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Haleigh Hekking Dishes on Her First Acting Role in Snapchat’s “Action Royale” (Exclusive)

Within the last decade, social media has become a valuable tool, leaving networking giants like Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, and LinkedIn to think outside the box to keep up with the ever-changing media landscape. While many applications stick to their traditional ways by improving already existing features on the platform, Snapchat listens to their demanding audience’s needs and wants and delivers.

After Snapchat reached their multi-year deal with media partners Disney, ESPN, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, NBA, and more – they started to roll out premium content for their “Snapchat’s Discover” platform. Following the strategic business move, Snapchat decided to create original shows. While teaming up with notable writers, actors, and directors in Hollywood ­– their innovative idea came to life. 

It was back in 2020 during the remote Snap Partner Summit, when the application announced the exciting news about the unscripted series, scripted drama, and comedies that will slowly appear on the interactive app. “We really have doubled down on talent and worlds we know our audience will respond to,” says Vanessa Guthrie, director of Snap Originals to Variety

Credit: Action Royale Snap Original – Snap Inc.

The application practiced what they preached, as Action Royale, a Snap Original, recently made waves on the platform on Saturday, October 9. The coming of age action-packed series is centered on Trilby (Nicholas Hamilton), who is in critical need to pay off his father’s enormous gambling debt. Therefore, he calls in his good friend, Regina “Reggie” Ruiz (Haleigh Hekking), to bring her video games expertise to an underground esports ring. While Reggie has the weight of the world to  win on her shoulders, Trilby’s family is handling awful threats from sinister man named Jeno (Kim Coates).  

“Our writer did a brilliant job at incorporating video games. But, one thing that people will kind of notice is that you don’t actually really see the game itself fully,” says Hekking in an exclusive Celeb Secrets interview. “So, it is the beautiful, delicate balance of it being about video games, but not about video games at the same time.” 

While Action Royale may be Hekking’s acting debut, her strong video gaming expertise gave the Hollywood newcomer the confidence not only to take on the role of Reggie, but to elevate the character to the next level. “I play Reggie, and it is my debut into the acting world, and it was my first time on set. So, that was a fun learning experience,” Hekking told Celeb Secrets reporter Tiffany Goldstein. “I definitely have some similarities when it comes to a gaming background. Reggie is definitely a badass who is just so self-assured in her skills and her place as a woman in gaming. She is not someone who is easily threatened, and she really cares so much for her best friend Trilby,” she adds. 

Although the role was a match made in heaven, she revealed that she struggled with imposter syndrome when she first landed the gig. “It was an industry that I didn’t expect. I had always wanted to be an actress, and I had always wanted to be in the industry. I just didn’t know-how. In the back of my mind, I always felt a little bit insecure about how late I got into acting, compared to people who had been doing it their entire lives,” she revealed. “Initially, it was a little bit of imposter syndrome, but afterward, I was so excited to get to work.” 

Her dream quickly became a reality, and she immediately turned to state-of-the-art acting coach William James to hone in on her craft and to understand her character inside and out. Hekking was not the only one who had to step outside of her comfort zone to put together the Snapchat original, as the production team had to take on the unique challenge of shooting vertically to fit the cellphone screen. 

“I think it’s hopefully going to encourage a lot of users to look at more Snapchat originals. I always had this thing in the back of my mind that there are three industries that will never die – water, gaming, and film. They are only growing, and Snapchat is making its mark in the film industry. So, I am excited to see what people think and especially of it being shot vertically,” she concludes about the fast-paced production. 

The new scripted original releases ten new episodes every other day, only on Snapchat. Do you utilize all the Snapchat features the application offers? Let us know by leaving a reaction below or by sending us a tweet at @celebsecrets





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