From Repton to Los Angeles - promising young Derbyshire actress Georgia Hair
- Credit: Archant
Eighteen-year-old Derbyshire student Georgia Hair has enjoyed a taste of Hollywood after landing a major role in a 2017 movie which was filmed in LA
Eighteen-year-old Derbyshire student Georgia Hair has enjoyed a taste of Hollywood after landing a major role in a 2017 movie which was filmed in LA.
Pretty Outrageous is the perfect showcase for the former Repton School pupil, who not only has a key part in the film but also gets to sing one of her own compositions.
Indeed, the bright lights of Los Angeles were so tempting that Georgia nearly stayed out there after being offered more film work and a chance to be an intern with the production team, but she has decided to put any move to America on hold and instead will mix acting work with studying for her degree in English at Birmingham University.
Georgia loved every aspect of making Pretty Outrageous.
She says: ‘It has been an amazing experience. I had never been to LA before and the whole thing was really exciting. We could be working 12 hour days but rather than being tired at the end of it I would just be buzzing. I really loved doing it. There was one day where I was in every scene and didn’t get a break but I got so into the storyline and role that I know that’s what I really want to do with my life.
‘We got to go to the Beverly Hills hotel where JFK used to hop over the fence to visit Marilyn Monroe in her room. I did all the tourist stuff, the Walk of Fame, and having my picture taken with the Hollywood signs but even the beaches were amazing.
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‘I would probably never have gone to LA without this opportunity but now I definitely want to go back again.’
The film role is something that Georgia has been building towards since she was a toddler with a natural desire to perform. Her mother’s side of the family has always been musical and Georgia started dancing when she was three – the rest just followed.
‘Even then I knew I liked performing,’ she says. ‘At primary school we did a show every year and I wanted to be the lead and it was the highlight of school for me – singing and acting seemed natural.’
Georgia would enter competitions and festivals and always loved coming away with the prizes.
She said: ‘I dance, sing and act but have never been that sporty so I loved getting my trophies as I would never get any sporting ones.’
She went on to perform for local amateur stage groups such as Burton’s Mellow Dramatics but as school work intensified had to give that up to concentrate on her GCSEs and A Levels.
She earned an academic and drama scholarship at Foremarke Preparatory School, and later got a scholarship to Repton School. Her last school production at Repton was A Midsummer Night’s Dream – taking on the role of Hermia.
She says: ‘At Repton you are working until 9pm each night and Saturdays, so there was no time for musical theatre companies which is a shame as I love those shows as they combine music and acting. We didn’t do musicals at Repton but we did do a cabaret each year and that gave me a chance to sing and dance.’
She’s since earned a music scholarship at university that will help her carry on singing alongside her English studies. Georgia can also play clarinet, piano and guitar. ‘It’s a choral scholarship so I still get to sing every week, which is brilliant,’ she says. ‘At university I’m doing shows as well.’
Georgia began going to auditions from the age of 11 and landed parts in music videos, TV’s Waterloo Road and commercials. But nothing like Pretty Outrageous.
She says: ‘I got the part by auditioning for something else up in Manchester and I was remembered from that when this film came up.’
Pretty Outrageous is about an English family with an American dad who move to LA when he lands a new job. Georgia says: ‘I play this moody, goth-type who is 16 and reacts against being taken to LA away from her friends. I have a younger sister who wants to be a famous pop star. She forms a band and when she realises she needs someone over 16, reluctantly asks for my help when she finds out I can sing.’
An unexpected bonus for Georgia is that she gets to sing one of her own songs.
She says: ‘They had songs written for the film but that was before it was cast. The song they chose would suit a younger girl but didn’t fit with my voice type. I did do their song but I approached them with my music and asked if they would look at it as I didn’t think the song we were using did me justice and I wasn’t doing it justice. So I’m really lucky that I have what amounts to a little music video in the film for one of my songs.’
The director Elizabeth Blake-Thomas comes from Burton, but the local connection played no part in Georgia securing the role.
Georgia says: ‘We had never met her before but bizarrely she is from Burton and knows people my family know.’
Elizabeth was so impressed with Georgia that she invited her back for small roles in her next couple of films, one of which was shot in December.
Georgia’s thrilled to have made such an impact.
She says: ‘It was a real life-changing experience and I really did think about staying over there. One of the assistant directors offered me the chance to defer university and carry on learning about film-making. But I really wanted to go to university and to finish my degree. I want to make sure I can do something else as well as acting. I have always been academic as well and I didn’t want to lose that.
‘It was tempting to stay out there but I felt that if I didn’t go to university now I never would. Although it is weird at uni when I tell them I have to go out to LA to shoot a film and they think I’m joking.’
Georgia’s mum Julie went out to LA with her daughter for the film shoot. She says: ‘Georgia can get nervous about things in her life but not when she is performing, that’s how natural it is for her. We are all really proud of her. The film is a great opportunity but she’s worked really hard for many years to get this chance so we are very pleased for her.’
Now Georgia just hopes Pretty Outrageous reaches a wide audience and puts her on the movie map.
She says, ‘I have always loved reading books and watching films and TV. I get so engrossed in them and I love films that can make people laugh and cry. The fact that stories that aren’t real can have that emotional affect is amazing and that’s what I want to be able to do in my career.
‘Pretty Outrageous is the biggest thing I have done, a massive learning curve but I loved it. It was like being part of this family as it was so intense. Having had that experience I would love to be doing more of that and after university will try to further my career in films and on TV. I don’t know where I will end up living and working but hopefully wherever that is I will be being successful somewhere on the screen.’
Pretty Outrageous is set for release in the summer of 2017. Featuring in the movie is Cameron Bright, from the Twilight series of films, Gabe Eggerling, well known to Nickelodeon viewers and Olivia Sanabia, from Amazon original series Just Add Magic. The film is directed by Elizabeth Blake-Thomas, who moved from Burton to LA to further her film career and that of her teenage daughter Isabella, who also features in Pretty Outrageous. Georgia Hair, from Repton, plays Charlie – the moody older sister who joins her younger sibling’s band when they discover she has a great voice. Georgia says: ‘Everyone has big hopes for the movie. It has been in post-production so I have only seen bits of it so far, not the whole thing, but it’s a summer film which is why it’s coming out then and I think audiences will love it when they get to see it. We already have Pretty Outrageous 2 planned.’