For her first lead character, Macey Chipping stars as Issie Brown in the popular teen drama Mystic, with the show filming on location in New Zealand, and today sees Mystic return for Series 3 on CBBC and iPlayer in the UK. In 2015, Macey joined the cast of Holby City as Evie Fletcher, staying in the role for five years, and previously, she played Ruby in Redemption alongside a cast including Jason Statham and Vicky McClure. We chatted to Macey about starring as Issie Brown in CBBC’s Mystic, filming on location in New Zealand and her time as Evie Fletcher in Holby City.
Can you tell us about your character Issie Brown in Mystic and what is she like to play?
Issie is kind-hearted. She always has good intentions, however she’s quite headstrong and doesn’t always consider the consequences to her actions. I love playing Issie because she’s a layered character. As an actor, it is so exciting when you have a range of emotions to play with and Issie definitely taps in to every emotion.
Is there anything that originally drew you to the role and what was it like reading the scripts for the first time?
The first time I read the material for the audition I immediately loved that Issie was quite rebellious, which is quite unlike me! Also, that the show included horses and I would have to learn how to ride, which makes it so much more interesting because I love learning new things.
How is it being part of the cast and what do you remember from your first day filming on location?
I was amazed by the locations! The first location we filmed on was at a place called Bethels, which is where we film the majority of location for Mystic, it includes beaches, the exterior stables and the sand dunes. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before, it’s stunning and I am so lucky to be able to see and film at locations like that.
What is the series like to film and how was it returning to New Zealand to film for the new Series 3?
Filming the series has taught me so many things. I’ve learnt so much about not only being in front of the camera, but also the work that goes on behind the camera. I loved learning about the horses. Finding out about how they are taught and trained. Returning to New Zealand was amazing. Living in this time of COVID has taught me to not take anything for granted, and being able to return amongst all of the chaos that the pandemic brought, I was very lucky.
How did you prepare to play Issie and what do you enjoy most about being in Mystic?
I have an Issie playlist on my phone which allows me to tap into the character! However, filming can be quite quick-paced and I don’t always have time for it so the majority of the time just going through makeup and wardrobe can help me prepare.
Why would you recommend watching the series and who do you think it will appeal to?
I honestly think any age group can watch Mystic. We have all generations in the cast with their own personal storylines. Mystic tackles a range of subjects. Even if you don’t relate to one specific character, there are always small parts of all of the characters that someone could relate to in some sort of way.
How different is it playing a lead character in a CBBC show opposed to your previous roles?
The thing is I was a lot younger when I played other roles and I was at a different stage of my career. So I think being older now, I can take in different aspects and be able to portray different character traits. Additionally, being the lead means there’s very little time when I’m not on set and this is different because my other roles were smaller.
You played Evie Fletcher in Holby City, what was this like?
Playing Evie Fletcher was incredible! It’s a part of my life I will remember always because this was definitely a crucial part in my career. I became more aware and I did the most changing in that I went from a child to a teen. I was only 11 when I started Holby and finished when I was 16 and those are quite different ages mentally. I had incredible influences like Alex Walkinshaw, who was so kind, fun and caring. He really was like another dad to me.
How was it joining the cast in 2015 and do you have any stand-out highlights from your time on set?
I remember being so confused because my mum watched Holby a lot when I grew up. I was used to seeing it on screen where it really did look like a hospital, and then to seeing the sets which were in different places and doors that led to nothing! But on screen it looked as if it was going to go to another ward and that confused me so much. A highlight was definitely getting to film when Evie got pushed down the stairs by her brother because I got to have loads of makeup and prosthetics for that!
What do you remember most from playing Ruby in Redemption?
I remember when I first got to meet Jason Statham and Vicky McClure. They were both so lovely. I was told that I had a recall for the part and when I got to London they had some toys for me, which was very exciting and cool for the younger me, and very generous of the production to do that. Then they told me I got the part which I was not expecting because I thought I was going for another audition and instead booked the part!
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you start?
None of my friends or family act. My mum put me in a dance/theatre club when I was only two and so I grew up doing theatre and dance shows. When I was six, I was part of a show that my agent attended and asked if I wanted to be a part of her agency and that’s when I got into film and TV.
Do you have any favourite films and TV shows to watch?
I love Girl, Interrupted. That’s probably my favourite film. I loved Angelina Jolie’s character Lisa Rowe because she’s such a layered character with many flaws. I also love the Divergent movies. The action, the fighting and training is incredible.
How do you like to spend your time away from your career?
I enjoy spending time with friends and family as I’ve been away filming quite a lot over the past two years so I appreciate any time I can spend time with them.
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