Creatures of God, a dramatic film with Emily Watson, Paul Mescal and Aisling Franciosi arrives at the cinema on May 4th: let’s get to know the young Italian-Irish actress better, protagonist of films and TV series, who we will soon see also in The last Voyage of the Demeter.
Those who follow the TV series will surely have already seen and appreciated Aisling (pronounced Ash-lin) French, the young Italian-Irish actress who began her career at school, making her theater debut and then moving on to the small and big screen. Seeing her live, albeit through a webcam, she also seems younger than her 29 years and is a nice, intelligent, determined girl, down to earth and with very clear ideas about a profession that she has dreamed of doing ever since. very small. You will surely remember her in the splendid Irish series The Fallwhere she was the babysitter who was in love with the serial killer played by Jamie Dornanbut also appeared in two episodes of the Game of Thrones as Lianna Stark. mother of Aegon Targaryen and sister of Ned Stark, and in Legends. In the cinema it was directed by Ken Loach in Jimmy’s Hall and starred in the violent revenge movie The Nightingale by Jennifer Kent, the director of Babadook, presented at the Venice Film Festival. We will soon find her on the big screen in André Øvredal’s horror film The Last Voyage of the Demeteron the sailing ship journey that brings Count Dracula to England, but from May 4th we will be able to see her first at the cinema in the Irish drama film Creatures of Godwhere Aisling joins two very good actors like Emily Watson e Paul Mescalrecently nominated for an Oscar for After sun. With her, thanks to Academy Two which distributes the film in theatres, we had the pleasure of having a nice chat, thanks to which we can introduce you to the film and this brilliant actress who, being bilingual, speaks perfect Italian and is also a very gifted singer.
In Creatures of God, Aisling Franciosi plays Sarah Murphy, a girl who lives in an Irish coastal village, whose entire economy is based on the cultivation of oysters and fishing and works, like all or most of the inhabitants of the place, in the local fish farm under the supervision of Aileen (Emily Watson), a grown woman whose son Brian (Paul Mescal) was very close as a young girl. Emigrated to Australia for some time and away from his family for some time, one day the man suddenly returns without explanation and is welcomed by his mother with unreserved love. But everything changes when Sarah, after meeting him one evening at her pub when Aileen had recently left, denounces him for raping her and Aileen provides an alibi for her son. The violence will reveal the silence of an entire village and will force the mother to find a way to reconcile the desire to protect her son and her own sense of justice.
When we ask Aisling Franciosi when she was bitten by the acting bug, she tells us about her beginnings in a profession that is not always easy but which she certainly did not arrive at by chance: “When I was 4 or 5, I used to tell my mom I wanted to be an archaeologist and she told me she understood it was because I’d seen Indiana Jones, but that it wasn’t exactly a faithful representation of that job. Soon after, like so many children in Ireland, I went to do this thing called “Speech and Drama” on a Saturday morning. It’s not a school to direct you to drama or train future actors, but an activity like playing football for children, it makes part of our culture. I took my first class when I was six and I swear from that moment I knew I wanted to be an actress. I went to that school, then when I was in high school I decided. My parents weren’t very enthusiastic at all In the beginning, they wanted me to get a degree and since I was pretty good at school I decided to work hard to get the highest grade possible in college so that I could have an alternative in case things didn’t work out. At university I did a show at the Gate Theater which is one of the best known theaters in Dublin and since then I have tried to find the balance between taking classes, taking exams and working in theatre. I found an agent in February, I can’t remember the exact year, and in March I started The Fall.”
Aisling Franciosi is very aware of the risks of a fascinating but discontinuous profession, which she tackles with great realism: “There are many ups and downs in this job, you have to make it look like you’re always working, but you have to hold on in the moments when you don’t. Living the real life then helps to be a better actor, because we try to understand the things and feelings that we all have in common and also living the normal life helps”. There were a number of things that attracted her to the character and story of Creatures of God, she tells us: “I read the script in one go and loved it. Because Shane and Fodhla, who wrote it, captured the way people talk in a region like this in Ireland and it felt very real to me. It’s not the first time I’ve done a role that talks about such an injustice and I felt quite ready to tackle a topic and a role like this.But what I find interesting in this film is that it gives us the opportunity to observe a mother who he’s trying to come to terms with a terrible truth about his son, and in my opinion this behavior of his is a glimpse into the problem of sexual assault that we haven’t seen yet. It also asks us to consider our responsibility as spectators in a similar situation. In this village silence makes bystanders accomplices of injustice Obviously the character of Sarah is very important and she is a very courageous woman, but she also makes us understand that the consequences do not fall only on the victim. Someone who rapes has a mother, often a sister, friends, so the film makes you understand what effect it has on the community and on the family, in this case on the mother.”
About his partners in the film Franciosi has words of true affection: “Emily Watson is an actress whose career I have always admired. When I was very young I had created a vision board, a billboard on which you put photos of people who inspire you for your career and I always had a photo of her on it I only told her about it two weeks ago because I felt a bit embarrassed to tell her sooner. To me she is an artist, as we say a actor’s actor, an actress that all the other actors look up to for the kind of work she does. Paul Mescal is a friend, I’m super proud and happy for him. The Normal People series came out three years ago and then the Oscar nomination, so it just had a crazy wave and it’s so much fun to see him enjoying this moment, he’s a very talented actor but the most important thing is that a very kind, nice and who doesn’t take herself too seriously. For me, it’s the perfect combination: taking the job seriously but not taking yourself too seriously.”
Even though his connection with Ireland has weakened because he hasn’t lived there for ten years, Aisling tells us that he always likes to work there again because of the skill of the local crews, the stories they tell them and the breathtaking locations, as well as find her mother and siblings, but as proud as she is of being half Irish and half Italian, she wants to tell stories not only related to her country of origin. And speaking of the roles she has played so far, of women who often experience dramatic situations, here’s what she replies: “If I have to be completely honest, it’s not just me who chooses but it’s also these roles that choose me, I’m not saying this to give myself the airs of an artist, but I practically never audition for comedies or romantic films. Somehow, for some combination these scripts, these roles have attracted me, but having played them then they seek me out for these type of characters Obviously it is a privilege to play these women because sometimes the films have pure entertainment value, other times they deal with topics to discuss, so I see it’s a privilege to play roles like that in God’s Creatures or The Nightingale, but it’s also interesting and fun to try to find those deep emotions that I’m not allowed to express in everyday life, and this is cathartic, I like to challenge myself, face challenges. That said, however, I would love to make a comedy film or a musical: if anyone reads this interview, know that I will be very grateful to be able to smile in a film!”.
Aisling Franciosi also tells us how she approaches filming on the set of a small independent film or a series or a high-budget film such as the horror film in which we will soon see her: “We finished shooting Creatures of God two weeks before starting The Last Voyage of the Demeter, and in terms of budget they were two completely different films. Perhaps this answer will be a bit boring because for me it really doesn’t change much in terms of view of my work. If I’m doing something ultra low budget or 90 million dollars, nothing changes for me, I’m always anxious, I’m always afraid of not doing my best, my job is to try to play the character as best I can But obviously there are some fun things, a little less with Game of Thrones for me because I had a very small part, but the set of The Last Voyage of the Demeter was a 45m boat in Malta, expenses that an indie film couldn’t afford. This helps especially in the context of a fictional story because there is no green screen but it’s a real set: even for Dracula’s character in the film they used a bit of CGI but he was an actor (Javier Botet, ndr) who was wearing some kind of suit, terrifying, and that helps. Of course I would never say no to a film that pays me better, but I’m completely in love with independent films because what interests me the most is human history.”
We thank Aisling Franciosi for her sympathy and availability and in the meantime we invite you to see her in cinemas from May 4 in Creatures of Godbecause we will certainly hear a lot about this talented actress in the future.