Being Nurse Kathy in London Town: A Conversation with BAFTA Nominee Kierston Wareing for the release of 100 Streets
BAFTA nominated actress Kierston Wareing goes back to her roots in the gritty feature 100 Streets alongside Idris Elba, Gemma Arterton, Charlie Creed-Miles, Franz Drameh, Tom Cullen and Ken Stott. Jim O’Hanlon directs the multi-stranded drama, which tells 4 stories of a group of people who live within one square mile of each other in London.
A layered and gripping drama, it takes a fresh look at the vibrant and compelling life of a group of individuals in contemporary London – destination capital of the world. 100 Streets intersect the film’s setting. Chelsea is just down the road from high-rise estates, riverside opulence contrasts with the day-to-day grind. It’s in these streets that the characters face defining moments, major choices and fundamental change in their separate lives, as they negotiate their paths through life, paths that often interweave through our hundred streets.
Wareing known for her work in Top Boy, Luther and Fish Tank, previously worked with Idris in season two of Luther and was named one of the Stars of Tomorrow by Screen International, alongside Gemma Arterton. In 2007 this talented actress was nominated for a BAFTA alongside Dame Judi Dench and Dame Eileen Atkins for her work in Ken Loach’s It’s a Free World. In Fish Tank, directed by Oscar nominated director Andrea Arnold, Kierston starred alongside Michael Fassbender and in other productions with the award winning actors Tom Hardy and Chiwetel Ejiofor. In 100 Streets, Wareing plays Kathy, in a never seen before role, as an East London nurse.
The filmmakers describe the project as a gritty, contemporary and poignant multi-layered drama, with the underlying message being one of hope, and that by working as a community, things can only get better. 100 Streets is written by Leon F. Butler and produced by Idris Elba.
The Fan Carpet’s Camila Sayers had the honour of speaking to BAFTA nominated actress Kierston Wareing ahead of the release of 100 Streets which arrives on DVD on Monday January 23, she talks about working with Charlie Creed-Miles, filming on location in London and the atmosphere when on the set...
Fantastic new project you’re involved with; 100 Streets, could you tell us a bit about this film and why it was important for you to be involved in this project?
Mainly it was because everyone that was involved, you know the cast was fantastic and the script was there, the director was there, the cast was fantastic, so that’s always the first thing that I look at, and this character was, and then the character, I looked at the character. Sometimes I look at the character first, depending on the cast, but when the cast is so good and the script is so good and then I look at the character second, you know what I mean, in this case I looked at it secondary.
And then Kathy is somebody who's normal, so it's me playing normality, you know somebody that’s a normal character as opposed to somebody who has a lot of issues, you know, they all have their problems, but then doesn’t everyone have problems in life at some point or another, but my other characters that I’ve played have real serious issues going on and walking away from their issues and not doing anything about it that sort of thing.
So it’s nice to play somebody quite normal as well, it’s quite nice for the audience to see all sides of London and different communities, you know different to the ghetto side and just to see that we all do have problems and you can just, we do cross paths and you can see that, we’re aware of it all, well we’re not aware of it, but it’s really in your face when you see it, when watching the film.
Going on from what you said, your role as Nurse Kathy and what she goes through and everything like that, obviously not giving any spoilers away, but I feel like it will hit home to a lot of the audience. Did you feel a bit of responsibility playing her, and obviously in this climate that there is at the moment, you know playing a nurse in a loving and very patient wife, did you feel a responsibly playing that role?
I’ve never actually felt responsibility yet as an actress playing roles, I know people say that you should, but to me you know you could play somebody, you know a killer or somebody like that, and I know you’ve got to be sensitive to victims and stuff like that, I do get things like that. Like when I did Five Daughters that was the only time that a question like that crossed my mind, when I did Five Daughters obviously everyone was aware that we had to be, that was about the Ipswich murders, that was a TV drama, and then everyone was all “you have to sensitive”. But on the other hand, this is something that’s got to be done and no I didn’t think like that with Kathy, you know I didn’t like that with Kathy, the only thing I literally took on board was to, you know, to support this man, my husband, Charlie Creed-Miles, and to, I do love this man and I do love Charlie, not calling him Charlie but you know (laughs).
To support him, so that’s the only thing I took on board really before every scene, the director wanted that to come across that it was a proper marriage, but mainly that you know there was support there and that’s what the director wanted to come across.
So literally, I didn’t do any research in nursing stuff or any of that, I didn't need to, I’m just showing it, wearing the nurses outfit, I’m not speaking in medical terms, so I didn’t feel there was any need for that, but literally in the back of my mind every single scene, didn't matter if it wasn't a lovey scene or a supportive scene, we could be just walking along the road, down the road whatever, it doesn’t matter, in every scene I had that in the back of my mind, support this man you know, I love this man, he’s my husband, I support this man and I’ll go through whatever we’ll go through, we’ll go through it together.
And that’s all I had really, because in each scene that’s what the director wanted to come across, even though he didn’t keep reminding me every scene, he said it a good few times so it embedded in my brain really and that’s it you know, because the other characters I’ve played where all sort of love/hate relationships you know, I love this man but I’m going to kill him quite literally, in some of my things I actually do (laughs) start planning things out so yeah that’s really all I did for her, I wanted it to come across that she supports the man you know, because that’s what I was kind of told to do, that’s how the director wanted it and that’s how it was going to turn out.
Yeah that really comes through; she is, like you said, just a normal working woman but at the same time, a loving, patient wife and that really comes through the chemistry, I can see that in your choice definitely.
Thanks, it was a nice change for me.
100 STREETS IS AVAILABLE NOW ON DVD