Over the last three years, Honor Kneafsey has played Princess Emily in each of the A Christmas Prince films on Netflix, with the latest, A Christmas Prince – The Royal Baby, being released on 5th December last year across the world. Honor appeared as the regular role of Jodie Dawson in popular TV series Benidorm, joining the show in 2016, and reunited with the rest of the cast at their special screening event of the tenth series. With the release of thriller Legacy of Lies set for this year, Honor will play the role of Lisa which sees her take on a different type of character to her previous productions. We chatted with Honor about playing Princess Emily in A Christmas Prince, reuniting with the Benidorm cast and her role in Legacy of Lies.
How does it feel returning to the set of A Christmas Prince for each film?
Finding out that the whole cast and crew would all be coming back together to do a sequel was truly amazing. Everyone on set was so lovely and it was a pleasure to work with all of them, so having the opportunity to reunite and make not only two but a third movie together was honestly incredible. The cast and crew also expanded as the movies went on, partly because new characters were introduced. I had the most amazing time filming each film, going from the snowy mountains in Romania to the centre which was hot, although that did make it quite hard to know what to pack.
Can you tell us about portraying Princess Emily and how has it been seeing her character develop?
Something that I love about acting is becoming a new character and being able to get into someone’s head to see their perspective on things. Princess Emily was such an amazing character to portray because she has so many different types of relationships with each character from a love/hate relationship with Cousin Simon, to her truly special friendship with Amber. Through the films, Emily begins to find herself as an individual and discovers who she is and who she wants to be and we can start to see her shape into a young adult. Emily finds her feet as she starts actual school and gets to have a normal life away from the palace, well as normal as a Princess’ life can be.
What do you enjoy most about filming for this role?
I think what I love so much about playing Princess Emily is just how brave she is and how confident she becomes in herself and her surroundings. I believe that Emily actually has some of the best lines in the movies with her snarky comments and saying things despite being told not to. I honestly love being able to play such an amazing, diverse character who actually inspires me and it’s not all bad being a princess I guess, it’s every girl’s dream.
Why would you recommend A Christmas Prince – The Royal Baby to Netflix viewers?
I would recommend A Christmas Prince to all ages. Its a film that brings the whole family together, for everyone to sit down and enjoy, and I’m sure there is a character in there that everyone will love.
What’s it like working with your on-screen family which includes Ben Lamb as your brother Prince/King Richard?
On A Christmas Prince I got the privilege to work with some amazing people who make it so easy to act alongside. We all got on so well on and off screen, it was such a lovely bunch of people and I feel very lucky.
Have you had a favourite scene to film as Princess Emily?
Over the last three movies Princess Emily has had some amazing scenes, so I don’t think I would be able to pick a favourite. They were all so special in different ways, there was never a dull moment with Emily as her relationships widen throughout the movies.
Is there anything you can tell us about your role in Legacy of Lies?
Legacy of Lies is an action-packed film which I got to play a completely different character to what I have done before. Her strong bond with her father is put to the test on many occasions throughout the film. Someone from my father’s past reappears and I am taken as leverage. The film is a rollercoaster of emotions throughout and they are both put to the test and you get to see just how far they will go for each other.
What was it like appearing in an episode of Sick Note which stars Rupert Grint?
Sick Note was very fun to take part in but unfortunately I didn’t have any scenes with Rupert.
You attended the Benidorm 10 event in 2018, can you say more about it and what was it like seeing the cast again?
Attending the Benidorm screening for Series 10 was so lovely as I got to see everyone again and have a catch up. It’s so great because when you are filming in Spain, you are all a little family so to reunite with them felt like old times. I do still keep in touch with some members of the cast.
What do you miss most about playing Jodie Dawson in Benidorm?
I think what I miss about playing Jodie Dawson is that she was such a diverse character, she would go to an American accent then back to her own Northern accent within seconds. She would be up then down, she’s such a different person to how I am so to get into her shoes was really fun and enjoyable. She seemed to get away with a lot by her mum, she was seen as a princess in her family and that was such a funny concept to her. It was such good fun to play her.
How do you prepare for auditions and getting into character?
When I get an audition I usually go through the script a few times and I’m lucky that I find it quite easy to retain. I then go through it more thoroughly to know it off-book, which means knowing it without looking at the script. Some roles require more research. If this is the case, I will look into what I need to do whether it’s a specific time period or it may be something I’m not familiar with, like an illness or sometimes an accent which has to be perfected and I need to keep practising.
What would you say is the best and worst thing about filming away from home and what advice would you give young actors filming abroad for the first time?
Filming away can be challenging as you really do miss your family and friends. But I am lucky as my mum always comes with me. What you have to think is that it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I personally wouldn’t change it for the world. For a young actor like myself, I would say that if you are filming abroad you will probably find out if this really is your passion as sometimes it can be hard. Keeping up with school work and having a full day filming, then learning your lines for the next day. You do miss out on things but at the end of the day I would not change anything. I have been so lucky to have had so many amazing opportunities and experiences. I’ve seen so much of the world already and worked with so many incredible people. The best part for me is I get to do what I absolutely love, acting, which I really hope I can continue to do.
What TV shows and films do you enjoy watching?
I love a romantic comedy, I honestly can’t get enough of them, like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Kissing Booth, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and so many more. I’m pretty sure I’ve watched most of them now. However, I also love action films something like James Bond, I would honestly love to do a film like that, I’m on the edge of my seat the whole time and I love the feeling when you can really engage with a film. I also love the character Harley Quinn in the film Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey, her quirky, crazy personality is really intriguing and I would love to be challenged with a role like that. I also love a series but then when I finish it I get really sad and don’t know what to do with myself so it has its pros and cons. So, I really love anything to be honest by the sounds of it.
What are your plans for 2020?
I’m going to see what 2020 has in store for me, hopefully it will be a good year. I would obviously love as many acting jobs as possible, so fingers crossed hopefully that will happen. I am also taking my GCSEs, so lots of studying. I just want to have a positive year with lots of laughs and smiles.
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