Reported by Imani Wj Wright & Lucas Ballard
“The foundation to good acting is good reacting, listening, paying attention to what’s around you. That’s how things can go from the level of good to the level of unexpectedly great.” – Viggo Mortensen
The piece you’re about to read has been carefully written by two people. This isn’t typical for us here at SwanoDown, but for the subject today, we see it as appropriate. In the world of art, there are so many varying interpretations and garnered feelings that may arise from the same work. One piece of art can garner a myriad of emotions.
The world of cinema has given us some of the most iconic and memorable moments that will stand the test of time. Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver, and Kill Bill are just a few that immediately come to mind. Though, regardless of how great the directors of those films were (Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino), it took astounding on screen performances by Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and Uma Thurman to really take it to the next level. Could you really imagine anyone else playing their respective roles? They’re indelible in that sense. Actress Charlotte Louise Spencer looks to make an unforgettable mark on the world of film. She takes on Hollywood as not only an actress but a filmmaker.
Charlotte Louise Spencer is from Leeds, Northern England. As a child she was largely immersed in eclectic activities such as dance, acting, and singing. She was very passionate about performing arts and once she graduated from high school, she pursued a Bachelor's Degree in Performing Arts. Northumbria University in New Castle, England is where she decided to take up her studies, and has since served her well. During her tenure at University one of her primary focuses was acting. It occupied so much of her time and energy that she decided to apply to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Most recently, Spencer has acted in the film directed by Niki Byrne, Evan Wood. This film is about a writing student named Rachel that loses her grandmother. With this devastating news she must return home to attempt to amend the relationship of her family. She not only tries in resparking an old flame, but also must assist in the recovery of her brother who struggles with mental health as well as addiction.
Both Charlotte and her Co-star Alex Sorian Brown were featured on Derek Diamond’s Youtube as part of his podcast. They both answer a bevy of questions pertaining to their roles in Evan Wood. In Derek’s first question he asks how they heard about Evan Wood and what intrigued the actors to partake in the film. Charlotte rings off first telling us that she actually wrote and produced the film, which is a testament for her love of film. She began writing the script and initially meant for it to be a short film but she soon discovered the themes should be developed longer through a feature length film. If you are not familiar with the time and editing it takes to get to a final script for a movie, the process is quite lengthy and can sometimes take months, even years to perfect. Spencer admittedly did not execute the entire script alone and had help from co-writer Alejandro Lopez, but was one of the driving causes for it’s creation. When asked about the process Charlotte expressed “I mean, it’s always a little bit nerve racking isn’t it? I did speak to a lot of professionals.” The shooting process for this film was quite strenuous and was actually shot over an 11 day period, putting the actors into a highly focused and immensely concentrated state. Charlotte’s concentration and acting ability is displayed in her American accent. Accents are tough and must be developed and for 89 minutes, hers holds up. It’s so good in fact that when I first viewed the trailer I forgot that she hails from England!
Charlotte Louise Spencer really put on a lot of hats in regards to the creation of this film. Not only is she consistently seen throughout the movie, she wrote and produced it. Despite her strong performance those roles conflicted and sometimes she would have to separate herself from the exterior roles other than the actual acting.
“Good actors make the audience forget that they’re acting, and one way they do that is by reacting thoroughly to everything and everyone within their make-believe world so that they look like they’re really part of that world,” According to The Actor’s Place. If you watch Charlotte’s eyes and facial expressions in the Evan Wood trailer, there is so much focus and precision within her mannerisms that she captures you. Even the subtle acts of Charlotte taking a hit of her vape is telling. You can feel her stress, her anxiety, her mind wandering as she assesses the death in her family.
However, what’s just as, if not more impressive than her talent while being solo on screen, is her ability to interact with other characters on screen. Even while she is not the one speaking, Charlotte remains present and in the audience’s forefront of focus.
“When we connect to people with our emotions we generally want two things: To be understood and/or to have the other person feel the same way that we feel. In order to have these things happen, first we must deeply feel the emotion and second, the emotion needs to be expressed in a strong and compelling way,``said Craig Wallace of BACKSTAGE.
We spoke about Charlotte’s brilliant subtleties, but haven’t gotten into her more demonstrative movements. There are several moments on screen where Ms. Spencer shows us genuine anger and frustration within her character. At times, she gives us these huge swings of the arms, or aggressive movements forward that gives us no doubt of her emotional state during those actions. They never seem forced or overdone– displaying her skills as a professional.
Charlotte has played roles in a lot of different plays and shows in the U.K. but found herself overexerted, even missing large portions of school to fulfill these roles. As you can see, she is ambitious and grew past exclusively acting under someone else’s content and decided to branch out and see her own concept to fruition. Spencer has more projects planned for the future but in the meantime you can keep up with her by checking out her Instagram @charlottlelouisespencer