With an impressive background in musical theatre, touring the UK and now across the world, we were thrilled when Jessica Daley joined the cast of our latest film Coming out for Christmas. Here the actress talks to us about the importance of showing working class women on the screen and her love of Caberet.
HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE ON SET OF COMING OUT FOR CHRISTMAS?
JESSICA: It was such an exciting day spent with the coolest, funniest people. Everybody involved was super passionate which made it just the loveliest process to be a part of!
IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE COMING OUT FOR CHRISTMAS IN THREE WORDS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
JESSICA: Typical - family - drama!!
WHAT WAS IT THAT DREW YOU TO YOUR CHARACTER IN COMING OUT FOR CHRISTMAS?
JESSICA: Interestingly, I was initially drawn to Sarah because we are the same age but are in completely different places in life. She isn’t afraid of hard work, a bit like me, but she has also got married and started a family. I couldn’t be further away from doing this at the moment so it was interesting to explore that side of things via the character. It just goes to show that there’s really no set time-frame in life, we all move at our own pace!
DO YOU THINK THERE ARE A GOOD AMOUNT OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORKING IN FILM/THEATRE/TV IN THE NORTH EAST?
JESSICA: I think the opportunities are forever-growing but I would still love to see more happening in my hometown of Middlesbrough. I think people tend to be drawn to the bigger cities. I’d love if we could keep developing work in and around the Teesside area without feeling like we have to travel to a bigger city to do it!
WHAT OBSTACLES ARE THERE WORKING IN FILM/THEATRE/TV IN THE NORTH EAST?
JESSICA: Funding and lack of facilities are maybe two big obstacles, predominantly for Theatre in the Teesside area I’d maybe say (as that’s more so my field of speciality). I also feel like we need to encourage the growing conversation between artists in the area, as I think sometimes people feel isolated and like they don’t know who to turn to with an idea when, in fact, there are heaps of people feeling exactly the same way as them, on their doorstep!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LGBTQ+ FILM AND WHY?
JESSICA: Cabaret. The complexity of the relationships intertwined with the visceral, dirty setting of Berlin, during arguably the most brutal, political climate of our time - topped off with Liza Minnelli, an incredible Kander & Ebb score and edgy, visionary direction/choreography from the genius that is Bob Fosse…what’s not to favour?! I feel like it was miles ahead of it’s time, it celebrates accepting people for who they truly are and I just love it.
WHAT IDENTITIES DO YOU WANT TO SEE REPRESENTED IN A MORE POSITIVE WAY ON SCREEN?
JESSICA: I would love to hear more from Working Class women. I want to hear and watch more women with accents. I want to see more Working Class women playing leading roles that aren’t ’the maid downstairs’ or ’the comedy best friend’ or ’the chav that didn’t get as many GCSEs as they’d have hoped to’.
IS THERE A FILM/FILMMAKER/ACTOR THAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO ACTING?
JESSICA: I grew up watching a lot of movie musicals and so my inspiration comes from some of the greatest musical performers of our time. Liza Minnelli’s portrayal of Sally Bowles in Cabaret solidified the idea of me wanting to pursue acting as a career. There is always a story behind those big blue eyes that draws you in. I’ve never stopped wanting to achieve the ability to do that since I first watched that movie.
Barbra Streisand’s performance in Funny Girl opened my eyes to not wanting to be pigeon-holed as any ’type’ of actress. One minute she has you in hysterics, the next she’s breaking your heart. That’s a skill that I’ve always wanted to master too!
IF YOU COULD WORK WITH ANY FILMMAKER OR ACTOR (LIVING OR DEAD) WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
JESSICA: Olivia Colman. Her versatility astounds and inspires me every single day, she has every box checked. I’ve also heard she’s a lovely human!
WHAT IS YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED FILM THIS YEAR?
JESSICA: I’m a sucker for a Disney film and grew up on Toy Story, so it’s gotta be Toy Story 4!
WHAT’S THE BEST FILM OR TV SHOW YOU HAVE SEEN RECENTLY AND WHY?
JESSICA: Fleabag x100. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a genius. Relatable, heartbreaking & hilarious - too many brilliant moments to choose from but the ending was just poetry. I also absolutely adore The Marvellous Mrs Maisel - Rachel Brosnahan is just excellent.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
JESSICA: I’m currently waiting to begin a theatre project which will take me out of the country until December - I’m excited at the thought of seeing more of the world!
You can follow Jessica at @jessicacaca7 on Twitter and Instagram. Coming out for Christmas will be released later this year.