Interview: Annabel Scholey on BBC’s Divorce Drama ‘The Split’ & ‘Britannia’

Annabel Scholey Photoshoot 2018

ANNABEL SCHOLEY is perhaps best known for her role in the BBC supernatural drama ‘Being Human’. Returning to the BBC, Annabel stars alongside Nicola Walker in ‘The Split’ – which centers around the fast-paced world of London’s divorce law circuit.

Written by the acclaimed Abi Morgan (‘The Iron Lady’, ‘Suffragette’), the series focuses on a family of female divorce lawyers who are forced to face their past following the return of their estranged father after a 30-year absence.

As well as having a leading role in this highly-anticipated modern day drama, Annabel Scholey has also been heading back in time for her role in the historical fantasy series ‘Britannia’. We caught up with Annabel about her career so far, her role in ‘The Split’ and which historical figure she really wants to portray.

AC: Having performed at the theatre alongside some of the greatest actors in the world, has theatre helped you develop your craft as an actor in ways that maybe television alone wouldn’t have?

AS: Theatre gave me my foundations. My confidence and most importantly a chance to work with some of this country’s best actors from all generations. I watched them over long periods and tried to absorb as much as possible.  It has always been my first passion, I love the adrenaline and the camaraderie. I learnt stamina and how to build a character…so yes! It pretty much is the reason I am still working now! I love it.

What can you tell us about your role in ‘The Split’?

I play Nina Defoe. The middle of three sisters in the Defoe family. We are divorce lawyers in our family firm in London. Nina is the slightly wild sister. Not really sure of her place in the world yet…fiercely competitive with her older sister Hannah (Nicola Walker) but also happy to sometimes coast through life in her shadow. It’s a drama about family and love in all its complicated forms, romantic, parental, love between siblings.

Annabel Scholey Photoshoot 2018

How did you go about preparing for it?

I loved playing a lawyer and learning a small amount about how that world operates.  Nicola, myself and Deborah Findlay who plays our Mum ‘Ruth’ were allowed to visit a top London law firm, which was fascinating.  We asked a million questions. Also, I found the costumes extremely helpful…the power suits and heels really transform the way you feel. You feel pretty invincible.

How much did you learn about divorce lawyers whilst being a part of ‘The Split’? 

Abi Morgan is such a terrific writer. So detailed and vivid and so it was all there to play with in the script. Abi had done a lot of research and had advisers working closely with her from the world of Law…so I learnt a huge amount! The greatest revelation was that Lawyers bill in six minute units!

If you weren’t acting, what career path would you be pursuing?

Well funnily enough I always thought I would like to be a Barrister, but I suppose that’s still acting in a way.

Annabel Scholey 2018 Photoshoot

What’s the best memento you’ve kept over your career so far?

I think a Russian rehearsal coat that Joanna Lumley gave me. We were doing The Cherry Orchard at The Sheffield Crucible. Joanna was playing my mum. She said it had to be mine as it looked so good! I was totally in love with her and so kept the coat.

Alongside ‘The Split’, you also have a role in ‘Britannia’ – the projects couldn’t be more different, are you purposely looking for diverse roles?

It just so happened that my two current projects are polar opposites, but I am thrilled. No one wants to be type cast and so I feel very happy and lucky to be a slightly shady Celt Queen in wigs and chariots and a divorce lawyer in 2018. It’s great to be challenged in totally different ways.

If you could play a historical or famous figure, who would it be and why?

I would love to play Clara Bow, the 1920’s silent movie star. She was revolutionary in her time; her life was incredibly tragic and yet she still achieved her dream, her story is full of stardom and pain in equal measure, I think it would be a huge challenge to play her. Oh and not to mention her strong Brooklyn accent challenge! 

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH ANNABEL SCHOLEY

Biggest pet peeve?

People dragging wheelie suitcases so far behind them with no concept of the fact that they are tripping everyone up in their wake!

Last movie you watched?

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Best show to binge-watch?

‘Madmen’ 

What’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had?

I like sweet and savoury together. I sometimes eat eggs on toast with a layer of jam.

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?

Fiona Apple Classic Hits

Advice to your younger self?

Chill out. Stop worrying. You have this. You can trust yourself.

Do you have a hidden talent?

No! How sad is that? Actually, I can hula hoop for hours without stopping, does that count?

Is there one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

I am excited to be a mother at some point. A lot of my friends have done it and it looks exhausting but also incredible.

A sport you wish you could play?

Tennis without doubt. I wish I had taken it up as a child.

Abi Morgan’s The Split starts Tuesday 24th April at 9pm

 

PHOTOGRAPHER: JOSEPH SINCLAIR

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

MAKEUP: SAM COOPER

HAIR: POLLY MITEVA for PAUL EDMONDS

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Interview: Rudi Dharmalingam on BBC’s ‘The Split’ Divorce Drama

Rudi Dharmalingam Photoshoot 2018

Like many actors, RUDI DHARMALINGAM didn’t have a straight path to success. After graduating from the prestigious National Youth Theatre, Rudi payed the bills by selling conservatories in between acting auditions. With roles in ‘New Tricks’, ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Rellik’ & ‘Casualty’, he now finds himself at the center of a major new BBC drama – ‘The Split’.

Rudi stars alongside Nicola Walker in ‘The Split’ – which centers around the fast-paced world of London’s divorce law circuit.

Written by the acclaimed Abi Morgan (‘The Iron Lady’, ‘Suffragette’), the series focuses on a family of female divorce lawyers who are forced to face their past following the return of their estranged father after a 30-year absence. We caught up with Rudi to talk about his journey to this point in his career and to find out about his new show ‘The Split’.

AC: What was your biggest take-away from your time at the National Youth Theatre?

RD: Whilst studying A-Level Theatre Studies I started to think more seriously about acting as a career. However, because I’d always prioritised my school work and table tennis over everything thing else I never had the time to get involved with a local theatre group. When it came around to completing my UCAS form for Universities I had nothing in the way of experience of theatre and performing with the exception of a school production. A friend of mine who was also a keen actor discovered the National Youth Theatre. We both thought it would be a good thing to have under our belts. We applied and magically we were both successful. Collaborating so closely with such a talented group of young people everyday, all day, was one of the best experiences of my life. It left me hungry for more and was a wonderfully inspiring thing to do at such a young age. I would say the main take away from that period was that it instilled a sense of collaboration and a strong teamwork ethic in all my work to date.


At the point when you were auditioning for roles trying to break into the industry whilst selling conservatories, was there ever any self-doubt?

Lots. Upon graduation, the sudden realisation that you are now responsible for paying rent, bills, food, council tax etc hits you hard. I had to find a job. I started selling conservatories because I had lots of experience in call centres whilst doing my A-Levels and degree. But also because my boss was willing to give me lots of flexibility regarding which shifts I worked so I was able to fit auditions in around my life as a salesman. Caroline, if you’re reading this, Thank You! I did this for two years. It was pretty soul destroying. As a young actor, the rejection is tough and it’s impossible for self doubt not to creep in. I’m still in a constant state of self doubt now, I don’t think that will ever change.

Rudi Dharmalingam Photoshoot 2018

 
Something that audiences won’t necessarily know about you is that you were a county and national table tennis player in your youth – between acting do you still get time to play table tennis?

Table tennis was something I wholeheartedly threw myself into from the age of 7. I stopped playing competitively when I was 16 when I discovered a new hobby – which I’m still doing and lucky enough to call my job. The dedication, work ethic and commitment I had for table tennis have all become a major part of my life as an actor. Those qualities I needed to succeed in sport are now a major part of how I live my life now. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to swing a bat anymore. I miss it dearly. 

Tell us about your role in ‘The Split’…

James is the fiancé of Rose, the youngest of the Defoe’s.  She’s the only one who’s not a divorce lawyer, she’s a nanny.  She’s in a situation where she’s not quite sure what she wants. James grounds her, they’ve got a purity to their relationship in contrast to the opulence or high-class environment of the law industry.  James works in finance, he’s got his own flat, his mum and dad are still together.  I think that James is one of life’s good ones. I’ve played a lot of off-centre characters in the past but James has to be one of the nicest and most stable of the lot. 

Rudi Dharmalingam 2018 Photoshoot


What was it like reading Abi Morgan’s scripts?

An absolute joy and pleasure. She writes people really really well. The character jumps off the page immediately, so as an actor its pretty easy to imagine who that person is. 
 
We’ve heard that for your recent role as Catholic ‘Mortimer’ in Mary Stuart you took counsel from a Catholic priest and went to Rome to experience the Vatican – what was that like?

Before every project I want to do loads of research.  However it’s not always possible because before you know it you’re in the rehearsal room. When we did the show at The Almeida I managed to meet with a Catholic Priest which was of course really informative and interesting. Prior to the West End run I had some time to do the research I always wanted to do. I got a flight out to Rome and immersed myself in the spirit of Catholicism, The Vatican, The Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. Mortimer, the character I play has converted from Protestantism to Catholicism and is seduced by the theatricality of Rome. I suppose I wanted to see those iconic buildings in the flesh, so I could have a proper memory rather than just work off images pulled from Google. 

Rudi Dharmalingam Photoshoot 2018 


Would you describe yourself as a ‘method actor’?

No I wouldn’t. I’m glad you asked me this as it’s a subject that interests me greatly. When I was 16 I read Stanislavski’s ‘An Actor Prepares.’ Upon completion of this iconic book I was filled with enthusiasm for this weird thing we call acting. It provided me with a structure and ‘a system’ to follow when approaching a role. I think most actors use his ideas in their work but to varying degrees. I’m a firm believer in hard work and commitment and I will do whatever is necessary to get to where I need to be when forming a character. Whether that’s going on a Palaeolithic Diet which is what I did for The Events at The Young Vic, or forming tangible real memories from personal experience by going to The Vatican for Mary Stuart. Sometimes hard work and focus is ridiculed in our profession and I’ve been in situations before where I find myself apologising. I don’t know any other way of working. I’m not a method actor but I immerse myself into every project with 110% commitment. 

 
How did you get into your role in ‘The Split’?

James has a sinus issue which results in a constant runny nose. My father-in-law is a GP and I asked him if there was anything I could take to induce a runny nose. He actually said if took a bit more Sudofed that what’s recommended as it may result in the opposite effect. I didn’t fancy overdosing on sinus decongestant. But I always had a real nasal spray in my pocket on set that I would take in between takes to get me used to the action. I did try sniffing pepper on set for a few days to try and give me some kind of nasal discomfort. James and Rose have a lot of love for each other but there are times when they are pushed to the limit of what they can both deal with. There were a few car journeys from the unit base to locations when cold shoulders were the orders of the day. 


Probably the most surprising and amazing thing I’ve discovered about you was that you recently fostered a mother and her baby – how did that come about and why did you decide that this was something that you wanted to do?

Fostering is something we’ve always wanted to do. My wife is an experienced social worker having worked with children in child protection for many years. I remember when the Syrian Refugee Crisis hit the headlines a few years ago, we talked about how we could help, somehow. There are a lot of kids out there that need some love and care and we’ve always thought we could offer that alongside our own children. We went through a very thorough application process which was essentially a form of therapy, no stone unturned. We got accepted and decided we wanted to concentrate on Parent and Child Fostering. We had a mum and baby recently leave us after a 5 month placement with us. It was challenging of course but ultimately hugely rewarding. 

 
Is there one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

Seeing my children grow up and not knowing where my work will take me.

 
What advice would you give to your younger self?

Read more. I’ve never been a big reader. I’m better now. 

Abi Morgan’s The Split starts Tuesday 24th April at 9pm

PHOTOGRAPHY: JON CARTWRIGHT

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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Interview: Brittany Ashworth on ‘The Crucifixion’, ‘Hostile’ and being outside her comfort zone

Brittany Ashworth Photoshoot 2018

BRITTANY ASHWORTH has steadily crafted an impressive portfolio of acting roles over her last decade in the industry. Beginning in British TV shows like ‘Cold Feet’ and ‘Doctors’ and the cult-comedy hit ‘Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Revolution’. In the past few months, Brittany has hit Hollywood – starring in ‘The Cruxificixion’ (from the writers of horror-sensation ‘The Conjuring’).

We talk to Brittany Ashworth about her upcoming releases: ‘Hostile’ a horror feature film that shot in Morocco, New York and Paris – and action-thriller ‘Accident Man’.

AC: Where did your acting career begin for you?

BA: I started in theatre. I grew up in the North and touring companies would audition for the children’s roles.  There was a new part to sink your teeth into every few months. Some of the best British drama is made in Manchester and Yorkshire and on my first screen job I got to wear a bonnet and work with Sarah Lancashire. I thought she was the coolest person I’d ever met – she could transform from being very kind and funny to being completely in character in seconds.

Did you know that this was what you were meant to do?

I think you are quite spoilt being introduced to the idea that you can earn a living telling stories and pretending to be other people as a child. It’s hard to imagine doing anything else, though there was a period when I fancied being a war correspondent. I always loved learning and would study on set. I studied English at Oxford – but always with a view to using it to act; they have an incredible drama scene. Lots of my university friends have very different careers to me and think that my lifestyle is mad but I hope I’m still doing it when I’m ninety.

Brittany Ashworth Photoshoot 2018

What would you say is the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about working and surviving in this industry?

There’s very little I find surprising – the most unbelievable things go wrong on every set and often you have to do things that are outside your comfort zone.  But somehow the film always gets made.

You’ve now worked with French director Xavier Gens twice, in ‘The Crucifixion’ and ‘Hostile’, what’s he like as a director?

Xavier is an icon of alternative French cinema, very cool, very perceptive. Lots of his work is set in the realm of the fantastic.  It works because the stories that he tells are human and real, anchored in something raw and emotional. His process is quite academic and is exactly the way that I love to work. He introduced me to Matthieu, the wonder kid director of Hostile and I felt very privileged to be part of this wave of film makers because what they are doing is a little bit anarchist. Their films don’t play by the rules.

Brittany Ashworth 2018 Photoshoot

Knowing that ‘The Crucifixion’ was being written by the team behind ‘The Conjuring’, did that heighten your expectation of the project when reading the script?

I didn’t know who the production team was when I first read the script – it was just this very moving story about two girls. But as soon as I found out…of course it was exciting! Those movies are such enormous hits, I’d seen them all at the cinema. The Crucifixion has a more dramatic, European vibe. It was fun to be part of such a big machine and to meet the writers, The Hayes Brothers, who have the craziest stories from researching their films.

What was it like filming in Romania? Do you like filming abroad?

Romania is beautiful, particularly Transylvania. They are really set up for film there so there was a great crew and all the actors that I got to work with were at the top of their game.  Travelling is definitely one of the coolest parts of my job. Everyone is transported to a new location which means that you form intense friendships very quickly. There is real blitz spirit.

Brittany Ashworth 2018 Photoshoot

You’ve also been shooting ‘Hostile’ in Morocco, Paris and New York. How much does the location in help you get into character?

Your job is a lot easier if you are lucky enough to shoot in a live location rather than a studio. Some environments provoke a certain physical response. One section of Hostile was shot in the middle of the desert over two weeks of consecutive night shoots. It was demanding but so useful in building those scenes. Character interacts very strongly with setting – my character Juliette thrives on the anonymity of a city and there is no place in the world like New York to make you feel insignificant.  The Crucifixion had a different effect – seeing the real places these things happened brought a responsibility to tell the story as truthfully as possible.

Brittany Ashworth 2018 Photoshoot

What can you tell us about working on the recently released ‘Accident Man’?

It was such a fun job – I got to work with Ashley Greene which was my teenage Twilight dream come true. The director Jesse Johnson and most of the cast have a stunt background so were all super kick ass. They work in quite a different way – very precise and efficient. You don’t get on in the stunt world without being the best at what you do.

Brittany Ashworth 2018 Photoshoot

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH BRITTANY ASHWORTH

Last movie you watched?

‘The Isle of Dogs’. I saw the sets at Store studios – Wes Anderson is a genius.

Best show to binge-watch?

‘The Crown’ – I bloody love the Queen.

What’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had?

Marmite on everything.

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?

Blossoms on loop. I obsessively listen to one album for about a week then never want to hear it again.

Everyone has a cool app idea, what’s yours?

I could tell you but I’d have to kill you…

A sport you wish you could play?

I would love to have a few months to learn to really surf.

Best present you’ve ever received?

A video camera when I was about eight. I used to force my brother to be in all my movies.

Last book you read?

The History of the Ned a Kelly Gang. It was so sad I had a period of mourning where I couldn’t read anything else for two weeks afterwards

Would you rather be at a mountain hideaway or a beach house?

A beach house, I’m a sun baby.

Do you have a philosophy?

Scarlett O’Hara has a good one – ‘Tomorrow is another day’.

One thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

I have a couple of really exciting jobs up next, which I’ve been rehearsing but can’t wait to get on set for. I’m also hoping I get time in the summer to go and visit one of my best friends who is moving to Mexico.

Brittany Ashworth can be seen in ‘The Crucifixion’ on Amazon Prime & ‘Hostile’ in cinemas from May 28

PHOTOGRAPHY: BY PIP

MAKEUP: AMY WRIGHT AT CAREN

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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Interview: Zara Martin on Modelling, DJing and creating products with brands

Zara Martin Photoshoot 2018
PHOTOGRAPHY: SIMON WISBEY
It seems increasingly clear that in order to survive in the creative industries like modelling and DJing, you have to run your career like a business. ZARA MARTIN is proof that this works – collaborating with major brands and creating products.

 

In collaboration with the London based fashion brand Skinnydip, Zara designed and launched her own line of headphones – which are now one of the most successful in the world. It was Zara’s mission to get them sold throughout the world for female DJs – being heavily involved in talking to factories, buyers and manufacturers about the product, as well as the design process.

 

After the vast international success of the collaboration, Zara has been approached by a number of other audio companies to work with her, and she hopes to bring her own audio line out soon – the first female to do so.

 

Zara has DJed for brands like Dior and Tom Ford, whilst shooting with fashion bibles Vogue, Vogue Italia, L’officiel and Nylon.

 

I spoke to Zara Martin about her career so far, her plans for the future and the recent charity work for women.

 

AC: Which came first modelling or DJing?

 

ZM: TV presenting! I really wanted to be a presenter. Now, I really don’t –  it’s awful.

 

How do you think your two professions compliment each other?

 

I love fashion and I love music so it’s kind of ideal really, especially now with a “fashion DJ” being a thing. 

 

Would I be right in saying that modelling is taking up most of your time at the moment?

 

Yeah I would say so, and other projects that are a blend of the two. Like the headphones I designed for Skinnydip – it’s super time consuming and you work on it for ages before anyone else knows about it – but they are my favourite types of projects!

 

Zara Martin Photoshoot 2018Tell us about what you’ve been working on recently…

 

So much is happening in the world that makes what I do for a living seem inconsequential. At the moment I’m really focused on working with Women For Women International, an incredible charity I’m an ambassador for. As an organisation, WFWI have helped over half a million women in conflict-affected countries rebuild their lives. In light of recent events in Syria, I feel their work needs to be highlighted as there is much more to be done. To help raise awareness and funds I’ve just designed a capsule collection with Delores Daywear in aid of Women for Women, which launches in May.

 

Zara Martin Photoshoot 2018
Do you have plans to continue your charity work beyond that?

 

Definitely. I would love to try and incorporate it in all aspects of my work. Working with Women for Women has taught me so much about what ‘female empowerment’ really means. Not the Insta version! [laughs] And, especially now – with the #TimesUp movement – there is a real possibility to make lasting change for equality. 

 

What were some of the challenges of breaking into DJing?

 

Not having one-million Instagram followers.

 

Zara Martin 2018 Photoshoot
Is it true that you trained with Trevor Nelson?

 

Yeah, sort of. God, I forgot about that. [laughs] You must have delved deep into Google for that info! It was a long time ago, when MTV Base (and the aforementioned desire to be on TV) still existed. 

 

What are your plans for the future as both a model and a DJ? 

 

Really to just work with brands I love and do projects I genuinely enjoy and am passionate about.

 


Zara Martin Photoshoot 2018

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH ZARA MARTIN

 

Best show to binge-watch?

 

I’m a serial box-set binge watcher – ‘Homeland’, ‘Fargo’, ‘This is Us’, ‘Billions’.

 

What’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had?

 

A salty cafe latte, I mistook the salt for sugar. It was early. And yes, I eat sugar. Sue me! 

 

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?

 

Cardi B, Mabel, Jorja Smith, Whinnie Williams, Kali Uchis, Kelela… and Justin Timberlake

 

Everyone has a cool app idea, what’s yours?

 

As if I would tell you, someone could make millions stealing my idea!

 

Starstruck moment?

 

 

A sport you wish you could play?

 

I wish I had the coordination to be a really good dancer.

 

Worst joke you’ve ever heard?

 

Any joke from a Christmas cracker! Like ‘Does anyone need an ark? I Noah guy!’, ‘How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it’. 

 

What’s going to be this summer’s fashion trend?

 

From what I can tell from social media: Skinny sunglasses and lip fillers! [laughs]

 

Would you rather be at a mountain hideaway or a beach house?
Beach.

 

What is the farthest you have been from home? 

 

Geography, my strong suit! (It’s not my strong suit) Um, I live in London so, Hawaii or South America or India?  Seychelles? South Africa?

 

And what’s one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

 

Going to New Zealand. Or China.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY: SIMON WISBEY
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES
MAKEUP: ABBI ROSE

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Interview: Eline Powell – an actress at the height of her powers with ‘Siren’

Eline Powell Photoshoot 2018 by Chad Rook
Photography: Chad Rook / Styling: Jason Pillay / Hair & Makeup: Shayna Coumont

ELINE POWELL is at the height of her powers – with her first ever leading role in television – starring as a young mermaid with a dark secret in the fantasy drama ‘Siren’.

Before getting to this milestone in her career, the Belgium born actress has had past success on both the big and small screen – with roles in films like ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword‘ and TV shows such as ‘Game Of Thrones’.

AC: Did you have to spend a lot of time in the makeup trailer for the prosthetics in this role?

EP: Only in the pilot was the process quite long. It took six or seven hours to apply all of the prosthetics. The tail in particular was magnificent, it looked amazing and it gave me such power underwater. It was heavy though and I needed three people to “dump” me in the tank! So they revised the process for the rest of the season and we wore just monofins and they did the skin in post. It was quite freeing and we could have a longer sleep before the shoot.

What did you do to pass the time?

They need all of your body so the only option was to chat or zone out and listen to music. Bear in mind it was very early in the morning we had to start so it took a few green teas before I was “present”.

How did you decide on the physicality of how a mermaid would move?

I had such a blast trying to create her physicality. I watched a lot of Blue Planet and looked at different predators, particularly mammals in the sea AND on land. I just played around and picked what I thought would work best.

Were the underwater scenes done in a water tank?

Yes, a huge warm water tank (the warm water is crucial if you’re going to spend all day in it – I’m very grateful for that). However if you see any of the characters going into the ocean that was all real.

What’s the funniest or most bizarre director’s note about your performance that you received whilst working on ‘Siren’?

“Be less weird”. But maybe it’s actually a very sound comment considering the character.

Eline Powell Photoshoots 2018 Chad Rook

How are we going to see your character develop throughout the rest of the series?

Ryn will learn more language and become more open minded about humans, but she will never lose her essence of raw primal spirit.

Do you think this show also has an environmental message?

It definitely has undertones of it as it such a huge reason why these mermaids are coming on land now and even how it contributes to the tension between mermaids and humans. The things we do the ocean in real life are featured in the show.

With your Belgium heritage, when were you first exposed to acting?

In primary school you had to perform a little poem for your class every week. I loved it so much and would spend hours practicing and even bringing props. I didn’t know it at the time but it was my first “acting school”.

How do you this experience of a different culture – compared to other actors – has served you so far?

Sometimes I was at a disadvantage because I had to do a lot of catching up on certain American/British pop culture but sometimes my humour or certain accents can bring something new.

Eline Powell Photoshoot 2018 Chad Rook

You also had a role in ‘Game Of Thrones’ a few years ago, do you think that helped prepare you for the pace of working on episodic television?

Game Of Thrones is unique, they are the biggest and I dare say most successful show of our decade. The set is so smooth running and they have a big budget so being on that set feels like being part of the holy grail. I loved it and learned a lot. Siren was equally amazing but very different because we are a new show so we were creating something from scratch and finding our rhythm, building comradery and trust as we went along. Which we did, we are now officially a siren family and all of the cast and crew got very close.

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH ELINE POWELL

Last mermaid movie you watched?

Splash

Best show to binge-watch?

Stranger things

What’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had?

Miso soup and then 20 seconds later a snickers (don’t do it- let your tastebuds neutralise first!)

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?

Queen

Everyone has a cool app idea, what’s yours?

Review app on best chocolate.

Advice to your younger self?

Keep swimming

Starstruck moment?

I sat next to Maggie Smith in the make up chair once.

A sport you wish you could play?

Anything involving a ball.

Worst joke you’ve ever heard?

Why did the mermaid cross the sea? To get to the other tide!

Dream dinner-party guests?

Frida Khalo, Audrey Hepburn, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Keanu Reeves, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Leonardo Da Vinci.

Last book you read?

Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran.

Would you rather be at a mountain hideaway or a beach house?

Beach house

What is the farthest you have been from home?

Bali?

One thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

Who wins the Iron Throne?

‘Siren’ is currently airing on Freeform

PHOTOGRAPHY: CHAD ROOK

STYLING: JASON PILLAY

HAIR & MAKEUP: SHAYNA COUMONT

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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Interview: Blossoms on directing their music videos and their new album

Blossoms Crookes Magazine

After multiple extended plays, BLOSSOMS released their self-titled chart-topping album two years ago. Since then the Stockport born five-piece band have toured the UK, playing headline shows and making onto the ‘BBC Sound Of’ shortlist, as well as being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

Now they’re gearing up for the launch of the second album and there’s definitely been some development in their sound. ‘Cool Like You’ embraces more electronic, synth aspects compared to their previous work – as they delve into pushing their sound as a band even further into incomparable territory.

After listening to the album in it’s entirety, it’s clear that there has been a lyrical progression from Tom Ogden’s songwriting, crawling even further into emotional depths than before. Tom had a quick chat with us about the new album.

AC: What was it like directing yourselves for the music video of ‘I Can’t Stand It’?

Tom: I’ve always had a keen interest in making films. We used to make all our own music videos when we started the band. We also made the Honey Sweet Video, so it was great to be able to direct I Can’t Stand It with a production team around us to help make our idea come to life.

There were loads of props, did you make some yourselves?

We came up with the ideas for the props, but Chief Productions made them at their studios.

Going forward, do you guys plan to be directing all of your future videos?

I think because of our busy schedule, it’s quite difficult to always direct the videos. I’m sure we’ll dip in and out and have creative control, even if we aren’t directing.

Blossoms Crookes Magazine

Where you nervous at how people would react to the mockumentary you release earlier this year? How did your families react?

Not at all, we knew we’d made something really great, and everyone we’d shown it to laughed a lot, so we couldn’t wait to release it.

With your second album ‘Cool Like You’, were you feeling pressure to out-do the first?

I wouldn’t say ‘out-do’. It’s more of a natural evolution and progression as a band and as a songwriter. You’re always trying to better yourself and evolve, which I think we definitely have done on this record.

Blossoms Crookes Magazine

On your new album, a lot of the synths make it feel nostalgic, what kind of music were you listening to that inspired the sound?

A lot of things. Obviously, Spotify playlists play a big part these days and there’s some great ones on there. Also, the Grand Theft Auto Vice City Soundtrack, various synth pop playlists, the Stranger Things soundtrack, Abba, The Style Council.

Were there any kinds of guitars that you experimented with that didn’t make it on to the album?

Not really. We had a clear vision quite early on of how we wanted the album to sound. The guitars were being layered in to create a wall of sound of rhythm. There’s still lots of guitars on the record.

Which song on the album was the hardest to make?

It was a relatively easy album to make and we did the whole thing in 2 days. I’d probably go with Stranger Still as we took a different approach in terms of building the drums. We wanted it to sound like a Kate Bush track.

Which ones are you particularly looking forward to performing?

‘Between The Eyes’ is going to be great live.

The New Album ‘Cool Like You’ from Blossoms, will be released 27 April

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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Interview: Charles Babalola on ‘Mary Magdalene’ and filming in Italy

 

Charles Babalola Photoshoot 2018CHARLES BABALOLA has been riding a huge wave of success over the past four years, starring in a mix of high-profile theatre, television and film projects since graduating from London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art back in 2014.

Charles has most recently been seen in Garth Davis‘ biblical drama film ‘Mary Magdalene’ – opposite Rooney Mara as the titular figure and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ. The film tells the biography of Mary Magdalene, one of the followers of Jesus, the founder of Christianity.

Whilst cementing a firm presence on the screen with roles in Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’, ITV’s ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘Bancroft’ – Babalola has been performing alongside Bryan Cranston in the stage adaptation of the classic Oscar winning film ‘Network’.

In 2015, Charles received the Alan Bates Award, which was endowed to commemorate the late patron’s inspirational work on behalf of the Actors Centre and will is awarded annually to an actor of exceptional talent. I spoke to Charles Babalola about his roles in ‘Network’ and ‘Mary Magdalene’.

AC: ‘Network’ has been met with some rave reviews. In rehearsals, could you tell that this was going to be something special? 

CB: Well firstly the film is such a cult classic, which meant bringing this piece to the stage was a risk in itself, but the story is so poignant that we felt it has the potential to be something special. You can never tell how an audience is going to receive a production until the opening night, but because the sheer spectacle of this show, we knew it would definitely leave people asking questions which is one part of our job.

The set is really impressive, what surprised you about the production?

Definitely how immersive the director, Ivo Van Hove, made this production. I think that most people who watched it felt like they really engaged with something real. Even if you don’t like theatre, it’s a real immersive-theatrical and media driven show amalgamated in to two hours.

With the large screen showing everything captured on the cameras live on stage, how did that change the experience of it for you? 

Honestly, I didn’t really think about it too much. There are some scenes where I am on the screen but we had been working with the screens from day one in rehearsals so they became part of the makeup of the set from a very early stage. Of course, there are moments when you notice yourself on the screen out of the corner of your eye, but it wasn’t really a distraction.

Charles Babalola Photoshoot 2018

Did it challenge you more?

Well the fact that one minute we are performing live theatre, and then the next you have to tone it down for the camera was definitely a challenge. It’s not something I thought too much about, but it’s inevitable you become very aware when 900 people are watching your huge face on a screen an even bigger screen at the back of the stage.

Tell us about your role in ‘Network’…

Charles Babalola Photoshoot 2018I play Harry Hunter who is the associate producer of the fictional news network ‘UBS’. He can be extremely straight laced and doesn’t care about anything other than getting the job done. He also has an interesting relationship with Bryan’s character Howard Beale; they fail to see eye to eye on a lot of work related issues
which leads to quite a few heated exchanges.

‘Mary Magdalene’ has received some polarizing reviews as did ‘The Passion Of The Christ’, why do you think this is?

Well, when making this film I was fully aware that biblical films are not everyone’s cup of tea, because everyone has an opinion on what really happened. This can be a difficult element in telling these stories especially to people who are religious, or of the specific denomination. I think all you can do as an actor is do the detailed research and be as truthful in the portrayal of the character and the story. But all together really happy with this one!




What does the film mean to you?
This is a story of a woman who was forbidden to be around men but fought for what she believed in. For me this is a story of hope and never giving up on what you truly believe in.

With the film being shot in Italy, what did you think of the locations?

This was one of the best parts of shooting this film. Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and we had the opportunity to shoot in Sicily, Matera, Martina Franca and Naples – mainly in the south of Italy. All beautiful locations which served the film perfectly. Naples was my favourite because of the amazing pizza, the beautiful people and the vibrancy of the city.

So what kind of projects are you working on for the rest of the year?

Hopefully some good film and TV projects. I’m reading and meeting for a lot of things now so let’s see what the future holds.

Charles Babalola Photoshoot 2018

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH CHARLES BABALOLA

Last movie you watched?

‘You Were Never Really Here’ (amazing!).

Best show to binge-watch?

‘Breaking Bad’ or ‘The Night Of’.

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?

Tribe Called Quest, the Black Panther soundtrack and Daniel Caesar.

Best store to visit in a shopping mall?

Footlocker 

Advice to your younger self?

Enjoy every moment and don’t care what other people think. 

Starstruck moment?

Meeting Oprah Winfrey, she came to see the play.

Is there one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

Travelling and seeing the world.

A sport you wish you could play?

Tennis

Dream dinner-party guests?

P Diddy, David Beckham, Dave Chappelle, Ian Wright.

What was the last book you read?

Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

‘Mary Magdalene’ is in cinemas now

PHOTOGRAPHY: BARTEK SZYMIGULSKI

STYLING: KRISHAN PARMAR

GROOMING: CHARLOTTE YEOMANS

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

Interview: Tommy Bastow on his role in ABC’s ‘The Crossing’

Tommy Bastow Photoshoot 2018

TOMMY BASTOW is perhaps best known for his role in the iconic British comedy ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’. Now a decade later, Tommy has a leading role in one of ABC’s most-highly anticipated flagship ships ‘The Crossing’.

The series follows desperate refugees from a war-torn country who start showing up to seek asylum in an American town – the shocking truth that the country these people are from is actually America and the war they are fleeing is 250 years in the future, starts to devastate the local community. Tommy Bastow stars alongside Steve Zahn and Natalie Martinez. We spoke to him about about the upcoming role.

AC: What role does your character play in the story?

TB: Marshall is a kid whose had a tough upbringing. He lives in a trailer and does what he can to get by. However, as the series continues, you realise he is so much more. I can’t really say much more than that!

Having starred in a few American shows recently, does the production process feel different?

Since graduating, I’ve mainly done American TV so it’s difficult to compare. American networks look after you very well and, in my case, give you a lot of down time to explore the beautiful cities you film in.

Was the show all shot in that one town?

The show was shot all over Vancouver. We even got to go to Vancouver island for the pilot which was a real treat. We used various different locations and, of course, soundstages too.

Would it be fair to say that the location is similar to ‘Broadchurch’, with it being a coastal town?

Yes I guess you could say that. Although, coastal towns in the states and in Britain are pretty different and the people who live there are vastly different too.  

Tommy Bastow Photoshoot 2018

What other TV shows do you think it will be compared with?

It has a ‘Lost’ feel to it for sure.

Who did you really enjoy working with on the cast?

I had a lot of scenes with Rick Gomez. In the show he becomes almost like a dad to Marshall and I think that crossed over into real life a bit too. He would sometimes drive me to set and give me advice and life lessons, which were extremely valuable to hear as a young actor. I also lived with Grant who plays Roy, so we became best mates over the four months of filming.

Do you think there will be scope for a second season?

Definitely, there is a whole world of possibility that opens up at the end of the first season. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved and hope the public engage with it and allow us to continue telling this story.

How would you say that your BA in Acting has prepared you for the roles that you have gone on to do? What did it not prepare you for?

Nothing can really prepare you for when you arrive on set. Drama school for me more than anything gave me a great work ethic and drive to become a better artist. Drama school is still primarily stage training, so when you arrive on set you have to unlearn some things. All in all though, having three years practice puts you in a position where you are freer in your body and voice, so maybe you’re able to relax more. Who knows.

Tommy Bastow Photoshoot 2018

Growing up, was it your ambition to be a musician, actor or both?

As a kid, I wanted to do it all.

Is there less time now to do music because of the acting? Are you looking to try and find more time in the future for music?

Well, here’s the thing. When you’re not working you have a lot of free time. I spend a lot of time making music still. I have a whole catalogue of songs I’ve written with an old friend of mine. It’s a hobby that brings me an immense amount of joy and, who knows, one day maybe we’ll gig them. I’m in no rush to make it in the music business though, just happy to have another creative outlet.

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH TOMMY BASTOW

What’s your number one auditioning tip?

Like a boxer going into a ring, I think it’s important to have hype music. Play something that makes you feel confident before entering an audition room. You’ll be amazed how it changes your state.

Can you describe ‘The Crossing’ in three words?

No one’s safe.

Last movie you watched?

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Best show to binge-watch?

The End of the F*cking World

Favorite band?

It’s got to be The Beatles.

Favorite song?

That’s a really tough one. At the moment ‘Something So Right’ by Paul Simon gives me all the feels. It’s truly a beautiful piece of music.

Every has a cool app idea, what’s yours?

I actually can’t say because one day I may make it.

Advice to your younger self?

Buy some Bitcoin.

Is there one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

It’s a long way off, but having kids one day.

A sport you wish you could play?

I’d love to be able to skateboard again, and be as fearless about it as I was when I was a kid.

What was the last book you read?

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. Boy was that a trip. I’m currently geeking out to ready player one.

Would you rather be at a mountain hideaway or a beach house?

Mountain hideaway

What is the farthest you have been from home?

Japan or Vancouver.

Do you have an aim or a target for the year ahead?

Stay happy and stay humble.

‘The Crossing’ starring Tommy Bastow premieres April 2 on ABC 

 PHOTOGRAPHY: JOSEPH SINCLAIR
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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Interview: Hayley Law is taking over your screens on ‘Riverdale’ & ‘Altered Carbon’

 

Hayley Law Photoshoot 2018
Jacket – Barry Yu / T-Shirt – Off-White / Coat – Sandro
For an actor, starring in one of the hottest and highly-anticipated television shows is a dream. To have main roles in two of the most talked about shows at the moment is a major win. HAYLEY LAW is taking over your binge-watching screens on ‘Riverdale’ and ‘Altered Carbon’, both of which are quickly developing cult followings and momentously gaining popularity.

 

This is Hayley’s moment – as she quickly emerges as a teen idol, gaining hundreds of thousands of followers on social media from her work. We had a quick chat with Hayley about her current TV projects, her upcoming film ‘The New Romantic’ and her plans to imminently release new music.

AC: You’re starring in two of the hottest shows right now, Riverdale and Altered Carbon – how does it feel to be at the center of everyone’s binge-watching right now?

It’s crazy to hear that. It really doesn’t feel that way to me. But, I’m really happy people love the shows, are committed to the characters, and the story they have to tell. I love it.

 

It has been said that the working hours on the Riverdale set are long, how does a typical day on-set start and end for you?
I mean, I would be very surprised to hear about a film set that doesn’t have long hours. We have long days, but I usually prepare myself for a 14ish hour day of work. It’s crazy, but I love the job so its worth it.

 

Who is the funniest person on set?
Me!

 

How long can you see the show continuing for in the future?
Who knows. I guess for as long as the Archie Comics are still going they could really continue the show forever.

 

Is working on Riverdale faster-paced than when you’re working on Altered Carbon?
That’s tough. They’re both very fast paced. However, Riverdale has so so many characters, and so many scenes that need to be done in a day, that we have to finish things quicker than anticipated sometimes.

 

Hayley Law Photoshoot 2018
Skirt – Malaika NY / T-Shirt – Barry Yu / Sweater – Barry Yu / Boots – Topshop / Ring – Sterling King NY / Bracelet – Edgar Mosa
Are you a big sci-fi fan?
I love sci-fi so much. So being able to be a part of Altered Carbon is still insane for me to grasp.

 

what are some of your favorite sci-fi movies?
I love the Matrix, Avatar, and I don’t know if you can categorize this as sci-fi – its more fantasy – but Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies. Ever.

 

There must have been loads of futuristic props in Altered Carbon, were there any that particularly amazed you?
I think the whole set amazed me more than specific props. Head in the Clouds was amazing. They made that place in the stages and it was wild.

 

Do you have any mementos that you’ve kept from your acting roles?
Sometimes I try and keep things that they won’t notice. Like a blush or something that they won’t use [laughs]. But if they would let me, I would LOVE to keep something more sentimental. Like the cat suit in the finale of Altered. That would be sweet.

 

What was the most surprising thing for you about working on Altered Carbon?
I was so grateful that the production was so committed to having everyone embody the character as much as they could. To keep it as authentic as possible. Everyone who had a fight scene, trained. Things like that.

 

Hayley Law Photoshoot 2018
Shorts – The Kooples / Shoes – Dr Martens / Ring – Sterling King NY
‘The New Romantic’ has such a great cast, how did you get involved in the project and what can you tell us about it?
I’m so excited for this film. I was sent the script and read for the role of Nikki. I had no idea who else was doing the film but I tried not to get too attached to it before I heard what the director thought of my read. I liked the script a lot and after I met Carly [Stone] (the director) on Skype, I prayed and prayed that she would let me do this. And it worked out.

 

If you weren’t acting, what career do you think you’d be pursuing?
Music. Well I’m also doing music now so I guess I can’t pick that one [laughs]. It would take me a long time to find something else. I love this so much. Maybe a pastry chef.

 

What are your ambitions as a singer? Can we expect any new material soon?
Yes. New music very soon! I’m being a crazy perfectionist with it. I really want it to be amazing before I put it out, but I’m hoping to have it out next month.

 

Is there one show you’d love to guest star on?
Insecure.

 

Hayley Law Photoshoot 2018

 

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH HAYLEY LAW

Last movie you watched?

 

Best show to binge-watch?

 

What’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had?
Kraft singles on Eggo waffles. I didn’t enjoy it. My mom did, yuck.

 

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?
Kamaiyah, Ravyn Lanae, A$AP Ferg.

 

Everyone has a cool app idea, what’s yours?
I can’t tell you. I can’t have someone steal it!

 

Hayley Law Photoshoot 2018

 

Advice to your younger self?
Stop crying. He ain’t SHIT!

 

Biggest pet peeve?
Bad manners.

 

Do you have a hidden talent?
Gah…I don’t think so.

 

Is there one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?
Creating a platform for myself, and using it for important issues and for kids who need a voice.

 

A sport you wish you could play?
An unreal boxer.

 

You can catch Hayley in ‘Riverdale’ & ‘Altered Carbon’ – which are both streaming globally on Netflix

PHOTOGRAPHER: MATT DOYLE
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES
STYLING: OLIVIA PERDOCH
MAKEUP: LUCKY SMYLER
HAIR: MOHAN JEAN-MARY

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Interview: Ray Panthaki on ‘Marcella’ Season 2 & being a BAFTA Breathrough Brit

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Interview: Violett Beane plays Truth Or Dare and shares her App Idea

Interview: Ralph Ineson on the freedoms of motion capture and his role in ‘Ready Player One’

Interview: Tommy Bastow on his role in ABC’s ‘The Crossing’

Interview: Jack Maynard on moving forward & balancing YouTube, TV & Touring

Interview: Disney’s Meg Donnelly talks ‘Zombies’ & ‘American Housewife’

Interview: Milo Manheim on role in Disney’s ‘Zombies’

Interview: Violett Beane plays Truth Or Dare and shares her App Idea

Violett Beane Photoshoot 2018After several years of success in television – with a recurring role in DC superhero hit ‘The Flash’ and another in FOX medical drama ‘The Resident’ – VIOLETT BEANE is making a scary jump to the big screen with a leading role in ‘Blumhouse’s Truth Or Dare’, alongside Tyler Posey and Lucy Hale.

Produced by the team behind ‘Get Out’ and ‘Split’, ‘Truth Or Dare’ follows a group of friends playing a seemingly harmless game of truth or dare that turns deadly when someone — or something — begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse a dare. I spoke to Violett Beane about the new movie.

AC: When was the last time you played ‘Truth or Dare’?

VB: With my cast in Big Bear, CA after we wrapped filming! We thought it would be fun. But before that, probably middle school! [laughs]

Can you tell us a shocking truth about yourself?

I play Call of Duty at least once every single day. Right now my boyfriend and I play online on Call Of Duty: WW2 and I have to say, we’re pretty good.

What’s a dare that you’d do but nobody else would?

I would probably be the first to eat a bug or cricket.

In the movie, how were those creepy mouth-extending smiles created? Were you being told to smile in a specific way to create the effect?

While we were filming, we had to hold our heads in a really weird way and smile as big as we could. It felt ridiculous at the time! But they used our faces and morphed them a bit to make the creepy smile in the movie.

Violett Beane Photoshoot 2018

Are you a big horror fan?

I’m a HUGE horror fan. I love anything suspenseful, especially if there’s a twist at the end. Interestingly enough, the supernatural horror movies, like ones with a ghost or spirit scare me way less than the ones where there’s a stranger in your house or a real person attacking you.

Have you ever tried an Ouija board?

I used to have one as a kid and I remember one time using it in my backyard with a friend. Some pretty weird stuff started happening and it really did feel like a spirit was talking to us.

Do you believe in the supernatural?

I haven’t had any crazy experience with the supernViolett Beane Photoshoot 2018atural, but I definitely believe there’s more to the world than just the living. There’s so much of the after-life and outer-space that we don’t understand, so I’m not too quick to shut the possibility of supernatural beings down.

What TV Show do you really want to guest star on?

I’m a huge fan of American Crime Story. I loved season one (The People Vs. O.J Simpson) and I’m currently watching season two (The Assassination of Gianni Versace). I’m really interested to see what the third season’s case will be, and I would love to be a part of it.

Violett Beane Photoshoot 2018

Looking at ‘The Resident’, what’s it like being in a medical drama? Has it changed the way you see health care at all?

It was pretty intense playing a character who was so sick, and it really puts my life in perspective. The Resident explores hospital drama in a very real and transparent way, that has never really been done before. It shines a light on all of the cracks in the system.

 

 

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH VIOLETT BEANE

Favorite horror film you’ve watched?

‘Don’t Breath’ tied with ‘Get Out’.

Best show to binge-watch?

‘Black Mirror’

What’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had?

Milkshakes and french fries is my classic go-to.

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?

The Black Panther Soundtrack is fire! Brockhampton.

Favorite band?

Banks

Favorite solo artist?

Sam Cooke

Everyone has a cool app idea, what’s yours?

Tinder for Dogs. An app for pups to meet up!

What’s that one food that you haven’t yet tried?

Durian

Advice to your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to be you!

Is there one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

More and more athletes going vegan!

A sport you wish you could play?

Basketball, I love watching but can’t play AT ALL.

What was the last book you read?

‘Kiss The Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body & Ultimately Save the World’ by Josh Tickell

Would you rather be at a mountain hideaway or a beach house?

Beach house, I’m such a warm weather person.

What is the farthest you have been from home?

Thailand, I went last year and it was so magical.

Do you have an aim or a target for the year ahead?

Just to keep being happy and continue to meet amazing people.

‘Blumhouse’s Truth Or Dare’ starring Violett Beane is in cinemas April 13.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY STORM SANTOS

INTERVIEW BY ADAM CROOKES

STYLING BY CAITLIN EUCKER

HAIR & MAKEUP BY CHELSEA SULE

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