Interview: Danielle Rose Russell takes center stage on CW’s ‘Legacies’

After being cast last year in the fifth and final season of The CW television series ‘The Originals’, DANIELLE ROSE RUSSELL is continuing in her role as Hope Mikaelson in the highly anticipated spin-off ‘Legacies’.

Danielle was last seen in the critically acclaimed ‘Wonder’ opposite Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay.

AC: ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘The Originals’ have both become huge hits. How will ‘Legacies’ link to the two shows?

DANIELLE ROSE RUSSELL: While ‘Legacies’ is definitely rooted in both ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘The Originals’, it honestly is a show all on its own. Everything you need to know about the show is explained in the first couple of episodes. ‘Legacies’ obviously follows characters who have been a part of the universe for quite some time, and there are Easter eggs here and there of that history. But that being said, it’s a show that has the sexy, twisted romance of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and the action-packed plotlines like ‘The Originals’, while bringing humor, teenage angst, and a whole new world of supernatural to the table.

Did your castmates from ‘The Originals’ give you any advice ahead of filming?

A little bit, but when we were filming ‘The Originals’, no one even knew whether or not ‘Legacies’ was going to happen. But I must say, they all created an atmosphere on set that was so professional, fun, and creative. I knew I wanted to carry that on to our set, too.

Are there any funny stories to tell from San Diego Comic Con? Was that your first time there?

It was! It was a bit of whirlwind, but I really enjoyed being there. My friend Jeanine Mason and I were both bonding over how insane it all was when we were at dinner and my sticky rice spilled everywhere. I guess I didn’t notice that it had gotten on one of my heels until we stepped outside and there were people taking pictures everywhere. I looked down and went to clean it up, until I realized that it probably was better to just leave it there. I’m sure someone has a picture somewhere of me and Jeanine trying to get the rice off of my shoe.

Do you have a favorite line of dialogue that your character Hope says in the upcoming season?

“I’m a tribrid…the only one of my kind. No one can represent my interests but me.”

What keeps you excited as an actor?

I could go on and on with that question, but recently, I’m genuinely loving creating a character in the long-term. Before ‘The Originals’, I had primarily focused on doing film in my career. Getting to create a character for a couple of years and go through experiences with her has been so rewarding and exciting.

The show premieres just ahead of Halloween. How do you spend Halloween?

Halloween is my birthday, so naturally I’m going to dress up. I don’t care how old I am, I will never not have an excuse to be a little kid on Halloween. Honestly though, this year I’m most likely going to be working, but don’t think I’m not showing up to work in a full-on costume!

If you could have a supernatural power in real life, what would it be?

I’d want to fly. I love traveling, and if I could fly anywhere I wanted at any time, I’d be the happiest girl on the planet.

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH DANIELLE ROSE RUSSELL

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

Pickles and peanut butter. I know it sounds scary, but it’s a game changer. You’ll thank me.

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

What if I actually invent it though? I don’t want to give my million dollar idea away!

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

I grew up in the mountains, so beach house.

What is the furthest you’ve been from home?

Honestly not that far. I’m away from home a lot, but I think the furthest I’ve been is Hawaii. I grew up on the east coast so that’s still sufficiently far away, I guess.

Last book you read?

‘Bad Feminist’ by Roxane Gay. It’s an extremely powerful compilation of essays that explores the ups and downs of being a feminist in this day and age.

Advice to your younger self?

Know that everything has a purpose in your life and will work itself out. But mostly, relax and embrace every step of the journey for what it is, even the challenging parts.

PHOTOGRAPHY: TINA TURNBOW

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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Interview: Clifford Samuel on ‘A Guide To The Homesick’ & ‘McMafia’

CLIFFORD SAMUEL is currently starring in ‘A Guide To The Homesick’ alongside Douglas Booth at Trafalgar Studios – a tender and bittersweet play from writer Ken Urban about conscience and connection. Two strangers, consumed by their own secrets, find each other in a hotel room in Amsterdam.

Earlier in the year, Clifford was also seen in BBC crime drama ‘McMafia’, a series which was met with wide acclaim. Since graduating from the prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Clifford has been part of the Royal Shakespeare Company, making his debut in ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘The Two Gentlemen Of Verona’ in Stratford-upon-Avon before touring the United States with the plays.

Clifford Samuel

AC: What can you tell us about your character in ‘A Guide To The Homesick’?

CLIFFORD SAMUELS: I play the character Teddy, he’s a very self assured, good-humoured person. Born and raised in Harlem, NYC, and works in finance. He is on holiday visiting Amsterdam. He finds himself confined in the small sanctuary of a hotel room on a very cold and rainy night in Amsterdam with a stranger called Jeremy. They slowly discover and reveal to each other their hidden secrets they’ve been harbouring personally and they both delve into the complexities individually.

How is Amsterdam created on stage?

Amsterdam is created via Ken Urban’s writing stating that it’s set in a hotel room, and because the story takes place in January, it rains incessantly. We have to navigate around this cozy and shabby hotel room along with a brilliantly subtle soundscape and lighting shifts portraying the interior of the hotel, other places mentioned in the story and the exterior atmosphere of Amsterdam.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Got to brush my teeth before every performance. Love the taste of minty freshness!

What does Trafalgar Studios bring to the production as a venue?

Trafalgar Studios space has been designed for an audience to immediately feel the intimacy of a production. The venue has been designed and this production is well suited for this venue. It has been staged so authentically, you should feel like you’re in the same setting and experiencing the journey both the characters goes through.

Earlier this year, you starred in BBC One’s ‘McMafia’ – were you surprised by the buzz around the series?

We were hoping viewers would take a keen interest as the story’s subject matter is very current and relatable globally. A very good script doesn’t always transpose the same onto film as imagined. But with ‘McMafia’ the script was so brilliantly constructed so we were all very excited to be filming this thrilling script. We were relieved that all our efforts paid off from the incredible amount of positive responses we received.

Aside from your upcoming stage role, what’s one thing you’re excited about for the future?

I am looking forward to continuing with challenging myself by performing in more intelligently written stories and characters in the near future.

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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Interview: Anjli Mohindra on ‘Dark Heart’ & ‘Bodyguard’

ANJLI MOHINDRA has recently starred in the BBC smash-hit thriller ‘Bodyguard’, with a pivotal role at the center of the series which gripped British audiences to the edge of their seats. The show (written by the creator of ‘Line Of Duty’) has since become the most-watched UK drama in a decade, positioning Anjli as a rising star.

After landing her first major TV role a decade ago in ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ (CBBC), Anjli has had supporting roles in several television dramas including ‘Cucumber’ (Channel 4), ‘Paranoid’ (Netflix), ‘The Boy with The Topknot’ (BBC Two) and ‘Bancroft’ (ITV).

Anjli is about to star alongside Tom Riley in ITV crime drama ‘Dark Heart’. Alongside this, she will lead the cast with award-winning actor Simon Callow, of BBC Four’s forthcoming ghost story ‘The Dead Room’ – written and directed by Mark Gatiss.

We caught up with Anjli Mohindra to talk about her recent roles as an actress.

AC: Let’s talk about ‘Bodyguard’ – what a twist! Going into it, how much did you know about your character?

ANJLI MOHINDRA: I knew there was a twist – and was told there was more ‘more to her than meets the eye’. I guessed she might be complicit in some way but what I did know from the scripts I had was that some internal police parties were at the heart of it all too.

What do you look for in a script?

A challenge! A layered character who feels three-dimensional and whose intentions aren’t immediately obvious. Or really beautiful and intricate characters who go on an adventure. If I feel a little bit intimidated by the research and preparation involved in bringing the character to life then I know it’s going to stretch me in some way!


You’re also starring in ITV’s ‘Dark Heart’ – what can you tell us about the show?

‘Dark Heart’ follows the journey of Detective Will Wagstaffe as he gets to the bottom of a series of grueling murders happening in London. He’s incredible at his job but he’s really consumed by the mysterious deaths of his own parents when he was a child, and so the three strong women in his life; his partner in (fighting!) crime, his on/off girlfriend and his sister, prop him up in ways he can’t even see, and enable him to fight not only the demons of London, but the ones in his own heart too.

How does your character fit into the story?

I’m his second in command – Detective Josie Chancellor!


Can you tell us about your role in ‘The Dead Room’?

I play Tara Lohia, an ambitious and no-nonsense radio director who wants to crack on with the recording an audiobook to meet a very tight deadline, but much to her annoyance the main actor of the radio drama – Aubrey Judd (played by Simon Callow) is playing up and revelling in his own world and causing havoc. But all is not quite as it seems…

What was it like being directed by Mark Gatiss?

Oh an absolute dream! He’s a wonderful human being and so brilliant at what he does. And I’m a big fan of ‘Sherlock’, so yes it was a real pinch-me moment.

Next year, you have a guest role in DC Comics’ ‘Legends Of Tomorrow’ – is this your first role for American television?

Yes. And I loved every single minute! I don’t want to give too much away but I play a trouble-making true-punk from the sixties and had a Mo Hawk, serious Doc Martens and fishnets.

What kind of stories do you find yourself attracted to?

I’ve never really thought about that! I guess I’m most attracted to stories that bring the unexpected. I also love stories where a character goes on a voyage of discovery and learns things about themselves they never knew existed, because I think it reflects a bit of all of us, in life, as we continue to grow and evolve.

Catch Anjli Mohindra in ‘Dark Heart’, starting October 31 on ITV

PHOTOGRAPHY: MONTANA LOWERY

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

STYLING: HOLLY OUNSTEAD

MAKEUP: ADELE SANDERSON (FRANK AGENCY)

HAIR: STEFAN BERTIN (FRANK AGENCY)

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PHOTOGRAPHY: BRETT ERICKSON

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

GROOMING: HELEN ROBERTSON

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