Acting opposite your own mother dream come true or worse nightmare? How did you girls work it out?
I grew up watching my parents on stage, chatting with their co-stars in dressing rooms, or on tour watching from between the curtains at the side of the stage. So they both had a huge impact on my love for acting. Having the chance to act opposite my mother was an incredible experience and I relished in every moment of it. Joy is one of the greatest actors, so it was a luxury! Hopefully it was the first time of many.
Did your relationship leak in any way into your stage acting experience during the Three Women play?
I grew up doing theatre, so in many ways returning to the stage for 3 Women felt like returning home. There is something so powerful about live performance and going on a new journey with the audience every night. Laurie was an amazing character to play, an 18 year old, tech savvy, gender non binary, child of the future. It was a huge contrast to Legends of Tomorrow, and I love that difference. Playing as many diverse roles as possible is central to my passion for acting, being able to do both stage and screen work keeps me inspired.
You studied archaeology and anthropology at Oxford University! Does that type of knowledge impact your daily life and add to your work as an actress? For example did it help you make the character of Vixen more real?
Definitely. It helps me maintain an objective perspective and appreciation of the diversity of beliefs, cultures and experiences that I encounter. Anthropology is a central part of the way I approach the world. Learning about the incredible ways that humans have found to achieve the basic goals of survival, kinship and happiness helps me step into diverse characters. Vixen is a time traveling superhero and the worlds she has experienced are so contrasting, plus her relationship to animals is extremely visceral and powerful. I referred back to my studies of ancient mythologies and cultures to help me embrace the character and decide all her quirks and beliefs and dreams.
And how did this knowledge inform your human activism? Especially as a woman?
I wish that anthropology was a part of the compulsory syllabus in schools because it is such a powerful tool in stimulating acceptance and appreciation for those who are different or have different beliefs than ourselves through decentralizing the western experience. Listening to those who have experienced different journeys is incredibly important and powerful, we have so much to learn from each other. I aim to use my platform in whatever ways I can to uplift those who’s voices are not the centre of social attention or protection.
How do you keep yourself stimulated when you’re not acting?
Reading! Be that fiction or non fiction, I love disappearing into a story or topic. I am also a passionate traveler, I love venturing off the beaten track and submerging myself in another culture. I paint and I write, I am working on my first script which I hope to direct soon.
Any plans to continue with a career in anthropology?
Definitely! I am an avid documentary lover and I would love to create anthropology documentaries in the near future… watch this space!
Interview & photography by Andrea Vecchiato
Hair & Make Up by Nathalie Eleni