At Their Best

Exclusive interviews with local legends and legends-to-be, from Shane Victorino and Tory Burch to young actress Patricia Raven and beer guru Lew Bryson.




(page 6 of 9)

Photo by Robert Kazandjian

Starlet in Training

For many young actresses, dreams of big-screen stardom revolve around dazzling wardrobes, glamorous leading roles and a perfectly veneered smile. Wayne native Patricia Raven, however, is not like most young actresses. Taking her last name from Poe’s infamously eerie poem, our Best Budding Teen Sensation is carving out a brooding niche among her sunnier peers in the young Hollywood scene.

At just 4 years old, Raven was performing with Media’s Academy of International Ballet. Six years later, she convinced her mother to let her give acting a go, and she landed roles with People’s Light & Theatre Company while attending the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr. Raven landed her first major on-screen role in 2007, as a young serial killer in the horror flick Blood Night. The role would set the tone for the 14-year-old’s young career thus far.

“I definitely like the more dramatic, mentally unstable characters,” says Raven. “I’m not good at those happy, Disney, perky types of roles. And if I do comedy, I prefer darker, more adult comedies.”

That trend continued with a breakout role as a public school student living in the shadow of her successful, prep-schooled older sister in the TV movie Dear Harvard. Raven says a “gothy” phase as a preteen helped her relate to her Lucy Caldwell character on a more personal level. The affecting performance ultimately earned her a nomination in the 2010 Young Artist Awards.

Though she’s open to the full spectrum of Hollywood roles, Raven has already come to terms with the fact that she may never be a good option for mainstream portrayals of seemingly perfect teenagers. But rather than seeing it as a limitation, Raven is compelled to use it to her advantage. And her loyalty to herself—and willingness to push the emotional envelope—appears to be paying off.

Her feet now firmly planted in Burbank, Calif., she’s set her sights on breaking into the alternative roles inspired by her love of edgier characters. Between auditions, Raven heads home to be with her family and friends, along with her horse, Tucker, who stays at Plainbrooke Farm in Birchrunville. And while the roles and accolades are likely to continue, Raven will always feel a connection to Dear Harvard’s Lucy Caldwell. “She’s not too concerned with everything else going on around her,” Raven says. “She’s just living in the now.”

—Emily Riley

For a clip of Raven in Dear Harvard, click here.

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