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An Interview with Cara Middleton, Star of Dark Vale

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2015

Films starring Cara Middleton on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming movie Dark Vale - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?


Dark Vale is a horror film with a twist. The film is based around a love story. My characters name is Leah the lead female so the film follows mine (Leah's) and Tom's (played by Darren Randall [Darren Randall interview - click here]) relationship, it follows the ups and indeed downs that we face as a couple. We need to get home urgently following a weekend away, and end up getting trapped in a place called "The Vale". We start to question our own sanity and are desperate to leave but for some reason can't.


What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much of Cara Middleton can we find in Leah?


After having read the script and talking to the director Jason M.J Brown [Jason M.J Brown interview - click here], I got the impression Leah is a lovely person with a big heart who cares very much for people she loves, but someone who will not be walked over, she has a little bit of an edge. She's also going through a very tough time, everything bad is happening to her all at once. I like to think I myself am a lovely person too :) ha ha so personality-wise I see alot of myself in Leah. So I went through the script with a scalpel and worked out the emotions she was experiencing at certain points, and figured out where in my life had I felt that emotion too so I could bring Leah to life and make her real.


To what extent could you identify with the movie's horror theme?


Well I myself as many other people in life have been through very tough times , I have been at rock bottom which is the way Leah is heading too. Having been through bad times myself helped to understand what Leah is going through and how she must be feeling on the inside. 


How did you get involved with Dark Vale in the first place?


I actually was contacted by Jay, the director. He had seen my showreel and got in touch. He had already shot a fair bit of the film, but was still looking for a lead to play Leah. We met up and discussed the film, I read the script and the rest is history... I couldn't wait to get on set and start filming. 


What can you tell us about your director Jason M.J Brown [Jason M.J Brown interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?


When I first met Jay, instantly it was like we had known each other years. He's a really nice person and a brilliant director, he has the same work ethic as me so we get on so well. We're both perfectionists. He's also very laid back and gave us the reigns and trusted us. We trusted him too, so worked really well together. 


Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


Picture this. My very first day of filming we were in the middle of a wood, there were 4 of us, it was sludgy, messy and not what you call glamorous, but it was brilliant. I love it, I love being on location and experiencing that side to filming. I like getting my hands dirty, and hard work. We filmed long hours and it was tiring but we all kept each other's spirits up and had fun along the way. You could tell that filming is what we all wanted to do so we just enjoyed every moment. Having banter with each other helped too :)


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I have 2 films in the pipeline which I can't talk about as of yet as it's early days, but what I can tell you though is that Jay has asked me to be in his next film :) which is very exciting, I can't wait to film already. TV and film is my passion though, so as long as I'm on set I'm happy. 


What got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


I first got into acting when I was about 13 years old, so 13 years ago. I always wanted to act but was quite shy as a child many people don't believe this now but it's true. After having a heart to heart with my grandad he gave me the courage I needed to get on stage alone and perform in a showcase, he was by my side the whole day and stayed for the show that night, I was hooked. He told me that's where I belong, so I started off doing many theatre productions before TV and film. I started getting trained in theatre school before moving on and studying acting for TV and film in Bolton, method acting in London. I am currently still being taught by the legendary Mr David Johnson of Manchester. My theory is there's always something new to learn.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Dark Vale?


I have been in many films, short and feature, also TV and stage. Which are all on my IMDb and Spotlight, my latest being The Singing Bird Will Come, which is a psychological thriller in which I played the role of Kelly who basically was a bitch, not a very nice person at all. The film was premiered in both Stafford and Leicester Square, London, which was incredible. It was unreal standing in the Odeon Leicester Square for our film with a picture of Sir Michael Caine on the wall having one of his premieres there. Just amazing! One of my favourite roles was for an Italian period drama called Da Vinci Demons, I was cast as a noble lady and was in period costume all week, I had a beautiful dress on with a corset underneath, which let me tell you it's extremely hard to breathe let alone eat, but that experience on a massive set was unreal.


How would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?


I am 100% dedicated to whatever film I'm working on and the character I'm playing. I'm a big believer in realism and being very natural. I try and work out the same traits we both have to create this. Then I work on my lines and start with gut instinct, as we are in fact animals and animals just go with it, but then I'll build on that by defining what emotion I'm feeling and work out where in my life have I felt that emotion, again to be natural and real. Then work out the subtext. Hopefully this comes across and works, it's all about finding out what technique works for you.


Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?


There are so many to name really but immediately who comes to mind are Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Johnny Depp and Jack Nicholson.

Meryl Streep as she's just amazing, she's someone who is easy to watch and you know she's going to be flawless with her performance, technically she's very clever but natural.

Julie Walters as she just makes me smile whenever I watch her, she's so funny and very talented, she has worked very hard to get to where she is so I aspire to be like her.

Johnny Depp has this very cool dark unusual approach, he pushes the boundaries and creates unique characters which I find very fascinating to watch.

And Jack Nicholson, I love that he has portrayed challenging roles, which include dark portrayals of excitable, neurotic and psychopathic characters.

It's very interesting to me, I love a challenge too and pushing myself, I like things with a little edge, I like to be a little quirky and different.


Your favourite movies?


Again there are loads of movies I like, I love having film days, depending on your mood at the time as to which type of film to watch. But I really like One flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, The Shining, Pirates of the Caribbean (all of them), Taken (all of them), Mamma Mia, The Fast and the Furious... Seriously there are too many films to name. I like all types too, thriller, musical, chick flick, action, I'm a real film person I love nothing more than sitting with my family having a film night.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


I can honestly say there is no film I really really dislike. 


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Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I am currently being represented by Chris Maloney from Take 2 Management in Manchester UK. Everything seems to be going in the right direction for me career-wise, I'm feeling good about myself and confident - which has been a struggle, especially after loosing my grandad. I'm proud to be where I am right now.


Thanks for the interview!


Thank you, Mike :) x


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
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... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


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