Your new series Housemates - in a few words, what is it
about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?
Housemates is about 3 young adults living together. Who are not just
friends but a lot like family.
The series follows their day to day lives and a typical day for each of
My character Ashley is an art dealer. Sheís young and strong and
trying to have a love life, in this new technological world of Tinder
and online dating.
did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Jade Abode
can we find in Ashley, really?
Iím quite a strong and confident women and so is Ashley. So I drew on
that. I wanted to make Ashley come across as independent and strong, but
also show her vulnerable side with her reaction to her struggles with
We are different though as I am not as opinionated on men as she is, but
I could relate as I have heard a lot of stories about my friends'
experiences with online dating.
To what extent could you
identify with the subject matter of Housemates on a personal level,
and do you have any wild housemate stories of your own?
I think as a young millennial growing up in London it is hard to define
our culture. Myself and a lot of people my age with African families
sometimes have a hard time fully identifying themselves in terms of
culture. As here in England I would identify as as African and celebrate
my African culture. When someone asks me where I am from I will always
refer to my heritage (Nigeria, Ghana and England) and not say I am
simply ĎBritishí. However, when visiting Africa I am clearly seen as
an English girl and not seen as an African. So it's difficult to feel
fully accepted by either culture. In England we are seen as African, in
Africa we are seen as English. So there is not a place where we can
However, I do feel as though as we become 3rd and 4th generation British
citizens we are creating our own culture of Black African British
did you get involved with the project in the first place?
I met Anthony Vander about a year or more ago and he reached out to me and
asked me to be involved.
can you tell us about Housemates' director (and co-star) Anthony
Vander [Anthony Vander interview -
click here], and what was your collaboration like?
I love working with Anthony, which is why I said yes to Housemates with
no hesitation. He is incredibly talented and humble. His worth ethic is
It's always a lot of fun to collaborate with him, as he just makes it
easy and comfortable. It's refreshing to work with a genuine soul.
Anthony is definitely destined for huge things and Iím excited to see
where his career goes.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Shooting Housemates was one of the most fun shoots I have worked on. The
cast and crew were all so energetic and funny. It was such a fun process
because the crew just gelled and got on so well.
Plus Anthonyís mum kept us going with her AMAZING food!
future projects you'd like to share?
I have a short film
coming soon called Donít Speak, itís centered on abuse, and
follows 4 women's stories. It talks about the important issues which people
are usually afraid to discuss, but it is important to shed light on this
What got you into
acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the
I have always loved performing. As a child I was
that girl getting up in front of the class to sing or perform a dance
routine! Haha! But the moment I knew I wanted to really take it seriously
was in secondary school, when I was cast as the lead in Macbeth for a
performance at the Middle Temple Hall. My drama teachers in school really
From what I know, you have an extensive career
as a stage actress - so do talk about your theatre work for a bit, and how
does performing in front of a live audience compare to acting in front of
a camera - and which do you prefer, really?
The buzz you get from a live audience is a unique feeling. I donít get
as nervous in front of a camera. However, the nerves you get on stage
give you adrenaline and help bring out a unique performance. I think it's
more difficult keeping that momentum up whilst filming for camera as
there are multiple takes and longer performance periods.
With theatre you bounce off the person you're performing with, the
scenes build in momentum as it progresses and that aids your
performance. But with screen work you do scenes in small chunks and have
to keep each take as fresh and powerful as the last, even after 4 or 5
At the moment though I am loving working in front of the camera and want
to focus more on that.
What can you
tell us about your filmwork prior to Housemates?
have been working with some really talented filmmakers doing some short
indie films. Iíve done some commercial work too but nothing compares to
working with new up and coming filmmakers as their passion and drive is
would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
I would say I am more of a dramatic actress and I am drawn to dramatic
pieces. I love to challenge myself with characters who are going through
tough situations as it challenges me emotionally.
I use emotional recall and reactions to the dialogue to help bring out
my performance. I create a backstory for my character and create them as
a full person outside of the script. So I imagine what happened before
and what might happen after, to give them a bit more depth.
Actresses (and indeed
actors) who inspire you?
Gabrielle Union. She is so talented and comes across as a real person
rather than a perfect celebrity who seems to have it all. You can
clearly see she works so hard and it shows through her performance.
Leonardo DiCaprio is also one of my favourites. He is so talented and
becomes a completely different person in each of his roles.
Your favourite movies?
Harry Potter - all of
and of course, films you really deplore?
Facebook, whatever else?
Facebook: Jade Abode
Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?