An actress from Brecon is starring alongside Kevin Spacey in an upcoming action thriller. Lauren Metcalfe, who moved to Brecon at 3 years old, will be starring in the lead role, alongside producing the film. The film, called Control, is in association with Cupsogue Pictures.
"It was a roller coaster. Being the lead as well as being brought on board as a producer has been amazing. It's really opened my eyes to the film industry as a business, which ultimately really helps the acting side of things." Lauren said. "Filming Control waspretty intense, the main unit shoot was done over six days in a studio and around London, which for a feature film is as it sounds quite an epic mission, and just wouldn't have been able to be achieved without the whole team coming together and working seamlessly. Most scenes were shot continuously, some reaching a period of 20 minutes, so this felt very much like theatre, only you're sat in a car with a camera in your face and a crew of 20 peering in. The role itself was incredible to develop and then to be brought to life on set and with the help of director Gene Fallaize. It is a role I shall never forget."
The role involves Lauren acting as British Home Secretary, Stella Simmons, who drives home one night while engaging in an affair with the Prime Minister. A mysterious man, played by Spacey, remotely hijacks her self-driving car, forcing her on a rampage through London.
Kevin Spacey won academy awards, before facing a high-profile sexual assault case, where he was found not guilty. He plays the hijacker known as 'The Voice'. Lauren first described her apprehension at working with Kevin Spacey. "It was an extremely apprehensive time for everyone, including Kevin I imagine. But when I met him, he was nothing but professional, and welcoming, and ultimately after a lot of discussion with the team about the situation, we had the opportunity to work with a 2 time Oscar Winner who at the time had been cleared of any charges in the US. We didn't want to enter cancel culture and wanted to base our decision on facts."
Lauren describes it as an opportunity that made her take stock of how far she had come in her acting career. "I worked opposite him, working through the script together. Before the recording, I felt like I was that young girl from Brecon again, not ready for such an opportunity. It was like walking into an audition room even though I already had the role, but straight away Kevin made me feel so at ease and welcome. At the end of the day, yes he's a double Oscar winner, but he's also just an actor doing his job like I was, and I really feel we both brought the best out in each other's roles. I will always feel very grateful for what I learnt working with him and never forget it."
Lauren moved to Brecon with her family, as her father was a local GP, and found education within Wales. "I went to school at St. Davids then continued to Haberdashers Girls School in Monmouth for secondary. My first job was a weekend job at Crickhowell Adventure in Brecon as I boarded in HMSG during the week. I then went to drama school LIPA, followed by Aberystwyth University and in the holidays I would work at the lounge, cafe or bars to try and save enough money to travel to London and audition."
She was always drawn to the arts and hoped to explore it further. Facing countless setbacks, nothing could deter her from following what she knew was a true calling. "It's far from an easy job, it is something that you really need to have passion for and super thick skin. I think the biggest challenge has been trying to juggle my family life with acting. I have two children, Marley and Sirena and raising them has obviously been my main focus and priority. Acting isn't something you can ever not nourish, it almost needs to become your other child. I continued to do musicals whilst the children were really young. I'd sometimes bring them with me to rehearsals in the evening, which was great for them growing up to see mummy living her passion. But now they are older I made the decision to move away from the stage and focus more on film and TV, and here I am."
Thriving in the acting scene, Lauren offers her expertise to those in Powys who may be looking to do the same thing. "Train, train, train and network, network, network. You will spend the majority of the time not working, so you can't just sit there and not work. If you want a job you need to be prepared for it, whatever and whenever that may be. So learn a new skill, practise an accent, or go to a workshop. Cardiff has loads! Oh and know your casting type!"
Lauren now looks ahead to future roles. "I am currently in the midst of producing another film with Cupsogue Pictures as well as a few other films and a tv series in the pipeline whilst also concentrating on my screen combat with The British Action Academy, ready for when the dream action role comes up! Always be prepared!"