EXCLUSIVE: Actress, Dancer, Singer and Martial Artist: A Conversation with Laura Ellen Wilson
Laura Ellen Wilson is an Actress and Martial Artist known for her roles in the horror genre. Since 2011, Laura travelled the world as a Dancer/Singer on both cruise ships and on land and has, just this year, returned back to England to take on acting full time. Known for roles in the extremes – strong and determined to emotionally vulnerable – Laura enjoys a wide variety of challenges and looks forward to many more.
In our interview, Laura tells us The Fan Carpet about her defining moment to get into the industry, her time on Cruise Ships and what she has coming up including the in development feature Toll House Horrors…
If we go back to the beginning, was there a defining moment for you to get into the Film Industry?
Actually yes! There was a ‘kind of’ moment and an ‘absolutely’ moment. The ‘kind of’ moment was when I was 11, I started to watch BBC1’s Casualty and I just loved it. The ‘absolutely’ moment was when I was 13, the martial arts club which I trained at made a promotional film for the club. I played the lead and knew that was exactly what I wanted to do. Basically, I started acting because I wanted to be on Casualty and the promotional film reaffirmed that dream!
Toll House Horrors is currently in development, what can you tell us about the film, and where you fit into the story?
It is and I am very excited for this! I received the script through a few weeks ago and it is an incredible read. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal much, only that it is a spiritual horror and I play the supporting role of Dr. Sandra Artemis – and it’s gonna be amazing!
You’re a Martial Artist as well, which style do you practice? Do you revel in the chance to bring this skill into your roles?
I practice Kung Fu – a mixture of Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun and Lau Gar. I’ve also had the incredible experience of training with Dan Inosanto, the first student of Bruce Lee. I have shot 2 short films which incorporate my martial arts skills and I would absolutely love to do more!
You spent some time on cruise ships, can you tell us about your experiences?
I always knew that I wanted to perform. When I was a child, my family and I used to go on holiday with Haven Holidays. I remember the very first time I saw the dancers in the shows there and I told my mum, that was what I wanted to do. Cruise Ships are the ultimate challenge! Try doing a triple pirouette when there is a rough sea! I will always treasure my memories on board – from my fellow performers to the guests and also the wonderful destinations. It is an exciting and thrilling way to travel, live and pursue a lifelong dream.
What is your preferred genre, and do you have any favourite films?
My favourite genre of all time is horror. Any kind of horror whether its suspense, gory or purely psychological. I am also a massive fan of Musicals and Disney – hence one of the ships I worked on was Disney Cruise Lines! I love films with a twist, something that really catches you off guard and it doesn’t have to be scary either. I have a lot of favourite films but the one film I can watch, whatever my mood – Matilda.
Are there any other aspects of the Film Industry that you would like to pursue?
A couple of years ago, I worked on a couple of projects as 1st AD and Extras Casting. I love the organisational aspect and the challenge of being a part of making that side of production run smoothly. If I wasn’t acting, this would definitely be something I’d pursue.
You have an eclectic range of credits, are there any genres that you haven’t done yet that you’d like to?
Fantasy and Sci-Fi! They are both genres that are on my bucket list for this year!
You’ve worked with a great crop of talent, including friends of The Fan Carpet, Jessica Ann Bonner-Brownlie and Lydia Kay, do you have a wish list of who you’d like to work with?
Yes, back in 2015 I worked with them on a feature film that shot in Bulgaria! I have way too many to list, but it is a mixture of British soap actors, actors from my favourite TV shows and movies right through to ‘A’ list actors ….. one can dream!
Who inspires you within the industry?
I am inspired by many people. It may surprise you to know that they are not famous actors either. It doesn’t even have to be within the industry, but I am inspired by people who have a dream and have never given up, regardless of what obstacles were put in their way. People who have fought against the odds and won. Within the industry, I am inspired by those who help and support one another without expecting anything in return.
Other than Toll House Horrors, what else are you working on?
I shot the lead in a really exciting short film currently in post production, called Infernum. It will be used as the trailer to a feature film shooting later on this year. I am currently shooting 2 feature films – Coven of Evil and Codename Vasquez, both of which, are completely different in terms of my character. I also have a couple of other projects that I am involved with, currently in the development stage.
Fandoms are a big part of the industry, who or what are you a fan of?
Oh gosh, there are so many! There are several TV Shows I am totally addicted to right now including The Walking Dead, Once Upon A Time and American Horror Story.
Is there a book that you are a fan of that hasn’t been adapted to film yet that you’d love to be a part of?
The majority of books I have read which I have imagined myself as a character in (The Golden Compass – Lyra and My Sister’s Keeper) have already been adapted, so I have been a little slow on that one! I am, however, a big fan of non fictional books such as the hugely acclaimed – A Child Called ‘It’. Although adaptations of books such as this are not common, it would be an honour to be a part of a production which highlights an issue I feel so strongly about.
And what advice do you have for someone embarking on a career in the Film Industry?
My advice is for everyone, and is something that a lot of people already know, but sometimes need to be reminded of (one of the first lessons my mother taught me) ‘treat others the way you would like to be treated’.
Don’t treat an audition as the next possible paycheck – treat it as a chance to perform AND although it may not be apparent at the time, everything happens for a reason.
Photos courtesy of FixThePhoto
We’ll be watching Laura’s career closely, and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter: @Lauraa_E_Wilson