Angela Dixon Actress

Photo credit. Peter Simpkin.

What would you do if your child was taken from you in a foreign country and no-one believed you? This is something Angela Dixon had to face in her lead role in the action thriller ‘Never Let Go’ by acclaimed director Howard J Ford.

Angela is a talented actress on an upward trajectory.

Known more in independent film circles than in the public domain. ‘Never Let Go’ will change that.

The film follows the harrowing journey of Lisa, a single mother whose daughter is abducted whilst on holiday.

Shot in Morocco, Spain, US and the UK it also stars Bafta award winning actress Lisa Eichhorn and Waterloo Road’s Heather Peace.

I’ve directed Angela in the past and have the pleasure of calling her a friend. It’s an honour to share her inspiring interview for my Wonderful Women series.

 

Describe a typical day for you?

My days are rarely the same and everything can change with a phone call.

If I am working from home, my day could involve looking for work, networking, PR, marketing, accounting, reading a script, research and character preparation.

If I am not acting I feel restless and frustrated that I’m not achieving what I set out to achieve so I may well work all day into the evening and I don’t recognise weekends. If I can, I go to the gym between 5 to 10 hours a week.

For ‘Never Let Go’ I was training 2 to 3 hours a day.  As an actor you are a conduit for your character’s emotions, thoughts and actions. Having a healthy body gives me an instrument fit for purpose through which I can better express my character’s story.

Playing Lisa was intense. Prior to filming I had 5 weeks of preparation.

I worked by myself 7 days a week, 12 hours a day analysing the script, exploring her emotional and psychological world, finding her voice and honing her body.

I took one day off in that time.

Whilst filming I would get up around sunrise and do at least an hour of physical training and yoga. The rest of the day would involve shooting several scenes in different locations, often scheduled last minute and sometimes we filmed into the early hours of the morning.

I did my own stunts so I had to climb walls, jump off and onto buildings, fight several male characters, run barefoot through the streets and over rooftops of suspect construction and varying heights.

 

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

Professionally, it’s playing Lisa. It was a roller coaster journey needing resilience, nerves of steel, absolute focus and dedication. Last year only 12% of all clearly identifiable protagonists were female according to the Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film. I’m proud to buck the trend and hope that continues.

Personally, it is helping to look after my mum. My mum had dementia for 10 years. In the last 6 years of her life she needed 24 hour care. It could take up to 5 hours a day just to feed her. She couldn’t speak, couldn’t walk and didn’t know who we were. She stayed at home, we showered her with love and she felt it.

She taught us to fully understand and experience real unconditional love. To accept your loved one for who they are in the moment and not hanker after the person you believed they were. It was a privilege to share that with her and there’s not a day goes past that I don’t miss her.

 

What’s in your handbag/satchel etc?

My handbag is enormous! I back-packed for 4 years in the Far East and I have never really acclimatised to the idea that I don’t have to transport my whole life around with me.

I no-longer carry a tent and a roll mat but I do have business cards [I never go anywhere without them], a toothbrush, moisturiser sachets, wipes, lip balm [can’t survive without it], paper diary [just feels better to write then tap], scissors, sewing kit, emery board [because I only ever file my nails in transit], essential make-up and my iphone that my wonderful brother bought me for Christmas.

 

What are your ambitions in life?

I watched Howard Ford conjure up magic out of thin air. I experienced a profound creative alchemy working with him which was exhilarating. I want to continue to work with talented people. I want to build on that creativity and have the opportunity to really stretch myself and grow as an artist.

I’d love to act opposite Sean Penn, be directed by Clint Eastwood and play the lead role in an American drama series.

 

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

I will be working creatively with like-minded individuals in great quality projects that have real purpose. I will be involved with an organisation that promotes the resolution of conflict – something I feel passionate about.

I will be living somewhere beautiful surrounded by nature perhaps by the sea, near mountains or both. I will be painting and drawing more. I will have learnt the art of slowing down. Too much to ask?!

 

What advice would you give a budding actor?

If it’s not essential for you to act, don’t do it, there’s a lot of heartache, sacrifice and rejection.

If you must act then apply to the top 5 drama schools and keep trying until you get in. They open doors. Know your brand. Who are you? How do others perceive you? Once you’ve discovered it, sell it.

Find a way to keep positive through the rejection because if you think you’re not worthy you won’t work.

Be resilient, be pro-active and build networks of people within the industry who you respect and like.

And remember networking is not about what you can get from others it’s about what you can do for others. Be generous.

 

Finally, happiness is…

Giving and receiving love.

You can watch the trailer for ‘Never Let Go’ on Angela’s website and Facebook page. Likes and shares are greatly appreciated and will help get this film seen.

You can also follow her on Twitter

‘Never Let Go’ will have a preview screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May this year. If you happen to be on the French Riviera contact Angela via her facebook page or website and she will see if she can get you a ticket. Both Angela and Howard will be there.

‘Never Let Go’ preview screening, Cannes 2015.

Monday 18th May, 17.30

Venue: Olympia Cinema 9,

5 Rue d’Antibes

06400 Cannes

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9 Responses

  1. Mama and More aka Zaz

    This may well be one of my favourite WW interviews! I tend to be very empathetic and get swallowed up in films or stories, and I can barely imagine the immense physical and mental effort required to put yourself into the life of a woman living one of the worst experiences of being a mother, it must have been so gruelling. Angela, you sound grounded and focussed, and I wish you every success in the world with this film and with future projects and your 5 year plan. I am sorry to read of your loss, although in caring for your mother you gave her and yourself the greatest of gifts – a lack of regret for time not spent, your love and YOU. I felt keenly the loss of my grandmother when she descended into dementia, but treasure every moment we had together. Best wishes
    Mama and More aka Zaz recently posted…All About You Link Party – the smallest things mean so muchMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Zaz, Angela is an incredibly gifted actress and all round amazing lady. So grounded and humble too. You guys would totally get on. I’m wishing Angela all the luck for her latest film. Thanks for your comment x

      Reply
  2. Brighton Mama @ Our Seaside Baby

    A great interview. I’ll be looking for the film when it comes out. Sorry to hear about your mum. That’s such a lovely thing she taught you about unconditional love, she sounds like she was an inspiring woman 🙂
    Brighton Mama @ Our Seaside Baby recently posted…Silent SundayMy Profile

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    • honestmum

      Thanks for your lovely comment, Angela is a gifted actress and it’s a pleasure to share her talent on the blog x

      Reply
  3. Ebabee

    Another interesting interview. The film sounds very exciting and I can’t wait to see it especially with a strong, female lead which we don’t get to see enough of. I knew actors prepared for their roles but I didn’t realise quite how intense it could be. I am sorry to hear about your mum but it sounds like she was loved and cared for till the end – I had similar with my dad and so I completely relate. Looking forwrad to the film.
    Ebabee recently posted…A very special gift boxMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks Nomita, a real thorough almost shamanistic experience preparing for a role, Angela is world class so I know this film will be amazing. Much love x
      honestmum recently posted…Review & Competition for Slumberdown Anti-Allergy Pillows & DuvetMy Profile

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  4. Babes about Town

    What a fantastic interview. I’m fascinated by the process of an actor, how they get into character and how much you describe the physicality of the work – in a way I feel that way about writing (particularly scripts/fiction), it’s strangely physically draining because you get so intensely involved in the character and story. It just sort of takes you over.

    I’m especially moved by your tale of looking after your mum – having experienced something similar with my dad’s slow decline into dementia following multiple strokes – and also having just lost my mum. It’s truly life-changing but wonderful that you can appreciate the gifts because it really does boil down to unconditional love.

    I also love your five year plan, totally speaks to me (along with your inability to live without lip balm ha). Very excited about this movie – nothing like strong, complex, female characters boldly brought to life on screen. Definitely need more of these! Thanks for sharing this insight into your life, Angela and best of luck at Cannes.
    Babes about Town recently posted…How to have a Holiday from your HolidayMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Uju for this wonderful, touching comment, Angela’s interview really resonated with me too, such wise, thoughtful words and it was a joy to work with her and now to share her talent here on the blog too. I’m so sorry again about your Mum, here for you all always. Lots of love x

      Reply

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