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Interview – Karen Bryson – ‘The Carrier’ – A Feature Film


Posted September 23, 2015 by

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Karen Bryson is best known for playing Avril in the multi-award winning and critically acclaimed drama, Shameless. Now this popular actress stars as Maria Adams, alongside Andrew French, Edmund Kingsley, Jack Gordon and Joe Dixon, in Anthony Woodley’s exciting science fiction movie ‘The Carrier’…

Interview – Karen Bryson

To begin with, please tell us about the film; ‘The Carrier’, how did you get involved with the project?

The film The Carrier is a Sci-Fi Thriller. The second wave of an antibiotic resistant infection sweeps through Europe. As England falls, a cabin crew and other airport staff escape on a damaged 747 to find a rumored cure in Greenland. But the infection is on the plan. We see the depths humanity will go to, to stay alive.

The selfless thing would be to ground the plane, to stop the infection spreading. But to land in England is a death sentence, and the group decides to keep on flying. They refuse to listen to the one man who is trying to save humanity, so he sabotages the plane. The pilot fights to keep control. Forced to land in a country tearing itself apart, they must fight for survival.

Luke Healy and Anthony Woodley at Megatopia Films asked me if I would like to do the part. When I read the script I had to say, “Yes please”. It was brilliantly written by Helen Kingston, the chief writer and Stefan Mitchell. It was not so much about the pandemic, which in it is self, is thought provoking, but it is about the human condition. The lengths we will go to in a life or death crisis. We as human beings always identify with the hero in situations in films like this. But in all honesty we actually have no idea whatsoever how we would react. We might be that person that cannot speak through fear or (like that famous scene in “The Man who Fell to Earth” wet ourselves, literally) we have no idea until we are faced with it. That exploration of such an extreme is what excites me as an actor. Maria does something at the end, which in all honesty I don’t know that I would or could.

Interview - Karen Bryson

Tell us about the role you are playing in ‘The Carrier’ …

I play Maria Adams, who had recently lost her son in the first wave of the pandemic. She along with her husband are cleaners at the airport and are one of the fortunate few to end up on this plane to escape the ‘hell’ below. Maria is very religious and through this journey she witness’s the depth people will go to in order to survive. She begins to struggle with the very thing that has kept her going, her faith. She stands strong for what she believes in.

The film is directed by Anthony Woodley, what was it like working with him?

Anthony is a wonderful director, the process always felt extremely collaborative. On set Ant wasn’t the loud overwhelming type of director but quiet and powerful. He would take an actor aside and to give notes. At times he would describe what he planned on doing with the scene before or after enabling us as actors to know exactly how to pitch it. I totally trusted him. He also played a huge part in getting a cracking cast together. I had a wonderful time. Having seen the completed film I can see Anthony had a clear picture of how the film was going to look and feel. I was surprised at the impact the film had on me from a character perspective. I forgot I was in it…. Really. I truly cared about what happened to these people. I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting film with its twists and turns. I laughed a little and cried a little too.

Screen Shot  - Karen Bryson

What are your influences as an actor & how are they going to affect your performance in ‘The Carrier”? 

My reason for doing what I do is to be as honest as I possibly can, to serve the character and story as authentically as possible. In terms of my influences and work, they come in the form of actors that I admire. Such Viola Davis who never fails to bear her heart and convey absolute honesty in EVERYTHING she plays. I am so pleased she is finally been recognised with a win at the most recent Emmy’s. Vicky McClure, Susan Lynch, Sheridan Smith and Olivia Coleman; all actresses of integrity, it is translated and palpable, from the other side of a screen.

You are known for your performance in ‘Shameless’ which is very popular here in England, can you tell us what it was like working on the programme?

Working on Shameless was totally brilliant. I was a fan of the show before I joined as Avril Powell. So you can imagine the pressure I felt to be as believable and entertaining as everyone I had watched for years. I do love a bit of British grit in TV and Shameless was incredibly ground breaking and continued to be so until the very end. The show never ceased to amaze me with its risk taking every single time I read a script. It was an honour not to mention an absolute hoot! Everyone was a little bonkers. The entire team welcomed me with open arms, which made it easier to just get on with it and enjoy it. The community spirit the audiences saw on screen certainly reflected us as the team making it. I’ll never forget my time on the show.

Screen Shot  - Karen Bryson2

We understand you are about to star in a new BBC series called ‘Cuffs’ as well, tell us about it…

I am not the star by any means, but it is a show I am very proud to be part of. It is from the brilliant writer of ‘Prisoners Wives’ Julie Gearey. Set in Brighton and around East Sussex and centres around the lives and workings of a police station. I play Custody Sergeant Melanie Pyke. She was so much fun to play as she appears rather fierce!! It was a great team of actors and directors. With fantastic characters I think and hope an audience will love.

Other than ‘Cuffs’, what is the next step for you? Do you have any other projects in production?

I am not quite sure, more of the same but different. There are a couple of possibilities. But as actors always say, “until you’ve had your first meal from the catering truck, say nothing”.


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One Comment


    This sounds very interesting. Where can one view this film?

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