Spending Time With…Hayley-Marie Axe ( @AxeHayley )

From EastEnders, to Red Dwarf, from Silent Witness to Alleycats (I love that movie!) and from  Welcome to Karachi  to Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves  Hayley-Marie Axe has a wonderfully varied and very cool filmography (and tvography if that’s a word) and it was a pleasure to catch up with her (even if just virtually) to send over a few questions and eagerly await what I knew would be fun and great answers (and they were and are)   So without any more waffling from me, Lets hand the rest of this article over to the fantastic Hayley-Marie Axe. 

How did you get started in your career?

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be an actress; I just knew. I used to look in the mirror and make myself cry, and it was surprisingly easy. When I was a teenager, I tried to move schools to Sylvia Young’s but they wouldn’t let me because I had started year ten and GCSE preparation. I got serious about my career when I was about and doing a BTEC in performing arts and media and realised I didn’t want to do backstage, or arts admin etc.  My Nan saw an article in the local paper about Kate Winslet going to Redroods Theatre school, which was fairly local to us, so I auditioned and got in.

Being part of the Dungeons & Dragons film is a big deal – how did you become involved, and did you ever play the D&D game at any point?

I did an audition tape from home during the pandemic; for my wildcard take, I did the whole scene eating a chicken drumstick with bbq sauce all over my face.
My friend and I played our own version of Dungeons and Dragons when we were about six, which involved climbing over the end of her lower bunk bed, straight into the cupboard, back under the bed and out the other side. I’m not sure that actually qualifies as playing DnD, but that’s what we called it!

Alongside TV and film acting, writing and producing, you have starred in many theatre productions – do you prefer film or theatre? What do you love about both?

I go through phases in my life where I prefer one or the other, but I think I love them both the same for different reasons; you can’t beat the rush of a live performance because it’s different every night, and you have to be there in that moment, once it’s gone it’s gone. The screen is my comfort zone, and I love that the camera can read your thoughts; it’s more personal and intimate. Also, now that I have a toddler, it’s more practical for me to do bits of filming here and there.

 If you had to make a ‘bucket list’ of people you’d love to work with, tell me one name who would be on it?

Julie Walters

Do you have any ‘props or keepsakes from any of your films or shows?

I keep a poster for everything I’m in, and my husband got most of them framed and put them on the wall, which was very sweet.  I’m always a bit too shy to ask if I can keep anything, maybe I will try on the next job.

Let’s shine a light on some of your past work. Which of your projects are you most proud of?

I loved playing ‘Nurse Ratched’ in ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’; it was supposed to go on a national tour after our first run, but it didn’t go ahead. I’m also really proud of ‘The Gun Man’, a high-end short film I created and co-wrote, and played a lead role in opposite Gordon Kennedy.  It was inspired by the loss of my mum at a young age and we had a great cast and crew; Director, Jo Southwell, DOP Dirk Nel, Exec Producer Glyn Carter. This was a proof of concept for a feature film or TV series, and I’ll be picking it up again in the future to see where it goes.

What new projects do you have coming up?

I’ve just filmed a great role in the second season of a popular Amazon Prime series, I’m sworn to secrecy, so can’t share the name but it will be released late 2023 or early 2024. I’ve also played several emotional, tired mother characters this year, in film and TV. I must be oozing that sleep deprived mum look.

Many thanks to Hayley-Marie for taking the time out for this and a special shout out to Faye for helping arrange it too! You can visit Hayley-Marie’s official site here http://www.hayleymarieaxe.com/

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