Alexa Davies is an Actress on the Rise
When you ask a child what they want to become as adults, you are sure to get an army of vets, firefighters, astronauts, doctors, football players and, of course, actors as an answer. But why are actors and actresses a part of those fascinating and magical jobs for children? Is it fame? Well, maybe sometimes, but not all the times, not for Alexa Davies, whose dream started almost by chance, and whose motivation isn’t becoming rich and famous, but just a sheer and authentic passion for acting. If you “Google” her, you will discover that she is a discrete and understated Welsh girl with a totally candid Instagram account.
A version of this exclusive interview first appeared in the pages of the 15th issue of ODDA Magazine.
You were born in Wales and not in a big city, so how did it all start for you?
It was practically a miracle. A film came to my town when I was 14, about to turn 15 and held an open casting. I went and got a lovely little role. We made the film around North Wales, I wasn’t paid a penny but it remains to be the best work experience I ever did. After finishing my GCSEs a year later, I was writing to agents looking for representation and luckily three lovely people from that film put in a good word for me with Joe and Bill at BWH and they have been my agents for 6 years now. It’s all thanks to them, really.
If they hadn’t decided to take a chance on me I don’t know where I’d be right now.
As a young girl, have you always dreamed of becoming an actress?
For as long as I can remember, yes. When I was really young, I wanted to be a caterpillar, chances of that happening were very slim as it turns out. But, from around 5 or 6, yes, I’ve always wanted to perform. Firstly on stage, then my love for television really came into play when I was about 9 years old and then, at 14, my first professional experience was on film and, since then, there’s been no going back for me.
Sometimes, when it comes to choosing our own life and work, there are some factors to ponder. In your particular case, acting is not a career known to be safe and always lucrative. Weren’t you afraid of all the un- certainties hailing form this choice?
Absolutely. As with any freelance work, it is scary. But the reality is that, if you’re not working much as an actor, then you should get a different job and wait for the work to pick up. It can be fun! I’ve worked loads of jobs in between doing films and TV shows. Acting gives you zero guarantees, so you have to make your own.
As an emerging actress, are you sure about this being your only career or do you have another interest, or also hobby, you could turn into an alternative professional path?
This is the only career for me. Even if it goes completely downhill from here, you’ll find me working on a bar in 20 years saying I’m just waiting for the work to pick up. Alternatively, maybe I’ll have another think about the caterpillar thing.
You have most recently starred in Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again. The cast is stellar to say the least. What were your expectations about them? Like, sometimes, in our senseless adoration, we seem to forget they are human too… Are they, though?
Yeah, they are! They’re all great. It was absolutely nerve-wracking knowing I’d be working with them, but they made it so easy. They were incredibly welcoming to all of us newbies. They are potentially superhuman.
As Mamma Mia is a musical, how did you relate to the singing part? Have you ever played in a musical before? Is it an enjoyable variance from regular movies?
The only experience I have in musicals is from the shows I did with my Am Dram group back in Rhyl. Mamma Mia was very different from that to say the least! It was amazing! I had so much fun – knowing that I would be going to work to sing and dance all day was exhilarating. It is such a fun way to tell a story. It has really shaken things up for me. I would definitely be up for doing another movie musical in the future.
As you also starred in the sitcom Raised by Wolves as Aretha Garry, can you develop some kind of affection for a character you interpreted for a longer time period? And is it difficult to leave it behind once the TV series comes to an end?
The affection lies with the people who were around me when I was playing Aretha. I still get to enjoy using pieces of Aretha sometimes, knowing that she is there in my log and that whenever I have to deliver a very intelligent, very sarcastic joke, then I can find her again. Saying goodbye to the show was heart-breaking, but knowing that Helen, Molly, Rebekah and the rest of the wonderful Garry family would always be a part of my life made everything a little easier. I think that’s true with any project. It’s saying goodbye to the other characters that’s difficult.
Some actors feel more comfortable with playing certain types of characters that somehow reflect their own personality. What about you?
I don’t have any preferences as of yet. My only criteria for wanting to play a character is that they’re well written. From that point on, it is always fun discovering how to become them, no matter how similar or different we are as people.
How about playing someone who is totally in antithesis with you and your own beliefs, instead? Is it challenging?
It is definitely weird trying to not only understand, but really empathise with a character who, if you met in real life, you’d probably run a mile from. But that’s my favourite part of the job sometimes! Having to understand why people do things that I would never personally do is really interesting.
If you had to choose your favourite part ever, which own would it be? Have you already played it or is it still in your bucket list?
Well, a part of me really hopes that I’m yet to play my favourite part. I hope every part I play becomes my new favourite. So far, I’ve been very lucky. Playing Meg in Dead Pixels, which comes to E4 this autumn, was so much fun. She’s a bit of a mess and that’s always fun to play. Playing Betsey in Harlots was a joy. Rebecca in X+Y is another favourite. The list is too long, I love them all!
Bombarded by the ever-growing fear for the end of the world for global warming and whatnot, the millennial generation like ours has been invaded by overall apocalyptic literature and imagery. Is it something you find yourself liking, or are you more into a realistic kind of drama?
It is the quality of the piece that really matters to me. My favourite films range from a simple story of a girl falling in love in An Education to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. If a story is well told, then it doesn’t matter what the story is, to me.
Would you ever see yourself acting in a dystopia? Would you be good or bad? Or more on some shade of grey?
I’d love to! It looks like a lot of fun doing projects like that. I’d really love to do an action film one day. I say that now, I bet if you put me in a harness in the air for 6 hours, I’d have something different to say. Both! I’d like to be a good, bad guy.
From your Instagram, you look like a girl who doesn’t mind reading. What is your go-to genre?
I love reading. I like to share what I’m reading on Instagram in the hopes of starting conversations and maybe finding out about other books that I’d love. I think reading can be made to seem uncool to young people. It certainly was when I was a teen, so I think any encouragement to read is great. Emma Roberts’ Belletrist book club is such a brilliant idea! I love anything from fiction to a good book about space.
Is there a novel – not yet turned into a movie – in which you got to know a such an intriguing character you would live for interpreting it in a movie or a TV show?
As a teenager, I was obsessed with Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution. It’s about a girl called Andi who is struggling with a lot of things, she comes across a journal written by a girl her age, Alexandrine, but from the time of the French Revolution.
Alexandrine’s story helps Andi through her problems. I’d love to play either Andi or Alexandrine. Or both!
Social media and multifaceted Internet exposure has been acting as a springboard to fame even for people who don’t work in the telly or in the cinema industry. What about the other way around though? Is it important to be always, or often there on the Internet in order to be an actress?
It has definitely become apparent to me that an actor’s following can affect their work rate. I don’t think it is important or essential to be always active on social media at all. If you work hard, are kind and good at what you do, then you will work. Your presence on social media is entirely optional.
Let’s come to fame, then. Is it necessarily an essential part to define the success spectrum of an actor?
Absolutely not. Success, to me, is being respected by your peers. Success is working consistently, making great working relationships with people you respect and being happy. Success is not based on how many pictures people take of you, how many Instagram followers you have or how many parties you attend.
Are you committed into becoming famous, or is it just a side eventuality that is inherent to your job?
I’m not even sure it’s an eventuality. I’m hoping I can make certain decisions, which will mean that I can have a long, prosperous and exciting career whilst also leading a life where I can go to the supermarket without fear of someone asking for a picture. So far so good.
What is your favourite part of acting? Like that part that makes you think, “Yes, that’s why I’m doing it”?
Every part. Every up and every down is thrilling. I love my job. I love telling stories. I love entertaining. I love making people feel things. Yes, everything about it is why I’m doing it.
Projects for the future?
I’m currently working in a new drama for television. I’m so excited about it as the scripts are phenomenal and I’m playing a very complex young woman. Unfortunately, that’s all I can say!
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