Having many screen roles including working alongside Catherine Tate and Warwick Davis, Amy Bowden has also had stage exposure which has seen her perform at London’s Southwark Playhouse. Earlier this year, Amy appeared in an episode of the BBC series Doctors, where she played Jade Robertson, who is suffering from a condition and a loss. Sitting down to answer our questions, Amy tells us about filming for Jekyll & Hyde, working alongside Catherine Tate and winning an award.
Where did your acting career start?
I have always loved performing ever since I can remember, I used to put shows on for my family at home and force my poor little sister to be in it with me. So, for my sister’s sake, my Mum and Dad got me into amateur dramatics and I jumped at the chance to perform (and I think my sister was quite relieved). I did this for a few years (am-dram and semi professional) and knew as a kid that it was all I wanted to do. My first professional credit was in a play called ‘The Spanish Tragedy’.
Can you tell us about your character Carly Davis in Vengeance?
Carly is a vulnerable young girl from a loving family who is drugged and kidnapped. She is then rescued by the lead character played by Stu Bennett.
What was it like winning an award at the Liverpool International Film Festival?
It was amazing and very unexpected! So unexpected I didn’t prepare a speech and ended up giving an excitable mess much to the room’s amusement. It was a brilliant night and was so lovely to be recognised after all my hard work.
How long did it take you to film the role of Adelie in Jekyll & Hyde?
I was contracted for a few months but wasn’t in every day. I tended to do a few days at a time and then come back for the next episode. It was my first ever TV job and was an incredible experience with all the costume, set, cast and crew. Being a working class cockney girl you don’t often get such glamorous costumes so I made the most of it! I loved playing Adelie, she was really cheeky, fun and ballsy.
What can you tell us about the short drama Let’s Roll?
Let’s Roll is a coming of age comedy set in Brockworth featured around the famous Gloucester Cheese Roll Event. For part of the shoot, we actually went along to the Cheese Roll and it was brutal! However, such an amazing vibe that I now want to go every year… although I don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough to try it myself.
I adore this project, the script is both hilarious and moving (written by Allan MacLeod) and I had such a blast on set. I was very lucky to work with a brilliant director (Chris Thomas), cast and crew!
How would you describe your character Antonia Fox?
Antonia is a teenage girl with a lot to prove. She’s been overshadowed by her brother Daryll’s triumphs her entire life and wants to find her place in the world. She’s brave, witty and very spirited. She can be short-tempered and a bit reckless at times but her heart is in the right place. When she sees that the Cheese Roll is coming up, she is determined to enter it but as part of the mens race. She has a rocky relationship with her mum and is desperate to show her what she can achieve. You’d be forgiven to mistake her blind courage as sheer stupidity. Still, her determination to defy odds is very refreshing and demands respect.
Who is Clemy in The Nest?
Clemy is a young teenager who is always getting into trouble. She appears tough and volatile but really she is extremely vulnerable. She doesn’t often show her true feelings and is quick to anger. She has a troubled relationship with her Mum (played by the wonderful Vicky McClure) and longs for a better relationship with her Dad. Due to difficult circumstances she has had to grow up very quickly.
The Nest was a wonderful project to work on, we had such a talented cast and crew. It was written and directed by Jamie Jones.
What was your part in Doctors?
I played Jade in the episode ‘Under My Skin’. She is a young girl with a passion for boxing. She has recently lost her Mum after a long struggle and is in the care of her Grandad Maurice (played by the brilliant Alan Ford) who is extremely supportive of her boxing. She is suffering from a condition called Cholinergic Urticaria which is like chronic heat rash which can be brought on by heat, sweat, anxiety, sadness and grief. It is very painful and embarrassing for her which is why she’s covering it up, which is making it worse! It causes her to become very isolated which is affecting her boxing, her relationship with her Grandad and new love interest. She is a strong girl, and after some encouragement, she decides it’s not going to get in the way of her following her dreams and achieving her goals.
I love physical roles so learning how to box was really fun. Luckily, I played a boxer before in a feature film called ‘GangLand Revenge’ which is currently being sold in-store and online (HMV, Asda, Morrisons, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play).
What was it like working alongside Catherine Tate in her TV series?
It was an amazing experience. I was a huge Catherine Tate fan before working with her, I actually used to do impressions of her with my Grandad, so working with her was a dream come true. She is very inspiring and so clever, her comic timing is perfect and she works really hard. I loved watching her in rehearsals. Catherine was very supportive to me as I was the youngest cast member and the only one who hadn’t worked with a live studio audience, which was exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time! I would really love to experience that again!
I was lucky enough to work with many brilliant actors on this episode including Warwick Davis.
How was it playing a young mum in Howls and where did you film?
I normally get cast as teenage roles so playing a Mum was very different for me, but I really enjoyed the challenge! It helped having such a beautiful script and amazing director (Catriona McInnes), cast and crew.
They say never work with animals and kids but this project was a dream. I had the most amazing little actor playing my son (Noah Graham) and we got to work with a wolf-dog hybrid which was an incredible experience! I adore animals, especially dogs!
What was your episode that you filmed for The Royals and how was your character involved?
I played Joanne in the episode ‘And Then It Started Like A Guilty Thing’ which was a huge episode in the series. Joanne is a cheeky, south London skater girl who set up a camera to film her and her crew’s skater tricks. The camera is set up where the King was murdered and when the police has come sniffing around she hasn’t told them about it as she set up the camera illegally. However, she confesses to Jasper (The Royal Family’s security guard) who retrieves the footage and the real killer is revealed. So it was a great episode to be involved in!
When starting out in acting, did you think you would be more stage or screen?
I started out doing theatre, trained in musical theatre and have a very loud voice so thought I’d end up doing stage. However, after I was cast in my first TV role I fell in love with screen work. I just have so much respect for the crew and love the whole process, I really enjoy it and have since done much more screen work than theatre. I love both but think if I had to choose, my passion lies more with screen work. Although, if you have an incredible play you get a real buzz from that too.
Do you have any stage roles coming up this year?
I don’t currently, but you never know what the future will bring.
How do you find performing on stage at Southwark Playhouse?
I love Southwark Playhouse, it’s such an intimate space and is such a joy to perform there.
Are you currently working on any screen roles?
I’m still currently working on the film ‘Let’s Roll’ then hopefully will have another exciting screen project soon! Being an actor you never know what’s in store, so fingers crossed!
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