With the new screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, Alisha Weir plays the titled character of Matilda Wormwood and she was part of the recording of the film’s soundtrack. Alisha reunited with some of the cast for the red carpet premieres, having worked alongside Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough as her on-screen parents, Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull and Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey. Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical has been nominated for numerous awards including two BAFTAs, and it is releasing on Netflix in the UK and Ireland this Sunday (25th June). In the new animated series Fia’s Fairies, Alisha voices the lead role of Fia, and she will be appearing in the upcoming feature film Wicked Little Letters alongside Jessie Buckley and Olivia Colman, and she is currently working on an untitled monster movie with Universal Pictures. Speaking to Alisha recently, she talks about playing Matilda in Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical on screen, being directed by Matthew Warchus and her time on set of the upcoming Wicked Little Letters film.
You star in the new screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical as Matilda Wormwood, was there anything that drew you to the role of Matilda and how was it reading the script for the first time?
The main thing that drew me to the character of Matilda was her characteristics and how brave and courageous she is and how she stands up for herself. When I first read the script, I loved it and it gave me a great idea of how I was going to portray the character and it made me so excited to get started.
How was it being directed by Matthew Warchus and filming with the rest of the cast, which includes Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough as your on-screen parents, Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull and Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey?
Me and Matthew got along so well. He made me feel so comfortable on set and that I could always talk to him about anything and sharing loads of ideas about the character Matilda. I had the best time working with all the other cast members, they were all so kind to me and always helped me and gave me advice. They are all such incredible actors and I learned so much from watching them.
Did you have a favourite scene or song to film and what did you enjoy most about being on set?
My favourite song in Matilda was Quiet because I had so much fun filming it. I got to go up in the hot air balloon, the scenery was so magical and Quiet has always been my favourite song to sing, which topped it all off. The part I enjoyed most about being on set was getting to know everyone – the cast, crew, and making so many friends. There were so many incredibly talented kids and I loved getting to know them all.
How did you find the experience recording for the film’s soundtrack?
I loved recording the soundtrack, it was a great experience for me because it was all very new. I learned so much and I will never forget it.
How was it attending the red carpet premieres and how did you feel watching the completed film?
It was very surreal getting to walk my first ever red carpet, it was magical, I had the best time and from this day on, I still can’t believe that it was actually me on the red carpet for Matilda. It was a day that I will remember and cherish forever. When I first watched the film, I started crying, I’m not sure why but I think it’s because I just couldn’t believe that that was actually me and also to see the whole movie together and how amazing all of the actors and kids were and I felt so proud and happy for each and every one of them.
What has it been like seeing the fan response to the release of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical and having it be nominated for numerous awards including two BAFTAs?
I thought the response was incredible. I was so happy for everyone because I saw how hard everyone worked on the set – the cast, the crew and the kids, so it was so amazing to see them all get the recognition they deserved.
What are some of your favourite highlights from your time involved with Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical?
One of my favourite highlights/memories was definitely playing UNO with Stephen Graham. We had so much fun, it got very competitive and funny, but we had the best time.
You have filmed for the upcoming release of Wicked Little Letters, is there anything you can tell us about filming for this project and how was it being in the cast?
Wicked Little Letters was the first movie I had done since Matilda, so I was really looking forward to getting back to what I love doing. It was very different to Matilda, different cast/crew, but it was so amazing to see a completely different side and I loved it. I got to work with many incredible actors such as Jessie Buckley and Olivia Colman, they were so kind to me and I looked up to them a lot.
What are you looking forward to most for the release of Wicked Little Letters?
I am really looking forward to the release of Wicked Little Letters, I can’t wait to see everyone again and I’m really excited for people to see me play a different character.
In the new animated series Fia’s Fairies, you voice the lead role of Fia, can you tell us about the series and what was it like recording your character?
It was such an amazing experience to record an animation. It is so different to filming a feature film, but I love trying something new and really liked the character of Fia.
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
I have two older sisters, Katie and Emmajane, and they both love to act, so ever since I was young, I have always wanted to follow in their footsteps and be like them. So, from a young age, I have loved acting, singing and dancing.
Have you been given any advice throughout your time as an actor so far that has stuck with you?
I have gotten a lot of advice so far, but my favourite piece of advice is to never give up. I love this because you are going to get so many noes in your life but if it’s what you love to do, you will keep working and trying to get better and you will finally get that one yes you have been working so hard to get.
What are some of your favourite films and TV shows to watch and how do you like to spend your time away from acting?
My favourite film to watch is The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan. I have watched this movie so many times and it never gets old. It’s me and my friends’ favourite movie to watch together. When I’m not acting, I love to hang out with my friends and have play dates and sleepovers.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about and what are you hoping 2023 brings for you?
I’m doing a new movie at the moment, which is a monster movie with Universal Pictures, and I am loving it. I hope that in 2023 I keep doing what I love to do and always be happy.
Follow Alisha on: