Cassandra Hepburn is the epitome of those cool, jet-setting “International Girls” you always see in the pages of glossy magazines. The 28-year-old actress/model/dancer was born in the Philippines but has lived and worked in thriving metropolises all over the world including Hong Kong, London, Paris, Milan and New York. It would not be wrong to call her a citizen of the world, yet she describes her upbringing best when she says—in her beautiful, but hard to place, accent—“I’m an American raised outside of America.”
Her worldly education began early. After watching another famous Hepburn, (Audrey, that is) in the classic “Roman Holiday”, she knew she wanted to act. She wasted no time getting started, starring in her first film—Stephen King’s “The Stand”—at age 11. Upon graduating high school at 14, Cassandra decided to follow her passion and pursue a career, and despite her parent’s protestation, she bravely struck out alone to New York.
Needless to say, she was forced to grow up fast. “The first month was tough because I didn’t really know anyone who lived there,” she says. “It was difficult because I didn’t have a place to live or anything.” She caught her first break, though, when the manager of a local delicatessen took pity on her and offered her a job as a waitress. She ended up living with several of the other waitresses and learned the ins and outs of the city. She attended a number of acting courses, beginning at Sande Shurin Studios, learning the basics as well as the Method approach. A trained dancer, she supplemented her income by dancing in music videos.
New York also lead her to a new avenue in her career: modeling. “I got discovered by a photographer and that changed my whole story again, and I became a model,” she says. At only 15, she began traveling the world for shoots and showroom work for designers such as Sonia Rykiel.
Nowadays, Hepburn is devoted to just acting. She recently finished shooting a film directed by Mark Rydell called “Even Money” along with Danny DeVito, Kim Basinger, Ray Liotta and Nick Cannon. Her experience in New York came in handy when it came time for casting. “I requested to meet with Mark because he thought I wasn’t right for the part,” she remembers. Both New Yorkers, they met at his LA office and hit it off. “He really related to me being on my own at such a young age. That’s how I got the role.”
Her extensive training has made her the versatile actress she is. Along with her studies in New York, she also has trained at Margie Haber Studios in Los Angeles and the School For Film and Television in New York. In 1999, Cassandra spent time in London, where she studied at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
This has allowed Hepburn to work in a variety of mediums, including a stint in the soap world playing Monica on “As The World Turns”. Cassandra was last seen on the big screen in last summer’s “Find me Guilty”. The film, directed by Sidney Lumet, starred Vin Diesel and Peter Dinklage, with Hepburn playing secretary to Dinklage’s character.
She also recently guest starred on the hit television show “Medium” starring Patricia Arquette, and completed filming national commercials for Pepsi with Mariah Carey and Verizon Wireless Communication, so look out for her on your television set.
Her constant traveling has furthered more than just her career. It also helped her get involved in the charity Youth For Human Rights, which raises awareness of the thirty unalienable rights we all have as human beings. She promotes the organization through talking with and distributing DVDs to various world leaders she has developed connections with. For more information on the organization, log on to www.youthforhumanrights.org. You can also contact Cassandra directly via the contact page on her website.
Cassandra has achieved a great many things in a relatively short time. But she says the real life-changing moment was when she found Scientology. And in effect, her career really started taking off. “I have more knowledge about what it is I need to be doing, what it is that I’m lacking, what it is that I’m doing that’s stopping me now. That’s what Scientology does,” she says. “Because I helped myself better me, it helped everything around me, including my career.”
And its been going non-stop ever since. She has two upcoming projects, one called “B-Boys”, a hip-hop story starring Ludacris and several other musicians. It starts filming in February.
With so much success already, the ride is sure to continue for Hepburn. “I’m very happy that I’m working as an actor, that I’m going and I’m continuing do so and that things are happening,” she says. “I love it.”
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Written by Kyra Lausmann