Interview with actress Aurèléa 

Photo credit: Freek Dirkx

If you really want it and you can’t imagine spending your life doing anything else, then never ever give up on it.

Tell us about yourself and how you got into acting

Acting has been a part of my life since I can remember. Theatre was my first love and I started out creating my own shows and then performing them to my classmates. I eventually asked my parents if I could take acting classes and so I spent several years training with different studios including The National Theatre Drama School and The Howard Fine Acting Studio. My first professional show was The Conference of The Birds. We all were all playing different birds in the story and had to take flight training and everything, it was one of the most incredible experiences. When I was 15, I got the opportunity to audition for a feature film, and that ended up being my first feature called Sharon & The Sewing Circle by Jibril Haynes. I continued to work professionally in theatre and film over the years and then, after graduating from Acting School, I’ve continued to work professionally in New York City which is such a great privilege! 

Do you have any preferences on what roles you like to play? 

I always strive to play interesting and unique women, in both new and classic works of theatre as well as in film. I enjoy many different genres but I especially have a soft spot for dark and dry comedy – my favourite series is Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge! I am also very passionate about telling queer stories and I love to be a part of queer theatre pieces. Currently, something that I really want to pursue is doing a modern adaptation of a Shakespeare play.

What are the highlights of your career so far?

Recently, I have had the privilege to perform in several different plays in the city. I most recently played Ariel in The Tempest with Stag & Lion Trinity Theatre, which was so much fun! I’ve also worked with them on Macbeth and Henry IV Parts 1 & 2. Something else I’m really proud of is a recent play I did by the amazing playwright Sophie McIntosh called wounded. wounded illuminates the lives of five femicide victims over several different decades and it highlights the five stages of grief. I played 01, who was the victim of a hate crime for being an openly gay woman in 2001. The story is deeply moving and I feel so lucky to have worked with such amazing women.

Any exciting projects coming up? 

Yes! I have just accepted roles on two new films which I am very excited about. I will be a part of Stag & Lion’s next production later this year and my most recent feature A Good Accident, my second collaboration with Jibril Haynes, will be coming out on Amazon Prime and other streaming services very soon!

How do you prepare for a role?

Depending on the role, my process definitely changes – I like to switch it up from time to time! For 01, I did a deep dive on her experiences and spent about four hours writing about her life & death to create her character and find how she lived within my own experiences. Differently, for Ariel, I firstly spent a long time with the Shakespearean text to get the cadences and pronunciation in my brain. Once it was, I felt free and comfortable to just play around with the character and my fellow actors in rehearsals. Working at Stag & Lion has totally liberated me as an actor and I feel so safe and comfortable to just play in rehearsals and always be trying new things.

What would you tell readers who want to become an actress? 

If you really want it and you can’t imagine spending your life doing anything else, then never ever give up on it. It’s going to be immensely rewarding and also totally break your spirit every other day. But if you really love it then you’ll live for the moments that you get to perform and do what you love and it will all be worth it! 

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