We’re so excited to hear all about your career and perspective on the film industry but first can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well.. you already know my name so I won’t say that. I was born and raised in London. My father is South African, he fled Cape Town during the apartheid and came to London at the age of 17 where he embarked upon an insanely impressive career as a film composer. My mother is French/ British and has worked tirelessly alongside my father as a producer in film. I lived in between Los Angeles and London when I was really little, because of my dads work. I am the youngest of four. I have two brothers, one is a Focus Puller for films and the other is a Director/ Writer for films… its safe to say film is in the family! My older sister is a psychoanalyst, which given what the rest of us do, makes a lot of sense. What else… I am obsessed with animals (especially my dog) I have about six friends and I love them to death, I think my brother Caspar is the coolest person I know and I’ve got the best boyfriend I could have ever dreamed of, that’s everything.
To be working in the film industry is often something that’s glamourised to the public – is it really what media presents it as?
It can be; I mean there are red carpet events and being on set can be surreal with people doing your make up, your clothes, getting you food, checking if you’re ok all the time or being put up in fancy hotels in a variety of countries – things like that, which is what I always thought of as the glamorous aspects of the film industry. I think the ‘grass is greener’ state of mind is BIG when it comes to the ‘glamorous’ world of the film industry. Everything seems magical from the outside and don’t get me wrong I think the art of filmmaking is totally magical (I’m a total film geek), but the reality of lets say the examples I used at the beginning is; walking down a red carpet and having your photo taken while you are trying to pretend you aren’t as insanely uncomfortable, both mentally and physically, cause I am.
Walking in full evening gown attire down a red carpet while people take photos and ask you the same sort of questions on repeat in reality is just a bunch of photographers and press who are doing their job (the likelihood is they haven’t even seen the film you are in) and you are just doing your job (because going to premiers and attending press junkets is generally part of the package). And the reality of being on location in a foreign country is; maybe one day of wondering around, usually alone and checking out your surroundings and then sitting in your hotel room and going over the script whilst rinsing the room service menu.
Again don’t get me wrong, I happen to love being alone in hotel rooms and I happen to love the adrenaline rush, of walking in front of a ton of people, with the surging fear that if you stumble or look stupid for a second it will live forever on the internet, but what I’m trying to say is I think the reality of the glamour is very different when you are living it than the glossy, photoshopped image that is generally presented.
“I think the reality of the glamour is very different when you are living it than the glossy, photoshopped image that is generally presented.”
How did you begin getting into the career you have now?
I think my parents already assumed that I’d want to join the film industry and as a child when I’d (without request) do lines and impressions of the actors in my dad’s films, for my parents (unimpressed) friends, it seemed fitting that I’d become an actress. So after I finished my A levels I went to drama school in London for a year before leaving to attend the Lee Strasberg theatre and Film Institute in NYC to study method acting specifically.
I lived in New York for three years and did a one year training programme specialising in acting for film at the New York Film Academy, alongside three stage productions and several short films. Upon my return to London I secured an agent whilst performing in a play and have been solely acting up until two years ago when I decided to write, act in and direct my own web-series ‘Frankie & Emma’ which led to me signing with WME agency, who are massive in the US and UK and who have essentially changed the game for me, so since then I have become a ‘hyphenate’ creative: Writer/ Actor/ Director.
I have written and directed a short film ‘Husk’ that was sold to Little Dot Studios. I’ve written two Feature Films, made a sketch show, been commissioned to create and write a web-series for Comedy Central, am developing a project with Funny or Die and am trying to find a home for my TV Show ‘Never come closer’. So thats what I’m doing now.
Can you give any advice to other women wanting to do what you’re doing?
Yes. Firstly, you have a right to be in the room, you’re totally legit, so you do you.
And secondly when someone unprofessionally manages, within a work setting, to ask about your relationship status you can FOR SURE say that you have a partner or you can tell them that its personal and shut it down. Because contrary to popular belief, it is not your job to make said person feel like they potentially have a shot with you in order for them to give attention to your work, its your job to do your job and if that isn’t what they are looking for, then you do not want to be working with them.
“…you have a right to be in the room”
If you could offer any words of wisdom to your at fifteen year old self what would they be?
Stop trying and just do. Oh and also every time you get rejected professionally (which is gonna happen a ton) remember: You are still dope AF.
And finally, are there any exciting things happening that we can look out for you being a part of and support?!
Two weeks ago I attended a BBC writers room ‘retreat’, which I was head hunted for. Talent Works and the BBC joined up and selected eight young creators who they believe have a distinct and important ‘voice’ that needs to be heard; the next generation of multi hyphenate talent. Hopefully we can find a project to collaborate on! I am also developing a Podcast with my best mate; the extremely talented comedienne Nancy Zamit (Mischief theatre; ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’, ‘A Comedy About A Bank Robbery’ etc.) So there are a few things in the works! If you want to check out my original projects you can find ‘Frankie & Emma’ the web-series (co starring Nancy Zamit) on YouTube and you can find ‘Husk’ the short film on Tall Tales. And, ‘To Tokyo’ one of three features that I starred in from last year is about to complete the festival circuit and go into distribution and will be appearing in cinemas in 2020!