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Midlands Spotlight - Interview with actress Charlie Clarke

By midlandsmovies, Sep 21 2016 08:17AM

Midlands Movies Mike speaks to Nottingham born and bred actress Charlie Clarke who has already worked professionally in film, TV and theatre since 2008. We catch up with the local actress known for her “scream queen” roles.

Midlands Movies Mike: Hi Charlie. Can you tell our readers a little bit about your background?

Charlie Clarke: Hi there! Well, I am a Nottingham based actress, film geek, blogger and YouTuber. I have wanted to act for as long as I can remember and my favourite place to be is on a film set. I began performing aged 5 in various school plays, which inspired me to start dancing aged 9 and to join the amateur theatre, The Nottingham Arts Theatre, aged 11. I took part in various dance shows and amateur productions throughout my teenage years and even had the honour of choreographing "Tommy: the Who Musical" at The Nottingham Arts Theatre aged 17. I then began studying a 3 Year Musical Theatre course at Expressions Academy of Performing Arts, where I completed 2 Trinity Guildhall diplomas in both Speech and Drama and Musical Theatre.

MMM: Wow! That’s a lot of experience. What have you learnt on that journey?

CC: I quickly learnt to take audition rejection on the chin, get back up and brush myself off and move on to the next thing. I think anyone who enters this industry is a very brave person, but you have to grow a thick skin fast - If I'd have given up after my first rejection I never would have got going.

MMM: What’s your favourite genre to work in?

CC: Probably about 90% of my CV cries "scream queen" so I guess I could say I specialise in horror but I do enjoy working in all areas. I've been very lucky to be able to work on different projects across the genre spectrum with some incredible filmmakers but I always seem to circle back to horror. I think it's because it's something totally out of the ordinary, there's a certain amount of theatrics in a horror script I find and I love that - the theatre performer in me loves that!

MMM: What are some of the most problematic things you have faced in the film industry?

CC: I hate myself already for giving this answer but - myself - the hardest thing to accept as an actor, I think, is that no matter how badly you want a role or think you'd kick ass in a role, the director might not see you in that role. That hurts sometimes! I know some really amazing filmmakers and writers who I know have had a brilliant script with an awesome role coming up and when I've asked them about it it's a no because I'm just not the right casting type for that role. In that situation the hardest thing to remember is it's not a no because you're a terrible actor, it's a no because you're not right for the character.

MMM: With many years on set, what kind of experiences have you had with filmmakers?

CC: Every set is different, but every set has its own little bit of magic. Most sets though start with intros and a bit of a discussion of the way the day is going to play out, then the crew will set up for the first shots and the actors get into costume and make up - I really love this bit as I can feel myself becoming my character when I get into their clothes and their makeup etc. Then before you know it you're in positions blocking the scene through then the director is yelling action!

I've been on sets where everything has been shot in script order which has given me as an actor the whole run of the script to build up to an ending, but others are shot out of order which in some ways is a bit more challenging, but sometimes you get the most challenging scenes out of the way first then you can relax a bit more. Some days on set feel like a breeze when you manage to nail things in one take, other times can be more difficult when you feel like you'll never get it right and you're on take 12 or something but my gosh is it all worth it!

MMM: Do you have any heroes in film?

CC: This will sound weird coming from someone who talked about horror so much but I really really look up to Melissa McCarthy for one - the last couple of years she has smashed Hollywood and it's standards of what a woman in the industry have to be and it's so inspiring and so damn important! Young women wanting to be actresses still seem to believe they need to be a certain size, or have a certain face or hair colour or something else equally as ridiculous but actresses like Melissa McCarthy are challenging those "norms" and killing it! Jessica Lange is also a massive hero of mine, she's just got it. She's just a power house! Horror wise I am a big fan of Jane Levy from The Evil Dead remake and more recently Don't Breathe. She is a bloody brave actress - the whole ending of The Evil Dead is just final girl perfection in my eyes, something I really aspire to. Also how could you not love the legendary Jamie Lee Curtis?

MMM: All excellent choices. What do you feel some of your own personal successes have been?

CC: I've had a lot of wow moments so far but I guess the one that has to be up there at the top is being in the Opening Ceremony at London 2012 and getting to work with Danny Boyle and Kenrick Sandy. Every rehearsal was so much fun, I made friends for life, high-fived Usain Bolt and was a part of history. It was the most amazing time!

MMM: Thank you. Any favourite films?

CC: This is probably the hardest question! My favourite film changes every week but the ones that stick with me are - Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare of Elm Street, Sleepy Hollow, Planet Terror, Pulp Fiction, Labyrinth, Psycho, Pan's Labyrinth, Cloud Atlas...I could add a lot more, so I'll stop there!

MMM: Any filmmakers or films from the UK or the Midlands?

CC: Don't call me bias because I'm his other half but - Liam Banks of SuperfreakMedia is absolutely killing it at the moment! I met him nearly 5 years ago now on one of his university films and he just gets better and better with each film and it's been a pleasure to see this both professionally from working with him and personally. He lives and breathes film and I think this comes through in his work. I'm also a big fan of Dominic Burns, who I've met a few times now and would love to get on a set with, he's a very special talent. As well as these guys I really like the work of Owen Tooth, another person I would love to work with!

MMM: And what is next for Charlie Clarke?

CC: To keep challenging myself, to work on scripts I love, with directors that inspire me and hopefully I'll get to inspire future performers too!

MMM: Finally, what advice would you give to others just starting out?

CC: Believe in yourself, surround yourself with good people and don't be afraid of rejection. I've experienced it and I know actor friends and filmmaker friends who have experienced it too but if you really want it and love the industry you won't let this stop you!

MMM: Thank you Charlie and all the best with your future projects.

CC: Thank you so much for inviting me to take part. It was a pleasure.

Follow Charlie on her social media profiles below

Web - www.charlieclarkeactress.webs.com

Spotlight - http://www.spotlight.com/9314-0190-8701

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/charlieclarkeactressuk

Twitter - @CharlieCActress

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