Best-known for her role in Ghost Wars, Allison James played regular character Isabel McGrath-Dufresne alongside her on-screen twin sister Abigail (played by Sarah Giles), with the series releasing on Netflix in the United Kingdom last year and starring Avan Jogia. Allison has recently filmed for the upcoming sci-fi short film Project Human, in which she plays Young Ellie, and she has a background in theatre and dance. We caught up with Allison, who told us about filming Ghost Wars as Isabel McGrath-Dufresne, her upcoming short film Project Human and how she got into acting.
Can you tell us about your time in Ghost Wars?
I was always excited to get to set and start filming. The days went by fast, as we would do many hours of school work and shoot multiple scenes in a single day. I was often running between the classroom and the camera. I loved the energy on set and often did not want the day to end.
Who is your character Isabel McGrath-Dufresne and what was she like to portray?
Isabel is a very complicated character and has a lot going on. She is smart, brave, sweet, strong-willed and feels very alone as she goes through some dark stuff. It was interesting to get to know her and a great opportunity to play her.
Did you have a most challenging scene to film?
There are many scenes in the series where Isabel has a lot going on. I remember one scene where Isabel is speaking to both her moms, portraying two characters at once and managing multiple deep feelings at once.
What do you miss most about filming the series?
I loved filming up in beautiful Squamish BC, the people I got to work with and playing such a different character.
You have also filmed for Project Human, can you say about your experience on set?
My scenes were all filmed outside on some of the coldest days of the year. Everyone was very kind to me and made sure I was well taken care of. I had a lot of heat warmers in my shoes and in my clothes.
Is there anything you can say about your character Young Ellie?
Ellie is a fighter and a survivor who has to grow up quickly.
How long were you filming for this role?
This was a small but crucial part of the film. I was able to shoot it over a two-day period.
Do you know when it will be released and if it will be available overseas?
Ghost Wars is currently on Netflix around the world and I am not sure when Project Human will be available.
What started your interest in acting?
When I was four years old, I starred in a theatre production called The Littlest Angel. I loved the way I was able to get lost inside a different world and how it made people feel. There was not a single show where most of the audience was not in tears. It was such a cool feeling to know that the audience was getting lost in the story with me.
How do you get yourself audition ready?
I read, memorise and break down the script. I learn as much as I can about my character, such as their objective, relationships and more. Once I understand my character better, I look for a way I can relate to them in my own life. If I cannot relate directly to what they are going through, I look for times I may have felt something similar and I think of those experiences when getting ready for the audition.
We understand you enjoy music and dance, is this something you do professionally and can you say more about your interest in these?
I have been taking various types of dance since I was a few years old. Music makes me feel happy and dancing or singing is a natural way for me to connect to music. I do it for fun and, as someone with a background in theatre, they are great tools to have.
Have you seen any films recently that you would recommend?
I have so many that I could recommend. I love live-action Disney, superheroes and animal films. I loved Aladdin and I am excited for The Lion King to come out in July!! Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame were amazing, as superheroes are awesome! I am a big fan of animal films and A Dog’s Way Home had me crying a lot. I watched A Dog’s Journey recently and there was a lot of laughter and tears. I think my mom was crying more than I was though.
Are you currently working on any new productions?
There is nothing that I can talk about at the moment.
What are your career plans for the next few months?
I am going to continue to learn, have fun and take nothing for granted.
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