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Interview

Laura Haddock on ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ and Audition Prep

Laura Haddock on ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ and Audition Prep
Photo Source: Illustration: Nathan Arizona/Photo: Featureflash/Shutterstock.com

Laura Haddock has hit a turning point in her career. The English actor, who plays Vivian Wembley, the medieval history professor and catalyst at the center of the plot to save the world in “Transformers: The Last Knight,” has starred in two massive films this year. Here, she discusses the advice she has for her younger self and being a working mom.

Was there a particular year where you thought things were falling into place for you as an actor?
[Last year] was a real turning point for me. Personally, I had just had a baby and felt amazingly empowered by that and was given the opportunity to film “Transformers,” and they made sure that I could have my little baby with me all the time and that was really special. So I got to have him with me every day and I got to be in a movie like “Transformers,” which I would have only ever dreamed of. I don’t think I could ever forget last year.

Is it rare to work with people who were so accommodating of you being a mother with a young child?
I can only speak from my own experience, but everybody’s been extremely welcoming and had open arms when it comes to my baby. I feel like conversations need to be started and everyone needs to be so much more aware that for women in this industry, it’s really difficult to find the time. Women can sometimes feel scared to take a break. My own personal experience was I got to the point where I had to focus on having a baby because that’s what I really wanted in my life. I’m so lucky that the people around me have made it possible for me to have that dream and be able to have my baby and also have a career.

If you had advice for your younger self, what would it be?
Keep going and stay true to what you love and try your best to continue to love enjoy every second of it. If you get an opportunity to do it, don’t complain. It’s very special to get to do the thing you would do for free as your career. It’s a special thing, having a dream from [age] 9 and finding out that it is possible. I don’t take it for granted. I’d tell my younger self don’t panic and take each day as it comes. You never know what’s around the door.

For the auditions that are in the room, how do you prepare for them?
You definitely want to be solid on the lines, because you don’t want to be bound to the script. But be open to direction, so don’t lock yourself into one way of doing something. Listen and respond to your director who’s in there working with you. They want you to get the job, they want you to be the best, they want you to be the one.

Do you have any nightmare audition stories?
Loads! [Laughs] I’ve called my agent many a time and asked to reaudition for things. I think one of the ones that threw me the most was [when] a casting director referred to me as Laura Hadcock. That’s a pretty strange way to start an audition. I didn’t know whether to correct them or not! 

What was your first headshot like?
I was so blonde in my first headshot! I wore too much eyeliner. It wasn’t good. I quickly changed it. I think you have to be as natural as possible. You also don’t want to have a headshot that’s so good that you walk into a room and they’re like, “Really?” Don’t do too much retouching, just be you and don’t wear too much makeup. You’d always rather impress when you walk into the room rather than people be let down by the real thing. 

What advice would you have for actors from the U.K. trying to work in the States?
The film industry worldwide is really vibrant. Any time I read anything, the location of the shoot is different. You can be a tourist in a way, you can discover new countries and new cities. I think you can take it as an opportunity to be a globetrotter. Spending time in America is really important. I tend to go over there a few months a year and make sure I’m available to audition. A tape being sent from the U.K. is as powerful as being in a room in America. 

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