HL- Thank you so much for having me, it’s a real pleasure. I haven’t had experience in terms of acting in America ….yet! I’m planning a trip this year to get a feel of what’s going on with you guys. I’ve been to New York and Miami a few years back and LOVED the vibe in America . In fact, strangely, New York almost felt like home, as if I belonged there somehow? I can’t wait to go back as an actor and become a part of all the amazing talent as well as be in such a great country. Although, I can say that I’m sure the British venues are much smaller than those in America – but full of the same raw talent and love for the art! 😉
ED- What most interested you into becoming an actress?
HL- I think it was more of a realization for me. Almost a need! I was a bit wild growing up and had my mother up stitches! I matured quite quickly and had a lot going on emotionally that I didn’t know how to deal with, as well as having had certain experiences in life that are hard for a young girl to go through. Like so many people (actors especially) I am highly sensitive and was/am prone to depression. I was almost tipped over the edge when my older brother died unexpectedly in 2004. My world was torn apart and being in and out of hospital at the times when I was taking my GCSE’s was difficult, but somehow, as if guided, I found release in drama (a lesson that I never really took too seriously before or had the confidence to let myself go in.)
Acting for me is about release, a chance to connect, empathize with others and understand more about yourself which means constant development…..best therapy I ever had! 😉 ED- Tell us about the film, ‘Inner Ear Pressure’, that you portrayed the character, Nadine, in.
HL- The film ‘Inner Ear Pressure’ is a short that I did in 2007. The film focuses on a heartbroken guy called Jason, whose world is rocked when the irresistible and fiery Nadine walks out of his life. Her unexpected return sends him into a haze of confusing emotions. Inner Ear Pressure has a dark sense of humor, which really looks into what it means to love and leave somebody.
ED- How did you relate to that character within the film?
HL- The character that I portrayed (Nadine) appealed to me on such a personal level. Nadine is a bit wild. She is a free spirit, passionate, impulsive and does not always make the right decisions. Nadine may come across as playful and pleasure seeking, but there are deeper reasons behind this. Her desire to be free is partly due to the things that have happened in her life that are far from the life of a ‘good time girl’. Like me, she sometimes hides behind this care free and fiery persona, so that no’ one sees her weaknesses. In every character I portray I have to find something in them that I can relate to – some part of them that is a part of me. Empathy is the most important thing for me.
ED- You also have a part in the film ‘Service Man’, which is to be released in 2011. Can you give us a sneak peek of it and tell us what the film is about?
HL- I wish I could but I still haven’t received my script! Haha 😉 ….What I can tell you is that ‘Service Man’ is an action comedy drama with a great story. The cast and crew involved are amazing, and will not disappoint. It is based on some of the real experiences of the co- producer, Martin J Thomas in his days of the marines. It was also written by him. I will also be working with him on another feature called ‘Colour Candy’.
ED- You were also in the film ‘Last Train’. What was that film about and tell us about the character ‘Vicky’ that you portrayed?
HL- ‘The Last Train’ focuses around social intimidation and misinterpretation. It was written and directed by an extremely talented guy called David Schofield.
Jay and Vicky had been on a night out and arrive at the train station arguing. As Vicky goes off in a rant Jay notices a group of youths hanging around, laughing and joking etc….One of the youths starts to argue on the phone with his girlfriend. He comes across as quite aggressive and Jay, who is already feeling intimidated by the group becomes noticeably uncomfortable as the moments between him and the guy on the phone are subtly captured. In the end Jay snaps at a moaning Vicky and storms off. A confused Vicky follows shouting, trying to see what is wrong with him. As Jay turns round to answer he bumps into the guy on the phone and causes him to drop the phone on the floor. The tension becomes unbearable between the three of them with Vicky now realizing how scared Jay feels. She softens but is almost disappointed in him. The guy with the phone just shakes his head and walks off. He has been completely misjudged.
I loved the journey that Vicky went through in this film. She started out so feisty and bold, putting Jay in his place and not giving the youths a second thought. But at the end we see her compassion and concern for Jay, who is obviously dealing with some tough issues. It’s beautiful how person’s protective and loving instincts can kick in, in one moment of realization. I think that the characters in this film are very human and that made it so easy to find the connection with Andrew who played Jay and genuinely care for him and want to help him.
ED- Another upcoming film that you are playing in is called ‘Colour Candy’. Please tell us something about it.
HL- Yes, yes, yes!!! ‘Colour Candy’ is a hard hitting feature based in Manchester ’s Moss Side. It is directed Darren RL Gordon, who is also my mentor, and produced by Martin J Thomas (Goliath Productions) and Brenda Parker. It deals with the harrowing issues associated with gang and gun culture in Manchester . I have never personally been affected by these issues but I have friends who have lost loved ones because of this, and for what? I have seen the cruel, devastating consequences of those who have been left behind and it is so unfair. I am therefore proud to be in a film with such a positive message. Manchester is crying out for a film like this as it is a step towards the fight against gang culture which is unfortunately, a universal issue. Obviously, a film alone doesn’t solve what’s going on but hopefully, it will encourage young people to think twice about what really goes on.
‘Colour Candy’ has also recently hit the front page of Manchester paper The Manchester Evening News (M.E.N) ….There’s a link on my Facebook page, your comments would be much appreciated!
We are in talks with investors and just need around £320,000 to make this film happen. It genuinely deserves to be made as we all believe it will have a massive impact and really put Manchester on the map. The cast and crew are such talented, dedicated and genuinely awesome people. Please show your support guys!
ED- Where do you see your career heading in the next five years and what genre films do you look forward to acting in?
HL- Hopefully to Hollywood baby! Hehe ……In the next five years I would like to be in the position in which I’m working with some of the best, taking on exciting and challenging roles in major films. If the films have all the ingredients to make it have great impact – great cast, great crew, great story and great characters, then I’ll be happy! I am only at the beginning of my career and have already met some wonderful people, so the possibilities of who I could meet and what I can achieve are endless and that excites me so much.
In terms of genres …. Well, like I said, if the film has a great story etc then I wouldn’t turn my nose up to anything! I guess in terms of the type of characters I love to play I would have to say some of my favorites are Gia Carangi from the film ‘Gia’, Lisa Rowe from ‘Girl, Interrupted’, Maria Elena from ‘Vicky Christina Barcelona’, Chloe Sava from ‘Gothika’…..just to name a few!
I have to say, that a role in an action thriller would be awesome! I’d love the opportunity to train and do my own stunts (obviously not all of them!) but certainly the do-able ones! If you’re playing a cool character, it’s got to be authentic right!?
ED- Harriet, we thank you for spending your time with us. We will watch your career with interest, and hope that you will share news of any upcoming production that you take part in.