Monday, October 2, 2023

Rosie McEwen, star of Blue Jean, talks about being afraid of failure

Rosie McEwen is seen in the lobby of the National Theater in London, where she plays Desdemona in the new production of Clint Dyer’s Othello. Her headstrong portrayal of a Holocaust-stricken wife has been called a “breakthrough” by critics. Some have described her portrayal as a feuilleton. “But I don’t know what I mean by the word ‘fighter’. It means he has amazing willpower for his size, but he’s not a fighter. He’s been accused of being something he didn’t Did. I think he’s really pissed off,” McEwen says. In each performance — spoiler alert — she spends a lot of time playing dead as the action continues to unfold around her. “I put myself in a very comfortable position. Some nights, it feels great to lie there and hear the truth. But really, after a while, I start thinking: what’s in my fridge…”, she jokes. Does “No, I’m thinking about the character all the time.”

It’s been a rough first year for McEwen. Desdemona is her first stage role in London, but we’re talking about the British independent film Blue Jean here, her first leading role in anything. This is a scandal paper. The film is set in 1988, and McEwan plays Jean, a young physical education teacher at Newcastle upon Tyne School. Jean is a lesbian in a hostile political climate, living in fear of her sexuality being discovered. When one of his students shows up at the gay bar where he hangs out with his friends and his girlfriend Viv, difficult questions of shame, courage, rebellion and conformity are raised.

Mcewen As Desdemona And Giles Terrera As Othello At The National Theatre. McEwen with Giles Terrera in the role of Othello at the National Theatre. Cinematography: Maia Jeffers

Until reading the script, McEwen had no idea that Section 28 had ever existed. The genes have been stuck since the law was introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1988. Section 28 prohibited the promotion of homosexuality and the teaching of homosexuality as “a perceived family affair” by local authorities. It was not completely repealed in England until 2003. McEwen was still at school when the then Labor government repealed section 28 from the statute. “It was one of the things that caught my attention the most, because I didn’t know anything about it at the time,” he explains. “And now it’s happening again, in Florida, with the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. It’s exactly the same thing.”

McEwen grew up in London, but Jean is from the North East. Did you have to work hard on pronunciation? “I’m dreading going to Newcastle. It’s the final exam, isn’t it?” They matched her with a dialect teacher. “And I heard a lot about Cheryl Cole,” she says, in an innocent Cheryl accent. The film was shot in early 2022. “It was cold,” he says. “I got there and I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to have a cold for three months.’ But I loved it. I loved the script, I loved the part, I loved Georgia [Oakley, la directora de la película], It was my first leading role, Georgia’s first feature film, and that combined energy of excitement and nervousness got us excited.”

Although Blue Jean is set in the 1980s, it’s not necessarily the 1980s we’re used to seeing on screen. “It’s not a blue eyeshadow and big hair thing,” McEwen says. Viv, Gene’s girlfriend (a superb Kerry Hayes), is a tomboyish, leather-wearing lesbian who lives in a housing co-operative. “I wish we had Jean, being scared, walking in the world… It would have been nice to celebrate homosexuality as well. There were a lot of people out there full of pride, fighting and being who they are, it’s nice to have that balance. “

Mcewen, Center, In Blue Jean. We just had Jean, horrified, moving through the world’… McEwen in Blue Jean, center. Cinematography: Film Nakshatra

McEwen gave up social media years ago – “I’ll never go back, now that I’m free” – but says Oakley sent him stuff about a movie he saw on the Internet. “Viv’s nipple tattoo is getting a lot of press and so is Jean’s haircut, which we love.” In the film, she has a very neat blonde cut, which is now grown out by almost everyone.

McEwen became interested in acting as a child. When she was 12 years old, a casting director came looking for girls who could audition for the film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement. McEwen landed in the bottom two, but the role fell to a young promise named Saoirse Ronan. “My mom loves this story,” she laughs. “Claim to fame.” As he got older, McEwen almost gave up acting, despite knowing he loved it. “I was scared it wouldn’t work. It’s such a tough job, in the sense that you can give it your all but if the stars don’t align for whatever reason… I was scared I’d fail. would go.”

She studied Art History at the University of Leeds, and in her final year staged a play with her friends who were applying to a drama school. “So I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.'” At the age of 24 he entered the Bristol Old Vic. “I felt like I was catching up from day one. Everyone was like, ‘Oh yeah, Shakespeare and Hamlet, and you know Harold Pinter?’ What am I doing? ‘I spent most of the first year playing catch up.”

There he realized that he would have to change his name. It’s actually Rosie Byrne; McEwen is his mother’s maiden name. “There’s already a Rose Byrne,” he added, referring to the Bridesmaids star. “And she’s so fabulous and so famous. So I went with the nearest and dearest.”

After a 10-month stint at the RSC, McEwen was cast as a nurse in the period drama crime series The Alienist (on Netflix in the UK), alongside Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning. “I was sent to Budapest and it was like going back to drama school. I was like, ‘What do I do? I had none of that. I just did it. ‘” She told Christopher Eccleston in Channel 4’s Close to Me. Played the role of daughter. “He’s the nicest, easiest guy,” she says. She also had a role alongside Eddie Marsan in the science-fiction film Vesper, and is a big fan of his career.

“He does a great, eclectic mix. He does low-key things, works with amazing directors and does big and shiny things, but he also has an amazing family life. I think it’s that balance.” That’s what really impressed me. He used to say if you want to have an extraordinary career you have to live an ordinary life and I love that.”

At last December’s British Independent Film Awards, Blue Jean won four awards, with McEwen taking home Best Lead Performance, a category in which she went up against Sally Hawkins, Florence Pugh, and Bill Nighy. “It was crazy,” he says. “Honestly, hand on heart, I was glad to be there.”

With Raffaella Chapman In Vespers. With Raffaella Chapman in Vespers. Photography: Signature Entertainment

He was up for the Best Breakthrough Performance award, which was announced in the evening. “So I started drinking, casually, and thought, ‘Okay, I don’t need to go up there.’ It wasn’t until the people at her table woke up that she realized what was happening. “I felt like ice water had been poured over me. I was taken aback. I couldn’t stop laughing.”

McEwen still has a few weeks left as Desdemona, and she’s not sure what’s next. “I have been very pampered with Blue Jean and Othello.” What’s on your wishlist? “I really like playing characters outside of myself. So I hope I can push those boundaries and challenge the way people see me. I guess that’s why I don’t have Instagram.” Because the less people know about me, the more I can play like a…” Find a solution. “A Swedish DJ with a mullet?” series. “But I would love to push the boundaries.”

Blue Jean hits theaters on February 10. The National Theatre’s live production of Othello is coming to cinemas on 23 February.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news