It’s not every day you get to play as a character lead double in a major Disney franchise. This particular franchise was none other than that of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. So we naturally had to sit down with the actress [Brit Shaw] who famously played Keira Knightley’s double alongside Jonny Depp. She recalls how it was one of her first acting roles, which is an incredible feat considering how ruthless the industry can be for aspiring actors.
With her routes stemming from Memphis, Tennessee, Brit opens up about her love for acting and embracing her creative outlet.
“What makes acting so attractive to me is that you are behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances. That is fun, exciting… you get to take on different roles, experience different people through the work. I love working with other creatives and collaborating. It can be a slice of magic”.
Well known for her involvement in Paranormal Activity. She openly admits that she was so scared of scary movies before she got involved with the project. To the point where she found herself walking out of Paranormal Activity 1 as she was too scared to watch it! Fast forward a few years. Being involved with the horror production has made the actress a massive scary movie/horror fan!
PEACE IN THE VALLEY
Taking on the lead role [Ashley] of a phenomenol story which follows the aftermath of a senseless act of violence. A young mother must learn to manage her overwhelming grief-not only for her own peace of mind but for the sake of her young son. Brit explains that she was incredibly fortunate to be part of the production from the very beginning, having produced the film through her production company, River Fall Productions.
Drawn to the complexity of the story, as it deals with a subject matter that unfortunately many individuals in American society have experienced. For the actress, “when you think about these innocent victims, they’re everyday people going about their day. It could be you. It could be me. These random acts of violence change your world forever”. This story deals with love, loss, grief, and hope. With her character, Ashley, taking the audience on her journey after the 24-hr news cycle is over.
“We didn’t want to show the shooter, the gun, or the blood, we wanted to show the other side – the ones that have to pick up the pieces when their lives are changed forever in an instant. It was important for me to tell this story”.
Brit explains that the most challenging part was shooting during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic! Having to work through getting shut down in March of 2020 and resuming again in August of that year. The actress points out how the challenges of making a movie in those early pandemic days were unyielding! As a small, independent film; Brit highlights how due to the tight production schedule, the window of opportunity fell to 1 or 2 takes per setup.
BEING TRUTHFUL TO HER CHARACTER
For the actress, it was vitally important she stayed in a certain headspace. She wanted to serve the material and be truthful to the character. At the same time, she (as the producer) found herself constantly teetering between both jobs. Undertaking a lot of work ahead of time before shooting began. Allowing her the opportunity to come to set fully prepared; able to go from producer to actor at a moments notice.
Brit explains that auditioning is by far the hardest part of the job. Having always admired charisma, confidence, intelligence and a hard work ethic as inspirational character traits in her fellow actors. “Every actor has a different approach, which I also think is wonderful about the art of acting. There are many different paths; if you are open to learning, then you will only become better and better”. To not sweat the small “stuff”. Instead to be persistent and having confidence in creating your own content!#watchthisspace