Brace yourself. I’ve done some films that you shoot in a studio and it’s super easy and warm and you finish on time. And then I’ve done others where you do night shoots in the freezing cold and you have to suck it up and bare it. On Orion, the practicalities of the shoot were really difficult, we were shooting in Detroit in the winter, super low-budget, in lots of old, damaged buildings.
You’ll get more confident. St. Trinian’s helped me deal with the nervousness of being on-set and remembering your lines and knowing there’s going to be a long shot where there’s going to be 10 people speaking before you and the camera’s going to get to you and you better get your line out right! Right after that I shot The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, which I was the female lead in, and I was really grateful for my experience on St Trinian’s.
If there isn’t a challenge in it then it’s not worth doing. That challenge may be working with different people, doing a different character I haven’t done before. That to me is the interesting part.
But it’s okay to find some light relief. I’m all for dark, serious and getting deep into character but there’s also something so fun and refreshing about comedy and getting paid to laugh all day. I’m a big fan of doing that and I’d like to do more. Absolutely Fabulous was the first film I did after having a baby last year and it was the perfect way back into work; low pressure, really good humour, fun people.
Watch and listen. I’ve always been interested in watching directors and watching how they work – things I would like to emulate and things I would do differently.
Always dream big. That’s been my philosophy in life and it’s somewhat done me well and made things possible. But also be mindful it is quite a tough industry in terms of finding the work you really want to do. That’s the challenge I’ve had. It’s why I’m more interested now in the behind-the-scenes stuff, whether it’s producing, directing, writing – to be more proactive in creating the content and working out the stories you want to tell.