I recently got the chance to talk to Henrietta Meire about her role in ‘Incidental Weekend’. Here, Henrietta talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew and how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Henrietta. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. Of course we‘re here to talk to you about your new film ‘Incidental Weekend’.
Thanks for approaching me! I appreciate the opportunity to talk about the movie.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
Essentially it’s about four friends who decide to have a 10 year reunion in Bulgaria. They drink a little too much and things are said and done that leave them with more of a headache the next morning than they imagined possible.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I saw a breakdown for the project, wanted to be involved and so contacted the directors/producers Nick Kirk and Richard Allison.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I’m the “bitchy” ex-girlfriend of Will who’s also had ‘involvement’ with the other male characters in the past. Jennifer (my character) isn’t really a ‘bitch’ at all – that’s everyone elses’ viewpoint. She’s totally hard done-by!
Have you ever had an ‘incidental weekend’? What happened?
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… 😉
The film stars my good friend Jason Croot, Marq English, your good self and Damian Morter – with Richard Allison and Nick Kirk onboard as directors – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Oh my… it was horrific… ha ha… I, unfortunately was not part of the fabulous four, so I didn’t get to work and play in Bulgaria. However, the shooting in the UK was a lot of fun. Jason and I had to do a bedroom scene and I specifically requested that the camera was set up so my butt didn’t get in the shot… but I guess my butt’s just too big!! It didn’t make the final cut though. I also had to slap Jason a few times – he asked me to really slap him and I kept doing taps and he’s going “No! Really slap me!” That man has the skin of a rhino. I felt so bad…Nick and Richard were great – specific about what they needed and wanted out of each scene and their actors. It was a real guerilla style set, but they made it professional and enjoyable at all times.
Let’s talk a bit about you Henrietta. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I’ve always been a performer. I was a concert clarinetist in my early teens and then I got involved in a school group where we had to write, direct, star in and produce our own plays and they had to involve acting, singing and dancing. I was hooked. I then started joining “Amateur Dramatic” groups in my home town and booking lead roles. I did anything and everything that I could that kept me in the industry – stage management, props girl, personal assistant, charity work for local shows and so on. I now live in LA and my career is growing and growing. It’s a wonderful time in my life right now.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
You know, this is something I could go on and on about. I’m actually starting a blog with ‘bitesize’ advice for actors as I get asked for advice so much and have it all sitting in my Outbox! (http://bitesizeacting.com/). The entertainment industry is tough. As Vadim Jean puts it, “Zip up your rhino skin and chaaaaarge!” If you’re going to act or sing or whatever, you have to be passionate about it from the core of your bones. There can’t be anything else that you see yourself possibly doing. No alternative. No exit sign. There are a few that get lucky – people who get seen in Starbucks and cast as the lead in Spielberg’s next movie, but that’s maybe 0.0001% of the actors out there. People say to me, “My 8 year old daughter wants to be an actress, what should I do?” I say, get them in a weekend drama class. Make sure it’s not a playgroup and they actually do acting. Don’t force them. Don’t push them. Always encourage them. If they still are passionate about the actual craft of acting when they’re 16, then let them fly with it and get them into a Drama school. There’s so many actors who are in it for the fame. If you’re in it for the fame and the money, then you lack passion and substance as an actor. You have to have passion. The same as a painter. They have passion. That’s what creates their art. This is a lifetime commitment – if you wake up at 4am to pee, you should be thinking about that next audition, how you’re going to make a particular area of the script work etc.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
A crazy mishmash…. You Shook Me All Night Long; Evanescense; Destination Unknown; Hotel California; Los Americanos; bit of Britney; bit of Pink; Alanis Morrisette; Rhianna; Ella…
If you could have a dinner with three historical guests, living or dead – who would you choose and why?
- Al Pacino. There’s that scene in ‘The Godfather’ where he flips at Diane Keaton. I want to find out his trigger! Also, ‘Scent Of A Woman’ – so much I want to know about that role. He’s an amazing actor. I’d generally like to ask him a million questions and hear about his life and the roles he’s played and his thoughts on the craft.
- Florence Nightingale. She was a woman who, in a time when women did as they were told, rebelled against her wealthy family to become a nurse and travel the world. She was well read and a political advisor to Sidney Herbert. A modern day woman in the early 1800’s. I would love to hear her stories and what she went through to follow her desired path.
- I’m a jazz singer, so I’d love to hang out with Ella Fitzgerald and do some jammin’ with her after dinner!
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
The rioting in and around London broke my heart. I was glued to the TV every day. Mortifying. I wasn’t proud to be a Brit at that point. Some friends told me it was not as bad as the press made out. Others told me it was worse. Whatever it was, it was horrific and pointless and achieved absolutely nothing. It was an excuse to steal and hurt.
What is coming up for you in 2011?
I have a couple of independent films coming up – one playing a Romanian who’s kidnapped into sex slavery and the other where I play an American ‘girl-next-door’ style character. I’m also in the final runnings for two other movies, so fingers crossed on those and am recording my first solo album in 6 weeks, so it’s all super exciting!!
Thanks for the interview!