An interview with :

Lucy-Jane Quinlan

Speaking to actress Lucy-Jane Quinlan on social media Twitter, we are excited to have spent some time with her talking about just one of her movies, The Cutting Room and other projects both past and upcoming. 

DGE : The Cutting Room is quite a dark movie in terms of its subject matter. Cyber bullying seems to have gained some notoriety in recent months recent some high profile celebrities falling foul of `trolling`. Have you encountered anything like this in your career and how did or do you cope with it?

Lucy-Jane : I think social media has really changed things. It's easy to think you're faceless on sites such as twitter and perhaps people don't realise that their comments will stay somewhere on the internet forever. I have had a few people make a few nasty comments towards me in certain things. Someone wrote on a youtube video l I recorded for a campaign against forced marriage. The comment was something derogatory about my face. It stung a little bit at the time but I soon realised that someone who could overlook the vital message of the charity video, purely to insult the way I look, was hardly worth worrying about. It's certainly helped me develop a thicker skin but at the end of the day we're all human and it can hurt a little no matter how thick skinned you are.

DGE : As for the movies and short stories you star in, do you do any special warm-up routines or possibly do any research into the subject matter before you go into filming? I know some actors/actresses get really into their characters by visiting clinics, hospitals, solicitors etc just to get into the right mindsets of the characters they are playing on screen.

Lucy-Jane : Of course I try to make sure that all technicalities are under my belt so that when I enter the "world" of the character, those things are naturally instilled in me and I can focus on the story I am telling. It's very important to understand their world and be comfortable living in their skin, When I have had to play characters with a disability then I will do extensive research and usually try to meet people with similar disabilities. I recently had to play a visually impaired girl which brought some real challenges. 

DGE : Ive got to ask but what got you interested in acting in the first place?

Lucy-Jane : I became interested in acting when I was 12. I remember a TIE company came to my school to teach shakespeare and were choosing people to help them play parts in a Midsummer Nights Dream, I so desperately wanted to play Hermia, but I didn't get picked. I went home that night from school and asked my mum if I could join the local amateur dramatics society. After that, I became very involved in singing and entered various competitions and ended up singing at Richard Branson's birthday party when I was 15. That pushed me forward quite a lot and I just made singing and acting my life. I sing a lot less these days! 

DGE : The Cutting Room is not the first horror movie you have starred in. Weaverfish was another and you are starring in an upcoming short called Solitary. Is horror something you like doing and can you see yourself becoming the next big `scream-queen`?

Lucy-Jane : Haha! I LOVE filming horrors but I'm the biggest wimp around! I have to really gear myself up to watch them. The great fun of being in a horror movie is that I can watch them with a little more knowledge of what to expect and not look like such a wimp. Weaverfish was my first ever feature film (It's now released in North America and I was petrified the first time I watched the end. I will also be filming Kindred this year which is a horror/thriller starring Jane Asher so maybe I will be a scream-queen! Fingers crossed for that! 

DGE : Out of everything you have done, which role has been the hardest to play and why?

Lucy-Jane : I've had a few challenges in my career. I think the hardest roles are when you are playing a real person or a person who once existed. I am really careful that I am respectful to them and make sure I play them with 100% honesty. I think it's a big responsibility that should't be taken lightly. 

DGE : And on the flip side, which has been the most fun role you have played?

Lucy-Jane : I love Charlie. She's a feisty little thing and it seems as though she has no fear in telling people what's what. But I believe Charlie would go home every night and think over what she has sad that day. She is embarking on womanhood so it was fun to think about a lot of feelings that I was going through when I was 17.. it's a tricky time for any girl.. and Charlie comes face to face with some pretty horrific stuff so the girl's got balls! 

I also played a lovely role in a film called Where Do We Go From Here. The film is a comedy that was mainly set in an old people's home and then a road trip around Scotland. We got to shoot in an aquarium and crash a 70th Birthday! It was just the most fun I've ever had - those pensioners know how to have a good time and there was so much to learn whilst working with such experienced older acts. I got to do a scene with Georgie Glenn who is just the funniest woman I've ever met.

DGE : Ive often wondered to myself that whilst a movie is exactly that, a movie, there must be times during filming, such as in The Cutting Room, where even the actors are freaked out when filming certain parts. In the Cutting Room you spend a period of time running around the dark tunnels within Newhaven Fort. Surely there must have been times when you where a little scared?

Lucy-Jane : Oh YES! I think the location is one of the best things about the film. It speaks for itself and is so scary and atmospheric. It made our job very easy! But actually being there was 10x scarier. Walking around the woods at night with just torchlight .. I remember a tree branch pinging into my eye one night. It was rather funny but you become very aware that you really can't see a thing and your mind starts to play ticks on you. There was something like 100 steps leading down to those tunnels and I always asked if someone could walk back up with me. I'm either a diva or a big baby .. I think/hope it's the latter! 

DGE : The Cutting Room is another movie filmed in the now famed `found-footage` genre. With this in mind, did you have a script that you had to stick too or where there times when you could adlib a little and just go with the flow to try and make it more realistic?

Lucy-Jane :  Warren give us a lot of freedom to ad lib and Parry and Lydia were great to work with. We had done a lot of workshopping in character so we knew that if things started to veer away from the original script then we could play the scene out if it still felt right and honest for our characters. I think my character swears more than once a minute in The Cutting Room and I'm pretty sure that may have something to do with my adlibbing. Oops! Warren always said that he cast us on type and I found that by the shoot we had brought a lot of ourselves to our character so the improvisation always felt very organic.

DGE : There seems to be very little gore in The Cutting Room. How do you cope with gore yourself, ie, do you watch a lot of horror and does gore bother you or not?

Lucy-Jane : I'm terrible with gore! I close my eyes at the tiniest bit of blood but I LOVE having the make up done. I'm a big goon and love dressing up. Although this was a little different. I was tied to a table for quite some time, in a very scary, cold tunnel with meat stuck all over my body. I was still finding bits of meat stuck to my bum about an hour after.... I really can't explain that smell. But I think it was pretty worth it now I watch "that scene" back. I really enjoyed watching the make up being done in the behind the scenes section on the DVD.. it's even more interesting when I can watch it in the warm! 

DGE : If you could sum up The Cutting Room in one sentence, and Ive asked writer/director Warren Dudley the same, what would it be?

Lucy-Jane : I would say it's a story about real people in one VERY messed up situation. No frills and no tricks. 

DGE : Do you have any role models in the acting world? If so, who?

Lucy-Jane : I am a HUGE Olivia Coleman fan. She is just flawless in everything I have ever seen her in. She can make me roll around the floor in laughter and bring me to tears within minutes. Emotions we can feel in life aren't always pretty and she isn't afraid to project any of these onto herself. I hope that one day I will have a career like hers. She blew my mind in Tyrannosaur.

DGE : This is a cheeky question but do have any inside gossip or funny/embarrassing stories that occurred during the filming of The Cutting Room you can share?

Lucy-Jane : Ooh, let me think. Me, Parry and Lydia lived in a small cottage together whilst filming. We shared our back garden with a pig called Jeffery. I fell in love with him. Parry always used to try and film these little videos for instagram and Facebook. Walking out the kitchen waving saucepans at the pig and moaning at him for not doing the washing up, calling him a pig etc... I had no idea he was filming and thought he was mental when I looked out the window to see him waving these pots and pans at the poor old pig! Ironically, Parry was terrible for washing up ;) 

DGE : Finally, do you have any long term goals when it comes to movies? What would your dream role be?

Lucy-Jane :  I do have a few long term goals. I try not to pin myself down too much to just one goal as I know many things would make me happy and I like to go with where the wind takes me. I trained in Musical Theatre 10 years ago and my dreams and aspirations have changed drastically since then. I love independent film and I love collaborating. I think that we are also creating some great dramas here in the UK and I would love to do a gritty TV drama. There is never a dull day in this line of work and I'm just thrilled to be making a living out of playing every day.


The Cutting Room (2015)

Synopsis (IMDB) : College students Raz, Charlie and Jess are about to start work on their end of year Media Studies project... unaware of a malevolent force lurking deep below their sleepy town.

Directed by : Warren Dudley

Written by : Warren Dudley

Cast :  Parry Glasspool, Lucy-Jane Quinlan, Lydia Orange, TJ Herbert, Jason Rhodes, Mkaya Carrigan, Louisa Adams,

My Rating :

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