Are you ready for this feelgood sequel? In cinemas 19 August
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY THE OTHER RICHARD
Throughout her career, Jade Anouka has served up visibility. From her portrayal of Ruta Skadi in His Dark Materials to how she and her wife, musician Grace Savage, used art to recount their journey to becoming mummies. This year, Jade has also shared a stage with Jonathan Bailey, Taron Egerton and Phil Daniels in COCK. At the time of our conversation, Jade is in New York City where she has been performing her one-woman poetic play, Heart.
Suffice to say, if you’re wanting to see more Jade in your life, you’ve got plenty of options. In exciting news, she has reprised her role as Leah in the upcoming Fisherman’s Friends sequel, Fisherman’s Friends: One and All. Based on the true story of a group of Cornish fishermen who were signed by Universal Records, the sequel follows the “buoy band” as they navigate the dreaded second album.
DIVA: You’ve had a very busy year, as well as the Fisherman’s Friends’ sequel, you’ve starred in COCK and Heart, to top it all off you’re a new parent. I’m very impressed by your multi-tasking. How have you handled navigating all these different experiences?
Jade: Yeah, it has been a bit overwhelming. My wife is amazing. She has just enabled me to be able to work by, you know, bringing our daughter into rehearsals and the theatre. The companies I’ve been working with have been really good and really supportive, it has such a massive impact on being able to go back to work and being there as a new parent.
And of course DIVA readers are huge Bridgerton fans, so I have to ask quickly what it was like working with Jonathan Bailey in COCK?
Ah! He was a dream, he’s as wonderful as you would imagine him to be. He was brilliant to work with and we got on really well.
And onto the Fisherman’s Friends sequel, what first attracted you to your character, Leah, and what was it like to step back into the role this time round?
Right at the beginning, Leah was quite a small role, and it was quite fundamental in terms of the story of The Fisherman’s Friends. And, it was a really integral part, and I really loved coming in on the film, that was a really big story, a really feelgood film. Just working with that team was just really brilliant. And so when I was asked to come back in and that Leah’s role would get bigger, I jumped at the opportunity to play her again, and to establish a bit more about who she was, who she is and her different sense as well of the world of. Getting to go down to Cornwall and film down there by the sea, in the most beautiful location with the guys down there was really fun as well. So yeah, I couldn’t say no.
A lot of your work has provided wonderful representation. Cornwall is this really beautiful place, but it’s known for its lack of diversity. What was important to you when portraying this character?
It was really important. I experienced it first-hand, because when you move down there, we were still in lockdown when we were filming, and so, you know, as well as being down there in lockdown I think a lot of the locals were like “What are you doing here?”
I’m born and raised in London. So it is a bit of a shock when going down to Cornwall, especially at that time when there weren’t any visitors, it was just people who were residents. And I think we see a bit of that in the film. But also we need to see it, and we need to see people, and we need to know that it does exist. Yes, I felt like I was one of very few people of colour when I was down filming in Cornwall. But also there are [people of colour] who live down there. We need to see that they’re represented, I think it’s important to have that, especially in this film.
Are you working on any other projects you can tell DIVA readers about?
I’m still doing Heart, so at the moment I’m still in New York, in my one-woman play that I’ve written, and I’m really hoping that that gets to come to London soon. I’ve finished filming the third series of His Dark Materials. That will be out soon, so you gotta look out for that. I’ve got an EP coming up – it’s basically, my wife and I shot a short film while we were in lockdown, and she’s a musician, Grace Savage, and she did all the music, and we both acted in it, because we were just living together in our little flat. And it did so well that we thought we would release the film’s track as tracks in an EP. So that’s gonna come out soon, so look out for that, the Her & Her EP.
Fisherman’s Friends: One and All is in cinemas 19 August
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