Hull actress Kirsty Averton plays a prominent and central role in an episode of new Saturday night BBC1 drama, Hard Sun, by Neil Cross, the creator of Luther.
This is the latest of a string of screen successes for the London-based actress, who was born and grew up in East Hull and Willerby and attended Wolfreton School and Sixth Form College.
Starring Agyness Deyn and Jim Sturgess, Hard Sun is a big budget pre-apocalyptic crime series set in contemporary London that runs over six 60-minute episodes, with Kirsty playing Jamie Unwin in episode three to screen on January 20th at 9.30pm.
“It has been quite incredible to be involved with – I’m a big fan of Neil’s writing,” said Kirsty, whose character Jamie plays a central role in this episode where a murderer confesses to a priest that he wants to challenge God into revealing himself by targeting people who help others.
The actress, whose major break came playing Army Medic Jackie in the first series of Our Girl, is also currently in two feature films on release: What happened to Monday, with Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close and Willem Dafoe, and The Holly Kane Experiment, in which she plays her first feature film lead.
In the $20m What Happened to Monday, now out on Netflix in the UK and US, and screening widely in Europe, Kirsty plays the part of Mia and is the also the acting double for Noomi Rapace.
Filming in Romania in 2015 took three months and gave her chance to work with three Hollywood stars at the top of their game.
“It was amazing to work with all of them, watch them and listen to their stories. It was a unique acting opportunity because of the role and the technical requirements, which made it a very difficult, long shoot and we had to do some scenes a number of times. As Noomi played seven identical sisters, I had to multi-role and not only prep like they were my characters but also imitate what she had done previously. Often, I’d have to perform the character in that scene before her, so we would discuss how she would play the scene beforehand.
“Willem never left the set, even when not shooting his scene. He was always around watching the monitor, ensuring he knew what was going on, and came across as incredibly professional and involved.”
The Holly Kane Experiment, already released in Japan and the US, is due out on February 19th in the UK, including on Amazon and Vimeo on Demand.
Holly Kane, played by Kirsty, is an obsessive psychologist who attempts to re-programme her subconscious mind, but when her actions become increasingly uncharacteristic she fears her experiment is dangerously out of control.
Filmed in the UK in 17 days over 68 locations, this is Kirsty’s film debut as a lead actress, which she says was challenging and rewarding in equal measure.
“I needed to be able to bring all my experience to bear to make realise the full scope of Holly’s character, in what was a demanding but rewarding production in such a short space of time,” added Kirsty.
It’s not been plain sailing says the 31-year-old, who was born Kirsty Young and lived as a child on Bilton Grange estate before taking the stage name Averton after studying performance at Salford University.
“I was a bit of a shy child and chose drama and dance to help build my confidence before moving to London and starting to act professionally.”
Kirsty’s parents and grandparents still live in the region, and she comes back to visit regularly.
“They’re looking forward to Saturday night, and might even find it more exciting than I do,” she laughs. “They’ll definitely tune in, though because it’s pretty violent I think my Mum might struggle to watch!”
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