Actress, singer and dancer Adele Pomerenke discusses her new film The Penitent Thief, as well as her background in singing and dance.
Welcome, and thank you for taking the time to do this.
Adele Pomerenke (AP): Yeah, thank you for having me.
You’re a multi-faceted artist, with many different talents. Let’s start with dance – what first inspired you to pursue ballet?
AP: My Grandmother. She was a dancer in New York in the 40s and 50s. Of course, she tried to have my aunts and uncles – her children do it, but it didn’t catch on. She kind of inspired and encouraged me. I ended up falling in love with it.
From a creative standpoint, what satisfaction do you acquire from ballet compared to other forms of entertainment?
AP: “Compared to”, that’s a good question. Probably release, because we all have something that helps us really release – everything that we’re going through. I can do this on film as well, but definitely with dance feeling like I can be 100% myself and just let everything go. Nothing in the world can get me in that moment.
You’re also an actress and have guest-starred on popular series such as Nashville and Still The King. What did you find most valuable about those experiences?
AP: On those set, I was just a “featured”, basically glorified background. That was my transition into acting from dance. I wanted to see what it was like at the bottom of the Totem Pole, if you will. I guess with those experiences, kind of realising how much all the moving parts there are, based on what I had to do in ballet.
You have a new film, The Penitent Thief. What can you tell us about the project and the character you played?
AP: It came out on [December] 22nd. I play Queen Herodias and I worked alongside Kevin Sorbo, who played King Herod. This film is a darker take on a faith-based film. It’s more realistic to the historical time, the challenges people go through. It’s about the two thieves that died alongside Jesus. Of course, I play a villain in it, I’m always the bad guy.
Since pursuing actor, what have you found most surprising?
AP: Most surprising? How natural it felt for me. I was very nervous, going into it. Especially the first time working with A-listers on a set. Or even my first short film with lines. I had no idea what to expect. As a dancer, you have this kind of unhealthy perfectionism/obsession a bit. I wanted to go in there and look like I knew what I was doing, that I could handle it. It made sense to me – behind the camera, in front of the camera, how it all comes together. Everybody has their own role. So, probably how natural it felt.
Backtracking slightly, what inspired the decision to pursue acting in the first place?
AP: Well, when I was younger I had done a little bit of modelling, this and that. I remember there was an audition for a film. They were doing open calls for Harry Potter actually, I was a kid at the time. My Dad said: “No, I don’t want her doing any of that. She can do that when she’s older, if she wants to.” He wanted me to have a pretty normal childhood growing up.
When I got older, it was the summer I was looking for gigs. Dancers during summer months tend not to have contracts with a company. So, we looked for little projects to do to fill the time into the Fall. I found a lady doing a TV show pilot that was going to be kind of like America’s Got Talent – tours, musical, triple threat (singing, dancing acting), which I had done. It was supposed to go on tour and I was going to give up my training with National Ballet that Fall. It fell through last minute and it kind of felt like I got pushed into a corner. I decided to give it shot and within a couple of months, I was on my first film set. That was a very interesting turn of events.
You’re also involved in music and gained the nickname ‘Amp’ – where did this originate from?
AP: They’re my initials – Adele Marie Pomerenke. It’s funny, because I didn’t really think about this. There’s already a wonderful singer out there named Adele. She’s kicking it, with that name. It was actually advised by one of my best friends, he was like: “Why don’t you just go with your initials, AMP? It’s cool, there’s lots of singers – such as Pink – with simple, one names. I was like: “Okay, I like it.” So, I gave it a try, it stuck and I’ve just been called AMP ever since. It’s on all my nametags of every job I’ve had, it’s followed me.
Combining music and dance, you’ve appeared in multiple music videos – including recognition from Rolling Stone Magazine as a ‘top country music video of 2016’. How much did this accomplishment mean to you?
AP: They’re awesome, things I didn’t expect. I just figured: “Oh, this is going to be something fun to do.” I got that project from a project I had done before. I didn’t realise when the article first came out that it was controversial for a stripper to be used in a country music video. I just figured: “I’m playing a role, not actually stripping.” It’s fun, we’re in the 2000s, back then it was 2016 like you said. It felt pretty good that I was part of that video and making it noteworthy enough that it got into Rolling Stone. That was definitely cool.
If people wanted to find out more information about your work or you personally, where could they look?
AP: You can find me on Instagram, @adelemariepomerenke. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter – Adele Pomerenke. I have my website, adelepomerenke.com. I do have a TikTok, I’m not very good at it but I’m trying.
Lastly, what are you most looking forward to in 2021?
AP: I’m looking forward to a new project I did coming out and seeing where that takes me. I got to film that in LA, it’s called 5150. I can’t say anything else much but I’m very excited for that to come out.