Gwyneth Evans Interview

Gwyneth Evans is an actor, voiceover artist and model based in Manchester, UK. Her recent credits include narration for two festive animations for Center Parcs UK; ‘Nutmeg’s Flyers’ and ‘The Winter Forest Lights’. Gwyneth’s excited to have recently been cast as a supporting actress in a period feature film, due to film later this year. She has starred in a number of short horror films with Bewitched Productions, a company she co-created with her partner, Jack Berry.

When did you love for movies start?

I grew up watching and falling in love with film series such as “The Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” which straight away was a huge influence on me and are probably what brought about my love of fantasy and genre films in general. I always loved dressing up as characters when I was younger (most memorably, Cate Blanchett`s Galadriel), and completely imagining myself being in the world of Middle Earth surrounded by magical creatures. My parents have always been fans of historical fiction, such as Jane Austen, so growing up surrounded by films like “Sense and Sensibility”, “Emma” and the BBC adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” ignited my love for period drama.

You’re in a lot of Horror shorts, but are you a fan of the genre?

Funnily enough, I’m not the biggest fan of the horror genre. I honestly get quite anxious at the prospect of watching a horror film; jump scares really terrify me, and I am constantly hiding behind my hands! That´s not to say there aren’t horror films I actually enjoy; if the story is compelling enough and can grip me , then I can push through my anxiety. Recent horror films I’ve loved are “Last night in Soho” , “Get Out” and Blumhouse’s “The Invisible Man”. The first ever short film I starred in, even before my training, was a surrealist horror short called “Cat Sitter Wanted” produced by Channel 4’s Random Acts. In the short I played a teenage girl who gets kidnapped and is forced to watch a creepy women doing a weird tap dance, whilst surrounded by skeletons. At the time of filming, none of us actors had been told anything about the plot, or what was even happening, so it was a strange yet exciting experience. I have enjoyed making short films with Jack since then; filming horror is really fun and has definitely changed my view on the genre. I’m glad that I’ve broadened my horizons to a wealth of exciting films that I wouldn’t have thought to watch previously.

How did you get into acting?

As far as I remember I’ve always danced, sung and performed on stage in some way, having taken ballet classes from a very young age, then later taking singing lessons. My passion was fully realised when I started regularly performing in my high school`s musicals in both ensemble and leading roles. I then joined up with some theatrical friends who had created a small theatre company, acting in a number of their plays and building up my confidence on stage. During this time, I felt more drawn to straight acting, rather then musical theatre, and I started to attend monthly acting workshops with an agency, which then brought me my first two screen acting roles. Following this, training at drama school really brought me out of my shell, and gave me lots of insight into the industry and the skills needed to persue my career. As my course was cut short in 2020, I was let loose in a pretty much standstill industry and left to my own devices. Teaming up with Jack and creating my own work has really helped me to countinue my drive and passion for acting, keeping me prepared for the next role coming my way.

How do you approach a new role, and what is the best way to go into the mindset of a character?

I find it really useful to look for similarities in my role to an already existing character from a
film/series. How does this person move? What’s their speech pattern? This can bring about ideas
and character traits that I can expand on myself to make unique for my character, in order to make them feel more real and interesting. Alongside this, I like to jot down any facts about my character that crop up in the script, fill in any gaps that I need to make up myself, and make a note of the relationships they have with other people to fully understand the situation they are in. When going over my lines in a duologue, I like to picture how the scene might play out in my head. I try to see the subtleties of how my character might react to the other person in the scene, perhaps different inflections I might use on certain words, and whether they do any significant actions or play more stillness. When getting into the mindset of a character, it’s always good to fully understand their intention/objective, and what your character is trying to do to the other people in each scene.

Do you have any advice for actors who are just starting out?

My advice would be to do some sort of training or acting classes to get used to different techniques and see what works best for you. This’ll also help to build up an understanding of how the industry works and to network with other actors. Definitely get some professional actor headshots taken as well. From there, start to create a showreel, either by working on student films, low/no budget shorts, creating your own, or if you want a scene or two that feels really professional, and you can afford it, hire a showreel company to create one with you – but only after you’ve worked on your craft!

How do you balance working multiple roles of a production, such as on shorts when you’re acting, writing and producing?

What works quite well when taking on several roles in a production is that you have complete
control over every aspect, and you can be as much of a perfectionist as you want. If I’m helping to write a short it means I have a fuller understanding of my character before we get to shooting, which allows me more time to build on the world we’re creating. When sound mixing for films I’ve starred in, it can be weird having to hear my voice doing odd things, and see my face contorting in several different ways, over and over, but I do quite enjoy exploring with that, and creating extra foley sounds and ADR to layer on top to create the overall atmosphere. When you’ve had a number of jobs on a project, it makes the finished product more satisfying in a way; it’s nice to feel proud of something you’ve put a lot of time and work into.

What’s your favourite short film that you’ve been in so far?

I really enjoyed shooting ‘Fated’, a short that Jack and I created. At that point we’d already made
four shorts together, which involved a lot of trial and error, so by the time we got around to making “Fated” we had more of an idea of how to make it run smoother, and how to get the best out of our cinematography, editing and sound design. It was also the first film of ours to gain quite a lot of attention from festivals and blogs, and was the first film that I’ve starred in that I got to see on the big screen, at Dead Northern film festival last year.

What type of movies would you love to act in that you haven’t already?

I haven’t performed comedy all that much, but I’ve recently been finding enjoyment in watching naturalistic and understated sitcoms, something I’d love to explore myself. I’d also love to be in a quirky period drama, something like the recent adaptations of ‘Emma’ or ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’. They both hit the spot of slotting perfectly between traditional period drama and modern filmmaking. This sentiment also applies to horror, as I would love to act in a big gothic period film, such as ‘Crimson Peak’ or ‘The Woman in Black’.

Interview conducted by Elis Helmersson (A Swedish Horror Nerd) and Jack Berry