If you had to relive a day of your life 100 times, which day would you relive?
Maybe I have tunnel vision right now, but the only day I can imagine wanting to relive a 100 times, is Christmas day. It’s been Christmas in my life since July this year, and I can confirm I will never tire of it.
Do you have a favourite genre for music or film?
I definitely gravitate towards folk music. My dad runs a folk club in Penarth, and I just find it so cathartic to sing, the words are always poetic and heavy and loaded. Having said that, it’d tie me up in knots if I was only allowed to listen to one genre forever. Film wise, I’m not really into sci-fi, but other than that, bring it on.
What music video do you think you’ve watched the most times?
I would love to find that out! There are a lot of music videos I remember very clearly from the 90s, and very few since then. In primary school, I learnt the dance routine to One Step Closer by S Club Juniors, and for some bizarre reason my friend and I asked if we could perform it in the school assembly, which is pretty much my nightmare now. My drama school friends could vouch for the fact it takes forever for me to learn the simplest dance routine, so I’m going to assume we watched the music video a million times.
Heidi Thomas, screenwriter of the upcoming Little Women adaptation that you’ll soon be appearing on, was recently quoted as saying that binge watching television series’ is a positive shift in viewing norms. What do you like and/ or dislike about the trend of binging television?
Yes, it’s an interesting change. It becomes more like watching a film. I think as a viewer you get to absorb more of the subtle details, which is nice because so much thought goes into that during filming. And you can surrender yourself deeper into the world of the program you’re watching. But, I do sometimes miss having to wait a week for next installment, I remember it’d be excrutiating watching the ‘next week on…’ and having to leave it there, but the suspense of waiting meant that you really relished it when it was on, it’d be more of an occasion, so you wouldn’t ruin it for yourself by checking pointless phone things during the program like we do now.
What’s generally perceived as a ‘chore’ that you actually enjoy?
Cooking! It’s my haven. Lots of people say they don’t really see the point of cooking for themselves… whereas I will make myself (and anyone who might be around) a feast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
What is a film that’s been on your list to watch for ages and yet you still haven’t gotten around to it?
The Lives of Others, I’ve got it on DVD but I never watch films at home so I haven’t gotten round to it. This has just reminded me to bump it up the to-do list.
If you could commission a painting from any artist past or present, who would you pick?
Dora Carrington painted beautiful landscapes. They’re warm and characterful and she really captures the personality and feeling of a place. I’d get areas that are important to me painted. I’d also love a huge William Hawkins painting, and I find Welsh artist Harry Holland paintings quite mesmeric – they have an almost translucent quality. He once painted my sister… Jealous.
Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, wrote in her diary that she did not think she could write a novel for young girls and didn’t enjoy the process of writing it. The legacy of the novel obviously proved her doubts wrong. Alcott is far from the only creative who carried artistic/ personal doubts in a work that turns out to be what largely defines them (ie: Kafka – Metamorphosis, Milne – Winnie The Pooh, Burgess – A Clockwork Orange). What do you think generates this response to one’s own work?
Well creating something – be it a painting, a song, a script, or playing a character, feels great because you’re doing what you love, but showing it to someone can be very scary. You’re sharing a part of yourself, and offering it up to people who will have opinions and thoughts and with social media, you’ll get to hear them. It’s pretty hard not to care what people think of what you’ve presented. We’re doing something that matters to us, so it’s at best disappointing, and at worst heartbreaking when people don’t like it. I think that feeling of ‘I’m doing a terrible job’ comes from a self protecting place. You judge all your choices before anyone else has a chance to. And the more something matters to you, the more vulnerable you are, and it turn, the harder you are on yourself… probably?! It’s comforting to be reminded of all those geniuses feeling those familiar feelings.
Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.
Annes Elwy can be seen in Little Women from 26-28 December on BBC One (UK).
As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Harriet Byczok
Makeup & Hair: Dani Guinsberg