07 May Rebecca Ferdinando Talks Acting, Motherhood And Future Plans
by Matthew Martino
Rebecca Ferdinando is a British actress with an impressive portfolio of acting roles, she spoke to us about her future plans and how having a daughter has changed her lifestyle.
Q. HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ACTRESS?
RF: I have been acting since I convinced my mum to enrol me, aged 9 into a local drama school. After that I went to the prestigious youth theatre school, Sylvia young in Marylebone. However I have memories of being around aged 5 and taking my first ballet exams. Prancing around the stage extremely proud in my oversized pink tutu, satin ballet shoes and a helium balloon with the other members of my class… except mid exam my balloon popped and I burst into floods of tears… I think I still passed though – my examiner must have felt sorry for me, because I think I was terrible at ballet! Ha!
After my drama school days I returned to high school to do my A-Levels… and much to everyone’s surprise I came out with three A* a levels. My mother wanted me to go into medicine, “you’re bright enough, you will love it & there’s lots of money in it Becky” her words still resonate with me today… but I was the rebel child (unlike my brother) I went to my local Middlesex university …. to study Drama (and stayed living at home as it was the east life). Whilst I was at uni I got into the modelling industry. I was signed up by three top agencies and never seemed to stop modelling. I travelled to Monaco and Paris and certainly worked more than I was in uni so I’m not quite sure how I came out with a 2-1 because I was never there! (I certainly wouldn’t have come close to that if I had studied medicine!)
I remember once going to a modelling casting and ending up taking the lift to the wrong floor… I ended up in a casting for a presenting role which I didn’t even go for! I landed the job and three months down the line I was presenting a show on channel 5 called the great big British quiz.
TV presenting led me into the British film world. I first met Terry Stone after he had seen me on channel 5. He offered me a role in his film Shank, directed by Mo Ali. After that it was a snowball effect. The industry is very small and if you play a role well, it’s quite simple – you will get cast again. I’ve enjoyed the journey. Ive been in the British film world for 10 years now and already I’ve seen so many come and go… rise to fame and crumble. I just want a steady career with fun and meaty parts.
DID YOU TAKE TIME OFF FROM ACTING WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER WAS BORN?
RF: I took two years out of the industry when I had Ava. I didn’t expect to take that long out but nor did I expect to be a single mum so it’s been incredibly hard. Now she’s two she understands that mummy needs to go to work. I’m excited to be back and I’m excited at what new roles and challenges might come my way. I’m hoping I still get the fun sexy roles that I used to get (I actually think having a baby has made me sexier – but that’s for another interview!)
HOW DID YOU LAND THE PART IN BONDED BY BLOOD?
RF: Bonded by blood came quite out of chance. I played a small part in shank and the next film Terry Stone was producing was Bonded By Blood. He handed me the script to read…. he said he didn’t want to tell me which part he thought I would be good for … he asked me to read the script and come back to him with the part I thought I would be best at… within 24hrs I had read the script and I remember the phone call like it was yesterday. Me – “I want to play Mary… I reckon I could make it really funny , not just awkward lines on a page” Terry Stone – “that’s exactly the role I had you in mind for. It’s yours” I put down the phone… excited but the next challenge was telling my mum I had landed a role as a “nurse” …”performing” in a car… hmmmm….
HOW WERE YOU APPROACHED TO REPRISE YOUR ROLE IN BONDED BY BLOOD 2?
RF: Jonathan Sothcott asked me.
I wanted to do it..and immediately said yes. I like Jonathan a lot and anything he turns his hands to is a success so why would I not want to be part of a successful movie? The only difference was this time around I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter Ava. I had two options… film it using camera angles and pretend I wasn’t pregnant (just a slightly fatter Mary) or just go with it and play a smaller part. We chose the second option. However in hindsight … I wish we had gone for the first!
WHAT HAVE YOU GOT COMING UP?
RF: I have just had a sci fi film released – called The last scout. Which is quite exciting as it’s a completely different role for me and it’s a lead role… I want to play more meaty roles this year. Simple – I have a lot more to give now , a lot more life experience and now I have Ava, I have a new purpose. I’m certainly hungrier for work now than I’ve ever been… but I’m also more particular over parts as time is a lot more precious. I have a few meaty options in the pipeline but it’s too early to say… Jonathan always has projects up his sleeve. He is the busiest producer I know – he literally never stops working.
HAS HAVING YOUR DAUGHTER HAD AN IMPACT ON YOUR CAREER?
RF: Great question !! Having children in this industry is hard. Not because of the actual filming – although long filming hours and anti social hours can be a challenge but it’s more because of the amount of time you need to put into meeting people and networking before landing a role. Producers and directors mostly want to work with people they actually like so it’s important to build relationships.
Before Ava there wasn’t an evening that went by that I wasn’t in Soho networking or having lunch or dinners with other likeminded film makers. Collaborating and helping fellow film makers (writers/producers/directors/costume designers) realise their projects. Now I spend my days at ‘Monkey music’ and tumble tots’ .. finding time to network and prepare for Auditions/castings is a lot more challenging – But not impossible 😉
If only you could bring your child along to auditions – or better still ‘spotlight’ had a crèche for auditions and castings. Perhaps I should open one for fellow actors and actresses!