story in which you helped someone as a wellness coach.
Hnngh. It’s hard to pick just one. Obviously helping anyone who’s had chronic pain for a few years who sees a huge difference (or complete relief!) from a single class is huge. That makes me wanna cry happy tears. Chronic pain affects peoples mental health more than we acknowledge. But to be perfectly transparent, the most impact I think my classes have had have been on peoples mental health in a completely different way. I didn’t think that pushing my agenda against the pressures we all face for our bodies to look a certain way would be something that people would gravitate to so I just made sure that I didn’t focus on how we looked in class and the feedback questions were always focused on how people felt. But then I started getting feedback from people around how much better they felt about their bodies through changing the focus unconsciously. I also use extremely gentle techniques that have a far greater effect than the forcefulness we’re used to applying to our bodies so a lot of people have spoken about a new appreciation for how incredible their bodies are and how quick they are to respond to a little TLC. That’s huge, huge, huge for me. Anyone that leaves a class of mine with more appreciation for their body is a success story. Sorry for being sappy.
What does a “plan” look like in your wellness routine?
My approach is largely around building up bodily awareness (the biggest gift dance ever gave me in my opinion). If we get to know our own bodies and what they’re asking for, there’s a gentle technique you can use on your own body to improve/ relieve pain. We actually hold so much power to maintain our own bodies so when I’m working with someone one-on-one, the plan is always to decipher what their body needs, figure out the root cause and give them tools to be able to manage it themselves. I wish there was a less nauseating word but it’s really empowering to know that you can give your body what it needs to function as well as bodies are designed to. Chronic pain isn’t a given.
What comes next?
I’m actually smack bang in the middle of a bit of a staycation where I’m doing my favorite thing; breaking down a really complex script where I’m supporting and I’m getting so into it. It’s for the second series of The Secrets She Keeps (featuring Secrets cast includes Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey), Jessica De Gouw (Underground) and Ryan Corr (House Of The Dragon)), which was a ton of fun the first time but I’m super impressed by the new series scripts. My character Grace is also a hoot. Or maybe that’s just how I feel about every character I play. No, I think I’ve just been really lucky with really enjoyable characters lately. I’ll be teaching through all of this too so my next task is finding that balance and hopefully another season of Everyone is Doing Great after that! After 2 very rough years work wise, I’ve got so much to look forward to. Just full to the brim with fulfillment and peace (ha!).