26th March 2023
Interview: Amy Bell
Photo Credit: ITV
Vinette Robinson is best known for her roles in Sherlock, The A Word and Vera Drake. Recently she has achieved much critical acclaim for her role in the one-take film Boiling Point starring alongside Stephen Graham, which is being brought back as a 5 part BBC series focusing on her character, sous-chef Carly as the lead focus. Upcoming she is due to star in the feature film Pod Generation alongside Emilia Clarke, which recently premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
Recent TV projects also include The Lazarus Project and Code 404 for Sky. In Six Four, Vinette plays the lead character, Michelle, who, after their daughter's disappearance, is taking matters to find her into her own hands.
Thanks so much for talking to ReVamp, you have starred in such amazing roles, such as Boiling Point and Sherlock, was acting something you have always wanted to pursue?
Thank you for having me! I found acting when I was 13 years old, or should I say, acting found me. I did not grow up in a place where it would ever have occurred to anyone that this was a career you could pursue. It certainly hadn’t occurred to me at that point. In my English class at school we were doing spoken word poems and my teacher thought the one that my friend and I did was good enough to enter into a local speech and drama festival. The first time I got up on stage I loved it. We won our category and that was it, it’s what I’ve wanted to do ever since and I’ve been pretty single minded about it since that day.
When growing up, what auditions did you apply for, and how has your confidence grown, since you first started to begin acting?
Once I started I high school, there were drama classes and a drama club that I joined. Another kid there told me about a kids evening drama class which also had an agency attached. My ever-supportive mum somehow found the money to send me and I had my first auditions through them. They were generally guest parts in Northern TV dramas. The range of parts that came my way were pretty limited for a mixed race, working class kid at the time. I played several teenage prostitutes, teenage single mothers, strippers etc. I wanted more than that and I also really wanted to do theatre - so I decided to go to drama school to train properly. I was not a confident actor and I found drama school auditions incredibly intimidating. My drama school teachers commented on my lack of confidence a fair bit. I was terrified when I started and always the last up to do an exercise. I am still very hard on myself but I’ve been working for twenty years now, so I have developed a certain level of confidence in my skills but I am also never happy with my own work. That’s common for a lot of people though. It can help drive you.
Congratulations on your new role in ‘Six Four’, what compelled you to audition for this role, and how is it different from other roles you have played?
Thank you. I actually didn’t audition. I was very fortunate in that the team approached me, we spoke about the script and the character, and then they offered me the part. I was interested in a woman who has had to cut off a previous life and part of herself, but who then has to face the consequences of that. Is she able to reconcile that? Michelle is a woman who has learned to suppress her emotions and compartmentalise elements of herself that don’t serve her, which is something that was different for me to play. I suppose she could seem quite cold in some of her reactions to things but hopefully you get to understand why that is.
Can you tell us a bit about your new role and what we can expect from the crime thriller?
I think I answered some of that above but essentially Michelle is an ex-police officer whose daughter has gone missing. We meet her at a rocky time in her relationship and we see how she navigates those very difficult circumstances. Six Four has all the elements of a traditional crime thriller, and you will enjoy all the usual twists and turns, it also has political intrigue but as you enter it through the lens of a couple’s relationship - it gives you a human connection to the rest of the story.
It was written by the talented Gregory Burke and produced by House Productions, what was it like filming with them?
It was a very collaborative process. Michelle’s story evolved as were filming and it was wonderful to be allowed that collective input. Ben our director was instrumental in that process too.
If you could give an aspiring actor/actress, any advice, what would it be?
Learn your craft, get comfortable with your technique so that you can forget it. Read and see as much as you can, not just from our own medium, but from literature, art etc. Live your life fully - don’t wait around for the phone to ring (I would have been guilty of this when I was younger): your life, your experiences and interests will inform your work for the better anyway. Do your homework, be kind, be polite. And if you can figure out a way of making your own work and connecting with like-minded creatives do - it will empower you. And don’t feel a need to fit a mould, it’s nonsense and your own unique perspective will always be far more compelling. The industry is tough but holding on to a sense of self will ground you.
Six Four starts streaming 30th March on ITVX, with all episodes available to binge.