Gravitas interviews Georgie Henley, star of Perfect Sisters

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This role is a big departure from Lucy in the Narnia series, is one type of character more fun for you to play than the other?
They are both hugely different characters, and I’m so lucky to have been given the opportunity to play them. I think Beth was more fun in the sense that it was amazing to completely transform my whole look and be a total goth but playing Lucy was fantastic because of all the amazing stunt work and sets that I experienced.

Beth’s character takes a lot of dark turns in this movie but still remains very sympathetic. What do you think makes Beth so likeable?
There is definitely an interesting juxtaposition within her character, but above all I think that audiences sympathise with Beth because she ultimately tries to protect Sandra from anything. Also, I think her moodiness and her defiance resonate with people because she’s witty and she won’t allow people to dominate her.

PerfectSisters_still2The bond you had with Abigail on screen was so strong, how did you two develop that kind of chemistry?
Abbie and I spent so much time together, all of the cast did. From the very beginning we would go to dinner together, shop together, go to the cinema, even work out together, and spending so much time with her meant that we felt really free around each other. We could play and experiment and improvise on set without feeling self conscious.

What was your favorite moment to play in this movie?
I really loved filming the scenes that I’d originally auditioned with, even though some of them were very dark. These moments reminded me that in a way I’d come full circle, from being just another girl auditioning to being lucky enough to be playing an amazing part. Having said that, the second bathtub scene with Abbie was not that fun to shoot given the huge emotional toll and the copious amount of pea soup flying everywhere!

What was the biggest difference that stood out to you on how high school kids act in America versus England?
I think the biggest difference (and I see this a lot with other scripts I’ve read set in high school) is that girls and boys are slightly more separated in America in terms of friend groups, whereas in England it’s much more integrated. However I could be completely wrong having only gone to school in England.

What do you think of boys who wear eyeliner like your costar Jeffrey Ballard?
Playing with the way you look is such an amazing way to express yourself, so I think if a guy wants to wear eyeliner, there’s no reason that he shouldn’t. I only really ever saw Jeff with eyeliner on (even on the weekends he wouldn’t be able to get all of it off) so to see him without it on is actually so weird!

PerfectSisters_still6What does the rest of your family think of the film? Did they come away from it thinking, “We better not mess with Georgie!”?
My family were so supportive of me making this transition, although I doubt my grandparents enjoyed the excessive swearing, smoking and PDAs!

We hear you are currently attending Cambridge. How is that going so far and are you doing much acting there?
I was very nervous about going to university, and I was worried that I’d get imposter syndrome from attending a place like Cambridge. However it really has been the best experience of my life; I have an amazing group of friends, I love my course, which is English, and it’s such a beautiful place to live. In terms of acting, I’m doing a lot of theatre which is so great because I hadn’t really acted on stage much before I came to Cambridge. I’m learning so much and I’ve played such a diverse collection of roles so it really couldn’t be better.

The premiere just happened for Perfect Sisters, how was that? How long has it been since you’ve gotten to see these people you worked on the movie with?
I’m so glad that I was able to come to the premiere. It was so great to see everyone, particularly those I hadn’t seen since filming, and it was so wonderful to finally show the film to an audience. It got such a great reaction and I just cannot wait for more and more people to see ‘Perfect Sisters’.