How did you begin acting?
When I was 5 years old a neighbour recommended I join the local drama group. I took to it like a duck to water. So over the years I also took parts in school plays (even writing one when I was 9), went to dance school, sang, played instruments, you name it, I'd do it, anything creative that would involve me being on stage! I wasn't a show off or attention seeking, I was actually quite shy! But it was something I was good at and I loved it! I studied Theatre as one of my A'levels which was a spring board to me applying to drama school. I went to London, joined the The Royal Court Young Peoples Theatre and went on to train at Drama Centre London. <\p>
At what stage in your career did you realise that acting could be something you do professionally?
I suppose as a child it starts as a "dream" but my dream was set to become a reality when I told my teachers quite early on that acting was the road I was taking no matter what! I could see I had the ability to affect people and it felt natural to me. Of course some found this quite amusing but as time passed it became even clearer to me and I took it very seriously. Its a trade, a craft. I also had a lot of support and encouragement from people who were also in the profession. <\p>
Please list three actors and three actresses that you like.
Well my list could go on and on and on! I admire a great deal of actors! I'll just mention a few now though, Anne Marie Duff, Judi Dench, Julie Walters, Sheila Hancock, Johnny Depp, Robert De Niro, Tom Hardy, Daniel Day Lewis. I see sooooooo many actors that are just outstanding that are not household names at all too. <\p>
What is your criteria in determining which projects you select?
Over the years and through experience that has obviously chopped and changed. I have sometimes accepted work that I wouldn't "normally" do just because I wanted to work! But, after making some bad choices I've now made the conscious decision to be very selective in order to keep my integrity and soul intact! Of course I consider the play, the part, the director, the company and their methods of working along with who else will be working on the project. Basically I no longer just dive in without doing my research and knowing what I'm getting into! <\p>
What type of communication do you normally establish with directors?
I like to build a relationship of trust and utter respect and understanding. There should be a fearless communication where you feel completely at ease but be able to set sparks alight and by that I mean bouncing ideas off each other and be open to question and debate. I get such a buzz working with directors who ooze passion for the project! Directors who are intelligent, inspirational, and who possess an innate understanding of the actor and their process. I cannot abide directors who treat actors like puppets and the stage management as skivvies!!! <\p>
What is the archetypal character in which you tend to be typecast?
I'm glad to say I don't tend to be "typecast" but I am aware of how I look can change the roles I am considered for quite dramatically. This I think is a learning curve for a lot of actors and I am happy and prepared to change the way I look in terms of weight for example for any part I really want. I'm versatile - thank god! <\p>
Has there been a role that has been especially difficult for you?
I do tend to find most difficulty in playing someone much older than myself which seems strange and baffling in terms of casting. It has happened though and I got frustrated because I felt that I couldn't do it justice! I initially put that down to being miscast but I took on the challenge and worked really really hard! Saying that I have seen some amazing "ageing" by other actors so I know its quite possible that I could do it too! <\p>
Do you see yourself working in this field in twenty years?
Well of course! <\p>
What do you do to kill time during waiting periods at casting calls?
Prepare and Focus. That usually involves reading the script over and over and also mentally focusing on anything pre-prepared. I also try and relax by concentrating on breathing and going through mental affirmations to help with confidence. <\p>
Are you continuing to educate yourself through acting classes, seminars, or other courses? Do you combine this with your normal job?
Yes! I'm always looking out for classes/readings and go to masterclasses. I think its really important especially if you haven't worked for a while and need to keep the blood flowing as it were. Its always good to update and extend existing skills too. <\p>
Is there any scene or role that you would never interpret due to personal morals, principles, or taboos?
I haven't come across one yet! I'm very open and unafraid but of course I would say NO if it affected me to such an extent that it would fuck me up and other people too! <\p>
Could you say that your tools as an actress pertain to a certain school or concrete method?
Well of course. I went to Drama Centre which teaches a methodological approach. Check out the schools site for a more detailed idea of what I do. I'm always interested and quizzing other actors who trained elsewhere about their methods too. <\p>
Which director would you like to read this interview? What type of role would you like for him/her to offer you?
Every Director! There are of course a few I would like to work with specifically. The roles that I would love would be a list as long as long can be! Of course I'm classically trained, but love modern comedy and drama equally. The answer to this question could go on and on; I could list a trillion parts and a trillion directors, and the types of work would be extremely varied!! <\p>
Have you ever thought of giving up on the profession? If yes, when and why?
Never! Even during all those bleak periods when things go to pot or just aren't happening and I haven't worked for ages there's still hope! <\p>
One personal reason why to keep doing this work
To make a difference. Of course people will argue that there are many other, much easier things one is able to do if that's all it was about but this to me is the best way I can do it. I love it! <\p>
How do you feel when people recognise you on the street?
Hahahahaha! It hasn't happened yet! If it did I think I'd probably feel a little awkward and uncomfortable because I'm actually quite private and shy! <\p>
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in acting?
Its really important to have a steely determination and self belief. Educate yourself continuously, see as much of other peoples work as possible, keep yourself healthy and happy, be disciplined, work hard and you'll reap the rewards-eventually! :-)
Interview from Whohub