When it was time to begin casting actors for roles in the Into the Wilderness movie, Director Richard DeWitt along with Producers Michael Candela and Ev Stanton had many tough decisions to make when it was time to choose the right actors to portray the characters on film. One of the many roles they desperately needed to ensure was filled by the right actress was the role of Walks With Wind who is a Cherokee medicine woman, and when actress NikkiCozart walked through the audition doors, they knew they had hit a goldmine. Not only did she knock the lines out of the ballpark, but she had the exact look the team wanted for this character.
Many of you may recognize Nikki Cozart from past guest star roles on popular hit shows like Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, House of Cards or America’s Most Wanted. She has also been in numerous commercials and Indie films.
Cozart plays the lead role of Abby Kelner in the new television series, Thespian which was released this month on AmazonVideo and she has several upcoming television shows and films coming out in the next year.
Watch the trailer for Thespian here:
Nikki sat down with Angela Caito a few days ago to talk about the Into the Wilderness movie, working with her real-life dad, actor Cylk Cozart and to give a little insight on her life. Cylk Cozart has starred in more than 30 television shows and movies including Conspiracy Theory, White Men Can’t Jump and The Last Movie Star.
Nikki Cozart and her dad, actor Cylk Cozart met in person just last year, and while Nikki had already been acting for a decade prior to meeting her dad, little did she know that acting was essentially embedded in her very DNA.
“I started acting when I was 20. Acting was in my genes, but I didn’t know why until I met my dad!A
Cozart heard about the Into the Wilderness movie when the KnoxvilleNews Sentinelpublished an article letting local Tennessee actors know about an open casting call. She said that an hour or so after the casting call hit the newspapers, Cylk Cozart called her to tell her she needed to go audition.
When asked why her role was important to her as well as what made her character different than her, Cozart responded with,
“First of all, I think it’s really cool that I get to play a character from my own heritage.For the longest time, I didn’t know everything about who I was and where I came from since I had not met my dad.”
She went on to say,
“Walks with Wind is very poised and in control and when I was younger, I was not like that at all, but after having kids, I gained that! It was suddenly like, God give me patience and he gave me that control I needed!”
Cozart also mentioned that she loves to be outdoors and being able to film outside in the woods was fun. Her biggest challenge with the role was having to wear a thin,summer time outfit when it was 40 degrees outside. If you have never been in the Great Smoky Mountains during the fall, you may find it interesting that 40 degrees can feel like twenty below zero with wind chill, especially if you don’t have a heavy jacket to wear.
Cozart is married to Matt Estridge, owner of Fit Diesel, a Knoxville based company that teaches an active shooter countermeasure program as well as other law enforcement and military training programs and health and fitness for all levels. She credits Matt with giving her his full support and being the best husband and father as he not only works with his business, but he also takes care of the kids when she is away to film.
“Matt is the best father! I know I am biased, but he stepped up as he was this big tough man’s man who worked for the government training snipers and working with guns and being tough and suddenly, he’s a stay at home father, changing diapers and raising three boys while also running as business! I am so thankful to have his support in my career!”
There is no doubt that Nikki Cozart played a crucial role in the Into the Wilderness movie and fans can look forward to seeing her on the big screen as well as on television in many upcoming projects she has on the horizon.
On the Internet
Be sure to keep up with actress Nikki Cozart and her career on IMDb