Actress Meta Golding has been on our screens for over a decade, starring in TV shows like Criminal Minds, CSI and Tomorrow People (on which she currently stars). These days the Cornell University graduate is gearing up for her biggest role yet, playing the knife-wielding warrior Enobaria in Hunger Games: Catching Fire, a sequel to the massively successful first film. Here are seven things to know about the Haitian-American actress on the cusp of global stardom.
1. She got the part in Hunger Games with one audition
The audition was super secret. I went in and there was a table filled with knives and I just kinda knew what to do. It just felt so right. Usually I have to jump through rings of fire to get a role. But this was with ease. Maybe that’s how things need to be. I’ve been a real workhorse in television for many years, like over a decade. This was such an opportunity to be a part of something that has so much energy and is so global. I’ve never experienced anything like this.
2. She was born in India to a Haitian mom and an American dad
My dad was running an aid organization in India. He was actually born in Manhattan and was working in Haiti when he met my mom. They got married and then moved to India where they had me.
3. She used to be a competitive figure skater
When I was a kid we lived in Italy, which isn’t really known for figure skating. [Laughs] I think that’s why I excelled so well. I spent a lot of my high school years training. Then when I was 16 I was like, ‘I haven’t gone to a dance. I don’t have a boyfriend.’ That was downfall.
4. She once had a catering business
I love to cook. I’d have a dinner party and someone would be like, ‘Can you do this at my house?’ So my catering partner and I—we were both struggling actresses at the time—thought instead of getting a waitressing job, let’s do what we love. We always said if things pick up, our acting careers come first. And things did pick up.
5. She’s lived in India, Haiti, Italy, Senegal and France
My parents worked in food relief organizations and the United Nations. They were all about helping people around the world.
6. She speaks four languages
I speak Italian, French, Creole and English.
7. She visits Haiti frequently
I go there all the time, especially since the earthquake. I have family there and they have different foundations there. I think it’s really important for Haitians living abroad to go back and help with the development and infrastructure, especially because there are so many international people there.
Catch Meta Golding in Hunger Games: Catching Fire, in theaters November 22.