FYIG Chats With Actress Deragh Campbell

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
 
I am an actor and filmmaker living in Toronto. I grew up in a theatre family and always read a lot but it was through coincidence that I came into acting for film, and now film is more or less the center of my life! 
 
How did you get your start as an actress? 
 
My best friend Hannah Gross and I went to see a screening of Putty Hill directed by Matt Porterfield and were really taken by the film. We met the director after the screening and he ended up casting us as the leads in his upcoming feature I Used to Be Darker that went on to premiere at Sundance. I can pretty much trace every film I’ve been cast in back to that film. 
 
What can you tell us about your character Anne in “Anne at 10,000 Feet”?
 
Anne is a really volatile character. She really wants experience and connection but she gets overly excited and can become unaware of other people. This, in turn, makes her feel isolated. While she is quite an extreme character, I think people can relate to some version of that. 
 
You also have a role in the short, “Please Speak Continuously and Describe Your Experiences As They Come To You”. What can you tell us about this film? 
 
Emily in Please Speak Continuously is in a lucid dream state and is describing what she sees to a sort of doctor/scientist. Her dreams are really anxious nightmares! 
 
How does it feel to have a prominent role in not one, but two TIFF 2019 films? 
 
It feels really great! It’s less that I’ve suddenly been given more opportunities but more that I’ve been working with a group of filmmakers over the years that are starting to get more visibility. It feels great to have built something and then be included in TIFF and enter into a larger dialogue with the audience and the international film community. 
 
You have writing credits on many of your roles. Was working behind the scenes always something you were interested in or did you just fall into it? 
 
I think it is in part working on smaller sets that you naturally take on a hybridized role and lend different skills you might have. My idea for myself after high school was that I’d be a novelist and I did my degree in creative writing and it was in my last year of university that I was cast in a film and started following that course. So acting led me away from writing and then back into it. 
 
You also co-directed a feature with filmmaker Sofia Bohdanowicz called “MS SLAVIC 7” which premiered at the 2019 Berlinale. What was your first directorial experience like? 
 
It was a very positive experience. Sofia and I have a very trusting relationship where we’re very able to defer to the other person’s ideas. We have a very conversational way of working together and so MS Slavic 7 came to reflect both of our interests and impulses. I feel very lucky to have found a collaborator with who the communication is so simple. 
 
What’s next for your career? 
 
I’ll be acting in the new feature by the Cape Breton based director Winston DeGiobbi on a project that I worked on as script-editor. Winston is a really brilliant writer and I’m really excited to play this character and inhabit the world he’s portraying. 
 
What advice would you have for aspiring actors/actresses? 
 
Feel full outside of your acting career – for me, it’s reading and conversing with friends. Otherwise, you can find yourself getting fixated on the competitive side of the industry. It’s important to me to be approaching acting from a place of curiosity. 
 
What’s your life like outside of acting? 
 
Really just reading and watching films! And enjoying conversations with friends at bars. 
 
Let the readers know where to find you online. 
 
I am on Instagram @deraghcampbell