Last year, in the release of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, Rei Yamauchi Fulker played Lavender, with the film based on the award-winning theatre show, and she reunited with the cast for the premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. Rei joined her fellow cast member Alisha Weir, who played Matilda, for a live episode of CBBC’s Saturday Mash-Up, which saw the two of them participate in a number of games. We chatted to Rei, who told us about being cast as Lavender in the recent film release of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, attending the premiere at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival and her appearance on Saturday Mash-Up.
What was Lavender like to play in Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical and how was it getting into character?
I loved playing Lavender, it was so much fun and such a great experience, I feel very lucky for this opportunity and to get to work with such amazing cast and crew. I didn’t find it too hard to get into character as I found my personality has similarities to Lavender’s. She’s quite bubbly and outgoing!
How much did you know about the Matilda story before auditioning and do you remember how you felt finding out you’d booked the role?
I knew a lot about the story because I’d read the book and seen the stage show so I knew and loved the story of Matilda. I’d sang When I Grow Up when I was little in my drama’s cabaret and I even went as Matilda on one of my World Book Days at school! I felt so excited when I got the role of Lavender as she was my favourite character when I saw the stage show in the West End, which was a surprise present for my seventh birthday! I loved Lavender’s energy, hairstyle and thought her monologue was great! It turned out that the same girl I’d seen that day on stage was in the film with me also, playing the prefect in School Song!
Is there anything you have enjoyed most about being part of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical and what are some of your stand-out memories from playing Lavender?
I’ve enjoyed making lots of friends! My stand-out memories of playing Lavender are all the bloopers and having fun with the cast, there were a lot of laughs. I also learnt a lot about how making a film works, it was all very exciting. Another of my stand-out memories is that my mum got to be Lavender’s mum in the film and walked with me while I sang When I Grow Up!
How did you feel watching the finished film for the first time and reuniting with the cast at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival?
I felt very excited to see everyone and be reunited again, it was so great to see each other after so long. Watching the film, I felt really proud of us all as I know how hard we all worked to make this film.
Can you tell us about your time filming for Saturday Mash-Up on live TV with your Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical co-star Alisha Weir?
It was really good fun doing live TV with Alisha, the people were so friendly and made us feel so comfortable, the games were so much fun, we really had the best time!
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
I’ve always loved performing, even as a baby. I’ve always enjoyed being in productions since nursery, I’ve been in all the shows, I just love singing and love to perform, it has definitely always been something I’ve done and really enjoyed doing and want to continue doing.
Do you have any favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch?
My favourite film is Elf! I’ve seen it so many times and can watch it any time of the year, I’m a really big fan of Christmas.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to play with my friends and watch films with my family. I love my school, I do netball and cheerleading there, I love cheer as I’m a flyer and get thrown into the air!! I also really love my drama, I’ve been going there since I was four years old, everyone is so nice there and we put on lots of shows and I sing at all their cabarets, it’s really great.
What are you hoping the next year brings for you and do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
I’m hoping next year brings good luck, good experiences and lots of fun! I also hope that there may be some roles down the line for me.
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