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: 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: 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?

HAYLEY LAW: 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: 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’?

VIOLETT BEANE: 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.

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.

Violett Beane Photoshoot 2018

Do you believe in the supernatural?

I haven’t had any crazy experience with the supernatural, 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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