'Ken Loach is just the most amazing guy’: interview with actress of movie ‘I, Daniel Blake’ Sharon Percy

Cinema / Interview - 26 August 2019 07:30

'I, Daniel Blake Won' the Cannes Film Festival

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Sharon Percy starred in movie I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach. The film won the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. She worked also on the movie The Song of Names, with Tim Roth, Clive Owen, Catherine McCormack.

Q. In movie “I, Daniel Blake” you interpret Sheila. Please can you tell us about these roles?

A. Sheila works for the Department for work and pensions, in a jobcentre, as her work role she must ensure claimants are fulfilling the rules and guidelines whilst claiming Job Seekers Allowance and the expectations required from DWP, and have the necessary equipment to look for work, part of that that equipment is an up to date C.V . and registered on universal Job match. Sheila is a conscientious worker and follows the rules.

Q. Ken Loach is the directors. How he interact with the actors?

A. Ken Loach is just the most amazing guy, he always wants to find the truth of any situation his actors / characters are in. He makes you feel very at ease and always comes across as very calm and collected, he knows exactly what he needs to achieve from each and every scene, he gives you lots of opportunity to play with the scene and find out how best it works.

Q. On the set, as is the working relationship with the actor, Dave Johns, Hayley Squires?

A. Dave Johns and I have known each other for many years, from our time performing at the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle, and we have come across each other from time to time over the years in our professional careers. It was great working with Dave again, it was fantastic doing our scenes in the job centre, and he offers up a very honest performance, he’s fantastic in this film. Hayley was lovely too I haven’t worked with her before, and we only had a little to do together in one of the job centre scenes, but she too is of the moment and delivers a very strong and natural response to Katie’s situation, she too is fantastic in this film.

Q. The film also tells the fear of bureaucracy. Which do you think is the significance of the movie?

A. I feel it tells a very strong story of circumstances and how bureaucracy can stand in the way of people’s lives, Daniel wants to work but his medical circumstances say he can’t but then the circumstances of the DWP say he can, its controversial for this matter, any one person can only do what they feel they are capable of within the realms of their physical capabilities, but that may not necessarily be answered in a ticky box, it’s a very human story of real people and the way people have had to survive.

Q. You worked also in theatre.

A. I have always loved both, for very different reasons, film and TV gives you the chance to explore things take after take, and gives you the opportunity to strengthen your performance each time, in the theatre you have that one shot in front of the audience but you get a human response in that moment, and you feel energy from it, whether it is a laugh a cry a pause there is adrenaline, blood, life and a reality in that moment and they are moments you treasusre.

Q. A question about your private life. How is your tipical day?

A. I currently work part time for a charity organisation that supports adults with learning disabilities LD : Northeast , I am a project worker, on a project called the Safer Tomorrows raising awareness of disability hate crime with Adults who have learning disabilities and informing them of what a hate crime is, and how we can report such incidents in the borough of where we live in North Tyneside. It has, in the past been hugely under reported so we are getting out there making sure this does not go under the radar. I am very passionate about this, I made a short film with some of our service users about ways hate crime can be carried out. It made a huge difference to their confidence, it was amazing to see how fantastic they were but it meant so much to them too. I am also a mum to 2 girls so they take up a lot of my time too. I love 70’s funk soul music and love to have a dance and listen to some fantastic artists with my partner Martin at Hoochie coochie in Newcastle, they do get some class acts to perform there!
And when it comes to food I do love a good meal out, I’m not fussy so will try anything….

Q. What is your preferred book and why?

A. Ouch I ain’t read a book in years but I used to read a lot of Patricia Cornwell books. Iloved her writing.


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