Ella Cannon is an incredibly talented Melbourne Actor who is making a name for herself in the acting world. I like what she is doing and thought she worth giving publicity for. She is an actor to watch out for.
1. What has been your favorite role to date?
This is such a hard
question to answer because every role is so different! I’m a huge fan of
the gritty roles and I really like exploring the heavier emotions and struggles within a character, similar to the character of
Electra that I played in the NIDA production of The House of Atreus. But
I think if I really had to choose my favourite it would probably be
airhead ‘Tish’ from Lee Zacharia’s pilot Region Locked. I always
considered comedy to be one of my weaknesses, and I was super nervous
about tackling this role because it’s one thing to be unexpectedly funny in conversation,
but it’s a whole other ball park to try and recreate that convincingly
on screen without it seeming ‘acted’ or scripted. But after a lot of
spent time on the script, giving my character more dimensions than just
stupidity, she started to come alive for me, and when I got to work on
set with such a wonderful director and crew it was easy to feel comfortable and explore who Tish really was. I was
so nervous to see the final product because you just never know if
you’ve nailed it or not, but when I did I was so happy.. and I think
that’s what made her my favourite role, because by achieving something
outside of my comfort zone I proved that negative little voice in my
head wrong and by doing so I gave myself more satisfaction than I was used to. I’ve never doubted myself since 🙂
2. What do you do to prepare for a role?
I’ve had it drilled into
my brain by all my teachers in the past that when you receive a script,
the first thing you need to do is read it 200 times.
I may not
always get to 200 but I will definitely start preparing for my role by
understanding the entire script first to learn where my character lives
First of all I find my character’s objective in every scene. What she
wants to achieve. Without this the character has no drive, no urgency
and nothing to gain… that’s when ‘I want to leave just because’ and
‘i have to leave because I need to stop someone from making a terrible
mistake’ become two very different things. Second to that is something I learned from the
wonderful actor/director David Cameron. You need to give your character
their specifics. It’s so important to know exactly why you walk
through the front door and into your scene.. eg: where am I coming from?
Why am I here? What do I feel about the other character? Because
without these things you just walk through a door and act. That’s not convincing. When I’m in the
scene I have to know if I’m outside, if the neighbors can hear me.. all
of these things to make my character come
alive, and make sense. It’s
only once I’ve established all these things and created the essence of
my character that I’ll begin actually working on the lines. Then it’s
just rehearsing and rehearsing
3. Any techniques to remember lines?
I’m actually one of the very
fortunate actors out there in that, I can never remember where I put my
damn car keys, but give me a script and let me read it twice over and
I’ll recite it back to you without thinking twice. I think this is definitely a skill in
that, the more you do it the better you get. I tend to find that once
I’ve given my character their reason for saying whatever they need to say then the words just come naturally anyway because they are the only ones that make sense.
4. how has the internet helped with your career?
The internet has
helped me immensely because I need to treat my career as a business.
With the internet I can manage my own business without needing anyone’s
help, I can promote my work to the general public through tools such as facebook or my
personal website and also to professionals in the industry like casting
agents through sites like Showcast and AT2. I’ve had a great response
from setting up a professional Facebook page because people want to
know what it looks like when the camera isn’t rolling, and by posting my
photos and blogs I’ve developed a following of people and started getting my
name out there in a different way. I’ve had a few people approach me for
work just based on my facebook or personal site alone and for the short amount of time it took to set these things up it’s been well worth it.
5. Do you think it’s a useful tool?
My industry is all about
who you know, and getting known, so the internet has been one of my
useful tools in this respect. I’ve been able to network with other
industry people with far greater ease and promote myself in minutes just by uploading photos and videos. The
internet has to be one of the most used tools in today’s society, and
that’s because it’s easy for the salesman and it’s easy for the buyer. The same applies for acting.
6. What kind of role would you most like to play?
that pops to mind is Penelope Cruz in the feature film ‘Blow’ but I
think that’s mainly because she gets to smooch Johnny Depp.. If I
had to choose a genre I think it would be amazing fun to get a role in
an action/mobster film… I think there’s a certain part of everyone that wants to get dressed up, play with pretend weapons and save the
day.. that kind of character would just be incredible to encompass and
7. How is theater different to you compared to screen work?
personally think that stage and screen acting are 2 very different
worlds. In fact it’s often quite hard for an actor to transfer from one
to the other. I started off being solely interested in stage. I’m a bit of an
adrenaline junkie and the rush I’d get from walking out on stage to a
theatre full of people was quite unlike any other. The difference
with stage acting for me was that (after months of rehearsals of course)
you only had one chance to get it right. That to me meant that it was so much more important to make it real
because there was no room for mistakes.. and in the theatre you need to
act big, so all of these wonderful emotions you get to explore are
amplified and it becomes almost more beautiful than real life. But in
recent years I’ve started developing a huge love for screen acting too. The difference is that
it’s much more true to real life, and it’s much smaller – and although
you may have the opportunity for many takes it is still essential to
be convincing and to get it right. You get to explore yourself inwardly a
little more and I find that hugely fascinating. I think a good comparison is that in stage acting it’s in the voice, and in screen acting it’s in the eyes.
8. Who have you enjoyed working with the most?
I’ve been very
lucky to work with some great directors and crew members over the years,
Lee Zacharia is excellent at what he does and I have huge respect for
him both professionally and as a friend, but then I also had a ridiculous amount of fun presenting for Javi
Tejeda and Julian Ponton in Mexico. At the moment I’m studying a 20 week
actor’s course at The Australian Film and Television Academy (TAFTA)
and whilst there I bumped into a director, David Cameron, with whom I
had worked with previously. David’s utmost respect for actors and innate ability to understand everyone’s natural character
is something that separates him. He is an incredibly patient, visionary
director whose advice will forever be remembered and appreciated by
me. Not only that but he is perhaps the most hilarious human being I’ve
ever had the pleasure of coming across and I very much hope we cross
paths professionally again sometime in the near future.
9. What was it like to study at NIDA?
did the part-time actor’s studio with NIDA in 2008. This was a
wonderful year in my life because it was the first time that I’d been
completely surrounded by like-minded people. This was during a time in my life that I was very passionate about stage acting and this course
gave me all the tools to work with it. We got to do works ranging from
classical to contemporary and explored every facet of the art we
possibly could’ve in the time we had. Acting is a craft that you never stop learning but
it was a wonderful course that gave me the foundation of the very actor I
am today and I have been very lucky to have had the ongoing support and
faith of all the teachers I’ve happened to come across through NIDA,
TAFTA and all the other short courses I’ve done in my time as an actor.
10. What movies you have seen lately you have really
Don’t hurt me for saying this but I actually only
recently got around to seeing The Silence of The Lambs. I’m not usually
into this kind of genre for enjoyment but Anthony Hopkin’s performance
was just incredible. He’s the perfect example of how much thought and emotion you can provoke
through eye contact alone. The thing I loved most about it was that he
was such an incredibly messed up character, and you could never relate to this kind of person, but yet the director made you like him. At no
point does anybody actually want to see him get killed or disappear.
I’ll never forget the final scene where he is on the phone and says ‘I
have to go, I’m having an old friend for dinner’, puts on his hat and
turns to follow one of the other characters in the film. Hilarious.
11. What are your favorite movies?
I find it impossible to answer
this question… there are far too many… but I can tell you some of
my favourite performances! I’m going through a bit of a Marlon Brando
phase at the moment.
His performance in The Godfather is just beyond incredible for reasons
I’m sure everyone understands. It just excites me when an actor can
create a whole new entity so beautifully and convincingly. There’s
quite a few performances of Johnny Depp’s that I love… fear and
loathing in Las Vegas… Blow, he’s an incredibly versatile actor that
always gives an honest and memorable performance. Luke Ford in the Australian film The Black Balloon obviously
encapsulated a character most actors would find impossible, that of a
severely autistic teenager.
And finally Heath Ledger as both the Joker in The Dark Knight and Dan in the very moving Australian love story Candy. I could honestly continue for days but these are definitely some of the
stronger ones that stand out to me and that I believe deserve
recognition, we are very lucky to have been blessed with some wonderful performances throughout our lifetimes, many of them from our very own, home-grown actors here in Australia.
12. What is next for you?
I’m hoping a day off will come sometime
soon! haha. I’m am very busy at the moment but I’m also loving every
second and praying that it doesn’t slow down! For the duration of this
year my plan is to continue doing what I’m doing, focus on my class and my auditions and continue learning and growing as
an actor. This is a tough industry but it is the only career for me and I
wake up everyday with a smile on my face knowing that I’m doing what I
I figure you can never fail if you never stop trying.
13. Who would you most like to work with?
I think if I got to do a film with Quentin Tarantino I’d be pretty happy
just to put it lightly. I love his quirkiness and his ability to make
such dark, intense moments so light and hilarious. He fascinates me and
I’d absolutely love to have an opportunity to work with him.