Have your lip-gloss and mascara at the ready for a vibrant journey into female friendship and fun, as Powder Room is released on DVD from 31st March, 2014.
To celebrate the release we have an exclusive interview with one of the stars of the film Jaime Winston.
When you read the script for this and you read the character of Chanel what were your immediate thoughts? Were you a little bit horrified and a little bit excited at the same time?
Instantly Chanel just jumped off the page for me. I just found her really inspiring. I was literally just like ‘wow, this is a rare chance to play a young girl who’s confident, sexual and provocative in a nice way’. She’s just got the idea of love and she’s a hopeless romantic in her head and, you know, she’s not negative with it. I think she’s one of the only characters in the film who knows where’s she’s at and what she wants, and she kind of becomes a bit of a moral heartbeat to the film.
You think to yourself, ‘OK so she’s like this and like that, but she knows who she is’ and for me that’s inspiring. So I really loved her. I mean yeah, initially I thought ‘oh my God, she’s really full on’ and I think she can be quite scary to other women or men even. But, you know, as an actress these are parts you want to do, these are parts that you want to get and… I felt honoured really.
I think in anyone else’s hands she could have been a horror, but what do you think you brought to it as a person?
Yeah, I think for me it was really important to bring the warmth in, because the one thing I didn’t want was to portray Chanel as a typical tart who goes down the club, you know? I think she just enjoys being a woman. It’s fair to say that she’s quite, you know, borderline promiscuous, but I don’t think any girl has gone out and not wanted to meet the man of her dreams and fall in love; I think she’s just a hopeless romantic at heart and very sweet. Also she’s very together, you know, she knows where she’s coming from, whereas the rest of the girls in it don’t. They’re very unsteady on their feet and very quick to judge everybody but she’s the only who doesn’t really judge anyone and is confident and sexy with it.
So she’s very honest.
She’s very honest about it and I found that really endearing.
And what about the costume you have to wear, it’s pretty mad! Was it quite liberating in a way ?
No, no, (laughter) you know what? This girl’s great, she’s one of those girls you see at a club; she doesn’t care. She’s dressing for herself, yes she is dressing for guys, but really she’s dressing for herself and you know, when I originally put those bondage hot pants on, I didn’t think twice about it. I just thought ‘this is Chanel, this is exactly what she’d wear, she’d wear a basque, she’d wear shorts like that, she’d wear high heels, she’d spike her hair up and she’d hit the town’. Though for me personally it was a nightmare because then I was constantly, you know, when they would say ‘cut’, I’d be like ‘oh, my God what am I wearing?!’ But you know, I never had any trouble on set, there’s a lot of men on set but I think it only helped because actually although she has this sexual drive, she’s quite unapproachable!
She’s got this tough exterior of ‘this is what I want, this is how I dress, don’t come up to me’, you know. I just really liked her as a character and as an actress you want that. You want her to be bold, in your face and warm as well, you know. She was a girls’ girl, it’s not all about the men; she’s not about that. I find her really funny, you know, and I think it’s nice to have a female role that’s just like ‘So what, I like having sex, what’s your problem?!’ It’s funny and it’s real. You know, I think we all know someone’s who’s like that who enjoys sex more than other people and likes the idea of falling in love in a club and being with someone, I think it’s really endearing and true and I just loved it.
And obviously there was a mostly all-female cast, and a strong female director and production team, what was that like?
Working with MJ was an amazing experience. It was actually fantastic, we’re now super good friends. When I first met her we instantly just clicked. I loved her and she brought the Chanel out in me, you know. It was all on paper but she was just like, ‘what can you do with this?’ And I was just like ‘well I think I can do this and we can do this with her’, you know, because I thought she was a really likeable character.
MJ is just a really inspiring person to work with. Not only is she a young, intelligent woman, but she knows what she wants, she’s got an amazing vision, an immense sense of humour and she’s smart as hell. So to work with a young woman like that in the industry is a blessing because she’s on our level, she completely, you know, we’ve all gone out and had nights out, it was great; really great, I’d love to work with her again. You know, you don’t get scripts like this often that have got such a massive heartbeat to it and it actually flips the coin on what you think is going to be cool or not. So I loved that, I really enjoyed it.
Did you have any particular scenes that you absolutely loved playing, or watching other people play?
There, yeah there was a few scenes. There was one scene, I mean, we shot it so quickly it all did kind of blur into one. But I found it really tricky, because me and Sheridan became really close during the shoot, so I found the bit where we actually have a fight really tricky, you know, where she says the horrible thing about Chanel and I end up shouting at her. I actually really struggled with that scene because you know, we’ve all been there with our friends where you can’t go round the bullshit any more and you have to say what you think – it just all builds up and ends in a screaming match. And it’s upsetting because these are people you love and it’s actually all these weird pressures that you’re under to be perfect or to be beautiful and actually it’s just like, ‘what are we doing? We’re arguing about something so stupid, so senile, you know, let’s just go and dance. Let’s go and dance and be young women and have fun’. And I really loved filming that scene because after I was just like… God I really want to go and touch base with my really good friends and connect with them. So I really really enjoyed that.
But I found it really hard as well because it brought back loads of memories of having rows with your girlfriends about silly things and how you can grow up quite quickly, but you don’t actually address a lot of things that you should. You know, we’ve all kind of fitted into being young women and how we think we should be, but actually there’s no guidance at that kind of age of becoming, you know, from a teenager to a woman who goes out clubbing. So I just love that all ages are covered in the script as well.
That is really clever actually, isn’t it?
It’s really lovely because you just, you’ve been through it, you’ve been through all of these stages in some way, you know, and I just find it really endearing and a really special film to be a part of because it does make you just want to reconnect to your girlfriends, go out and have a good night.
The great thing as well, even though it is obviously London based it really just takes away the barriers because it’s the same in every language and every country; this happens in every toilet in the world!
Yeah, it does, I mean I don’t think there’s any sort of club toilet in the world that doesn’t have this experience and, you know, that kind of whole idea of toilet attendants and what they see… You know, and also her having this moral journey throughout this night. Understanding the social pressures and actually realising that, you know, you should just be true to yourself and your friends and you’ll be all right. Instead of climbing the social ladder and trying to be something you’re not. It’s just going to wreck you and tear you apart and, you know, telling little white lies and kidding yourself can actually hurt a lot of people. So I just love that it just does that; it wipes it all away and in a very funny way. So yeah, I’m quite proud of it.
Did you feel it was quite claustrophobic filming in the toilet set?
Yeah, it was actually, it was. I mean we were in there basically every day, you know, for a month. So we got really familiar, we just, you know, we’d lose ourselves in those toilets! By the end of it we’d forget that we were even being filmed half the time because it’s just like this mental continuous night out. And there was a lot of stuff that we discovered on the way about our characters as well and every character in it I really love. Even Oona’s character who, you know, you do feel sorry for in the end. And Kate’s character, that whole thing of ‘I’m doing fabulously, moving to Paris’ etc, you know, but she’s doing coke alone in the toilet and you’re just thinking ‘God, what are you doing?!’
It just highlights a little slice of what’s going on and, you know, the pressures of being perfect or skinny or wealthy and having that certain handbag and being that certain type of girl. It just doesn’t matter, you know, if you’re an arsehole you’re an arsehole! And for me I think it’s so liberating, the film has got all these young women who are very free and then also so uptight, and it just puts them all in the same room and goes ‘you know what, get on with it’.
Because everyone’s all on the same level at that point.
By the end of it yeah, they’re all just completely broken and like ‘okay, shall we have a shot?’ kind of thing, you know? And you feel like you need a shot after it because it does just pull at your heartstrings a bit. It really gets you because we’ve all been there or we’ve done that; told a little white lie to a friend for a certain reason and, you know, it just makes you think.
What’s the biggest white lie you’ve ever told to a friend?
What’s my biggest white lie? Hmm, I don’t know. Well it’s probably ‘I’m sick and I can’t come out’.. or something like that… You know, for me I’ve never really had to lie to my friends because they’re all so different and they all know that I’m completely on my own page sometimes, and you have to be. But, I don’t really know to be honest. It’s probably just been me trying to get out of something to be honest, but I’ve never done anything to hurt my friends like that because, you know, I’ve had bad experiences like that where it can come back on you. I mean there’s little white lies you can tell to make people feel better to help out and support I guess, but I can’t think of anything of the top of my head honestly.
Oh that’s nice.
Yeah, yeah, I’m quite relieved actually, I’m just trying to think about stuff, but yeah, that’s it!
As you said before, there’s a lot of pressure on girls to be the person in Grazia, to be the person who is successful and beautiful and have this wonderful life that everyone thinks they should have at the moment.. So what do you hope that girls, especially young girls take away from this?
I hope that they see that, you know, a lot of it’s an illusion, a lot of the hype is an illusion and, you know, you’ve got to find inner beauty I guess and appreciate yourself enough to really project and be good; be a bigger person. Also, you know, for me it’s being true to yourself, and believing in what you believe in and being a good friend. I think that’s really what it is – being a good friend and being honest and not letting things- not letting the pressure get to you. And understanding that a lot of the time when people are projecting that they’re happy, and all this ‘I’ve got such a fabulous life’… you know, sometimes they’re not that happy. And if they are, good for them, but you’ve got to take your own lead in life and be proud of yourself.
You probably see a lot of that, I imagine.
Yeah, I do see a lot of it and, you know, everybody has their insecurities and pressure and feeling that they should be a certain way, but I’ve never really had that because I just feel like ‘well if I’m successful by not being me, what’s the point?’ You have to make it on your own terms.
Pre-order your copy of Powder Room now via Amazon.co.uk at http://amzn.to/1nd5LpD.
Powder Room is released on DVD 31st March 2014.