From her driving skills to past careers as a journalist, here are a few details to get to know Halo Season 2 actress Natasha Culzac better.
Culzac, who was born on August 21, 1986, appears in both Halo Seasons 1 and 2 as Riz-028, a Spartan super-soldier who is a member of Silver Team (a group that works closely with series figurehead Master Chief).
5 Fun Facts About Halo Season 2's Natasha Culzac
Natasha Culzac Was a Journalist Before Becoming an Actress
Before becoming a star of the big and small screen Culzac worked as a journalist.
Heralding from Hasting, East Sussex, the English actress, who is now 37 years old, pursued a career in journalism after finding out "drama school fees weren’t loaned by the Student Loans Company," and was not considered a "serious career" (per Schon Magazine):
"I’d loved performing from childhood and throughout school, but back in ye olde days of 2003 when I was looking at universities, drama school fees weren’t loaned by the Student Loans Company. Something about it not being a serious career?! You had to self-fund it with cash upfront, and despite fees being comparatively cheap back then, my family didn’t have that sort of money."
She said this seemingly made her see acting as "‘not for the likes of me" and, because she "enjoyed writing, and particularly current affairs," journalism "became [her] other dream:"
"I think subconsciously it made me see acting as ‘not for the likes of me’, and I promptly stuffed the dream into a locked box. Rightfully, the Government changed its position on that. But anyway, I also enjoyed writing, and particularly current affairs, so journalism sort of became my other dream. It felt more tangible, more realistic."
"I did love it," Culzac lamented about her career as a journalist, remarking that she "wrote for some huge publications," but there was a "nagging" feeling pulling her back to acting:
"And I did love it; I had some incredible paid work experience placements and wrote for some huge publications, but there was just always that nagging feeling in the back of my head that was disappointed I still hadn’t given the other thing at least a go. I ended up becoming an online news reporter, loving the buzz of a newsroom but was just generally unfulfilled."
It was some modeling work in 2014 that drew her back in, putting her back on the path to pursue acting:
"Throughout my life people had told me to model, and in my self-conscious late teens/early 20s I did try, desperate for acceptance. However, the industry wasn’t accepting for some years to come. So in 2014, while at The Independent, I joined a couple of modeling agencies as you do, this time wanting it for the money [laughs]."
Natasha Attended a Boot Camp to Learn Halo Lore
Fans of the Halo franchise know just how deep the Bungie-created universe is.
This is why it makes sense Culzac (and the rest of the Halo TV series cast) had to attend a Halo boot camp before shooting the streaming series.
In an interview with Comicbook.com, Culzac reminisced about the experience, saying she "flew to Budapest for a week, a month before shooting for a boot camp" before filming where she and the other Spartan actors learned things like "military tactics," and the Halo lore:
"Yeah, we did a boot camp actually. So we flew to Budapest for a week, a month before shooting for a boot camp that involved a lot for the Spartans specifically. It was lots of military tactics and sort of learning the guns and experimenting and all that kind of stuff. But it was also a kind of Halo bootcamp to get a grip with the lore."
She remembered getting "some materials...that talked about us as Spartans and our individual characters," which helped her get a grip on the franchise:
"And they gave us some materials there that talked about us as Spartans and our individual characters. So I kind of got a little bit of a sense of Riz's background, which was amazing. But going forward, I kind of leaned on the script and my hunches as the actor, sort of trying to sense Riz's personality and how she fits into this dynamic with the Silver Team."
Describing her character, Culzac called Riz the "little sister" of her military outfit:"
"So really for me, I came to the conclusion that she was basically like the little sister, primarily because I'm the shortest Spartan, and I'm never the short person anywhere I go. And so it's a bit discombobulating for me to be the short one."
Natasha Accidentally Soaked Chris Hemsworth Filming Men in Black
Before her work on Halo, Culzac appeared alongside Thor himself in Men in Black: International.
The Halo actor was seen opposite Chris Hemsworth in the 2019 blockbuster and has joked that she accidentally soaked the MCU actor while filming.
In her 2022 conversation with Schon Magazine, Culzac revealed she "played a waitress" in the film and is a "BIG Men in Black fan:"
"Ooooh I was — nay AM — still a BIG 'Men In Black' fan. That first film I watched on loop as a kid. I still listen to the title song [laughs]. In the latest installment I play a waitress with no lines — blink and you miss — but bloody hell I LOVED it."
She looked back on accidentally spilling champagne and "drench[ing] Chris Hemsworth" on set, an experience that mortified the up-and-coming actress:
"Apart from the bit where my champagne flute became unstuck and drenched Chris Hemsworth. Mortifying doesn’t cover it. It was my first professional acting gig outside of short films, fringe theatre, etc."
Luckily, the Halo star had "done a lot of extra work before on huge sets," otherwise she would have "shat [her]self" over the mishap:
"It was a big set with about 300 dancing extras, but luckily I’d done a lot of extra work before on huge sets in London so I at least understood the mechanics of it. Had I not done extra work on similar sets I think I would have shat myself. The Halo production, whilst TV and not film, was often just as big in scope and design though."
Natasha Wants to Be in a Period Drama
Apart from working in the world of science fiction with titles like Men in Black and Halo, Natasha Culzac wants to dip her toes into a period drama if given the opportunity.
When asked what other genres she would love to tackle by Schon Magazine, she responded with "I’m a big period drama fan" and would "love" to "get a chance to be a significant role in one:"
"Yeah, so I’m a big period drama fan. I don’t know what it is, maybe the romance of it, the escapism again, the history. I just love them, and I’d love to be able to get a chance to be a significant role in one. I grew up in Hastings, which is full of period architecture. It was a Victorian seaside resort, and so much of that time can still be seen and experienced. I’ve also been writing a couple of period pieces for film and theatre, not for me to be in, but just because I love it so much."
After having appeared in projects that have taken her to the far of reaches of the galaxy, Culzac said that she would next love to film something in "Cuba or Summat:"
"Wouldn’t mind a week filming in Cuba or Summat!"
Natasha Admits She's Not the Best Driver
Not everyone is perfect, and Culzac admits one of her flaws is she is not the best driver in the world.
In a conversation with Cool America, the actress told the publication she is "tremendously bad at driving:"
"Being tremendously bad at driving. Like, I’m a very confident driver. Almost too confident. And incredibly impatient."
Elsewhere in the interview, she addressed a variety of things including her love of "kindness and empathy" and appreciating "being a bit shit" when starting something new:
Q: "Which traits do you find cool in people?
A: "The coolest traits are kindness and empathy. I also really appreciate it when someone is brutally honest. I think years ago I used to find it a bit disconcerting or hurtful, but now I just love the truth."
Q: "What is the most important trait / characteristic for success?"
A: "Being okay with being a bit shit in the beginning (laughs). It’s a very childlike quality but I think it’s a superpower not to expect too much from yourself. When you’re hustling and working away at something, if you can just throw yourself into it and give yourself permission to be crap and learn as you go. I think that helps."
She also broke down what she thinks her favorite meal says about her, opining that her love of scrambled eggs says, "bitch gets through whole trays of us every week, it can’t be good for her digestive tract:"
Q: "What does your favourite meal say about you?"
A: "It’s scrambled eggs for breakfast and it would say about me: 'bitch gets through whole trays of us every week, it can’t be good for her digestive tract.'"
How To Follow Natasha Culzac Online
Audiences who want to follow Natasha Culzac online can follow her on Instagram at Natasha_Culzac.
Halo Season 2 is streaming now on Paramount+.