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Interview with Katie Jarvis-Mia

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Interview with Katie Jarvis-Mia

Post by Admin on Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:16 am

WARNING SPOILERS!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/dec/20/faces-2009-katie-jarvis-fish-tank

Katie Jarvis: 'Walking down the red carpet, people screaming… madness!'

Katie Jarvis, 18, who starred in Andrea Arnold's film Fish Tank. Photograph: Karen Robinson

Katie Jarvis was an unknown teenager from Essex when she was chosen to play the lead role in Andrea Arnold's extraordinary film, Fish Tank. She gave a performance that left critics breathless. Earlier this month she was named most promising newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards.

It says something about the visceral power of Kate Jarvis's performance in Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank that I get a small shock when she turns up for the interview as herself.

In Fish Tank, Mia is a human explosion of hooded tops, foul-mouthed ranting and clumsy breakdancing. She might have become a walking cliché ("Broken Britain" in a scraped-back ponytail) but in Jarvis's hands emerges bristling with spiky vulnerability and, crucially, dignity.

In person, Jarvis, 18, also born and bred in Essex, is bubbly, pretty and touchingly excited about her astonishing year. Discovered by a casting agent, rowing with her boyfriend in a train station, she went on to garner critical acclaim and award nominations (Fish Tank took the Jury prize at Cannes).

Before being spotted, she was applying for a hair and beauty course, and hadn't even considered acting. "I was too shy." When I ask her what she thinks the agent, and Arnold, saw in her, she doesn't know. "That I was a bit feisty maybe?" What were her first impressions of Mia? Jarvis grins. "That she was a bit of a bitch. But I did end up having sympathy for her."

While Jarvis's parents are divorced, they remain friendly, and Jarvis clearly adores her three younger sisters. By contrast, Mia's volatile home life leads her into a tryst with her mum's boyfriend (Michael Fassbender). Jarvis found their sex scene "stressful" but was spurred on by Arnold's faith in her. "The main thing for me was being real, because that was why Andrea picked me." She was also grateful for the support of the experienced actors on Fish Tank (as well as Fassbender, Kierston Wareing turns in a superb performance as Mia's feckless mother).

Was Jarvis worried she'd be resented? "Yeah, because I got picked off the street, and got all this praise and everything." She realises that getting an acting break is generally not easy. "I've been spoiled, definitely." To compensate, she would memorise not just her lines but everyone else's too. "In my eyes, I worked hard, so, in the end, I did deserve it."

Jarvis was surprised to find herself pregnant after filming, and now has six-month-old Lily Mae, with her long-term boyfriend (the same one she was rowing with at the station). Before that, she'd been blowing her Fish Tank money on shoes. "I thought, sod it, I'm only 17, if I make it, I'll spend it." They now live together in Basildon, and Jarvis tells me that Lily Mae is her main inspiration. "I just want to make a better life for her."

Jarvis initially missed the fuss at Cannes because of Lily Mae's birth but made it over briefly to collect the Jury prize. "Madness! Walking down the red carpet, everyone screaming my name. In my long dress, and my heels, my heart thumping out of my chest.". She was also excited to be nominated alongside Kate Winslet for best actress. "When I found out I was screaming. I really didn't care if I won or not."

So what next? Jarvis has UK and US agents (the former she tells me, giggling, she shares with Johnny Depp). She has taken part in a series of silent films, Ten Minute Tales, to be shown on Sky later this month, also featuring actors such as Bill Nighy, Timothy Spall and Julia Davis, and is keeping her fingers crossed for a Hollywood project next spring. Clearly a gifted instinctive actress, Jarvis says she will take acting lessons if the need arises and is working on a variety of accents, as she is wary of being typecast. "I don't want to get stuck doing stroppy mouthy violent teenagers."

As for the past year, with the birth of her baby, and her success in Fish Tank, it was "the best year ever!" "I've gone from being normal, what I think is normal, to all this. I've met so many people, visited different countries, seen things I probably never would have seen without Fish Tank.' It seems Jarvis is ending the year energised and determined. "I've had a brilliant start, but now it's, like, I've been given this chance, and now I need to chase it myself, prove that I can do it."

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Re: Interview with Katie Jarvis-Mia

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:59 am

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-indiefocus10-2010jan10,0,7152746.story

INDIE FOCUS
'Fish Tank' gives newcomer Katie Jarvis room to grow
Jarvis, discovered by director Andrea Arnold at 17, not only warmed to her role as a hot-headed young Brit who flowers under much-needed attention, she underwent a similar transformation.

By Mark Olsen

As the British film "Fish Tank" opens, a scrappy teenage girl named Mia whips around her low-income English apartment block. She leaves an angry voice mail for her friend, argues with a girl's father, yells at her mother and younger sister and picks fights with a group of boys and a separate bunch of girls.

And then she dances. Alone in an abandoned apartment, she finds her freedom, moving with a grace and muscular authority that might otherwise never find expression. After her mother's new boyfriend takes an extra interest in her, encouraging and supporting her in ways no one has before, she begins to mature and transform.

Written and directed by Oscar winner Andrea Arnold, "Fish Tank" is equal parts raw realism and lyrical expressiveness, bringing together the urban grit of "Precious" and the age-imbalanced coming-of-age story of "An Education" with a dash of the dynamism of the original "Fame."

It premiered at last year's Cannes Film Festival, winning the Jury Prize, just as Arnold's previous film, "Red Road," did in 2006. It also won two prizes at the British Independent Film Awards and shared the New Lights award at the AFI Fest in L.A. It screens Monday at UCLA, will be available on cable video-on-demand on Jan. 27 and opens in New York on Friday and L.A. and Boston on Jan. 29

At the center of "Fish Tank" is newcomer Katie Jarvis, who was 17 at the time of filming and is now 18. Though she is eager to point out the ways in which she is not like Mia -- Jarvis' parents are divorced, but her family life was much more stable -- she was an unemployed dropout before the film.

Jarvis, who had never acted before, was discovered when a casting agent saw her arguing with her boyfriend on a train platform in Essex, where she is from and the film is set.

"At that moment I didn't actually believe it was all true," Jarvis recalled of the casting agent's initial pitch for the project. "I thought, 'This is unreal. This can't be happening to me.' She asked for my number, but I said no, and she gave me her card. And I don't know what it was, but about three or four days later something made me pick up the phone and call her back."

Arnold was glad Jarvis did. "When she came along to the audition, I remember her poking her head around the door and grinning," the filmmaker noted via e-mail. "I liked her straightaway."

Besides casting an unknown, untrained performer in the lead role, Arnold wanted to make the film in an unusual way, by showing the script to the cast as little in advance as possible. The film was shot over six weeks in summer 2008, and Arnold initially wanted to give the actors the pages day by day, but relented to costar Michael Fassbender's wanting the next week's pages each Friday.

"Every time I get the chance to make a film, I want to learn, try something new and see what happens, explore different ways of working," said Arnold, who won an Academy Award for her short film "Wasp" in 2004. "I wondered if this way of working might help the actors find innocence in their interactions with each other. We don't know as people what will happen to us tomorrow, and we behave innocently as a result. I was looking for that."

In addition, Arnold felt this method, which she had not used previously, might level the playing field between experienced actors such as Fassbender and Kierston Wareing, who plays Mia's mother, and the unschooled Jarvis.

"I thought it would be more manageable and easier for her to go on a genuine journey and know where she was," Arnold said. "I think it worked beautifully for Katie. You can see her grow and change throughout the film."

Besides being an explosive debut for Jarvis, the film provides a showcase for Fassbender. Though American audiences may know the actor as a warrior in "300," a starving prisoner in "Hunger" and a debonair film critic-turned-commando in "Inglourious Basterds," for many this will be the first time seeing Fassbender as a contemporary character. From the moment he appears in Mia's kitchen one morning, shirtless from a night with her mother, Fassbender's character has a mix of charm and danger, fatherly kindness and roguish sex appeal, that makes him imminently watchable.

"Most of acting is an instinctive process anyway," Fassbender said of working with Jarvis. "I think acting is common sense really, asking 'What happened similar to me and how did I feel?' Katie just has a real truth and honesty and reality in her that she brought every day on set. And full credit to Andrea, who nurtured her and made her believe in herself and allowed Katie to really open up."

When the film premiered in Cannes, Jarvis had just given birth to her first child a few days before. Though she missed the film's screenings and news conference, she was able to attend the award ceremony.

"When we finished 'Fish Tank,' I still didn't realize in my heart and my head just how serious it was all going to be," said Jarvis, who has since appeared in a short film for British television and hopes to continue acting. "I think it was only when the film was first screened in Cannes that it started to kick in and I started to realize exactly what it was all about.

"When it got such a good response in Cannes, such good reviews, I was so glad for myself, that I'd achieved something like that, and I was so glad for Andrea because she took such a big risk on me. I was a bit worried about what the papers might say, but, touch wood, everyone's been amazing. I've been lucky. The film has completely helped me. It's completely turned my life around."

calendar@latimes.com

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

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Re: Interview with Katie Jarvis-Mia

Post by Admin on Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:13 pm

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/katie-jarvis--essexs-accidental-actress-1868253.html

Katie Jarvis - Essex's accidental actress

Katie Jarvis followed the critical acclaim of Fish Tank with awards, more film offers and a baby daughter. She tells Charlotte Cripps that she finds her life increasingly surreal for a teenager

Friday, 15 January 2010

In the swim of success: Katie Jarvis in the West End

TERI PENGILLEY

In the swim of success: Katie Jarvis in the West End

Katie Jarvis made quite a splash with her first ever acting role in Fish Tank. A month ago, the 18-year old actress crowned a spectacular 2009 by winning the Best Newcomer prize at the British Independent Film Awards (Bifas) for her starring role as the mouthy Mia.

In the film, which is released on DVD at the end of this month, she plays a troubled teenager who has a difficult relationship with her uncaring mother (played by Kierston Wareing), but finds solace in practising hip-hop dance moves in an abandoned flat, and fantasising about her mum's boyfriend (Michael Fassbender). She celebrated her 18th birthday in June at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where Sean Connery presented her with the Trailblazer award, along with a bunch of lilies and a birthday cake, and she went on to win Best Performance in a British Feature Film.

Since then, she has been nominated for Best Actress at the European Film Awards, which pitted her against such established movie stars as Kate Winslet and Penelope Cruz, and has won the Pinewood Studios Best Performance Award at the Woman in Film and TV Awards (WFTV) where she was joined by Helen Mirren.

And she has hung out with fellow newcomer sensation Carey Mulligan, who stars in An Education, at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, where they were interviewed together on stage by Leonard Maltin.

"I felt like it came quite naturally" , says Jarvis of her first film role. "The more it went on, the more I enjoyed it. When I first went into it, I didn't know anything at all about the film industry". Jarvis said her guidance has come from the director of Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold. "If it wasn't for Andrea... then I wouldn't be here today. Definitely not." Her co-star Fassbender (Hunger and Inglourious Basterds), with whom she shared a challenging sex scene, has said of the newcomer: "Katie is a very expressive person and very easy to play with as she's not really acting".

Now Jarvis has been snapped up by the same Hollywood agent as Johnny Depp and, contrary to reports that she doesn't want to continue acting, is determined to get as much mileage out of films as possible. She's currently auditioning for the part of Richard Gere's daughter in The Flim-Flam Man and has just landed a small part in another feature film, The Big Splash, as a young girl followed by a conman who is pretending to be a casting agent for a model agency. She was up to play a female thug in Harry Brown opposite Michael Caine, another mouthy part, but couldn't do it because she was pregnant. She has turned down parts too, including in Shank, a sort of futuristic Kidulthood, because she doesn't want to get typecast as a volatile teenager. "I don't want to be pigeonholed as the stroppy teenager. I'm not Mia – so I don't want to play her all the time."

Jarvis grew-up in Dagenham with her parents, Paul, a painter and decorator, and Tamara, a housewife, who divorced when she was 12. Her three younger sisters, Charmaine, 16, Jodie-May, 13, and Beckie, 11, have all watched in amazement as their sister went on to feature-film stardom overnight. Jarvis says her own background was very different from Mia's, whose life is relentlessly hard. "I'd always been taught not to scream and swear and shout back," she says. "So for me it was fun acting Mia."

She left school with six GCSEs and was planning to take hair and beauty and IT courses at her local college before she was plucked from obscurity to star in Fish Tank. A casting director discovered her at 16, while she was having an argument on Tilbury Town train station with her boyfriend, Brian Hanlon. "If this has happened to me, then anything can happen to anyone", she says in a polite Essex twang. "You never know what's around the corner,"

The slim actress is sitting in the Curzon Soho cinema in London, still wearing her coat and eating a sandwich. "It's nuts. Do you know what I mean? A lot of people think what's happened to me is surreal. It doesn't seem real sometimes. It feels like a dream."

Although she has stunned fans and critics with her debut performance in Fish Tank, Jarvis appears under-confident as she talks about keeping her fingers crossed for new parts. "I don't think the film will change me. I think it might make me a better person. Acting brings out the best in me. Before Fish Tank I was at school and didn't have the guts to do drama. This has boosted my confidence right up."

Arnold, who won the Cannes Jury Prize in 2006 for her debut feature Red Road, had initially looked to cast a trained dancer in the role of Mia, but she couldn't find anybody right. Then when Jarvis turned up for her audition, she refused to dance for it. "We had to leave the camera in the room and go out. She hates dancing," said Arnold.

It is surprising Jarvis even made it to the audition in the first place. She thought it was some kind of joke when the casting agent discovered her on the train platform.

"There weren't a lot of people at the first audition so I wasn't nervous, but at the second it became a bit more scary as there were a lot of girls. I'd never done any dancing or anything like that and I didn't think I had a chance."

During filming, Rashad Omar, the sound recordist, said of Jarvis: "I thought she would walk after a week. It's amazing how she picked it up."

Her only downfall during filming was her penchant for new shoes, and balancing work and play. "When you've done film before, you know how to pace yourself at the weekend," said Arnold. "But Katie'd go out and party or buy loads of shoes with the money that she suddenly had."

It was a demanding shoot, thanks in no small part to a sex scene with Fassbender for which she had little time to prepare. "Andrea made me aware from the start that there was going to be a sex scene. But I didn't know who it was with, because she doesn't let the cast read ahead in the script," says Jarvis. "I only found out the night before that it was going to be with Michael. I was up all night feeling absolutely terrified, but Michael made it easy for me. He turned it into a laugh and a joke. It was as though it was like any other scene we had done. He is so down-to-earth, funny and easy to get on with."

Since Fish Tank she has played the young mother in a 10-minute silent film, Perfect Day, with the Skins actor Merveille Lukeba. It aired in December on Sky as part of a collection of short films, "Ten Minute Tales", which also starred Bill Nighy and Natascha McElhone.

Otherwise she has been keeping a low profile because, just four days before Fish Tank premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, she gave birth to her daughter, Lillie-May. Lately Jarvis's life has revolved around feeding the ducks with Lillie-May, now nine months old, near the two-bedroom rented flat in Basildon that she shares with her boyfriend .

She watched online as her co-stars posed on the red carpet at Cannes because she didn't want to leave her newborn baby. At the time, Arnold said of Jarvis: "I don't think she really understands what this means. Festivals and things are not really part of her life."

Still, she entered the limelight with a bang at the Bifas just before Christmas when, in a long black Armani dress, she joined director Arnold, who also won Best Director for the film at the ceremony. "I'm so happy, I can't believe it," Jarvis said. "A long time ago I didn't think I would end up here. I'm speechless. I don't know what to say."

Now Jarvis says she's never happier than when she is in front of the camera. "I have never enjoyed myself as much as I have acting. Nothing compares to it," she says. "Everybody gets so close on set. It's like a little family unit. It's horrible to then say goodbye. But it's lovely at the end of it to have something to look at that we've all done together."

However, Arnold didn't think her new star had the acting bug after Fish Tank. "She has got an agent and she's been up for a couple of things and got them but I don't know whether she wants to continue. I think she does but she's just had a baby and that's a whole other life."

But this couldn't be further from the truth, as Jarvis is impatient to conquer the film industry, with the help of her boyfriend, who will have to play househusband and look after their baby.

"Before I was doing nothing all the time. It made me learn that I could do things if I wanted to. Now I want to make the most of it. It shows you don't have to go to drama school to get into it, but I think I was one of a kind. I don't think anyone else will get picked off a train station."

'Fish Tank' is out on DVD on 25 January

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Re: Interview with Katie Jarvis-Mia

Post by Admin on Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:38 am

http://www.mercurynews.com/eye-headlines/ci_14266684?nclick_check=1

The acting newcomer at the heart of 'Fish Tank'

By Mark Olsen

Los Angeles Times
Posted: 01/28/2010 12:00:00 AM PST

As the British film "Fish Tank" opens, a scrappy teenage girl named Mia whips around her low-income English apartment block. She leaves an angry voice mail for her friend, argues with a girl's father, yells at her mother and younger sister, and picks fights with a group of boys and a separate bunch of girls.

And then she dances. Alone in an abandoned apartment, she finds her freedom, moving with a grace and muscular authority that might otherwise never find expression. After her mother's new boyfriend takes an extra interest in her, encouraging and supporting her in ways no one has before, she begins to mature and transform.

Written and directed by Oscar winner Andrea Arnold, "Fish Tank" — which opens Friday in San Francisco and Feb. 5 in the South Bay — is equal parts raw realism and lyrical expressiveness, bringing together the urban grit of "Precious" and the age-imbalanced coming-of-age story of "An Education" with a dash of the dynamism of the original "Fame."

At the center of "Fish Tank" is newcomer Katie Jarvis, who was 17 at the time of filming and is now 18. Though she is eager to point out the ways in which she is not like Mia — Jarvis' parents are divorced, but her family life was much more stable — she was an unemployed dropout before the film.

Jarvis, who had never acted before, was discovered when a casting agent saw her arguing with her boyfriend on a train platform in Essex, where she is from and the film is set.

"At that moment I didn't actually believe it was all true," Jarvis recalls. "I thought, 'This is unreal. This can't be happening to me.' She asked for my number, but I said no, and she gave me her card. And I don't know what it was, but about three or four days later something made me pick up the phone and call her back."

Arnold was glad Jarvis did. "When she came along to the audition, I remember her poking her head around the door and grinning," the filmmaker notes. "I liked her straight away."

Besides casting an unknown, untrained performer in the lead role, Arnold wanted to make the film in an unusual way, by showing the script to the cast as little in advance as possible. The film was shot over six weeks in summer 2008, and Arnold initially wanted to give the actors the pages day by day, but relented to co-star Michael Fassbender's wanting the next week's pages each Friday.

"Every time I get the chance to make a film, I want to learn, try something new and see what happens, explore different ways of working," says Arnold, who won an Academy Award for her short film "Wasp" in 2004.

"I wondered if this way of working might help the actors find innocence in their interactions with each other. We don't know as people what will happen to us tomorrow, and we behave innocently as a result. I was looking for that."

Besides being an explosive debut for Jarvis, the film provides a showcase for Fassbender. Though American audiences may know the actor as a warrior in "300," a starving prisoner in "Hunger" and a debonair film critic-turned-commando in "Inglourious Basterds," for many this will be the first time seeing Fassbender as a contemporary character.

From the moment he appears in Mia's kitchen one morning, shirtless from a night with her mother, Fassbender's character has a mix of charm and danger, fatherly kindness and roguish sex appeal, that makes him imminently watchable.

"Most of acting is an instinctive process anyway," Fassbender says of working with Jarvis. "I think acting is common sense really, asking 'What happened similar to me and how did I feel?' Katie just has a real truth and honesty and reality in her that she brought every day on set. And full credit to Andrea, who nurtured her and made her believe in herself and allowed Katie to really open up."

When the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Jarvis had just given birth to her first child a few days before. Though she missed the film's screenings and news conference, she was able to attend the award ceremony.

"When we finished 'Fish Tank,' I still didn't realize in my heart and my head just how serious it was all going to be," says Jarvis, who hopes to continue acting. "I think it was only when the film was first screened in Cannes that it started to kick in and I started to realize exactly what it was all about.

"When it got such a good response in Cannes, such good reviews, I was so glad for myself, that I'd achieved something like that, and I was so glad for Andrea because she took such a big risk on me. I was a bit worried about what the papers might say, but, touch wood, everyone's been amazing.

"I've been lucky. The film has completely helped me. It's completely turned my life around."

"Fish Tank"

Opens: Friday in San Francisco, Feb. 5 in the South Bay.
Rating: Not rated (but includes sexuality and sex involving a minor)
Cast: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender and Kierston Wareing
Director-writer: Andrea Arnold
Running time: 2 hours,
2 minutes

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