Review Fix chats with actress Elizabeth Healy, who discusses her role in “Across the River,” detailing her preparation for the part, as well as her goals for the future. With a nice list of stellar roles on her resume already, she’s a performer ready to break out and be a star for years to come.
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Review Fix: What attracted you to this script?
Elizabeth Healey: There wasn’t one! What is unique about ACROSS THE RIVER is that the film script was completely improvised. So, although there was some rehearsal before the shoot itself, once we were rolling it was totally up to Keir Charles who played Ryan, and I how the scene played out, so we effectively created the script in the moment, which is why it feels so real and fresh I think. I loved working this way – it was a totally collaborative process from beginning to end and was a brilliantly creative film to be involved in.
Review Fix: How did you prepare for the role?
Healey: Because the film was to be totally improvised the rehearsal was a bit different from any other film I’ve been involved in. Warren, Keir and I talked through together in detail what the storyline was and what was happening at any point in the timeline of the film. We then walked the route, through London that we would be taking during filming, so we had a good idea of where we would be. It also allowed us to include any ideas into the film that came to mind as we explored the route.
Individually I did my homework on the character as usual ie. Emma’s back story – her history, how she sees the world and her place in it etc. – before I got to set, but once there all that preparation gets left to the side. Because there is no set script there are no lines to learn so my job really was to really get inside the skin of Emma and then listen to other actors and react truthfully whilst all the while keeping the arch of the story in mind.
Review Fix: What was the feeling like on set? Any fun stories?
Healey: What was so great about shooting this film was I got to discover parts of London I never knew existed. I have lived here for years but it really opened my eyes to a host of fabulous hidden gems, like tiny, beautiful Victorian squares, and hidden away parks, often just off the main road.
Seeing the Duck Tours up close was fun but the scene of Ryan and Emma playing in a children’s playground has to be a highlight – it was such fun to be carefree and irresponsible all in the name of art!
Review Fix: How did you feel the first time you saw the finished film?
Healey: It is always hard to watch yourself on screen, having said that I am rather proud of this film. It is a gentle, charming slice of life and touches on themes that affect us all. I also think Warren Malone has shot it beautifully and the stunning city of London is certainly one of the stars of the film.
Review Fix: How do you want it to affect people?
Healey: Just to enjoy it really and to leave feeling like it was time well spent.
Review Fix: Many people know you from Dr. Strange. How is your character different here?
Healey: The films are obviously very different in terms of scale and budget but to be honest in terms of what I do my approach to any character is pretty similar – I always try and be truthful to the character I’m playing whatever project I am working on.
Review Fix: How do you want your performance to be remembered?
Healey: I think I’d have to leave that up to the audience to decide. Often what you think people will take away is very different from what they actually do.
Review Fix: What’s next for you?
Healey: ACROSS THE RIVER is screening in the US soon, Mum’s List, with Rafe Spall and Emilia Fox is just out on DVD as is BBC One Of Us. CALEB is a lovely short film that is gathering lots of recognition on the festival circuit plus there is a super project that I can’t talk about yet but hopefully will be able to soon. I wrote and directed my first film recently called THE ANGEL OF HULL so I am busy with the post-production on that too.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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