What attracted you the most to the character of Livia in Domina?
Livia was an extremely head strong young girl, who was raised to think like a boy by her father. Her brazeness was so refreshing to read and how she battled understanding her place within society and her duties as a woman and her forward thinking ideas and opinions was really exciting to me. I remember reading the first episode and being exhausted with emotion, I was very captivated at the chance to portray a young girl who has everything to a young woman who has nothing, and what that does to a person. Livia’s determination and slightly cut throat attitude to life was not something I’d yet had the chance to do.
Which scene did you find the most challenging as an actress? Why?
I found the birthing scene at the end of episode two the most challenging, as someone who has never given birth, I found it quite difficult to imagine how it must feel for your body and I was conscious not to generically scream. We had a midwife on set, who talked me through the process and Claire McCarthy our wonderful director worked closely with me to help make it realistic and grounded. It was important that it was raw and as real as possible, which I think is quite an empowering thing to see. Bringing out Livia’s inner animal was an exciting thing to do in this scene.
Do you follow a special method to get into character?
It varies from character to character. I like to identify the differences between us and the similarities. I read the script over and over again, to see if there are any little golden nuggets of character that I have missed in a previous reading. I often create playlists of music, that help me explore the world, the emotion or their personality and really just become like a sponge in the lead up to see if anyone around me does something or says something that I can steal or opens a wider window of understanding into that person.
What type of character would you like to try next?
I’m open to anything, as long as the story is good but I’d like to jump into something more modern next. To be honest I’d love to let loose and get a bit messy with a character. I like the idea of playing a real life person, or something with a heavy need for a physical transformation. I think that would be very freeing to look in the mirror and not recognise yourself.
How was the lockdown experience for you?
I think it’s been a really tough time for everyone. The first lockdown experience was much easier I think because of the sunshine – and baking cakes (I’m totally rubbish at baking) and doing jigsaws was a novelty for everyone. For a while we could all sit in comfort that every single person was locked inside their house and going to the supermarket was an exciting adventure out! But the following lockdowns were a lot more challenging. I found comfort in having quiz nights with my family, drinking Guiness with my dad and ordering a new takeaway a week. I found my need for creativity was very high so I started writing more and indulging in poetry and it has allowed me to take a beat and feel grateful for all the wonderful things I do have in my life! I will say, I never want to sit on another zoom ever again!
What’s your favorite place in London?
Ronnie Scott’s. I love jazz and soul and funk and have had some amazing nights there. It’s so full of history and passion. To be honest I love Soho in general, it’s the atmosphere on a summer’s evening, when everyone is having a post work drink for me. Bar Italia opposite Ronnie Scott’s feels like somewhere in Italy, so I like taking my mamma there for an aperol.
DOMINA will TX at 9pm on Friday May 14th on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV
Interview by Lorenza Calamandrei
Photography by Andrea Vecchiato
Beauty by Eoin Whelan
Styling by Holly Elgeti