Is there a connection or similarities between you and your character Enola?
Enola and I share many similarities. Enola is very brave. She’s also very honest, her humor is the exact same as mine. We have a heart, we care a lot. And she values her family. And that’s the same as me. So we share many similarities.
Enola is basically a feminist; she may not have thought of it in those terms, but her mother probably was one. I wonder how your thinking on women’s rights and empowerment has evolved, if it has over the years? Was there a turning point or light bulb moment in, in terms of that? For how you see feminism or women’s rights.
Before this, you know, before getting into the acting and film industry, I was never like, first of all, just educated enough to know much about women’s rights. Because you don’t really get taught that in school, which is kind of crazy. But what I will say is when getting into the film industry and working on Stranger Things, I started becoming more exposed to other projects and I was going on more sets. And I was meeting new people. And I definitely found myself in situations where I felt like I wasn’t getting an equal opportunity as other people. And so I started to experience it myself.
I started to realize that it was also because of my gender, because of my age, because of my experience. And I hated that that’s what was holding me back, because I wanted to do what everyone else was doing that I couldn’t get to because I wasn’t old enough, or I didn’t have enough experience, or I was just simply a girl. So this film specifically, filming this film, gave me the empowerment to be able to talk about sexism and especially in this industry. And definitely influencing education for young girls so that they can stay educated on their rights.
Enola celebrated her coming of age in the film and you also turned 16 this year. So how did you draw from your own personal experience trying to portray a young character finding her place and inadvertently creating change in society?
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That’s a really good question. You know, this is a coming of age story about a young girl finding her purpose in life. And as you all know, to be a young girl in an industry, in your industry with journalism, and you know, it can be difficult to find your place. And because obviously I’m 16 I can’t. And I’m also very busy, it’s very hard to take that time to show myself self love and self care. So when filming this, I definitely learned that it’s okay to do that and find your purpose. So it was actually my coming of age story as well as Enola’s. So we were both really going on a journey together.
Can you take us into set, on what was the most enjoyable part of filming this movie for you?
The most enjoyable part of filming this was finding myself. I definitely when filming this, I found myself. I took the time during quarantine to take care of myself and show myself self love. And so I learned lots from from making this film. But my favorite part of filming it was probably working with the actors I got to work with, and working with Harry Bradbeer.
Working with Harry was one of the most special moments of my whole career, I think. He really gave me such a free rein on exploring myself as an actor. And I genuinely think it changed me. And so having that opportunity, I’ll be forever grateful to him and working with you know, every single actor I worked with on this film was also a big favorite of mine.