Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts graduate, Charlie Blackwood, takes her first lead role in the film “Matriarch”, a thrilling horror which gets its worldwide premiere at Glasgow’s Popcorn Horror Fest after being snapped-up by a major Hollywood studio.
With its Scottish premiere seizing a spooky Halloween timing for its debut, the independent film “Matriarch” is already receiving a scary amount of attention from the regional media and movie fans alike.
Written and directed by former “River City“ star, Scott Vickers, the film has already received a major Hollywood deal, with the Cineworld release taking place in Glasgow on the 2nd November. Charlie, who is the lead actress in the movie, plays ‘Rachel Hopkins’, a traumatised pregnant wife.
In this exclusive and revealing interview, she shared with us her experience making the film as well as past and future projects which have made her such an iconic and exciting young actress.
Which film projects are you most proud of?
I am most proud of this new film, “Matriarch”. It was my first lead role in a feature film and I loved every minute of it. It’s pretty remarkable what we achieved on such a short shoot-time, just over 2 weeks! Working with Scott Vickers (director/writer) has been the highlight of my career and it was great to act alongside him too.
“Filming “Matriarch” was an incredible experience, and one I’ll never forget.”
How does it feel to have a lead role in a film like “Matriarch”?
Fantastic. It was wonderful to be given the opportunity to play a lead role like that so early in my career. When I read the script I instantly knew I wanted to be part of it. It was great filming alongside Julie Hannan, who plays the other lead role ‘Agnes Fairbairn’ as she’s an incredible actress.
Can you describe your character in the film?
I play ‘Rachel Hopkins’, a lawyer who is eight months pregnant at the start of the film. Rachel and her husband Matt, having had a car crash in the Scottish countryside, seek help from local farmers. Things soon start to take a sinister turn as Rachel goes into labour. When faced with adversity, Rachel has to become a fighter. She goes through one hell of a journey and constantly proves to be brave and determined. There’s a lot of despair felt by Rachel, but her courage drives her forward.
Did you face any challenges while filming?
There are always challenges when making a film, but it’s how you deal with them that matters.
“We were a very tight team, which I think is especially important for independent filmmaking, in terms of budget and time etc. On my only day off from filming, I grabbed some wellies and a shovel and helped dig up a mound of grass and moss for a fight scene that day. I wasn’t asked to help out, but I wanted to. I’d been with the cast and crew all day every day, so it felt strange to not ‘muck in’ where I could. “
Most days I was covered in a lot of fake blood and other makeup. It was a challenge just to get it off and required a good soak in the bath, plus a shower every night just to feel like ‘Charlie’ again. It was also a very emotional role to play, but that’s the sort of challenge I love!
What are the next projects on the horizon?
I’ve just finished filming “Clay’s Redemption”, playing ‘The Boss’. It’s a sci-fi thriller along the lines of “Blade Runner” and scheduled for release in 2019. I also start filming “High Water” early next year, playing ‘Rhian Morris’ a ballsy newspaper editor. “High Water” is a neo-noir thriller set in Brighton in the 90’s.
Photo credit: Scott Walker