Nathaniel Martello-White

As well as performing you are experienced in writing, directing and producing. In what position is it most difficult for you to find or assess the ‘right’ character in auditions ?
When casting your own material it always takes time and can be difficult. My feeling is, that’s where the directing process begins, establishing a cast who will make your job easier.

If you could have a photograph of anyone in history at any age, who would you select?
Bob Marley

Who has been your most enjoyable person to act with so far?
Carey Mulligan

Discounting weapons and physically dangerous material, what do you wish hadn’t been invented?
The stock market!

When did you learn the most about a particular creative art (writing/ directing/ acting) without actually doing it or practising at?
I guess you’re absorbing things all the time, the more you learn about yourself and the people around the more nuanced your stories and characters.

What film gets funnier every time you watch it?
Barton Fink

If you could direct or write or star in a film about any historical story, what would you pick and what would you do?
I’d make a surrealist war movie about the forgot West Indian and African soldiers who fought in World War II to help defeat the Nazis to know real avail. A Full Metal Jacket with a Brexit edge lol

Your short film Cla’am explores the gentrification of London. What is the biggest positive and/ or negative result of gentrification that you’ve witnessed in the city?
Gentrification makes a place safer for sure, but it also creates a sort of zoo culture where there is no real inclusion or respect for the existing culture.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Nathaniel Martello-White can be seen in People, Places & Things, on now until 19 November 2017 at St. Ann’s Warehouse, NYC (USA).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Grooming: Helen Asher

 

Rosie Day

Dress by TOPSHOP. Jacket by VILSHENKO. Shoes by KURT GEIGER.

What is a moment you’d like to relive?
There are so many. I’m in my head a lot so I like to relive memories. The 3 months I spent in Rome with Sarah Jessica Parker were truly magical, the time I spent in Barcelona with my own American girl gang was really special, my family’s reactions to me telling them anything exciting is hilarious. Every moment where I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe.

What is a moment you can’t remember but you’d like to?
My biggest talent/ downfall is I have an insane memory. I can literally remember conversations I had when I was 8 word for word. But when I see my mum with little children and babies, she’s so amazing with them, that must have been what she was like with me.

If you could live in any fictional literary or film world for a week which would you choose?
The film, Suffragette. I’d love to be fighting for the vote with all those incredible women. (And Harry Potter because WHO DOESN’T WANT TO BE MAGIC)

What was your very first email account?
I can’t tell you because I still use it now! People have been telling me to get grown up one for years now to which I flat out refuse!

What is the oldest scene you can still remember the words to from a project in which you played a role? 
“What you have to learn is that half of what you earn, comes to me” – I used to do a kids show when I was 9/ 10 called Bernard’s Watch and I was the naughty girl causing all the trouble!

(L) Dress by OSMAN. Jacket by TOPSHOP. (R) Dress by TOPSHOP. Jacket by NADYA SHAH.

What is perceived as a chore but you actually enjoy doing? 
Cleaning bathrooms! I love the sound sponges make! (Weird right?)

Not counting food or services – what do you think you’ve paid for more times than anything else? 
Discounting the huge amount of money I’ve spent on cake and coffee, probably headphones! I think I have a demon in my bag that eats them. And tangles them.

What do you wish you understood?
Life as a whole. The point of it. People. Unkindness. Also French. And Derren Brown.

What is a pervasive element of cinema that you wish would disappear or diminish?
RUSTLING SWEETS, the lack of money for British independent cinema, we need to start putting our weight behind our own stories. Also the lack of female directors, which is appalling.

What is an aspect of cinema that has faded out that you wish would return?
Big tap dancing numbers. Can’t get enough of them.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Rosie Day can be seen in Living the Dream from 2 November on Sky1 (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Holly Ounstead
Hair: Fabio Norgueira
Makeup: Gigi Hammond

Susan Wokoma

What was the last thing or object you found that you kept?
I found a little teddy bear in Brockwell Park the other week and I was premenstrual and it was very cute and it had been a long day so I took it home, gave it a nice hot bath and now he lives in a drawer.  

What is the last film you saw that you consequently classified as a classic?
Probably I, Daniel Blake – me and many other cinema goers at my screening were inconsolable during the end credits. A woman came over and gave me a hug it was that guttural a reaction. It perfectly captures a very current injustice of class. And nothing seems to be changing.

What do you often buy too much of? 
Mochas. They’re just a grown up hot chocolate and I find them very comforting.

Acting notwithstanding, what have you always (or usually) found easy to remember or learn?
Late ’90s/ early 2000 pop dance moves. Steps, Britney, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync. The moment I hear one of their tracks, my body starts doing the choreography, involuntarily. My older sister used to run dance drills for the rest of us on Saturday mornings in our living room, and now they’re a part of my DNA. I’ve accepted my fate.

What is the worst meal you’ve ever ordered? 
When I was in Romania with my ex and his parents, we went to a Dracula themed restaurant for tourist giggles and it was the most peculiar place. All the dishes had full on names like ‘DEVIL’S CHICKEN’ but it was just half a chicken wing doused in petrol which they set alight and just left you to it, flames a-go-go. It was a stressful and hilarious dining experience.

What is your favourite party or celebration movie scene?
When Muriel and Rhonda do the big F You ‘Waterloo’ dance routine in Muriel’s Wedding – my idea of geeky heaven.

What is an activity you love but feel “too old” for?
Tinder. Wouldn’t say I loved it though… I actually use the phrase “I completed Tinder”.

One of your latest projects, Porters, delves into the lives of employees at a contemporary hospital. What other “regular job” would you like to see get a similarly in-depth perspective? 
Cleaners. My mother was a cleaner my entire life and her longest stint was at a probabation centre and at Mi5. I was only small when she started there but my imagination used to run riot with all the crazy things I imagined she was probably getting up to during her night shifts. The reality was she was probably just cleaning dusty toilets.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Susan Wokoma can be seen in Labour of Love, on now until 2 December 2017 at the Noel Coward Theatre, London (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Hair & Makeup: Helen Asher

Oliver Coopersmith

Who is your favourite public figure to watch interviews of? 
There’s loads, I’m a sucker for The Graham Norton Show. I haven’t missed an episode in years.

What part of your family history did you find interesting or surprising to learn?
My dad had to stop for petrol when my mum was in labour with my brother. It didn’t go down well.

Would you rather give advice to yourself 10 years ago or receive advice from yourself 10 years in the future?
Receive advice from myself 10 years in the future. Although I’m sure that person would say the same thing.

What was at one point one of your favourite films that you now enjoy the least?
When I was 13 I was obsessed with a film called Stormbreakerwhere a teenager is chosen by MI6 to be a secret agent. I was hoping it was based on true events but it turns out that doesn’t happen… does it?

If you could only bring one book with you to work for the next year, what do you bring?
A dictionary: people in this industry use words I don’t understand.

Who have you learned the most about film and acting from?
I can’t narrow it down to one person. I learn the most from other actors, watching them, working with them and talking to them.

What living person would you like the chance to talk to again?
My agent.

What is your most uninteresting interest?
Watching England play football.

Tin Star, your newest project revolves around a small town murder. This is a recurring theme in film and literature that parallels/ juxtaposes the stories set in urban cities. Where do you perceive the greater fear, in the isolated tension of the rural or the manic chaos of urban living? 
I don’t think locations are scary, I think people are. In Tin Star there’s a sense that crime shouldn’t exist somewhere naturally beautiful and peaceful and it doesn’t really until people come and shatter it. God, that’s a tragic metaphor.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Oliver Coopersmith can be seen now in Tin Star, on SKY Atlantic (UK) and Amazon Prime (US).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Grooming: Helen Asher

Inside Look: Christian Cooke

Christian Cooke on the set of Knives in Hens in London, UK on September 26, 2017.

We spoke to actor Christian Cooke about his role as Pony William in the Donmar Warehouse production of Knives in Hens.

Knives in Hens is set in a rugged ‘pre-industrial’ time and place far removed from contemporary life. What was the nature of the conversations with the director and fellow cast regarding how these characters exist, or even your own thought process?
A lot of the early work we did was physical. Lots of movements work to really get inside the bodies of these people and consider how they move. They are people of the land who were put to work from a young age so it was important for us to understand as much as possible, the nature of that hardship and how that reflected in their movement. And with that the economy of how they move when they’re not working.
We also spent hours talking about how relationships between men and women have changed throughout the years and how the ideas of masculine and feminine have also evolved over time. It was important for us not to judge these characters but to understand the world in which they were a part of.

Have your feelings of the play or your character shifted since you first performed it? If so why or how?
I don’t think my feelings towards William have changed. I’ve always understood him and sympathised with him and a strong sense of his own longing and pain. The great thing about theatre is that you’re always finding new things in the work and making new discoveries with the language. That’s the joy of repeating it every night. No two shows are ever the same and sometimes the language resonates in a new or different way.

Do you prefer having a more abstract, sparse setting/ environment for your performances? Does it pose a greater challenge or do you tend to find more with less? 
I think as long as the set and the props you’re working with is true to the nature of the work you are doing  and helps to define the directors vision, then that’s fine. When the set or props start to distract from the language or the work in a negative way, it’s better to strip things back.

What is your favourite moment in the play that doesn’t involve your character? 
I love it when the Miller decides to leave and the Young Woman asks where he’s going and he replies, “to the town won’t call me, Miller.” I love that exchange. In fact that whole scene is my favourite scene in the play. The language is so economical and powerful. Both characters have grown and have a new horizon in their sights. It’s an extremely hopeful scene.

Applause and ovations notwithstanding – what has been the most rewarding moment of your experience on this production so far?
Working with Yael Farber. She’s an artist to her very core and someone who makes me want to be better every day.

What is a small perhaps even imperceptible detail from your performance or the play itself that is an incredibly significant element?
I think the speech that I have at the end of scene one about the field can be easily looked over because it comes so early in the piece. But it’s incredibly important to show William’s longing and pain and it’s a part of him that doesn’t resurface until the end. He hides that side of him for most of the play but it’s important that the audience remember that it exists within him.

Christian Cooke applied his stage makeup in his dressing room.

Cooke pointed to a joke from his fellow castmates.

Before performances, Cooke often listened to the soundtrack of The Assassination of Jesse James.

Props backstage.

Cooke warmed up on stage before the evening’s performance.

Christian Cooke can be seen in Knives in Hens, on now until 7 October 2017 at the Donmar Warehouse, London (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Photographer: Jessie Craig