Elliot Murphy’s Low-Down with Poppy Drayton

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Poppy Drayton is a wonderful happy person who has been acting since 2012. Her first role was in the short movie “Emily”, as Emily, and has made many more appearances since then. In 2013 Poppy landed her first major role in the TV movie “When Calls the Heart”. Poppy has also done stage work, appearing in “The Green Bay Tree” at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London in 2014.She recently, in 2016, played a memorable performance as the elven princess Amberle Elessedil in The Shannara Chronicles. I asked Poppy if she had some free time to answer some questions and she was happy to help, so I began with.

Elliot:What was it that inspired you to want to become an actress?

Poppy: I travelled quite a lot growing up, and lived abroad for 10 years so I had a lot of change in my life but acting was always the one constant. I loved being in sketches and school plays so it seemed like the natural progression to go to drama school to train, which I then did for 3 years.

Elliot: How happy were you when you landed your first major role in When Calls the Heart?

Poppy: Gosh, I was terrified! It was my first major on-screen role and I was in a new country with a bunch of people I’d never met before but in a couple of days, I felt right at home. I had a wonderful team around me and a lovely director, which made the whole experience such a memorable one.

Elliot: If you hadn’t become an actress where do you think you would be today?

Poppy: I was going to study photography or languages at University because I had dreams of becoming a travel photographer, so geographically, who knows, I could’ve ended up anywhere.

Elliot: What was going through your mind when you were told that you had been cast to play the        Elvin Princess Amberle in The Shannara Chronicles?

Poppy: Well at first, I thought my agent had rung the wrong person! I’d come down for the screen test in London in the middle of filming another film on this tiny little island in Essex. My schedule was pretty rigorous and I was completely and utterly exhausted. I did the screen test and left thinking I’d blown it, so I genuinely didn’t believe him when he told me I’d got the part.

Elliot: What was life like as a kid growing up in England?

Poppy: I actually spent most of my childhood abroad. My father’s work meant that we travelled around so I didn’t settle back to the UK until I was a bit older. It took some adjusting coming home, especially as I’d picked up quite a strange Anglo/American/Dutch accent on the way! I loved moving, I think it really broadened my perspective, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Elliot: When doing the Shannara Chronicles, what was it like working with Ivana Baquero and Austin Butler?

Poppy: It was amazing. They’re remarkable actors and human beings; I learnt a great deal from them both. Plus, we had a heck of a lot of laughs along the way.

Elliot: When you where travelling what was your favorite location around the world to visit and why?

Poppy: New York has a special place in my heart. I lived there when I was 3 but I went back recently for the first time since, and fell in love with it. There’s a wonderful quote by Simone De Beauvoir that goes “There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless,” and I think that captures it perfectly. You can’t rest in New York; you just have to explore.

Elliot: How surprised were you by how good the effects were in the Shannara Chronicles?

Poppy: I knew they’d be pretty awesome because our Special Effects Team was the best of the best, but the effects surpassed all expectation. It’s so exciting to finally see on screen the things you’ve been imagining for so long.

Elliot: In your spare time what sort of things do you like to do for fun?

Poppy: I still love photography and take an old camera with me wherever I go.

Elliot: What reason was it that brought your attention to the character of Amberle Elessedil and      made you want to audition for her?

Poppy: I was captured by her mix of vulnerability and strength. Amberle has so many hurdles to overcome throughout the series and what really struck me was the idea of playing someone who has to push herself so hard to fulfill her destiny. I hope this inspires young girls to realize their potential and hits home the message that they are capable of doing everything boys can do, if not more.

Elliot: If someone asked you what it takes to become an actor, what words of wisdom would you      give them?

Poppy: I would tell them to listen and observe the world around them. Become fascinated by people and how they behave. Also, you never stop learning; so go to classes and train. If you have the passion, go for it!

Well there you are, a wonderful interview from a talented actress who will keep showing us many more great movies and series to come. Hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I enjoyed writing it up.

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