Sunny Koll goes from singing sensation to captivating actress

Australian actress Sunny Koll, photo by Sally Flegg

For Sunny Koll, acting was a slow burn. Born and raised in Adelaide, Australia, she was a professional singer from age thirteen, and this was her life. However, after losing her sister to breast cancer and her father to a heart attack within the span of three years, she found herself incredibly lost. She was making bad choices with her singing career that were far from her authentic artistry. After a couple of years of this, she knew she had to take a break. She went traveling across America, thinking she was on a trip to rediscover her music. Then, one day in a diner, sharing time with a renowned older jazz musician, he told her, seemingly out of the blue, that she should get into acting.

When Koll got back to Australia, his words sat amongst the rest of the trips memories, so she decided to try acting. The moment she stepped on a stage to deliver her first monologue, it felt like fate.

“Honestly, in the beginning I was looking for the back door, back into singing. It wasn’t until about six months into classes, during a Strasberg scene study class, where I was playing Maggie from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, it all hit me. I was delivering her monologue about Skipper and I got it. I felt it. I felt the truth, the connection, the words of a great writer and I saw all that my imagination could reveal to me in that moment as Maggie came to life. It was in that moment that my life changed and I knew this was no longer a back door, this was me,” Koll described.

That moment changed Koll’s life forever. She was no longer on a path to be a singer, but rather an actress. Since then, she has built an esteemed career, being sought-after internationally for what she does. Her performances in television shows like Traffik and Flat Whites, and films such as Zach’s Story, stood out in audiences’ minds. Choosing to become an actress was the right choice.

“I love being an actress. It’s all part of the quest and the excitement of facing what looks like the greatest challenge and then bravely walking into it,” said Koll.

No matter what she is working on, Koll impresses. All those who work alongside her recognize her talent, and continuously seek her out in the future. There is little doubt why she has earned the reputation as one of Australia’s best recent actresses.

Sunny is a dream to work with and I recommend her constantly from project to project,” said cinematographer Justin Sebastian, who has worked alongside Koll on multiple projects. “Sunny is a fantastic and versatile actress who gives her all into every character she plays. Researching and delving into each persona well in advance, and always being delightful on and off set, Sunny quickly turned from a talented co-worker to a friend.”

Already leading her industry, Koll has an exciting year ahead of her. She has not just one, but two films being released, both of which she deems as the highlight of her outstanding career. Quanta and A Little Resistance are Australian independent films that are soon to be released and both show what can be done when you really desire something.

“It was exciting being on set for these features as they were low budget, so cast and crew had to be resourceful and creative in how to get the job done. They also started off with a strong script and strong will to create,” said Koll.

Quanta is about a physicist whose life-long work comes to fruition when he is reluctantly partnered with a gifted young assistant. Ego divides them when they receive an unknown signal from space. Koll plays Shannon, a compelling character who manipulates the situation to aid her hunger for power and rise within the corporate world.

This was the kind of shoot that I’ll always look back on and be so happy and inspired to have been a part of. Every day on set was exciting and fun. There was a deep sense that everyone really cared about this project and were giving their all,” said Koll. “The standard of script, the standard of the director, the standard of the production team, the standard of the actors, it was amazing. Everyone went above and beyond for this film and brought their best game.”

This highly-anticipated film was written and directed by Nathan Dalton. Dalton was the reason Koll initially wanted to work on the film, as she had heard of his reputation and knew he would be great to work alongside. Dalton felt the same, saying that Koll was key to the energy on set.

“Sunny brought a positive attitude and a can-do attitude that is necessary on low budget films. I highly recommend Sunny, wish her the best, and hope to work with her again in the future. Sunny is an extremely talented actress and was always professional, took direction well and gave us a memorable and impressive performance. It was a pleasure working with her and having her on set,” said Dalton.

Quanta is set to be released later this year, close to the same time as A Little Resistance. A Little Resistance is set in a fantastical world and timeline. After the death of her mother, Princess Sophia, sole heir to a fictional kingdom, seeks to escape the clutches of her father, an insidious King driven mad by grief, whose only agenda is the obliteration of his rivals and the further expansion of his tyranny and new world ideal. Escaping her father’s control, and arriving at the home of revolution, she enlists in the rebel cause against her father’s regime. Taking part in the mutual destruction under the banner of freedom, she soon finds out that often, the most heated conflicts come from within.

On my first day of shooting I turned up at the writer and director Mike Loder’s house, which is a few streets from where I live. The entire place was buzzing with cast and crew and the backyard had been dug into trenches,” Koll described.

Koll was approached by the directors of the film Charlie Jazz Terrier and Mike Loder, who asked her if she would be interested in playing Winnie, one of the resistance fighters. She immediately said yes, as she was inspired by what they were trying to accomplish.

“It was actors creating something, so they could do what they love doing. There’s a buzz, a community about this film and it proves that if you want something it can be done,” she said.

Koll is an inspiring actress, who choses her roles as a true storyteller. She embodies her characters, and transports audiences to a different place or time. She is extraordinary. Don’t forget to check out her performances in Quanta and A Little Resistance later this year.