CINCINNATI — Alyshia Ochse has a message for any child with a dream that might not fit a predictable mold or have a clear path on how to achieve it: Don’t let anyone say you can’t do it.
“Don’t be afraid,” she said during a recent phone interview from Los Angeles. "Being different is OK. I think when you are a teenager you want to be liked.”
Ochse’s life is a testament to that advice and tenacity. The 1999 Notre Dame Academy graduate is currently in Cincinnati to shoot her part in the bank heist film “Marauders.” Ochse plays Jill Mims, the wife of troubled Cincinnati police detective Brian Mims, played by Johnathon Schaech.
“Basically, I’m just his home life that he keeps kind of quiet,” Ochse said of her role. "I am sick. He’s trying to do the right thing at work. Our relationship is at the heart of the film.”
The role brings full circle the difficult path the Covington-raised Ochse took to get to Hollywood.
“I was an unusual kid,” Ochse said. “Since I was little, I knew I wanted to act. My sister found a piece of paper where I said that I would be ‘in the TV.’”
Being the daughter of parents with careers in finance and engineering, though, made figuring out how to get "in the TV" a challenge, she said.
“My career just happened to not be represented where I was from,” Ochse said. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way but I’m still happy to be doing this."
For example, when Ochse had to pick between soccer or theater at Notre Dame Academy because of conflicting schedules, she chose sports. Growing up in a time without the Internet at her fingertips, Ochse said she had no idea there were schools like the School for Creative and Performing Arts right across the river.
When she attended the University of Kentucky, she did declare theater as her major. Then she became impatient with how long college was taking and switched to communications, so she could “graduate as quickly as I could.”
“I had everything ready to go after graduation and was as green as green could be when I headed out to L.A.,” Ochse said. “Now, I think that knowledge and resources are so readily available there’s no ‘I don’t know how to do things.’ I would encourage people to research to know what to do.”
Thanks to supportive friends and family, Ochse persevered and found success where so many others have failed. She has landed parts in movies such as “The Other Woman” and “Parker,” alongside a variety of television roles. She recently wrapped filming on the movie “Desolation,” directed by Covington Latin graduate and fellow Northern Kentucky native Sam Patton.
“Because I’ve known her so long, it almost makes me tear up at how proud I am of her and her determination and stubbornness,” said Mehrin Doolin, who has known Ochse since they were both in the fourth grade. “We would talk about her acting going into grade school, through high school and college. To pursue this crazy dream that she never gave up on, I’m very proud to call her a friend.”
And now, of course, there is “Marauders,” a movie in which Ochse will share screen time with Chris Meloni, Adrian Grenier, Dave Bautista, Bruce Willis and Johnathon Schaech with her hometown as its backdrop.
“To be able to come home: One, I don’t get to do it often. And two, to be able to film a movie at home is a highlight of my career,” Ochse said. “It’s nice to come home and know that people know how I’m progressing.”
Another bonus for the actress is getting to show off where she grew up to co-star and close personal friend Schaech.
After he was cast as Detective Brian Mims, Schaech alerted Ochse to the role she would eventually land.
“I got a text at 6 in the morning telling me, ‘You have to get in on this film,’” Ochse said. “When he explained the movie to me, I was like, ‘Oh, shut the front door, I’m doing this.’"
The actor also announced Ochse's part during a press conference in Cincinnati two weeks ago.
"After the press conference, I got a lot of phone calls the next morning," Ochse said. "That was really sweet and exciting."
— Johnathon Schaech (@JohnSchaech) October 2, 2015
Ochse said she plans to take Schaech to her parents' house and then to see the Devou Park overlook. There might even be a photo of the pair on the mantel of the Mimses’ home in “Marauders.”
‘The peace of seeing the overlook is glorious,” she said.
Other things on Ochse’s to-do list include spending time with friends such as Doolin, getting to enjoy actual fall weather and visiting other familiar places.
"I always have to do Skyline. My first waitress job was at a Skyline in Fort Mitchell,” Ochse said.
Ochse added visiting home reminds her that despite the challenges where she grew up presented to her acting dream “at the same time, too, it was great for me to have a childhood. There’s something very innocent about it.
There’s something about the true, good friendly spirit of Kentucky and Ohio.”