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[Interview] – Angela Dixon – ‘Never Let Go’ – A Feature Film

 

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Posted August 13, 2017 by

 
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Award winning actress Angela Dixon, (Offensive, Dead End), stars in the high-octane international action-thriller Never Let Go, which is now set for a DVD and VOD US release on 22nd August, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Howard J. Ford (The Dead, The Dead 2: India), Never Let Go follows a single mother desperately searching for her missing child in a beautiful, but unfamiliar land, following an apparent abduction. Trusting no one, she takes the law into her own hands, weaving her way through the murky backstreets and barren landscapes, now implicated in the murder of a seemingly innocent man, her connections back in the US begin to reveal that there is much more at stake than first meets the eye.

Angela Dixon, gives a stunning central performance, which has garnered international praise by critics and audiences alike. Her portrayal of a woman who stops at nothing to rescue her child, has been called ‘Oscar-worthy’, ‘a powerhouse performance’, ‘electrifying’, a ‘towering tour de force’ and hailed as ‘one of the strongest and most positive female roles of the cinematic year’. Angela is soon to begin shooting two feature films, Black Site and Homeless Ashes, in which she stars alongside Jason Flemyng and Lew Temple.

Boasting an impressive supporting cast including BAFTA award winning and twice Emmy nominatedLisa Eichhorn (About Time, The Talented Mr. Ripley), Velibor Topic (Kingsman: The Secret Service),Nigel Whitmey (London Has Fallen, Saving Private Ryan) and Rami Nasr (upcoming Murder on the Orient Express, TV’s “The Night Manager”), Never Let Go won Best Independent Feature at the 2016 National Film Awards. It then went on to win Best Director (Ford), Best Actress (Dixon) and Best Film at the 2016 Artemis Women-In-Action Film Festival.

Never Let Go will be available in the US on the 22nd of August via online platforms including iTunes, Amazon Video and Vudu, and by DVD sold exclusively at Walmart. It is currently available in the UK on Netflx, iTunes and Amazon.

Trailer:

Interview:

Tell us about your latest film, ‘Never Let Go’…

‘Never Let Go’ is an Independent abduction thriller with heart and soul by Howard J Ford, director of the number one US and worldwide horror hit ‘The Dead’.  It follows the journey of single mother and ex FBI agent as her baby is taken whilst on holiday. There are no witnesses to the abduction and the authorities instead of helping her pursue her for a suspected murder.  Faced with losing her child she decides to take the law into her hands. Trusting no-one, she embarks on an epic journey to find her daughter against incredible odds. This quote from the film beautifully encapsulates my character, Lisa Brennan – “They say the mother who’s child is under the wheels of a bus will find the strength to lift the bus.  She’s just a mother lifting the bus”.  We won Best Independent Feature at the 2016 National Film Awards beating films such as ‘Carol’ and ‘The Gunman’.  I also won Best Actress, and the film won Best Director and Best Film at the Artemis Women-In-Action Film festival, LA.  It’s been wonderful that the film has been so well received.

How did you get involved with the film?

I met the director Howard Ford on a yacht at the Cannes film festival at a networking event in 2011.  We only spoke for around 15 minutes but there was a strong creative connection.  I think we both recognised that we shared a deep sense of heart and spirit at the core of our work.  Over the years we kept in touch.  What I didn’t realise was that I was being auditioned the whole time – which makes sense really doesn’t it?  Working with people is not just about whether they have the skill and ability.  When filming you need to trust and if possible like the people you work with.  Howard came to know that I would show up, he knew that I was physically, emotionally and mentally strong and he knew I could act.  Around 3 years after our meeting he started to write a story and had me in his head as he wrote it.  In his first email to me he said ‘I really will keep you in mind for a great role when the right one comes along’.  Howard is a man of his word.

Where did the idea come from?

The catalyst was inspired by a very personal experience of loss for Howard Ford.  I hope I do the story justice, really it should be Howard telling it.  He was on holiday and by the hotel pool with his youngest son Felix who had just turned 3 years old.  Howard received a text and like we all do he responded to it.  When he looked up his son was no-where to be seen.  In that moment he experienced tremendous fear and an out of body surge of fear and adrenalin as he searched the busy resort expecting the worst.  Checking all the exits to no avail, his mind raced thinking maybe someone had taken him, then he thought ‘no, he’ll be in the other pool in another part of the resort’ as he turned to go, he saw a glint of light on the water in front of him and it was the last air in the body of his drowning son who was on the bottom of the pool.  He dived in scooped his son’s body into his arms and after frantically shaking him, some moments later Felix spluttered then vomited all over him – he got him back, but only just.  So this traumatic experience got Howard thinking as to what it would be like for a mother to have her child taken away from her.  We see men dealing with it in films like ‘Taken’ and ‘The Missing’ but the mother’s perspective is rarely told.  So that’s why he started to write Never Let Go.  Fortunately for me, I fitted the profile for the mother.  Someone who takes risks, who is physically fit, brave (or foolhardy!) and my brand is being able to deliver raw emotion and play strength and vulnerability at the same time.  And that is how it all came about.

Tell us about the cast – who are you staring against?

I was very lucky to be supported by an incredibly strong cast including BAFTA award winning and twice Emmy nominated Lisa Eichhorn and Co-Starring British Celebrated artist and musician Heather Peace, Velibor Topic from Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven/The Kingsman Secret Service, Nigel Whitmey fresh from his presidential performance in ‘London Has Fallen’, West End Star Michael Xavier who co-starred with Glenn Close in sell out smash Sunset Boulevard, Samantha Bolter very soon to be seen in ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ with Ryan Reynolds and Sam L Jackson and Rami Nasr who recently played Hugh Laurie’s Lawyer alongside Tom Hiddleston in the TV hit The Night Manager.

What are your influences as an actress?

I wanted to be an actor for as long as I can remember. I don’t know what first inspired me, I think I just came out that way.  I’ve always been really curious about what makes us tick as human beings.  I like to scratch the surface and see what’s underneath and that is really what the process of acting is; discovering the truth of a story and finding an honest real way within yourself of communicating it to people. A major influence for me was working with the late Stefan Gryff.  I took part in his one to one screen acting tutorials for 8 years.  He gave me guidance, brutal feedback, and had 100% belief in me.  Stefan is the reason I continued as an actor, especially in the early years which were tough.  His belief in me and the opportunity he gave me to hone my craft absolutely underpins my work today.  In terms of other actors who I admire, I love Jessica Lange for her edge and raw emotion, Meryl Streep for her intelligent detailed characterization and Robin Wright who was just mesmerizing in ‘Wonder Woman’.  I would have loved to play that role!

What advice would you give to up and coming actors or actresses trying to crack the business?

If it’s not essential for you to act, don’t do it, there’s a lot of heartache, sacrifice and rejection.  I know this will fall on deaf ears because people will be thinking ‘yes but I’m great and I will succeed’ and they should think that – it will keep them motivated and fired up to push harder.  The reality is that you can have all the talent in the world and it still might not happen for you.

If you must act then apply to the top 5 drama schools and keep trying until you get in. They open doors.  In the meantime, start to graft hard.  Take classes, try to get fringe / low budget / student work.  Take as many roles as you can, even if you are not paid to start with.  Build a portfolio of work, fail, and develop your own method.  Know your brand. Who are you? How do others perceive you? Once you’ve discovered it, sell it.

Find a way to keep positive through the rejection because if you think you’re not worthy you won’t work. Be resilient, be pro-active and build networks of people within the industry who you respect and like. And remember networking is not about what you can get from others it’s about what you can do for others. Be generous.

What’s the next step for you? Do you have any other films in production?

I am about to shoot two feature films; ‘Black Site’ by Tom Paton [Pandorica, Redwood] where I play the head of an Alien deportation unit.  She’s a sarcastic, no messing boss lady which is such fun to play.  Three days after that shoot I start filming the first scenes of ‘Homeless Ashes’ created by and starring Marc Zammit, other co-actors include Jason Flemyng, Lew Temple and Madalina Bellariu Ion.  This time I will be playing an abused wife and mother of a boy who runs away from home.  A very different project but again great to play.  This time my character is gentle, loving and vulnerable and of course there are some rather disturbing emotional scenes. I am very excited for the future and looking forward to working more in America.

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Adam Snowden
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