I recently got the opportunity to talk to Olivia Thomas about her role in indie film ‘Emulsion’. Here, Olivia talks about the film, her thoughts on the indie industry and what’s coming up for her in 2011…
Hey Olivia, thanks for talking out the time to talk to me. ‘Emulsion’ is set to be released in selected UK cinemas soon – what can you tell us about the general premise around the film?
‘Emulsion’ is a noir psychological feature film about a man looking for his missing wife. A dark haunting film about loss and discovery.
I’ve just seen both trailers – it feels very independent, very film noir esque – when you had the script in your hands, what was it that made you want to become part of the project?
Initially it took me a few reads to get my head around the script with all its twists and turns but I was instantly attracted to the style of the film and intrigued as to what happens to these interesting and dynamic characters. I grew up watching old black and white noir esque crime thrillers with my father, so this genre has always appealed to me. I was at a point in my career where I had been working primarily on comedy projects, so this was something different to try my hand at. The script was very well written and had a David Lynch feel to it, being a huge fan I was intrigued and excited to see where this film might take me.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the film…
Amy West is a high class call girl, street smart, yet there remains a certain vulnerability to her. On meeting Ronnie played by Sam Henughan she’s unknowingly catapulted into a sequence of events that will change her forever. She was brilliant fun to play.
What was it like working on set with the cast and crew?
Suki Singh the director and everyone at Hot Lemonade and White Lantern Films were incredible. Suki ensured I was well looked after when shooting some of my slightly uncomfortable scenes and the make-up girls gave me well needed girly support when it came time to strip to my underwear (something I had never done on film before). Film sets are very demanding in terms of time constraints and weather conditions but Suki gave us time to work on the scenes to find those important moments. There was an all night shoot in a multi storey car park in Bournemouth at one point and it was freezing, but the cast and crew were fantastic, really upbeat and there were lots of laughs.
Being that ’Emulsion’ is an independent film – how important do you think the indie film industry is right now?
With the current UK government cuts and the closing down of the UK Film Council where the majority of UK independent film makers went to obtain funding – the Indie film industry is at a critical and important changing point. I’m very optimistic even though there’s less money readily available to fund these films. I believe that if you have a great idea, filmmakers should usually be able to obtain private funding. They may have to work a little harder in finding it but this will inevitably open up many other lines of funding for other filmmakers in the future and even improve on what we’ve had before. Independent films often tell socially relevant and entertaining stories that people want and need to see. I could never see the UK independent film industry grinding to a standstill even in the face of adversity – the industry is full of passionate filmmakers who will push to keep it alive and that excites me.
Let’s talk about you Olivia. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I always enjoyed reading as a child and would often pretend to be characters from the stories I read. I grew up being encouraged to play and have an imagination and I believe this has played a major part in my career choice today. I enjoyed Drama and English at school and was always writing and putting on plays with my friends. I quite fancied trying out all sorts of different careers and once wanted to be a veterinarian. I suppose I figured out that in being an actor, you get the opportunity to try it all. I then attended a Drama school in New York before coming back to London to pursue my career.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to pursue an acting career?
Be optimistic, be yourself and don’t worry too much about what everyone else is doing in the industry. Jealousy and over competiveness can at times be destructive. Be prepared to make sacrifices and just stick with it…there’s a lot to be said for perseverance as it usually pays off.
What does an Olivia Thomas day usually consist of?
Wake up and grab a cup of tea, which is an essential start to the day. My days are quite varied but if I have auditions I make sure I’m prepared the night before so that I’m not flustered before meeting a casting director. After the auditions I grab lunch with a friend then head to the gym or park for some exercise and fresh air.
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
The release of ‘Emulsion’, which I’m very much looking forward to and I’ve just completed filming a new TV pilot called ‘Happily Ever After’ with director Brad Watson.
How can people find you if they want to follow your work?
Through my website which launches next week: http://www.oliviathomas.org
Thanks for the interview!