You are starring in BBC Three’s Overshadowed, the story of a girl who meets the personification of anorexia. This programme is tackling very serious and important issues – As an actor, how do you assure you are doing the subject justice?
I did a lot of research and made careful decisions about my character knowing how serious the subject matter was. I sought to show one person’s journey through a mental health crisis- not everyone’s journey, as each person has different experiences. I wanted to get into the mind of Imogene and see how something like this affects her life and how she is willing to fight to regain it. It was tough work but I’m really pleased with what we accomplished.
Do you think it is important for difficult subjects to be shown in the media, in the form of dramas etc?Mental health portrayals in theatre/television are important. Not just so people are made aware of what can happen but also so others don’t feel so alone. We fought to not glamourise any aspect of eating disorders and show the stark reality of the struggle. We wanted to show how a person’s eating disorder can overshadow them in a way and take control of their life and how hard the fight is against it.
Overshadowed is told in the form of a Vlog – what does this format add to the general feel of the programme? Especially in the age of social media.|
It invites the audience into a very personal space. It feels like Imogene is talking to you, disclosing her secrets and thoughts solely to you each day, so that when things start going out of control for her, it feels very intrusive and hard to just be a bystander. Vlogging is like letting strangers everywhere read your diary any time they want. It’s fascinating though harrowing at the same time.
Where are you on the spectrum of utilising social media usage? Do you find that there are any pros and cons?
I’m a fan of social media- I like sharing some aspects of my life/thoughts with others, perhaps not to the extent of blogs/vlogging but I do enjoy Facebook and twitter from time to time. However, I can see the dangers of sharing too much with strangers. It’s too easy to share information and it’s all too easy to click ‘post’ or ‘share’ without knowing the full consequences.
BBC Three is now online only, how do you feel about the growth in on demand television? Such as iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime etc?
I have to say I’m an avid watcher of on demand television- may long it continue! I work weird and wonderful hours as an actor and it’s a pleasure to come home at night and watch all the series/documentaries that I didn’t get round to during the week. I enjoy binge watching a series and a series like Overshadowed is very interesting to watch back to back.
Have you always seen your career to be in acting? Where did that inspiration spark?
I’m the youngest in the family so always had the gift of the gab and loved the theatrics. I went to Drama classes after school in primary school and the acting bug took hold. None of my extended family or anyone from my estate was interested in acting, so it must of been my love of television/films that made me take its fancy!
If you could act in anything, what would your dream be? Perhaps a horror/thriller? Or a long running sitcom? On stage in the West End?
I’m a television and film buff so I must say I love the world of screen. There’s a couple of stories that I know from Ireland that would make fascinating watching and I would love to have a hand in making them someday and be a part of it. I always say the best shows are formed from love and if you can’t find the perfect part you want to play, then go ahead and write it.
What do you think about when you’re on a stage or in front of the camera? Is it always 100% what is happening there and then or does your mind wander?
I like to be in the moment of whatever I’m doing but I try to loosen up so you don’t look too tense on camera. I make sure I know my lines inside out and back to front so then I can forget about them and respond to the other characters in the scene.
Where is Michelle Fox’s career going next?
There’s a couple of projects in the pipeline that I’m very excited about but it’s all hush hush for now. Watch this space though!
Overshadowed will land as a box set on BBC Three from Sunday 1st October.
Interview by Ian Casey
Photography by Andrea Vecchiato
Make up by Nathalie Eleni
Hair by Shadiya @ The Canary Salon
Styling by Elizabeth Cocozza
Clothes: Black dress by A’Journey London – dress by Ghost