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Amy-Joyce Hastings - Exclusive Interview
By: Niamh, 18 July 2013
We catch up with one of our fav Irish actresses, the gorge Amy-Joyce Hastings as she fills is in on her latest big screen flick and stage role, as well as her first time behind the camera!
Amy, last time we chatted you’d just bagged the lead role in the film The Callback Queen, now it's about to hit our screens, are you mega excited?
‘It's great, like with theatre, you have both the rehearsal period which you really enjoy, and then the live performances which are the especially worthwhile part of it. And then in film, you have the shooting period which is so much fun - and then a long period before you get to see the work - and then the release where you get to relive the whole experience, be reunited with your castmates and finally have something to show audiences. This part of the process is so exciting and I'm really looking forward to promoting the film on its onward journey!’
Judging from the trailer (see below) it looks like a fab, giggly, girly film we can’t wait to see! There’s also a spot of steaminess involved too! Do those sort of scenes make you nervous or are they actually quite fun?
‘They don't make me too nervous as I try not to take them too seriously. Well certainly as regards The Callback Queen, there was a strong comedy element to all the steamy scenes, nothing in it was gratuitous, it's all there to advance the characters' relationships and provide a laugh, which is what we had while filming them. It's been said before but in all honestly where there's loads of technical crew standing around it really diffuses the intensity of the situation.’
Trailer for The Callback Queen- Where Amy-Joyce stars opposite British actor Mark Killeen, who has just filmed the role of Commander of the Greek Army in the 300 movie sequel, so he is poised to be the next Gerard Butler! Hmmm Dishy!
As well as your big screen role, you’re also preparing for a bit of Shakespeare we hear! Fill us in!
‘That's right, I'm currently playing Miranda in Shakespeare's The Tempest in a Summer tour with Wexford's Travelling Light Theatre Company. I love the character, the play, the language, the director Michael Way (who I've worked with a number of times), and the principal venue we are performing at - Wells House - which is simply stunning. It's this Gothic Victorian mansion on 400 acres of grounds. The company have hired an orchestra stage and built this fabulous set for it and we're performing open air theatre every Saturday night in July to large crowds. It's a Gathering Event, and luckily so far at least, we have had balmy summer evenings for the first 2 weeks of it, so I hope that continues, as it makes for a really special performing experience.’
And it seems you’re not just fab in front of the camera, but you’ve also turned your hand to directing! Tell us about your short horror film starring your pal Susan Loughnane from Love/Hate which also screened at the Galway Film Fleadh.
‘I'm really proud of this short. It's been really stimulating for me to spread my wings as an actor and writer, producer and director. You learn so much more about the filmmaking experience and it helps you develop your screen craft enormously, not to mention you realise how hard crews work to make the actors look good! I've really enjoyed the experience and will definitely look to do more of it. Nocturne Passage is a 9 minute psychological horror where a young artist (played by Susan) struggles to hold on to her sanity in the wake of a devastating event. It's got a strong supernatural element, and I think a very definitive visual style and mood. I had an amazing young composer. Stefan French create the music for it, and I really found it fascinating working with him to enhance the story. I was inspired by films like Requiem for A Dream, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Susan has a fantastic possession scene which was very physical demanding and high impact and I'm really happy with the end result.’
Speaking of the Fleadh we hear the dishy Zachary Quinto was there! Did you manage to rub shoulders with the Star Trek Actor?
‘We passed each other by a few times but I didn't get to talk to him as I think we were both having a pretty manic Fleadh! I'm afraid being on the same poster as him (see image below) was as close as we got to a tete a tete! He has been one of my favourite actors for many years now, and we have a mutual friend in LA so maybe next time!’
Stage, screen and directing! What’s next for your busy schedule?
‘I've recently signed with a leading London personal manager Tracy Beresford, so there's a couple of potential projects in the pipeline she is negotiating for me. I've learned not to speak about deals until they are done though. I met some really inspiring producers and directors at the Fleadh this last week, so hopefully something will come of that also.’
Speaking of your busy schedule how do you manage to fit it all in and leave time to unwind?
‘I'm one of those people who is happiest when I'm on the go all the time, which is just as well considering my schedule lately! I did manage to take my first sun holiday in 5 years recently though - 9 days of swimming and sunbathing in Murica and I felt like my batteries had a full recharge! Whenever I get the chance I go home and stay at my family's cottage in Uachtar Árd, Co Galway, which is very remote and peaceful, and that always helps me to decompress from London life.’
You obviously travel a great deal with your work, do you miss Ireland or do you love globe-trotting?
‘Both! I think you always carry that sense of Ireland around within you, I probably reference it all the time when I talk to people, and I've converted every English person I know to drinking Barrys tea (what a cultural stereotype am I?!). But I've always been fascinated with other places, cultures and languages, and the more of the world I get to see the better in my book. I'm off to America again soon and can't wait!’
If you could only bring 3 things with you to a desert island what would they be?
‘That's funny as the Shakespearean character I'm playing grew up on a tropical island so I've been playing with this desert island scenario a lot lately. I suppose I'd definitely like a really comfy mattress, a really thick book and a knife would be pretty handy too.’