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Interview – Katarina Gellin – ‘My Hero & Hackney’s Finest’ – Feature Films

 

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Posted May 14, 2015 by

 
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Interview Katarina Gellin

1) You are starring in two new films, ‘My Hero’ and ‘Hackney’s Finest’. First tell us about ‘My Hero’…

It’s a fantastic British indie thriller with real heart in the vein of ‘London to Brighton’ and ‘Leon’. It’s set and shot exclusively in Margate. The incredible English coastal landscape is almost a character in itself.

2) Now ‘Hackney’s Finest’, what attracted you to this project?

It was just a calm Saturday audition…I was the first one in the door, and hadn’t even read the script! I had to improvise against Nate Wiseman, the lead actor, which just worked really well. It was a very funny script, a bit ‘lock stock’ and a cool concept.

And I ended up dating Nate – so it worked out well!

3) Tell us about the roles you are playing in both? Have the projects overlapped?

They followed on from each other, and Hackney’s Finest just opened – My Hero is out later this year.

Amanda in Hackney’s Finest is the long-suffering girlfriend of Sirus, who is essentially a functioning heroin addict. She loves him, but is getting increasingly exasperated with the relationship – and is put in great danger when his latest deal goes wrong.

Kim in ‘My Hero’ is a strong, level-headed girl who is pretty much the only character in the film who isn’t from the estate. She’s in the early stages of a relationship with Jake, the main character, who she suspects has got himself into great trouble. She quickly realises their different backgrounds might present an insurmountable obstacle…

4) What are your influences as an actor & how are they going to affect your performance in both films?

Apart from people you look up to of course, as an actor you draw on as much life experience as you can, and where you don’t have it, you steal it! Actors are fortunate in a way that anything that happens to you, you can use as experience and pour it into your roles. I’m Norwegian – so I’ve obviously not grown up on England’s coastal estates or in Hackney – but I had to find reference points for that. I really look forward to getting my teeth into a bigger role. We all love transforming, so something different and challenging is a gift!

5) ‘My Hero’ is a British Drama, while ‘Hackney’s Finest’ is a Comedy – What attracts you to these genres? Which do you prefer?

It’s always the same – the story is what attracts you! If it’s a good project, and good people to work with. I met Nate Wiseman who is the lead of Hackney’s Finest, who was just incredibly funny and passionate; he really carries that film. Comedy is always hugely fun; I’ve done comedic roles in the Inbetweeners Movie, Doctors and Hollyoaks, too.

Drama spans so much, and I love anything that skirts dangerously close to real life – I’d love to do more of both!

6) How has working on ‘My Hero’ differed from ‘Hackney’s Finest’? What have you learned from the two roles?

I learned so much from both. Hackney’s was a micro-budget; they’re pretty tough to make. But the actors were all troopers and the crew were lovely and supportive of each other. I certainly learned a lot about the kind of people I want to be working with in the future. It also got me thinking of how you could flip the genre and make a film where the women are a little more relatable and in focus; I’d love to write a gangster film about women!

On ‘My Hero’ I learned that night shoots are hard, and that if you colour your blonde hair dark, then red, it goes a little frazzled – haha! But I wanted to look different, and I love transforming for roles. It’s rare that actors get to do that; you’re usually cast the way you look.

7) What is the next step for you? Do you have any other projects in production?

A bunch! We’re developing several new films with our production company Redeeming Features, and I’ve got comedy ‘Krish&Lee’ out later this year. I wrote, directed and starred in a short film which is in festivals at the moment. I’m directing a beautiful cancer charity ad soon, and just waiting for that next right role to come…

 

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Adam Snowden
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