Some interviews with Ellie talking about Extracurricular Activities during the premiere in Los Angeles last month.
Hollywood First Look Features
Rich Girl Network.tv
Audio Interview – FilmSnob Reviews
I did some screen captures of the interviews and you can check it by clicking on the thumbnails below.
Colin Ford and Ellie Bamber are the stars of the new dark comedy-thriller, Extracurricular Activities. The film follows Reagan Collins, a model high school student with a killer after school job. When the parents of his classmates become too overbearing, self-obsessed, or just plain inconvenient, Reagan arranges their “accidental” deaths. But when seasoned detective Cliff Dawkins starts to put two and two together, it becomes a battle of wits. Pop-Culturalist spoke with actors Colin Ford and Ellie Bamber about this must-see film.
P-C: Tell us about Extracurricular Activities, who you play, and what drew you to this project.
Colin: I play Reagan Collins.
Ellie: I play Mary Alice Walker.
Colin: The film is about Reagan Collins, who is a high school student that starts a business, which is to eliminate bad parents from their children’s lives in order to take an insurance payoff.
I was drawn to this project because it’s so different from anything I’ve ever done. It’s dark but also very funny. I was attracted to playing a character that wasn’t an all-American boy, which is something I’ve done in the past.
Ellie: I wanted to work with Colin, Timothy [Simons], who plays detective Cliff Dawkins, and our director, Jay Lowi. They’re all brilliant. I also love the fact that Mary Alice is an intelligent, forward-thinking woman.
P-C: Extracurricular Activities is a fun, unpredictable ride that keeps you guessing until the very end. When you read the initial script, what shocked you the most?
Colin: Besides the story being a total trip, I was shocked by Reagan’s ability to keep cool. Despite everything that Reagan does to the other kids’ parents per their wishes, he lives a normal life. This didn’t stem as a result of something going on at home, it came from a sensitivity to those feelings around him.
Ellie: I was definitely shocked by the twist! It’s an interesting development in the film.
P-C: Tell us about Reagan and Mary Alice’s relationship in the film and how it changes.
Colin: In the beginning, there’s a lot of mystery around their relationship. It’s a fun journey to go on because there’s an attraction at the start, but they don’t really know each other that well. Throughout this journey, we learn more about them, but individually.
Towards the third act, when the big twist happens, you don’t know whether Mary Alice is going to be on Reagan’s side or on Cliff’s. It’s such a big twist! Once that decision is made, you get to see their relationship come full circle.
Ellie: I love that Mary Alice doesn’t conform to gender roles. She’s not waiting for Reagan to ask her out. She goes for it.
P-C: How did the two of you approach the dynamic between your characters?
Colin: We had a little bit of time to get to know each other before we started filming. However, the dynamic between us…
Ellie: It needed to be mysterious.
Colin: Yeah, it needed to be mysterious.
Ellie: We made the decision early on that we didn’t want to spend too much time with each other because of this. It was important to have that distance early on. Then as it progressed, we spent more and more time together, and the relationship unfolded like it does in the film.
P-C: Reagan is a complicated character with different personas. Throughout the film, you question his moral compass. Colin, how did you prepare to tackle all his dimensions?
Colin: I always had a great relationship with my folks, but I had friends who didn’t necessarily always get along with theirs. That may have been a result of their own behavior, and sometimes, it was due to the behavior of their parents.
I think that we all go through a time in our lives when we’re growing up through this teenage limbo where you think that you’re an adult, but you’re really still a kid. You look and act like a kid. That time is difficult to navigate, especially if you don’t have a parent who’s helpful. At an extreme scale, Reagan eliminates that issue. I think a lot of us grow up wishing we could grow up without our parents, but that probably wouldn’t end well.
I think, at the end of the day, the takeaway is that we don’t necessarily all have to become our parents, act the way they do, or value the same things that they do. That’s not to say that their values aren’t noteworthy, but we can make our own choices.
P-C: Going back to Reagan’s moral compass, what is your take on him? Is he a hero or villain?
Colin: I see Reagan as a pro-villain, like Robin Hood. He’s doing good by people, but it comes at a cost.
P-C: Is there a scene that you’re excited for fans to see?
Colin: It doesn’t necessarily highlight me very much but I’m really excited for everybody to see the pool party scene with Bobby Lee. He’s so funny, man. [laughs]
Ellie: Yes, he’s hilarious! [laughs]
Colin: That scene is hilarious.
Ellie: It really is!
P-C: What do you hope audiences takeaway from seeing this film?
Colin: First, I hope they don’t take it too seriously—it’s a dark comedy. Second, like I said earlier, it’s important for this next generation to start new conversions, continue old ones, and revisit things that may not be working anymore.
Ellie: Yes! And we have to continue to challenge things moving forward. At the end of the day, we live in a quite broken world, and there’s a lot to fix about it, as corny as that sounds.
In February, the fashion world one of its most beloved figures as Karl Lagerfeld passed away at the age of 85. Lagerfeld had served as creative director of Chanel since 1983, and up until his death he was still churning out around 14 collections per year, in addition to pursuing his career as a photographer and maintaining his role as the creative director of Fendi, which he first took on back in 1965. (Not to mention running his own namesake label.) During that time, Lagerfeld amassed a devoted following that included everyone from Rihanna to Cindy Crawford (and her daughter Kaia Gerber, for that matter). Here, six of his muses from over the years pay tribute to the late, great designer.
Few people get to know one legendary designer, let alone two in quick succession—but Ellie Bamber did just that, walking in Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show in Paris shortly after her role in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals put her on everyone’s rising-talents list. Both Ford and Karl Lagerfeld, Bamber observes, treated clothes in an extremely exacting way, using them to tell a story. “I also try to reflect my moods when I get dressed,” she says. “I wear a Chanel item almost every day, whether it’s just a bag or earrings, even with trainers. Karl was very good at updating tradition with a buzz of youth.” And yet, when it came time for her to hit the runway, Bamber found herself shaking with nerves. “Karl came to me and said I should just think of it as playing a role,” she says. “The show was at the Ritz hotel, where I had never been, but it was such a grand space that I thought of it as a set. And then I let the dress transform me like a costume would. All of a sudden I was a Parisian lady waltzing in for lunch.”
Ellie gave an interview to Women’s Wear Daily talking about ‘Les Misérables’, which is coming to American TV this weekend on PBS.
Ellie Bamber has been shuffling back and forth between various points in history. Up until recently she was in Bath and Bristol, filming Sixties-era bioseries ”The Trial of Christine Keeler.” In between filming, she revisited the 19th century and her role as Cosette in a new adaptation of “Les Misérables,” which premiered in Britain at the end of last year and is being released Stateside on April 14.
It wasn’t her first time portraying the iconic character from Victor Hugo’s iconic 1862 novel.
“I actually played Cosette in the school musical,” says the 22-year-old British actress, a frequent face in the front row at Chanel, who shares most of her screen time in the series with costar Dominic West. “She’s really this iconic representation of hope.”
While many viewers are familiar with the musical version of the story, the miniseries presents a more fleshed out adaptation of the book’s various characters and plot lines. “I mean, the book’s massive. There are so many stories and little details that most audiences haven’t seen before because they’ve just seen the musical,” says Bamber.
There’s been a literary through line in Bamber’s career thus far. Her first major on-screen role was in Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals,” an adaptation of Austin Wright’s novel “Tony and Susan,” and she also starred in a 2018 adaptation of Tao Lin’s novel “Taipei.” For the voracious reader, it’s been an opportunity to delve deeper into character study.
“I’m always reading. I’ve loved reading since I was young, and I’ve always loved sinking my teeth into a different world, especially one that you begin to create in your head,” she says. “I had the privilege to do that with ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,’ and with Cosette,” she says. “I feel like the books that I’m reading at any given time will really help me with my work, because it’s just more characters, and you see new people while you’re reading,” she says.
Despite her busy shooting schedule, she recently finished Sally Rooney’s “Normal People,” and is onto Elif Batuman’s “The Idiot”; both are coming-of-age stories. And yes, she read the entirety of Hugo’s tome, all 1,400-ish pages.
“I actually broke the book into sections to make it a bit more manageable, which I’ve never done with a book before. It’s probably not a good thing to do, but I was trying to carry it around while I was traveling,” says Bamber.
The show is similarly broken up, into six hourlong episodes. “Hugo goes so far into Cosette’s backstory — it’s unreal. I mean, the amount of information I had to play with was such a big portion of how I then created Cosette, because I really wanted her to be as faithful to Hugo’s novel as I possibly could, and obviously there’s a script, but we can work with both of them. It’s a real gift to have a book to work alongside with.”
While still very early in her career, Bamber has taken on several challenging roles, and her next projects, which take cues from real events, are no exception. In “The Seven Sorrows of Mary,” her character is tasked with escaping a violent kidnapping situation abroad; for “The Trial of Christine Keeler,” which she wrapped in early April, she portrays Keeler’s friend Mandy Rice-Davies. The upcoming BBC miniseries explores the Profumo scandal and its implications from the women’s point of view: That they were used as scapegoats for the wrongdoings of men in high power.
“The interesting thing about that is that they were living in a time where men were allowed to sleep around, but women, if they did so, were accused of being prostitutes and named all kinds of awful names,” says Bamber, who attributes a shift in public perception — and certainly a different perspective on the situation when considering it in 2019 — to the two women.
“I think now when people see ‘The Trial of Christine Keeler,’ I just think and hope it will mean that people aren’t so quick to judge and put labels on these two young women,” says Bamber. “And try to understand the situation they were in, because they were both so young. Mandy was 18, and to be thrown to the lions at that age is an incredible thing to have to go through.”
And like Cosette, Bamber views Rice-Davies’ path as ultimately representative of hope: She leveraged the media attention for success and fortune.
“So she takes this horrible situation where she’s named a prostitute and a poor girl, and she just kind of drives on,” adds Bamber. “And it’s just amazing to see like a woman who wasn’t defined by that one situation and who just then lives her life afterwards.”
In addition to the interview, Ellie’s new portraits were made for publication. The photos were taken by Olivia Thompson and you can see them by clicking on the photos below;
Ellie gave an interview to the Evening Standard where she talked about ‘The Trial of Christine Keeler’. Read the interview below.
Rising star Ellie Bamber has said she was “drawn” to the complex female roles in her new drama about one of the great scandals in British politics.
The Les Miserables actress, 22, finished shooting The Trial Of Christine Keeler, a six-part BBC One drama about the Profumo Affair, this week.
It also stars James Norton, of McMafia and Grantchester fame, Silent Witness star Emilia Fox and Sophie Cookson, best known for her role in the hit Kingsman movies, who plays Keeler, a 19-year-old model who had a brief affair in 1961 with prime minister Harold Macmillan’s secretary of state for war, John Profumo. It sparked a political crisis for the government in 1963.
Bamber plays model and showgirl Mandy Rice-Davies, the friend who introduces Keeler to Profumo’s wealthy set. The actress said: “I don’t think the story of Christine and Mandy has ever been told from a woman’s point of view. This [drama] is definitely from that side. I think it’s really important because they weren’t prostitutes, they weren’t whores, they were just two very, very young women who were totally manipulated and called names that they definitely weren’t.”
Bamber, who gained recognition for her turn in Tom Ford’s Oscar-nominated film Nocturnal Animals, in which her character is brutally raped and murdered, also recently completed filming a “really harrowing” crime movie, The Seven Sorrows Of Mary
She had to wear a hairpiece for the role in the Keeler drama, meaning she could walk down the street unnoticed. “My hair is a lot shorter and I have my fake fringe on when I’m playing Mandy, so I have to walk around in that sometimes,” she told the Evening Standard shortly before filming ended. “I haven’t really noticed it [fan attention] at all. I’m just really enjoying the work.”
Bamber, whose profile rose on winning an Ian Charleson Award for her 2017 performance as Hilde in Ibsen’s The Lady From The Sea at the Donmar Warehouse, is keen to return to the London stage. She said: “I really, really, really want to get back to the stage soon … I don’t really have one particular role in mind, but I would just like to be stretched and to find a few interesting female characters who go on a real journey throughout the play.”
From this week, Bamber’s portrait will hang alongside stars such as Natalie Dormer, of Game Of Thrones, in J Sheekey, a restaurant in Covent Garden. The exhibit, shot by celebrity photographer Chris Floyd, “recognises the new wave of talent” in the capital. Bamber said she feels “really honoured” to be included.