Hello, Horror/Sci-Fi fans! I’m Silvia Garcia, here to conduct an interview with Olwen Davies also known as Cheryl Mason – the heroine of Silent Hill Requiem, directed by Gareth Morgan.
I have also added in an old interview Olwen did for the Zenith Update, way back in 2014.
So, here’s my new interview with actress Olwen Davies:
1) What inspired you to be an actress?
I have always been curious about people, how they think and why they do the things that they do. I am very lucky to have parents that promote and value creativity, this continues to help me in making decisions in my career and life in general. The house I was brought up in has certain values, luckily for me, they have little to do with money. I had very few limits put on my dreams from a young age this allowed me to aspire to more unconventional careers. I had wanted to be a film director for a long time growing up, I started to do drama as a way to improve my directing skills but as I performed more and more I started to change my focus towards acting. I wasn’t inspired by one particular film or show, my inspiration came from wanting to tell stories. Whenever I watched a film I was able to go to a different place, they allowed me to escape everyday life. I wanted to provide this to other people, to give them entertainment or make them think about something. It was really a want to connect with others that inspired me to become an actor.
2) How is Cheryl Mason like you? Different?
I think that Cheryl is quite different from me – although she is very inspirational for a number of reasons. She has clearly suffered great trauma which impacts her responses throughout the film and she has a great deal of anger associated with that. Cheryl is able to express anger in a way I struggle with – so it was a lot of fun to explore that type of character, to play someone that can express herself without fear or inhibition. I am like Cheryl in the ‘get things done’ mentality when a task is at hand I try to commit and complete it, even if it takes a while. Cheryl is very strong and I think I have strength in different areas.
3) What do you love about this character?
I love how she kicks ass, and her can-do attitude (different to James). She keeps going which I really admire.
4) What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
One of the biggest challenges was playing two different parts, making them close to but different enough for the audience to understand what was happening. It was also a very short shoot with a lot of physicalities, so it was hard work to get it all done, but very satisfying that we did.
5) How did you prepare for the role?
Watched a lot of silent hill videos and I played the game a fair bit. Gareth had created his own version of Silent Hill, however, so a lot of it was in understanding the world he wanted to show – that came through conversations and reading the script.
6) Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?
‘You’re nothing more than a fangirl with delusions of grandeur’ I kind of love all the stuff with evil Cheryl!
7) What role would you like to play?
I went to see ‘LadyKiller’ recently written by Madeline Gould and Loved it, remember watching it and thinking, I would love to play that part if it ever came up – but that was also down to an amazing performance by Hannah McClean (who is so charming, funny and terrifying). She is perfect in that role. https://www.thethelmas.co.uk/ladykiller
8) Do you have a preference for theatre or film?
I love both theatre and film – although I think the film is more accessible to an audience. As a performer, I tend to like theatre better because it is a more dynamic process, you get to go on a journey in real-time with your character (it allows you to get in and stay in a certain headspace) and there is more adrenaline involved. The magical thing about the film is that it locks a performance in place, which is really a night to re-visit in a way you can’t do with theatre (even if you film it). As a viewer I think I like film best, I think it can get into the head of the audience more, that it is more intimate despite being through a screen- they also have a bigger reach and are cheaper for people to see. I don’t think I have a preference, I like them for different reasons.
9) What would you do if you couldn’t act?
I do lots of things as well as act, although I do love acting. I have always loved creating things and telling stories so I think I would just do that in a different way. Make my own films or write books. I think I am like Gareth in that way – I just want to be creative and there are a few ways I choose to do that. I am nowhere near as dedicated or focused as Gareth though!
I teach part-time at a few different Universities (performance) – mainly because I like helping people and again it is creative. It is nice to help someone make their stuff as well as my own.
Other than that I always quite fancied carpentry.
10) Who do you look up to as an actress?
I really love Naomi Watts, I think she is brilliant in anything she does. Very intelligent and layered portrayals of characters.
Viola Davis is amazing, she is so talented and again gives really layered and intelligent performances.
11) What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?
I do lots of things – most of them are in theatre and performance even if it isn’t performing. I teach at a few universities on their performance degrees, I work with other artists and performers on their shows. Sometimes I organise or manage events. I keep myself very busy!
NOW THAT’S A WRAP!
1) Tell us your latest project.
The next thing I am working on is as a performer/actor in a show called ‘The Seventh Man’ it is a co-created project by Pinchbeck & Smith. It is a 4-week rehearsal and development project so we will see what comes of it! http://michaelpinchbeck.co.uk/a-seventh-man/
2) Do you have any suggestions to help a person become a better actor? If so, what are they?
Practice responding and reacting not predicting what another performer is going to do.
Work out what types of roles you want to play/ are good at/ look like. It’s really hard if you approach acting with an “I don’t mind what I do” attitude, people think it will get them more work but they just end up doing things that don’t suit them or not getting parts. When you focus and find a niche you will do much better (starting out anyway).
3) Is there anything additional you would like to share with your fans?
Thank you all for your support. It is really lovely to know people enjoy the film so much and are invested in the world Gareth has created. It is always nice to hear that people have liked something you have been involved with or enjoy your performance – so thank you for watching, thank you for getting involved and thank you for making the project happen. Without the fans, Silent Hill Requiem would never have been made and we are all so proud of it- we literally couldn’t have done it without you. I am sending love to you all, and again – thank you.
Now they need your help once again for their next project, Silent Hill Lazarus. Learn more about this 12 part web series in the interview and then consider donating here to offer your support:
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Comment your thoughts below and as always, thank you for reading!