When I was around 5 – 6 years old, I remember watching a Filipino film called Sarah Ang Munting Princesa (Sarah, the Little Princess) and the actress who portrayed Sarah, Camille Prats’ performance instantly captivated and fascinated me, that I began to watch the film several times to mimic the way she portrayed Sarah. I would act out her scenes all the time whenever I could as I wanted to learn and feel the emotions Sarah in the film was going through.
Gielliane Althea is known for Snatch (2017) and Maleficent 2 (2020). She is represented by Jim Parker at 34 Talent Group.
I remember in the film there’s a scene where Sarah uncontrollably cries and I remember thinking to myself, “I wish I could do that? How did she do that?” I tried and tried and tried to cry and to even drop one little tear, but it never happened. Then I finally realised that in order to cry I needed to put myself in her character’s shoes in order to feel every emotion she was feeling.
Q: Did you study acting?
Gielliane Althea: Since I was 7, I participated in after school Drama clubs and I absolutely loved being able to do something different to what I would do during school hours. During secondary school however, I became shyer than I have ever been as the environment at school was definitely unfavourable. Drama teachers were not supportive, and neither were my peers, therefore I lost interest in acting. Sixth form comes around, and I had to choose 4 subjects to study and I did not even think of picking drama because of the awful experience I had at GCSE.
One day, however, I was sat in Geography (this was two weeks in) and I decided to change Geography to Drama. As soon as I walked through the studio, I was greeted with such warmth and openness from my peers and especially my Drama teacher. She was the one who brought me out of my shell and ignited my affinity for acting once again. She challenged me in many different ways to strengthen my skills, and most importantly she believed that I could arise to the challenges and give it my 110%. She was the one who introduced me to a multitude of different acting techniques, styles and practitioners.
Q: What acting technique do you use?
Gielliane Althea: To be honest, I don’t really use and stick to one type of acting technique. I found that after my years of learning about drama and acting that there many ways of producing an amazing performance. Therefore, I gather inspiration/influence from various techniques and sort of mash it into one to give my utter best performance, as I am able to change and adapt my acting depending on what is best for the production.
Q: Do you take courses to improve your craft?
Gielliane Althea: I usually just practice by myself as there are so many tutorials, videos and books online which is a lot more helpful for me as I don’t usually have time to go to classes or workshops.
Q: What acting books do you read?
Gielliane Althea: I have read many books about acting since properly studying Drama at university, which included books by and about Bertolt Brecht, Anton Chekov, Expressionism, Physical Theatre and so many more. The Actor and the Target, Declan Donellan. An Actor Prepares, Constantin Stanislavski. Audition, Michael Shurtleff. Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre, Keith Johnstone. The Excellent Audition Guide, Andy Johnson. The books I have listed are the recent ones I have read.
Q: How do you keep fit as an actor: mentally and physically?
Gielliane Althea: To keep physically fit I obviously go to the gym 3 times a week and I also do kickboxing 3 times a week. Keeping myself mentally fit on the other hand, is a lot more complicated than keeping myself physically fit. This is much easier said than done, but I basically don’t take things personally, I look at the positives of anything that happens in my life and I have employed the rule of ‘if it won’t matter in 5 years’ time, don’t spend more than 5 minutes thinking about it’. Also, I surround myself with people who lift my spirits 24/7.
Q: How do you prepare for a role, when you get it?
Gielliane Althea: To prepare for a role, I read the entire script once to understand the storyline and the characters within it. I then, read the script for the second time around, but this time focusing on my character, their storyline, their relationships, their life before and after the storyline – I make notes on the script with all of this in mind. After learning about my character in depth, I read the script until I have memorized my lines.
Q: How do you create a character from a script into a person?
Gielliane Althea: As mentioned previously, I focus on my character whilst reading the script. I think the most important method I employ in turning my character into a person is looking at their past and future as it determines their actions, behaviours and thoughts.
Q: How do you stay fresh on a production set?
Gielliane Althea: For me, I actually snap out of character between takes, re-takes and separate cuts, as I have found that most beneficial for me. I prefer jumping and switching back to it once I am needed again for a scene, that way I don’t lost interest on my character.
Q: Explain a creative choice you took on a set?
Gielliane Althea: I can’t really think of a specific one. Most creative choices I make is usually based on whether or not my character should do this, or do that. For me, it is all about thinking about the right movements and behaviours for my character.
Q: Describe a memorable character you have played?
Gielliane Althea: I would say the most memorable character I played was for my final 2nd year performance for university, I portrayed ‘A’ in Sarah Kane’s Crave. This was most memorable because the character interpretation was solely a mixture of my own, the cast and my director’s interpretation. The character was someone ditsy, clever and serious at the same time. The performance was a mixture of dance, physical theatre and art, which successfully expressed my character’s juggled thoughts – this is probably why ‘A’ was the most memorable character I played because I was able to express and present her in many different forms.
Q: What do you want most from a director?
Gielliane Althea: Someone who is not afraid to take on ideas from other members of the crew and cast. Someone who is open to suggestion and open to collaboration, as I have found that collaborating with the director leads to a much better performance from actors.
Q: What actor do you long to work with?
Gielliane Althea: Dwayne Johnson
Gielliane Althea: Ever since I was young, I was exposed to the world of wrestling by my older brother and that was when I found out about the Rock. And after a few years and seeing him in films, I was instantly gravitated towards him as a person because of how he has successfully integrated into the world of films. His work ethic and humbled personality is what I admire the most. I would just love to observe and learn from him by working with him, as I feel that I would learn so much.
Q: What advice do you give actor?
Gielliane Althea: Even if you don’t believe in yourself, always know that someone else does or someone else will and always remember that.
Q: Briefly write about your career?
Gielliane Althea: I appeared in various commercials and short films before securing a small role in a TV series, my most recent acting role which unfortunately I am not able to discuss any further at this time was in Disney’s Maleficent 2 due out in cinemas in 2020.
Gielliane is represented by Jim Parker at 34 Talent Group