Less than three years after the success of “Jojo Rabbit”, Thomasin McKenzie is one of the headliners of “Last Night in Soho”, the new film by Edgar Wright. The opportunity to come back with her on the film and some key moments in her young career.
We saw her in the third and final installment of The Hobbit. Noticed in Leave No Trace. And Jojo Rabbit confirmed the hopes placed in her. Today, Thomasin McKenzie does not intend to stop there since she is, with Anya Taylor-Joy, one of the two headliners of Last Night in Soho, the seventh feature film directed by Edgar Wright.
It is therefore high time to get to know the New Zealand actress, promised a bright future and awaited, the time of a small role, in The Power of the Dog by her compatriot Jane Campion. It will be December 1st on Netflix, which gives you time to discover it thanks to our interview-portrait.
Chance is not lacking in humor: the last time we had met Thomasin McKenzie, during the promotion of Jojo Rabbit, it was in London, in the district of Soho. And we find her again this year to discuss a feature film called … Last Night in Soho.
A horror film that sails between the 60s and the present to make pass the temptation to take refuge in the nostalgia of the dream in the nightmare, and to evoke the place of the women in the company and the way men look at them. Postponed by a year, Edgar Wright’s first feature film worn by female characters is finally on our screens. And his actress tells us about it from … Los Angeles.
DashFUN: How would you describe Eloise, your character, and her career in the film?
Thomasin McKenzie : His career is pretty crazy (laughs) Ellie comes from Redruth, a small town in Cornwall, and arrives in London, in the Soho district, to study fashion at the London College of Fashion. She hopes to prove herself and prove that she is competent.
She lost her mother when she was young and struggles with her sanity, so she is quite vulnerable. When we meet her at the start of the film, she seeks to go beyond that, and make her grandmother proud of her. She arrives in London with high hopes, but not everything goes as planned.
I read in an interview that you said you had a hard time dissociating yourself from your character. Why ?
I was 18 when filming for Last Night in Soho started [en mai 2019, ndlr] and I’m in a phase where I’m constantly learning as an actress, and looking for the best way to approach what I’m doing. Like we all do. I now realize that filming Last Night in Soho, and working with Edgar, was a wonderful experience. It was very stimulating to participate in the realization of his vision, and to work with the team and the other actors. A real dream.
And I realized that it’s really important to be able to disassociate yourself from your character. Otherwise you risk having to seize everything the character is struggling against and not have enough room for who you are, what you really like, what brings us joy… You can be overwhelmed. by something that is not our reality.
I work a lot on staying in the moment
Would you say that this film came at the right time, in relation to your career and your experience?
I think so. I was 18, the same age as Ellie, so we were at a very similar point in life – that time when we step into the world and figure out who we are and what we do. It was the perfect time in my career to do this, yes.
But the danger – and that’s kind of the subject of the film when it comes to nostalgia – is looking back and fretting about something past. When I watch the film, I often tell myself that I could have done such and such a thing better. We’re our toughest critics, but I’m so proud of Last Night in Soho. And very happy that we can finally share it with the public.
Is there a decade that you obsess over, like Eloise with the 60s in the movie?
Right now I’m working a lot on staying in the moment. Or at least try. Not to be too focused on the past or the future, because it is a slippery slope. But history really interests me, and it’s something I want to study, maybe later in college, with Classics.
And there is no specific period that fascinates me, but different moments in history interest me and I want to know more about them. But I am lucky, thanks to my work, to have been able to live at different times so many periods …