Hey Hey Jayne Jayne

She’s played the ‘nice girl’ op­po­site Johnny Depp and The In­be­tween­ers but in a new Ir­ish com­edy, Jayne Wisener gets to show her wild side, she tells Tara Brady

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film -

SHE MAY BE look­ing pretty in pink to­day but Jayne Wisener is deep into a mil­i­tary-style op­er­a­tion. “It’s two months and five days away,” she says, with rather im­pres­sive ac­cu­racy. “I like to think I’m a step ahead of ev­ery­body else on this.”

Pre­cise think­ing and a pin­cer strat­egy are re­quired for a dou­ble fam­ily sum­mer wed­ding – here’s the drill: Wisener will marry Wayne, her part­ner of four years, on July 6th. That leaves just enough time for a hon­ey­moon and then back to ma­tron of hon­our du­ties for her sis­ter’s wed­ding on Au­gust 4th. How could they do this to their poor fraz­zled par­ents? “You’re not the first per­son to say that,” nods Jayne. “Ev­ery­one keeps shak­ing their head and say­ing ‘Oh, and two daugh­ters as well’. Like it’s a ter­ri­ble thing we’ve done. I’ve had to turn down work as well.

“Any­thing that was go­ing to clash with those dates was out. But we’re all ex­cited re­ally. It’s at the front of my mind nearly all the time at this stage.” We will, sadly, have to tear her away from pon­der­ing her nup­tials just for a lit­tle while. This week sees the re­lease of the small but big-hearted Ir­ish com­edy, A Kiss for Jed, a sweet screwball twostep be­tween a Co Antrim tear­away (Wisener) and an older hang­dog cam­era­man (Mark O’hal­lo­ran). Orla is the cow­boy-booted, boy­chas­ing win­ner of a re­al­ity show let loose in New York to track down coun­try mu­sic sen­sa­tion Jed Wood (Smash’s Neal Bled­soe). Ray, her ini­tially reluc­tant com­pan­ion, would rather paint Amer­i­can civil war fig­urines in his ho­tel room or moan to his sound tech­ni­cian, Mike ( Pi­rates of the Caribbean’s Lee Aren­berg). Sparks even­tu­ally fly, but not be­fore Orla takes the Big Ap­ple by storm.

“Please let there be a se­quel,” says Wisener. “I had a month in New York and so much fun. I had met Mark be­fore at the IFTAS in 2008. He won two awards that night. I couldn’t be­lieve when I ended up work­ing with him. It was a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for me.”

Orla bursts on to screen in a splurge of hen party clob­ber and into the men’s cu­bi­cles: be­cause some­times the urge to vomit waits for no girl. For Wisener, the North­ern Ir­ish, nightingal­e-voiced star of Tim Bur­ton’s Sweeney Todd: The De­mon Bar­ber of Fleet Street, James Mcavoy. By then, she was al­ready an old hand when it came to tread­ing the boards. “I had al­ways done ama­teur stuff out­side school,” she re­calls. “But at Col­eraine High School we did a show ev­ery year and they were al­ways re­ally good shows. My teach­ers were very sup­port­ive. When I said I wanted to act no­body ever dis­cour­aged me or told me to fo­cus on some­thing more sen­si­ble. In­stead they wrote re­ally nice let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion which got me into drama school.” She was per­form­ing in West Side Story at Derry’s Mil­len­nium Forum when a tal­ent scout spot­ted her and asked her to au­di­tion for Sweeney Todd.

Ev­ery English Rose wanted the role of Jo­hanna in Tim Bur­ton’s film of Stephen Sond­heim and Hugh Wheeler’s Tony Award­win­ning mu­si­cal. At 19, Wisener was ini­tially dis­missed as too old to play the teen in­no­cent. But then she took her make up off and took the prize.

Wasn’t it daunt­ing to find your­self shar­ing screen time with Johnny Depp and He­lena Bon­ham Carter on your very first film? “Well, I get star-struck with ev­ery­body,” says Wisener. “I meet Gareth Gates: I’m star-struck. I meet Mark O’hal­lo­ran: I’m star-struck. I meet The In­be­tween­ers: I’m so star-struck I have to au­di­tion three times be­cause I loved the first se­ries and I for­get how to speak. When I meet any­one fa­mous I can never re­ally be­lieve they’re real. But with Sweeney Todd it was all so un­real that I didn’t quite be­lieve it was hap­pen­ing.

“If re­al­ity had set in I prob­a­bly would have freaked out com­pletely. But it didn’t un­til we had fin­ished shoot­ing. It’s only now I can look back and ap­pre­ci­ate it for what it was.” Sweeney Todd led to other maid­enly roles in mu­si­cals such as The Se­cret Gar­den and movies in­clud­ing Jane Eyre (“Michael Fass­ben­der is just in a league of his own,” she says of her Jane Eyre co-star.) But her un­la­dy­like an­tics in A Kiss for Jed, says Wisener, have been lib­er­at­ing. Later this year, hav­ing earned rave no­tices for her work as a ju­ve­nile delin­quent in Martina Cole’s The Run­away and as the trou­bled Sandie in BBC NI drama 6De­grees, Wisener will fea­ture in the Dog­mealike Bri­tish in­die film, Life Just Is.

“I feel like things are re­ally hap­pen­ing not just for me but for lots of Ir­ish ac­tors,” says Wisener. “If you look at the Amer­i­can pi­lot sea­son that used to be a closed shop. But now they want to see ac­tors from Ire­land and Bri­tain. Now they want to take a chance on some­thing or some­body a bit dif­fer­ent. I keep turn­ing up for work and I’ll dis­cover there’s some­body else Ir­ish al­ready there. And I’ll think ‘Yay! Go us!’”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.