Ms. Namita Nayyar:
Your performance in Never Let Go has been commendable and excellent. Would you like to share with us your experience shooting the movie?
Ms. Angela Dixon:
Thank you! I have been humbled by the reaction to my performance in ‘Never Let Go’. When you take a leading role your neck is on the line. My character carries the film and that is a lot of responsibility. So it was a huge relief to get a positive reaction to my work. I put my heart and soul into it.
Playing Lisa was intense. It was a big opportunity for me and I was terrified of failure to the point of paralysis. A week before filming I was really scared that I wouldn’t be able to do it, in fact that feeling stayed with me through most of the shoot. My antidote to this debilitating fear was to prepare within an inch of my life. I went through my inner world and imagination with a fine tooth comb to build her character. For 5 weeks prior to filming I worked 7 days a week, 12+ hours a day analysing the script, exploring her emotional and psychological world, finding her voice and honing her body. I took one day off – on my birthday.
By the time I got on set I was ready although of course I didn’t realise it at the time. I knew every thought, emotion, action, motivation, need, want and innermost fear of Lisa Brennan. She became part of me.
Working with Howard Ford, the director and writer of ‘Never Let Go’ was the most incredible experience, he is a filmic alchemist and the nicest man in the business. I was so safe in his hands, there was an intrinsic trust, respect and care in his direction which really enabled me to use my craft which was essential in the conditions we were working under. This was guerilla filming, tense, on the edge and spontaneous. I needed to be on my mettle.
Lisa was physically trained and I did all my own fight scenes and stunts so I needed to be in peak physical condition. Training hard also helped me to keep my focus with the pressure I was putting myself under. I had three angels on my shoulders whose expertise and support really kept me sane and on track. Steve Cole, my personal trainer, who got me in shape, Liz Robson my physio who kept on mending me as I broke a lot, and Paige Walker the most amazing voice coach out there.
It is so rare to get a leading role as a woman – we are drastically underrepresented in story-telling – I wanted to do justice to it and us. It was really important for me to make Lisa a multifaceted real woman and not just a cardboard cut-out action figure. I wanted her to be vulnerable as well as strong. My mantra was ‘let the audience see me’ and by me I meant Lisa. I think that’s something we can all learn from. Let people see us! If you watch ‘Never Let Go’ and like it spread the word. If we support female centric story-telling it will give the industry confidence to make more. We are 50% of the population, it’s time our stories were equally represented.
Dixon is electrifying on screen – she makes sure that her character matters. But she also holds all the keys to the story; whether it’s her mysteriousness or the thrilling action heroine, she carefully balances a line between Jason Bourne, Lara Croft and Carrie Mathison.
It’s been overwhelming that so many people have been deeply moved by ‘Never Let Go’. I was in a taxi the other day and the driver had seen it. He talked so passionately about how it affected him as a dad. He said my character was a role model for both men and women to have determination to fight for what’s right. That was a very uplifting ride!
Ms. Namita Nayyar:
Tell us about your Top 5 Fashion Must-haves.
Ms. Angela Dixon:
The most important person in my fashion world is Portia Shaw from POP PR. She always dresses me when I have an event and I wouldn’t know what to do without her. She pulls garments off the rails and almost by magic makes them look good on me. It’s a real talent. In my own wardrobe my must haves are Skinny Jeans, combat trousers, thigh length boots, a pair of killer heels and a red-carpet dress from my favorite designer MimiTran.