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Victoria Smurfit Chats With IFTN
24 Apr 2018 : Nathan Griffin
IFTN caught up with Victoria Smurfit to find out about what projects she is currently working on, what she really enjoys about the onset dynamic, and who she considers her ‘dream team’ of Irish compatriots she would love to work with.

Irish actor Victoria Smurfit who is based in the US, is best known for his work in the abc television drama ‘Once Upon A Time’, ITV drama ‘Marcella’, and ‘Trial & Retribution’. Her film credits also include ‘Bulletproof Monk’, ‘About A Boy’, ‘The Beach’, ‘Best Fake Friends’, and most recently ‘The Secret Market’, which was nominated for an IFTA.

Smurfit recently won the IFTA for ‘Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role Film’, for her performance in Carl Bessai’s ‘The Lears’ in 2018.

She can currently be seen on abc’s ‘Once Upon A Time’, where she portrays the infamous Cruella De Vil.

What are the best and worst aspects of your work?

“Any actor will tell you sometimes the best part of the job is hearing you got it. Then traditionally we work out what days we’ll have off... ridiculous but true. Contrary divils the lot of us. My favourite part of the gig is between turnover and cut. Where nothing else matters but what you're doing. As a mum of 3, the brief moment of having just a singular thing to do is a treat. I love being on set, the instant family of it all. Invariably you're doing something intimate or challenging and everyone has your back, cast and crew see you in a vulnerable situation, dealing with feelings you’d barely share with people you've known for years but somehow as a team we can create extraordinary moments with virtual strangers and it’s safe. The thing I don’t like about being an actor is having to wait for someone else to decide that I am allowed to work.”

What career do you think you would have if you weren’t in the film/tv industry, and why?

“Before I realized acting was a job I thought I’d be an interrupter. Travel the world with headphones and translate at the UN or hell anywhere... Then it occurred to me how hard languages were... and really all I wanted to do was connect with as many people as I could and chances are I’d embellish and cause an international situation!”

When did you last cry watching a film? (Or come close)

“Last time I cried at a film was 3 Billboards Outside Missouri. When Francis told her daughter 'I hope you get raped' as she storms out in a teen fight, it broke me. I think we all have a fear of leaving anything on an argument. That those were the last angry words to her kid, left me in a puddle of snot.” 

What Irish Actor/Director would you most like to work with, and why? (Living or Dead)

“In my perfect world I d love to work with Maggie Smith as my director, Brendan Gleeson as my co star and produced by Jason o Mara. That’s my dream team.”

What are you most excited about for 2018?

“2018 so far has been a joy. Winning the IFTA was huge for me as I’ve spent years handing them out! It was a complete shock but a delicious one. As for further down the year my hopes are to make my boxing TV show, set in Ireland about 5 women finding out just how strong they are. It’s out to pitch at the moment. I also have a show I’ve written for over here in the US and a kid’s movie and a socially aware reality show. So truly, though it’s nothing till it’s something, ultimately I d love to move back stage for a bit and keep writing. Less make up required.”

Who has really impressed you in the last 12 months in the Irish industry?

“John Connors has been terribly impressive this year. Go fella go.”

Actor: Was there a particular scene or part you learnt by heart for auditions starting out?

“Over here in the US you have to learn every scene by heart for an audition. There has been many times where you get 17 pages at 9pm for an audition set for the following morning. Invariably its medical jargon or lawyer speak. I’m lucky that after 7 years being a cop in the UK with pages of exposition that I have the technique to just suck it in, but holy God it can make you crazy as you traverse the 405 repeating 'clear the thoracic aorta'....”

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