Interview with multi-talented stage and screen actress and model Georgia Waters
Today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with Georgia Waters. Georgia is a multi-talented stage and screen actress and model. In our interview, we discuss her most recent feature project TOYS OF TERROR, her recurring role as Eliza on the mystery-thriller TV Series, SIREN and much more.
1. Can you describe some of your performances at The Oxford Playhouse.
Absolutely! Two of the most standout productions for me were Mephisto and Clytemnestra. Mephisto was centered around a political theatre collective in Hamburg, dealing with the Nazi uprising in the lead-up to the second world war. My character Alex was an actor in this troop. With the threat of Nazi retaliation, continuing their political leanings and satirical performances also meant risking their lives. Those that decided to stand fast, including Alex, faced very serious repercussions. Whereas Hendrik Hofgen, a member of their troop, switched over to Nazi inclination to further his career.
When I look back on it now, I realize what a privilege it was to be part of this production and to help tell this story. It’s an honour to perform at the playhouse in itself, as it’s such a beautiful space, but the talent that was involved with this ensemble really made the experience unforgettable. The production was directed by Milja Fengar; she had an ambitious specific vision, as she wanted us to do justice to the story and the history. She really pushed us in our emotional and physical work, and I’m glad she did because I feel proud of what we achieved.
2. How about the production Clytemnestra?
Every three years the Classics department at The University of Oxford puts on an ancient Greek play, also performed in ancient Greek. I auditioned, without thinking too much about the language requirements, got myself a role and suddenly found myself having to learn ancient Greek. It was certainly a challenge!
The role required a lot of physicalities, in order to help the audiences feel what was happening without necessarily knowing the language. There were subtitles too, but we wanted the audience to get a sense of the story just by seeing it.
3. How did your background in Martial Arts and swimming help with your role in SIREN?
My character Eliza is a healer mermaid in SIREN, so naturally, there were some underwater scenes. I don’t think I could have done this at all without my background in swimming. You had to be very comfortable in the water, but also a strong swimmer. Swimming as a mermaid is a challenge, you have a monofin, a skin-tight skirt to your ankles, to replicate the tail, so your feet and legs are strapped together. The movement is similar to the butterfly stroke, but your arms are by your side, and one might be holding a spear too. Not to mention, when we actually film the scenes we can’t see anything. So comfort underwater was definitely key. Staying calm is key to being able to hold your breath for a long time and perform underwater. Something that is not always easy on a busy set!
I was also involved in some fight scenes underwater, so my background in learning self-defence patterns certainly came into force when memorizing and performing these stunt sequences. We had an amazing stunt coordinator and underwater coordinator, who absolutely always made sure we felt safe.
There were also a few running scenes, where a good foundation of fitness was definitely necessary!
4. Any fun behind-the-scenes memories from your leading role in TOYS OF TERROR?
Oh gosh so many! Firstly, we were filming in Winnipeg, and I’ve never been before, so that was a cool experience. Kyana, Dayo, and Nick the director were also from out of town, so in our spare time, we became a little tourist group together, ensuring we got to see all the sights, including the Nordic spa, the snow maze, and the Museum of Human Rights, and of course a few meals at delicious places. Again, it’s fortunate we all got on so well, it meant downtime was enjoyable, and not a lonely isolated hotel experience.
Kyana who plays Hannah and I liked to emphasize the rivalry between our characters behind the scenes. This did mean that any moments of tension between our characters became potential for comedy behind the scenes. There were a couple of scenes that took more than a few takes because we (including the director) couldn’t stop giggling. But those moments are very important for keeping up morale on long freezing days on set.
5. You have a keen interest in writing your own projects. Do you have a particular genre that you are interested in? Please describe.
My own writing projects are mainly focused on historical dramas featuring strong women. Part of what I want to do is showcase women who have been bypassed by popular history. Often it is the men who are showcased and lifted up as heroes; important stories about inspirational women are dusted over. My stories follow women fulfilling their potential, despite living in times that entirely limit the roles available to women. It is not a coincidence that these themes resonate from the 10th century through to the present time.
I’m currently working on another feature that is not historical, and is quite different in tone and themes but still centers around a female protagonist. I’m still fleshing it out, but I’m exploring how it is easy to be moral and conscientious until you’re required to make a real sacrifice.
6. Do you have a dream role? Explain.
Basically the scripts I’m writing now! If you’re not seeing the roles you want, you have to create them! My true love is period dramas, which is probably why I have focused mainly on writing historical dramas. So, in an ideal world, I would be in many many period dramas.
I would also love to be in more projects that further make use of my martial arts training. I took up archery, Tae Kwon Do, and fencing as a child because I read a lot of fantasy fiction, and I was desperate to become a female warrior of some kind. That inner child hasn’t quite left, so it would be incredible to land a role like that at some point!