LANTANA, Fla. - At 13 years old, Sharon Pierre Louis joined the drama club at Lantana Middle School to get the attention of a boy she liked. Instead, she ended up finding her true love: acting.
"I never did talk to that boy," said Pierre Louis.
Now, Pierre Louis can officially call herself a Hollywood film actress. She debuted in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" on Christmas Day, alongside actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington.
Pierre Louis said the big name stars made it fun and Washington was very supportive of her after filming an extremely difficult scene.
"Kerry Washington came up and hugged me after we filmed my scene and said you are doing a beautiful job," Pierre Louis told Local 10's Neki Mohan.
Django Unchained is set on a Louisiana plantation and is a story of love and struggle. Something the 28-year-old actress could relate to because of her family's own humble beginnings in Haiti.
Both of Pierre Louis' parents escaped poverty to raise their six children in the U.S.
"As an actress, I was so grateful for their sacrifice," said Pierre Louis. "I was so grateful because my father came here on a boat."
Pierre Louis was born in the U.S. and attended Palm Beach's Richard Dreyfoos School of the Arts then went on the Florida State University. She left for Hollywood after college and like most starting actors, needed a way to support herself while going to auditions.
Pierre Louis decided early on that waiting tables wasn't for her, so she turned to a skill she learned at home: sign language. Pierre Louis' older brother Wolnick is deaf. She first learned to sign from a book, and out in Los Angeles, she went back to school to perfect the language and is now certified to interpret for universities and in an official capacity.
For her, it's a chance to experience another culture.
"Being able to sign is a gift. It is a not a handicap," said Pierre Louis.
Pierre Louis can currently be seen in ABC Family's "The Lying Game" and guest starred on shows like "Lincoln Heights" and "CSI Miami."
While home for the holidays, Pierre Louis looked forward to playing the roles of daughter, sister, and aunt. Her family times keeps her grounded and motivated.
"Being out in LA, acting is the one job where they can say I don't like you because you are too light or too dark, you are too skinny or you are too fat, or you look like my ex-wife," chuckled Pierre Louis. "I feel like the most important thing to have is your sense of self and knowing what you are worth."
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