SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Gabriella Leonardi: Helloooo. I’m Gabriella Leonardi and I play ‘Zoe’ in Harms Way Production‘s ‘All That You Love Will Be Carried Away’! I live in a small town called Hastings and I am the eldest of four siblings. I am a method actress and mental health advocate. When I am not acting I am working in the worlds cutest coffee shop in Hastings.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?
Gabriella Leonardi: Ever since I was 5 and played a snowflake in my school nativity. I kept running across the stage when it wasn’t my turn. My mum loves to tell that story! No, I can’t remember to be honest, I just know I’ve always wanted too. I’ve always had this desire to play characters that people connect too. I have always wanted to be in psychological thrillers or social realism films because they show the harsh reality of humanity.
SKSM: How did you become involved in All That You Love Will Be Carried Away Dollar Baby film?
Gabriella Leonardi: I found the casting via instagram as had followed Harms Way Productions for a while. As soon as I saw the character castings and I saw it was based on a Stephen King book, I sent in a selftape straight away! I am very grateful to Hendrik for casting me and trusting me to take on the amazing role of ‘Zoe’.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Gabriella Leonardi: It is heavily based around mental health, which everyone can relate to in some way. It definitely plays on the audiences mind, especially Hendrik’s adaption as the very carefully thought out and clever characters he has added.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Gabriella Leonardi: I did have to audition for the part but it was bizarre because when I was doing my character development once I got role, I was really shocked because I realised it was one of my dream roles. She is so raw and misunderstood and so many people can connect to her and I absolutely loved playing her. Proper gritty!
SKSM: You worked with Hendrik Harms on this film, how was that?
Gabriella Leonardi: It was incredible. Hendrik is not only a good director but a very good writer and the adaptation he created is extremely smart. He made everyone feel so welcome and the whole team as a whole were incredible.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Gabriella Leonardi: The table read when we all read the script and ate pizza! It was the most welcoming group of people ever. Then add the part I nearly passed out.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Gabriella Lonardi: I am in contact with all of them, crew and cast. We have all met up recently in London and are always planning other meet ups. They are absolutely wonderful and all from such different backgrounds. We’ve become a little film family and I would love the opportunity to work with them all again! Here’s hoping….
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Gabriella Leonardi: I have just wrapped on a campaign video for a charity that supports young homeless people, which was an incredible experience and I was honoured to be chosen to portray a real person and tell her story. She is an incredibly strong young lady and the charity is incredible.
I am also filming for “Roadgirl” a feature film about female gangs in London, in which I play Estelle, the gang leader. – A very important true story thats needed to be told.
I am also in preproduction of feature film “Beautiful Monster” – a biopsy of Mary Shelley that starts filming in 2020. I am currently in the research stage and I’m lucky enough to be cast as Shelley herself so very busy researching and learning to horse ride…
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Gabriella Leonardi: A massive fan. I think he’s incredible and shows the dark truth about life and this is love. Stephen King and Tim Burton are my ultimate faves…. I love the dark stuff! I am very excited for IT 2 to come out!!
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Gabriella Leonardi: I am half Italian! People don’t think it because I’m unbelievably pale but I’d like to think my name gives it away a little…
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Gabriella Leonardi: Thank you for supporting us and all the other film makers and creatives that take on the “Dollar baby”. It is fascinating watching and reading about other people experiences and I hope you watch Harmsway Studios adaptation of “All that you love will be carried away”. I hope you like it!
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Gabriella Leonardi: If you are an aspiring creative, don’t give up on your dream. Even when it gets hard and you have no money and think to give it up and get a well paid regular job… keep going because all it takes is one job or opportunity to give you a boost to carry on 🙂