06th Oct2017

Interview: Nadia Lamin discusses folk horror ‘Dogged’

by Philip Rogers

With the highly anticipated folk horror Dogged currently doing a tour of the festival circuits, I had the opportunity to talk with actresses Nadia Lamin about developing the character Sparrow and her experiences making the film.


How did you get involved in the film Dogged?

My agent Jo Southwell, Aston Management. She put me up for the part of Sparrow and told me about the project. I read the script and I thought it was brilliant. It is one of those scripts that I read from front to back in less than an hour. I just read it all. Normally it takes me a long time to read stuff, so I knew that I really liked this. I love the character Sparrow so I went to the audition and that evening I got told that I had the part.

So, you instantly from the script had a sense that it could be a good film.

I had a really good feeling about it and I just loved the story line. If I am honest I am not a huge horror fan, but I do love cult horror. I love more of a psychological thriller and this really ticked the box. I thought it was brilliant. Really well written

What preparations did you do for the role itself?

At East 15 my drama school, a lot of people say it’s a methodist school. But in all honesty, it’s all about finding truth in the character. Trying to find things that you can connect to and if you can’t connect to them, you need to find the reason behind their actions as a character. You need to make that justifiable.

So, I always approach my character by finding three simple things What do they really want, what do they really need and what is the tragic flaw of their character. You can call that an obstacle. I worked with those three basic things and then I go deeper and drag it out.

Do you put any of your own personality into the character?

I would say there was a little bit of me in there, because it was me playing the character. It was me in that situation if I had led that sort of life. Had I been born into a hippy transient lifestyle. I wouldn’t say it was me though, as Sparrow and myself are very different. She’s rawer and she’s been through situations that I have never been through. I made her rougher. Which I hope I am not rough.

What sort of things attracted you to the role of Sparrow?

I think those qualities. I am very much attracted to characters that have opposite elements to what I am. I do love going for darker roles, characters that have bigger scars than I do. I love playing comedy stuff as well, buts its more of challenge for me when I go into something that is very alien and I’m trying to find their reason behind their actions.

I don’t think Sparrow is a very bad person at all. I think she’s the one that saves Sam, the one that sacrifices her own life. She is obviously the red herring in the film. You think maybe it’s the hippies that’s killing everyone off. But the way that her mind works, she is very straight and down to the point, no messing around. She obviously holds onto these villagers, she hates them so much and that is a lot of hate that she has built up over the many years. With what they have done to her family, what they have done to everyone else that she may have cares about. When Kite goes missing she knows exactly what has happened to him and who has done that. That was a very interesting thing to play with.

Did you change the character at all from the original script?

I don’t think I changed it. Obviously, I brought elements and my own ideas to it. Don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t agree with something I would have said. But I think, probably the reason I got the role is I did it as they had seen it. But I didn’t feel like I could never add my own thing. I had a very visual idea the way she looked physically, like as in her face. The makeup, I had given makeup suggestions and stuff like that, which was great because everyone was really open to the ideas. That’s why I love this project and filming this, because everyone was so open minded to accept everyone else’s ideas. That’s when I think really good filmmaking happens, when everyone feels comfortable. That was my first feature film Dogged and I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience on a feature.

When I was 16 I was in St Trinians (2007) with Rupert Everett and Russell Brand. But I was a kid, it was a great experience, but going from a secondary to a lead role that was something special.

What was your favourite part of filming Dogged?

For me it’s the interaction between the first time you get to see Sparrow open up, which when she is having a very honest and truthful conversation with Sam at her camp. I think, because she’s spent a lot of her life and her time closing all of those, to try and seek revenge for what happened. When she meets Sam, we didn’t go don’t the romantic route, which is quite interesting because that was maybe an obvious thing. But it was a bit more, these two people from different sides of the island really connect. She felt that she could open up to him and told him about everything that’s been happening. That was my favourite thing to shoot. That and my death scene that was cool.

Have you got any other projects you are working on at the moment?

I just wrapped on a psychological thriller short film Chimera (2017) with Patrick Ryder who directed it and Dark Fable media and DoP (Director of Photography) Richard Oaks. The cast was Andrew Lee Potts, I’m not sure if you remember Prime Evil (2007-2011) that used to be in the television. He was in that. Angela Dixon she was in a film Never Let Go (2015) that’s now out on Netflix. She’s amazing. Rachel Warren and Mark Zamin. It was a really amazing project, again it’s a darker role. I won’t reveal too much because it’s a big spoiler, so you will just have to watch that.

I’m in the process, because I have my own small production company called Trench films. I act as the in-house producer and I act in a lot of the projects that we do. We have just completed our short film called Portalis (2017).

I am working on a feature film with Joe Southwell and hopefully gonna be filming in Ireland next year for another feature. Hopefully I will work with Ash Mountain films again.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into acting?

Watch as much as you can and get involved as much as you can. That is playing any role on a film set whether it’s producing, script supervising, extra, cameo roles, helping develop the idea, just being a runner. When you are on set its important to know everybody’s role what they’re doing. Because if you know that as an actor, then you know how to move forward with your performance. Obviously, you focus on just what you are doing in that moment, but one of the biggest lessons I learnt is working really closely with the DoP. So just working, me as an actor in front of the camera working on very small bits. Knowing how and what they are doing with the camera and where their next move is, especially if their hand held. It’s very interesting.

That’s something which I didn’t necessarily learn at drama school, because that is predominantly theatre based, which I do as well. I did a play in April this year in London and now it’s going to be toured around Holland. I still do theatre and I love Shakespeare fan, but for film in general if you know everyone else’s role in the film set and as long as you are not lying in front of the camera you’re ok to go.

Check out Portalis on Twitter and follow Trench Films too @TRENCHfilms. You can watch the trailer for Chimera on YouTube



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