24 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network

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IFTA Q&A Series: Alisha Weir on Acting
2023-05-01 14:44 : Luke Shanahan
Alisha Weir in Matilda
To mark the 20th anniversary of the IFTA awards, we are showcasing Irish talent who are blazing a trail across our industry, working in front of and behind the camera.

Hosted in association with IFTA, this Q&A Series connects with Irish talent who represent a range of disciplines across our industry. 

We find out what they look out for in the projects they take on, what their approach is to filmmaking and collaboration; what inspires them; and what recent work in the industry they most admire.

Alisha Weir is nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Film for Matilda. She is 13 years old, and her screen credits include Darklands and Don’t Leave Home. She has appeared in stage productions such as Annie, The Wizard of Oz, and Oliver! at the National Concert Hall.

IFTN: IFTA celebrates 20 years this year. How does this significant milestone reflect the growth and strengthening of the Irish film industry over the past two decades?

ALISHA: “An amazing achievement to be celebrating 20 years in business and this incredible milestone is reflected in the success of the Irish actors and directors this year, in particular with all the nominations in BAFTAs and Oscars.”

IFTN: What do you look out for in a script?

ALISHA: “I look for something unique in a role that intrigues me and that I can imagine myself playing and connecting with the character.”

IFTN: How do you prepare for auditions, and what advice would you give to young actors?

ALISHA: “By reading and understanding the script and visualising myself in that character. Be prepared, confident, and don’t be afraid to express yourself.”

IFTN: How did you approach playing your character in this film, and how much rehearsal was involved?

ALISHA: “Two months of rehearsals, and lots of practice also with my Mum. The director Matthew (Warchus) was also very helpful during and after filming.”

IFTN: What Irish Actor/s have you been most impressed by recently?

ALISHA: “Paul Mescal has definitely impressed me this year and his career is going from strength to strength.”

IFTN: What Director or Actor would you most like to work with and why (Irish or international)?

ALISHA: “So recently I have worked with Jessie Buckley, and that was such an amazing experience. I would also love to work alongside Saoirse Ronan, who I really admire as an actor, to learn how she works and approaches things.”

IFTN: We often are our own worst critics. What is your approach to constructive criticism and inward reflection?

ALISHA: “I know I don’t like getting things wrong but I guess we are all normal people and don’t get it right every time. The important thing is you learn from a mistake, take on board all comments and criticisms, and do it better than ever the next time.”

IFTN: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?

ALISHA: “Work hard, follow your dreams, and never give up.”

The 20th anniversary of the IFTA Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 7th.

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