Lunden De’Leon does it all. An actress, record-label owner, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, she went to Los Angeles with only two hundred dollars in her pocket and quickly became a model. Since then, her impressive acting résumé includes the hit television shows Vital Signs and Just Shoot Me, and many movies including the HBO award-winning movie Kickin Chicken. In addition to film, De’Leon started her own punk rock record label and most recently was in the comedy We’re The Millers alongside Jennifer Aniston. Below, De’Leon discusses her record label, filmmaking, and her advice on breaking into the entertainment industry. BY LAURA ANDERSON
Cliché: So, where are you originally from?
Lunden De’Leon: I was born in Barbados but raised in a small town near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Why start a record label? What got you interested in music? And can you tell us a little bit about your Hendrix “Purple Haze” remake?
My dad fronted a gospel band. When I was a kid, I remember watching him rehearse, plus I attended a number of his shows. Music was everywhere. I knew early on I wanted to be in the music industry. The “Purple Haze” remake was performed by one of our punk bands on Dirrty Records. Fans heard it and loved it.
You are involved in filmmaking as well; what inspired you to do that?
My love for independent horror movies.
You recently were in We’re The Millers; what was it like working on that film?
I had a blast filming We’re the Millers. We filmed until 5 AM at a local hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina. The cast and crew were awesome. Jennifer Aniston was a sweetheart.
You are involved in a lot of projects; how do you maintain/balance everything?
I enjoy what I do, so it sort of balances itself.
Out of all the projects (acting, film, music, etc.) you are involved in, which one is most important to you?
Music is my passion.
Has it been difficult being a woman in the entertainment business? Have you faced any difficulties because of it?
When I first started my label, people in the industry didn’t believe a woman of color could own and run a successful punk rock label. Because of that, I had difficulty finding investors who believed in me and my vision. I refused to give up, and the rest is rock and roll history.
Do you have any advice for women who want to break into the entertainment industry?
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your vision.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re working on that you would like to share with readers?
I recently produced and starred in the drama Kindred Spirit due for release in Spring 2014.
All images courtesy of Ian Downs