Three years ago Dorset Eye was very fortunate to interview stage and screen star Nicole Faraday. Having recently finished touring with the show ‘Isle of Woman’ and with lots of exciting work in the pipeline we caught up with her again to find out how enjoyable the intervening years have been and chat about what she is currently up to.
1. Since the last interview with Dorset Eye 3 years ago what have been your acting highlights?
Wow there have been so many. I am so lucky to be able to have a career both in theatre, film, T.V. and as a singer. Some high points for me have included touring the country for the third time in my career as Eva Cassidy in the biographical stage show “Over the Rainbow” as I love her music and her untimely death was so tragic. Beautiful theatres all over the UK and Ireland with a great reception. I played the semi regular role of Veronica on ITV’s Emmerdale for a few episodes with a great story line and the folks on set in Leeds were lovely to work with. I filmed the role of Dawn in “Top Dog” starring Leo Gregory, Vincent Regan and Jason Flemyng which won several industry awards and was on Sky Premiere as well as at the cinemas. Then then last year I played the lead female role Kim Brookes opposite the legendary Vinnie Jones in the feature film “Kill Kane” which had its red carpet premiere at BAFTA in January and is doing well in the DVD charts both here and in the U.S. Also recently I filmed a short horror film called “The Neighbours” starring famous American scream queen Lynn Lowry. I am pleased to say it has been selected for Cannes film festival this year so I went out for the screening and festival which was very exciting and a great opportunity. I even did a live radio interview with local radio station “Hope Fm” to give local listeners a snapshot of the craziness of Cannes, which was fun!
2. You are currently appearing in the new touring show ‘Isle of Woman’, described as ‘Think Fascinating Aida meets the Andrews Sisters’. Does it attempt to represent women as liberated decision makers free of the power of men or are they still very influential in the lives of the characters?
Ah well you see therein lies the beauty of the show. We attempt to represent women in all forms with different roles portraying different beliefs, we cover values of modern women from the traditionalist to the feminist and encompass many topics, with different viewpoints being put across; we also throw a lot of the decision making open to the audience which keeps the show fresh every night. We believe there is room on the Isle for women of all forms!
3. What is it about this play that attracted it to you?
It was written with me in mind! The two producers/writers who are also in the show, Katherine Mount and musical director Teresa Barlow, are great friends of mine whom I met on the Eva Cassidy show so we had already toured the country together and knew we get on and enjoy working together. Plus the third performer I work with in the show is one of my best friends Amanda Posener who I have worked with for many years on “Bad Girls the Musical”. So it is a funny, fresh show. New writing is always great fun to be a part of as you have a hand in the creative process plus I get to work with three of my best friends so it was a no brainer taking the job!
4. The play is touring locally including your home town Swanage. Did you have any influence over where it is appearing?
In a word ‘yes’. As I say as this comedy tour is sporadic and after the success of our Spring tour we already have a busy autumn schedule so we were looking at venues which would have a personal reach for us and for me coming home to the Mowlem theatre was a fantastic opportunity to work where I “cut my teeth” as it were as I grew up doing June Ranger shows there, then amateur productions with Purbeck Players and Swanage Operatic Society plus the late Joanne Moore. I was so pleased to perform there again. It was great to catch up with old friends. I have also played leads at The Lighthouse Theatre in Poole for local professional company “Dramatic Productions” and it is always lovely to come home. My next local appearance is singing with my guitarist Gus Glen at the fantastic Swanage Fish Festival THIS WEEKEND! (Sunday 12th June, 2.45pm- see @swanagefishfest for details) I performed last year at the inaugural festival and it was such a success I think it will be a regular fixture.
5. Is it more nerve-racking in front of people who you know?
In a way as you feel you have to do them proud and you want the show to be the best show possible so I am usually more nervous when I know I have people in as while you always strive to do your best, I really feel I have something to prove when I know the audience.
6. Do you still call Swanage home? What qualities of the town stand out for you?
I do indeed. I divide my time between Swanage and Greenwich in London. I like Greenwich because it feels nautical and is green and by the river, yet is zone 2 and easy to get in to town for castings, work, theatre and film premieres, networking plus I have lots of friends in London so there is never a dull moment. You cannot beat our beautiful countryside and gorgeous beaches on the Isle of Purbeck though and I get home as much as I can, especially in the summer for my birthday and to help out during Carnival Week. I am a regular judge on Carnival’s Got Talent in Swanage and I often sing during the week too.
7. Bad Girls is being re run on CBS Action Channel. Is this still the character that defines your career for most?
It was definitely my big break starring as Snowball Merriman in two series of Bad Girls on ITV. It was ground breaking stuff at the time, one of the first prime time dramas where all the protagonists were women so a great opportunity for an actress starting out plus the story lines were incredible and we had a great budget. I had car chases, stunt doubles, got set on fire, killed people, blew the prison up and ended up hanging myself… all very dramatic. It is as you say currently repeating on CBS Action so all the Bad Girls’ fan clubs have kicked back into action which is lovely. I saw several of the cast recently at a sort of mini reunion and it was great to catch up after all this time.
8. Kill Kane, released in January 2016, in which you co-star with Vinny Jones is a violent thriller with an 18 cert. How would you describe your role?
I play a normal housewife who gets sucked into the criminal underworld by mishap. We chance upon a crime scene after getting lost in the car late at night… and tragedy ensues. It is a terrific vigilante thriller and of it’s genre I think stands up… especially as it was filmed in only 9 days on a really tight budget.
9. Vinny as footballer or actor?
I have no interest in football so I’d have to say actor! He is good in this movie. It has a bit more depth than his usual roles.
10. You are judging Swanage Carnival’s Got Talent again this year. Is it fun for the entrants or do they see it as more than that?
I think these days with the advent of reality competition shows everyone wants to get involved… some of them are competitive but I don’t see anything wrong with healthy competition. People have to realise it is not that easy to succeed in this profession and you do get knock backs but having said that our talent competition is light hearted and meant to be fun and we try to only give constructive criticism. Certainly when I was young I would have entered this type of thing as it is all experience plus an opportunity to sing in our lovely amphitheatre looking out over the sea.
11. What advice do you give anyone who asks about going in to an acting career?
Keep going and don’t get disheartened as it is not for the faint hearted. Learn as much as you can from people you respect and admire. I am always learning by watching other performances. Also research every role as thoroughly as you can and become an expert on that person or subject matter for an audition or a role as it is part of the job to know who you are portraying and what they are about.
12. Do you keep in touch with many of the actors you have performed alongside? Is it an industry in which making friends is easy?
I am very fortunate to have made hundreds of friends over the years. It is true this profession is very transient but when you meet someone you bond with, you gel very quickly as often you have to work so closely with people as an actor. I have friends from most jobs I have done and even those I don’t see on a day to day basis it is always nice to keep in touch with on twitter or facebook and have the odd reunion now and then.
13. You have recently joined new agent AIM. Have they presented anything exciting to you that you can share?
Stephen, my agent at A.I.M came to the Kill Kane premiere with me and there are a number of potential projects in the pipeline, as well as resuming our Isle of Woman tour in the autumn. I will be co-starring alongside Sam Attwater in “Beauty and the Beast” in Redditch for Christmas. I also have two films premiering in London this month including ”The Neighbours” for which I went to Cannes and “The Locke Inn” for @wildstreetprod which is the first in a trilogy I will continue to be featured in and written and directed by my good friend Jeremy Edwards, of Hollyoaks/Holby/Millie Inbetween fame. Things change by the week though, so watch this space!!
To keep updated with Nicole’s news please head to www.nicolefaraday.co.uk
And follow her on twitter @nickyfar
A huge thanks to Nicole and good luck with all of her upcoming performances.