Awaiting, the tense thriller from Bulldog Film Distribution, is out now on DVD. Starring Diana Vickers, Tony Curran and Rupert Hill, the film premiered at this year’s Film4 Frightfest.
Morris (Tony Curran) is a recluse with psychotic tendencies, whose life changes when his innocent daughter Lauren (Diana Vickers) rescues one of his victims and befriends him. Jake (Rupert Hill), an ordinary businessman, soon realises that he is stranded and his presence in the house gradually reveals unexpected and dark mysteries from the past.
Well-known for her chart-topping music career following her appearance on The X Factor, Diana has also proven her acting talent – recently starring in Comedy Central’s Give Out Girls and winning ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Theatre Awards for her performance as ‘LV’ in the West End production of ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’.
EF’s Jason caught up with the lovely Diana Vickers to discuss her latest thriller Awaiting and her diverse career to date.
Congratulations on Awaiting – it’s a very effective, disturbing film. How did you get involved with the project?
Yes it is! I just got the script sent through from my agent. I just really enjoyed the script; there was an immediate grip to it. I love psychological thrillers; they are my favourite type of genre, and I went for the audition. I thought I screwed it up really, I didn’t think it went very well and you know, I thought ‘was I right for the role’. Then a week later my agent called and said ‘you got the part! So before I knew it I was in Yorkshire filming it.
Was there any room for improvisation onset or did you stick squarely to Mark Murphy’s script?
Yeah, there was definitely room for improvisation. When you get a script… until you actually have the characters brought to life and acting it out, it changes. It changes because an actor brings something different to it, so Mark was really good at letting us do that.
For instance, in the scene where we kiss, there’s this thing… a Lolita-esque animal instinct to it on my behalf towards him… and I think people love to watch that. And the kiss wasn’t in when we started, it makes it more interesting and Mark was very open to change. He understood that and how we developed it. It’s wonderful working with a writer/director that is open to do that.
So as a performer you prefer that level of creativity to let yourself put more into a role?
Yeah definitely. Don’t get me wrong, Mark was a great director and he really helped me with the character but it was great that he allowed us to have our own approach too for development.
How was it working with Tony Curran and Rupert Hill? You had a really good dynamic with them.
Yeah they were great! We were so close – we stayed in a hotel together, we drank together every night, drinking beers with the boys! It was just us three as well, so we were literally just each other’s lives for like, five weeks. It was wonderful, they are both fantastic actors, really great guys, and I feel very lucky to have worked with them.
What are you like with Horror in general? What’s your favourite scary movie?
Yeah I love scary films! I love the idea of a scary film and then sometimes when I’m watching it I’m like ‘oooh nooo that’s too much!’ But I do, I love creepy films! I love to be on-edge. Like, one of my favourite films is The Strangers, The Others… I love Hitchcock…. Gone Girl – I read the book… I know that’s not really a horror though. I don’t like too much gore… but I can take it!
You’re accomplished in music, theatre, film, fashion – it’s probably hard to pick one, but which is influencing your career most at the moment?
Acting – I’ve always wanted to do it and I really just want to get to a point where I’m a working actress all the time. I can do theatre, film and TV, comedy, horror, American comedy, northern comedy. I just want to do every aspect I possibly can and get as much out of it. This is what I want to set my mind to and I’ve made a conscious decision I think. This industry is so exhausting and so testing and emotionally draining and the highs are so amazing. So I’m concentrating on acting – I’m going to put all of my eggs in that basket!
Do you have a rough ETA on new Diana Vickers music?
I’m not really thinking about it… I’m really not. I’m so busy at the moment – I’m doing a play, promo for Awaiting and for another TV thing I’ve got going on. I’m constantly auditioning – more meetings, for recalls… and I’ve got The Rocky Horror Show later in the year. So it’s not on my radar at the moment.
Do you have a preference between Film and theatre work?
I think as an actress you’ve got to have both – each are incredible. I think the magic of theatre is the live action. I’m doing this play at the moment, a northern black comedy set in a living room. And you are, like, actually creating something… a moment. You’re live and there’s no stopping or starting and your emotions run so heightened.
With film there’s so much stopping and starting but at the end it’s so satisfying because you can watch it back and see it all come together. And what they can do with film is so magnificent. So you can’t have one without the other.
How has the industry changed since you started? Do you think it’s easier to break into the industry now?
No, I mean it’s so hard. As I said, I’m an actress now and I’m doing well, I’ve done TV and film etc. I’ve been on countless auditions and recalls. I’ve gotten down to the last two and thought ‘ooh this could be my big break’, an American pilot, and it just hasn’t gone my way. It’s so hard. In terms of the internet – maybe music-wise it’s easier for people. But for acting, there’s no acting talent show or anything… so I don’t know?
You mentioned American pilots – have you done much pilot work overseas?
I had three auditions in America and I have an American agent out there so I went over there for pilot season. But it wasn’t quite right – I think it was a bit too soon for me, you know? You are such a small fish in a big pond over there. I think I need to have more under my belt before I consider going over there again.
I just want to work and will take anything that’s great – it doesn’t matter the size of the project. Whether it’s an indie or something massive, like, say a project like Glee- yeah, that would be absolutely amazing. But if it was a smaller budget film with an amazing script I’d still do it because it’s about the passion. So I’m just taking everything that really comes to me.
Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
Yeah I did a stint in Top Coppers, a new BBC TV series. My episode airs soon, I was the lead in an episode so that was a lot of fun to film and hopefully some more TV – can’t really confirm that though. And then I go into the Rocky Horror Show later in the year for six months! The plan was for a year but I don’t know if I have a year in me! I think 6 months is great and then have a break to do some film and TV.
X-Factor has started up again, will you be watching this year?
You know I’ve not watched it and everyone’s talking about it and has got the X Factor fever but I’ve been so tired and been working on my play and I’ve not even thought about it really. And I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to with work.
…and if you got the call to come back to perform, are you always open to that?
Erm…I don’t know… I wouldn’t know what to perform as I don’t have any new music at the moment! But erm… maybe not. I mean, yeah, if I had something to promote then definitely, but there’d be no point in me going with no music to promote. It would feel a bit odd!
Finally, we ask everyone what their favourite movie has been over the past year… what have you enjoyed most at the cinema?
I loved Whiplash, I thought it had an incredible soundtrack, the acting was incredible – an amazingly written script so yeah, Whiplash. Oh and Gone Girl! You know, I read the book and I was imagining Rosamund Pike as the character – how bizarre is that! And then she got cast! I couldn’t actually believe it, I almost had a heart attack! Because when you read a book you always picture someone all the way through it and then Ben Affleck was cast and it all made sense. You read a book and are so addicted to it and then the film reached ever single expectation too.
…would you liked to have tackled that role?
Oh my goodness! I would have LOVED to have done that role! I would love to play a part like that! Oh my goodness… yeah – that is a fantastic part to play!
Awaiting is out now on DVD.