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Florence Keith-Roach

19th August 2022

Photography: Flora Maclean 

Interview: Amy Bell

Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent

Styling: Steph Wilson

Hair and Make Up: Lou Box

Logo Design: Emily Curtis

Starring in the Channel 4 series of 'The Great' as Tatyana with her co-stars Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult and Phoebe Fox (naming a few). We got to chat to Florence Keith-Roach about the new season of 'The Great', behind the scenes and movies she enjoyed watching growing up. 

Hi Florence, thanks for talking to ReVamp, let’s talk about your early career, what was your favourite series growing up? 

I didn’t really watch series the way I do now. It was more films, I watched anything and everything, whatever was on the TV. And I’d watch films over and over again until I knew every line. I loved musicals, old Fred Astaire ones, Grease, Fame... Female lead comedies like Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, Clueless.

Did you attend any performing arts/drama schools to boost your confidence and portfolio? 

I went to Drama Centre London to do their 2-year MA. Lots of people don’t train and are brilliant actors so I don’t think it is in any way essential to train. However, I was grateful to do it as it allowed me to try things out (and often fail) in a safe environment. We did a lot of screen work too which was ultimately very helpful as we got used to seeing ourselves on screen and get comfortable in front of a camera which can feel quite intimidating at first. 

You are currently on ‘The Great’, which is on Hulu and season 2 being on Channel 4, how excited are you for season 2? 

Very excited. We shot this season over the pandemic, which is no easy feat. So getting to see all the hard work of the cast and crew paying off in this fantastic season feels great.

What can we expect from season 2? 

Even more biting satire, even more heartfelt tenderness, even more gasp out loud moments. Incredible performances, writing and directing. Outrageous outfits and insane settings.

Going back, what was the audition process and how did you prepare for the role? What made you want to audition for this role? 

The audition process was quite unusual, in that I was just sent a short scene and asked to put it on tape. I wasn’t told much about the project beyond it was a “contemporary take” on a period drama, which sounded great. And that Elle and Nick were the leads, I was obviously big fans of their work so again knew this would be something very exciting. And even in that short scene that I read, the tone was so witty, sharp and unique, I immediately knew this was something very special and wanted to be a part of it in any way. 

You are also a writer and director; do you remember the first ever piece you wrote and directed? 

The first thing I remember writing was a short story, when I was about 14. Somehow a friend’s mum read it and told me she thought it was good. The fact that I still remember that shows how important words of encouragement are. I didn’t really start writing scripts etc until my early 20s. I first directed a play when I left uni. I was really frustrated with myself that I hadn’t had the guts to apply to do it while studying. So when I left, I got together with some friends and co-directed Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth. We put it on for two nights in a friend’s flat. I loved every moment of it. 

Can you tell us a bit of the behind the scenes of ‘The Great’ and what your filming schedule is like? 

The schedule is very mixed, sometimes you are up at 5am and back at the end of the day. Other times, I am just in for one scene and am done for the day by mid-morning. While on set I get to hang out with the cast in between takes, which is real joy as they are not only a hugely talented group of actors but also genuinely lovely people. While we are in the green room waiting to go on set, we are snacking endlessly, catching up, knitting, playing games…

What is next for you? Can we expect some more written pieces from you?

I am writing a few things at the moment, including an erotic thriller series for the BBC and a feature film biopic for Scot Free/ Religion of Sports. 

You can catch  the second season of 'The Great' on Channel 4 & Hulu.

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