TAmara Lawrance says she has “very little desire to be pregnant” and given the subject of her latest film, who can blame her? She stars in the dread-filled psychological horror Kindred as Charlotte, a young woman living in an isolated part of rural England, whose life plans go awry when she becomes pregnant with her boyfriend (Edward Holcroft) and is brought into the quasi-care of her sinister. family, in their collapsed mansion infested with crows. Fiona Shaw becomes an imperious matriarch, while Jack Lowden is disconcertingly subservient as the black sheep’s stepbrother.
“I really enjoyed the fact that [Charlotte] was not motherly, ”says Lawrance, describing the charm of the script from screenwriter / director Joe Marcantonio. “It is an assumption that women are born with this innate, God-given inclination to care for babies and there are countless testimonies to that, but there are also a lot of other experiences and evidence.” To be a woman between the ages of 25 and 45 is to be bombarded with images of maternal fullness, as well as a constant stream of questions about the uterus.
So Lawrance, soon to be 28, appreciates the space that Kindred opens up for more ambivalent feelings. “Many of my friends, particularly those who are creative, wonder if they want to have children and allow themselves to ask that question. People think that people also change their minds about these things, ”he adds. “But I think it’s okay to know that you don’t want to have children.”
Charlotte’s plight, being a pregnant black woman struggling to feel welcomed by her white aristocratic in-laws, echoes a well-known contemporary fable and, strangely, this is not the first time Lawrance has found her on-screen roles to overlap. with the real life experience of the Duchess of Sussex.
Rada-trained Lawrance made a name for himself in the National Theater productions of Black Bottom and Ma Rainey’s Twelfth Night, while also causing a sensation on television, as Prince Harry’s Republican girlfriend in the BBC drama King Charles. III. Originally written for the stage by Mike Bartlett, it envisioned a near future for British royalty, some of which have already been fulfilled. “We were filming before the news of [Harry and Meghan] being in a relationship was even public, so I thought it was very astute on the part of the writer or the casting director; to see that this is a likely association, due to Harry’s character, perhaps. “
Neither the role in King Charles III, nor this one in Kindred were specified as Black in the script, and yet in both cases the casting of a black actor has added a layer of nuance. In Kindred’s case, she says: “It doesn’t escape me that a young black woman trapped inside a completely blank space for the entire film and lit by gas [means] there are many social comments to be made, in terms of a broader look at the experiences of black people within institutions ”. As for whether racism plays any role in the way Charlotte is treated by her in-laws, she doesn’t think she’s in the best position to answer. “I think it’s actually more of a question for Fiona [Shaw], and I don’t know if they have asked. “
Lawrance notes, without apparent irritation, that issues of race and racism often come up in conversations about his work. She is sometimes directly relevant to the role, such as when she played the enslaved but unflappable July in the 19th-century Jamaica-set BBC miniseries The Long Song, or her role in Steve McQueen’s British Caribbean play Small. Ax. Other times, it isn’t, like her Cordelia opposite Ian McKellen’s King Lear, or her role in the legal drama The Split. But it arises, anyway: “I’m trying to understand that, for some people, I am a walking body politic. I have been racialized … So I see myself as Jamaican and I love my heritage, I love all those things, and I am very, very close to my ‘blackness’, [but] I think that, for the industry, even though things have progressed and are changing, there are still spaces where it is a kind of all people see. And I know that Jack [Lowden] He’s never been asked what it’s like to be a white actor. “
Lowden and Lawrance have worked together before, on The Long Song, where he played aspiring “white savior” Robert, and she is filled with a genuine appreciation for his and Shaw’s “open and collaborative” approach. Still, he stops short, midway through the actor’s pro forma anthem to his co-stars: “It even bothers me that he says this, because I don’t think actors should be exaggerated for being humble. People say, ‘Oh, they talked to me at lunch break!’ It’s like? Shouldn’t people talk to you? We have to stop praising actors for doing basic human things! But yeah they is it so both deeply rooted! “
Lawrance is still relatively new to the conventions of filmmaking and Kindred marks an intentional step in the direction of more: “I love the way stories are told through film and I just want to get better at it. There is an honesty that the screen can capture, which I think is really fascinating. ”Next, therefore, is a role in the cast of the British romantic comedy. St. Stephen’s Day, written and directed by I May Destroy You’s Aml Ameen, and The silent twins, in which she co-stars with Black Panther’s Letitia Wright. They play troubled sisters and outsider writers Jennifer and June Gibbons. “I think they were deeply misunderstood, so I hope the film sheds light on that scandal in the criminal justice system. Even some of my friends were saying, ‘Wow, you’re playing one of those serial killers.’ And I said, ‘No. They didn’t kill anyone. “
Lawrance does not look for projects that serve as a political thing, but he does detect a dividing line that begins to emerge: “I think that all the characters that I have played were strong and resistant, no matter how they ultimately ended.” … There is something about emotionality that is frowned upon, because emotions are seen as feminine and the feminine is seen as weak and subordinate. “He breaks off again:” Ultimately, it’s patriarchy. I’m beating around the bush. And whether people say these things explicitly or unconsciously believe them, we all do it. “
So, like her characters, Lawrance is unwilling to be in line with other people’s expectations. Not without asking a few questions first. “I think sometimes you can feel a pressure, by a kind of individualism, like: ‘Okay, I have to do it. I just have to work really hard and fly through the skies and get a good salary and then be famous. ‘ But it’s like, one: that’s so ephemeral; and two: it’s actually a bit dangerous when people who come from sometimes really adverse childhood experiences are shot into the stratosphere and have no tools to heal. “Lawrance has a different conception of the good life:” So, I kind of want to chill out with my friends, right? Regardless of how long it takes, let’s get it right. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism