📷 : Tom Ziebell
After appearing as the Genie in Aladdin at the Princess Theatre Torquay, Ionica Adriana has this year been nominated in the Best Emerging Actress category at the 2018 IARA Awards for that role. Ionica has appeared in a number of music videos including Under The Sun by Cheryl Cole and Love This Town by Dizzee Rascal, and has recently filmed for the movie Schadenfreud, narrated by Ian McKellen, and is also appearing in the documentary The Acting Class, which is produced by Inside Film. Chatting with Ionica, we talk about being nominated for an IARA Award, filming for music videos and where she will be performing later this year.
When did you first get into acting?
I started to take a keen interest in my last few years at school but not seriously until I got in to drama school at the age of seventeen/eighteen.
📷 : David Harrison
What role started your acting career?
I did a lot of low budget music videos and extras work when I first started out and then I got my first lead role in ‘The Prototypes’ music video then from that other work, connections and a lot of hard work it lead on to other things.
How does it feel being nominated for an IARA Award?
Just surreal. As you go through your career you watch your industry peers get different levels of work and do different things but you don’t really ever expect it to happen to you, especially when work is quiet. It is a real honour and I’m nominated alongside incredible women – that in itself is very humbling.
Will you be attending the ceremony?
How long were you playing the role of the Genie in Aladdin?
It was Panto, so the Panto season, end of November to the start of the new year.
Are there any plans for more roles with New Pantomime Productions?
I hope so! I have worked with them twice now and loved it so fingers crossed.
What’s it like filming music videos and which have you spent most time on?
Long. I think due to budgets people really try and film them, if they can, over a day/few days so that means putting the hours in. It all depends on what the artist wants, i.e if they want different locations or a lot of CGI – that can lengthen the process. I think my longest hours on set were probably “Under the Sun” – Cheryl Cole or Dizzee Rascal’s “Love this Town ft Teddy Sky”. I enjoy doing them, I find them fun to do and they are never the same!
You sang at the closing ceremony at the Newcastle Internation Film Festival, what was it like?
INCREDIBLE! What an amazing experience of which I’ll never forget. The best part is I was in the north! I’m biased after all! But I met incredible industry professionals of who I never in my lifetime thought I’d ever get chance to meet, let alone perform in front of. People such as Jill Halfpenny, Abele Ferrara, Denise Welch, Craig Conway, Richard Armitage, Meredith Ostrom, Neil Marshall, Sean Pertwee, Candida Brady… as you see the list is endless. What an honour it was.
What can you tell us about Schadenfreude?
Schadenfreude is a murder mystery and the cast is just brilliant. It is directed by Simon Pickup. Ian McKellen is narrating and the cast consist of people that have been in the industry for years and years. Ronald Pickup, Virginia Denham, Moya Brady, Aaron Harris, Steve Sweeney to name a few. I learnt a lot from this job and felt I was in the presence of acting royalty!
How long were you filming for?
I have only been on the job for the last year of filming at different times but the film has been filmed over a number of years and due to come out soon.
What character do you play?
I play Scoop’s PA (Scoop is the baddie!).
What is the documentary The Acting Class about?
Working class actors. The struggle and truths of what it is to be working class in this profession. Voicing some very important issues in the industry and trying to make a change.
How were you involved?
I was asked to be part of it by Inside Film (Deirdre O’Neill and Mike Wayne) and Founder of Actor Awareness, Tom Stocks. I sang at the launch party and we filmed backstage at Theatre N16. They filmed people in their natural surroundings and work places. Authenticity was key.
📷 : Louis Foster
What was it like working alongside the cast, which includes Maxine Peake and Christopher Eccleston?
We never actually filmed together as it was filmed over a period of time and each are personal representations so only until I went to the screening did I see it as a whole. What was interesting is that we all echoed each other in some way which really shows how obvious/current the struggles are. I did meet Julie Hesmondhalgh though at a different event recently and that was lovely.
Would you like to do more television or short films?
Absolutely – this year TV has been a real focus for me. Also, I really want to work up north so that in itself has been a transition. All is good and all is busy so I’m excited for the future for sure.
What did you get into first, acting or singing?
Singing. I started at my local dance school just singing at their finale in their Christmas show… But the first year I was too scared so I sang a verse with someone else! Then each year I got the opportunity again which led on to singing at the Christmas lights switch on. Even now when I go back they are always incredibly supportive and always there when the nerves kick in! Thank you Butterflies Dance and Performing Arts!
Can you tell us what projects you are currently working on?
Hmm… ish! The never-ending treadmill of auditions for Panto is always going on through the year as well as weekly auditions for short films, features, stage etc, so on that side of things I’m very busy at the moment. I’m performing at York Barbican for the “Festival of Remembrance” in November, The Thirsk Christmas Lights Switch On. I have a lot of stuff that I’ve just auditioned and other things in the pipeline so I’m lucky and happy.
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