Interviewer: First of all, congratulations on your premiere from the whole Sloppy Jones Team.
Lory: Thank you, Sloppy Team! I am very excited that we are having our World Premiere at the 2020 Whistler Film Festival!
Interviewer: Can you tell us a bit about the film?
Lory: In Her City is an 82-minute feature film with 17 different short stories of young women in their twenties living in three cities: Toronto, Los Angeles, and New York City. These stories reflect the challenges that women of various ethnic backgrounds have to deal with.
Interviewer: Can you tell us about your character?
Lory: I play the role of Adwoa. She is a young woman who wants a career in the Fashion Industry so she gets a part-time job in a small women’s boutique in downtown Toronto. Adwoa has to live a double life in fear of disappointing her mother because she doesn’t want the path her mother has created for her future. I think most children at some point in their life have or will defy their parent’s wishes. In Adowa’s case, she does it out of the fear of missing out on her youthful womanhood life experiences rather than to purposely disrespect her mother who she cares for deeply. She is trying to find her own path in life and that’s called growing up and separating yourself from your parent’s protection! I’m sure we’ve all made decisions that our parents don’t approve of. Luckily we live, we learn, and hopefully, we grow from these life experiences.
Interviewer: How is this role different than your previous work? What were your challenges?
Lory: This role is different from my previous work because I got to create a story alongside director Carl Bessai for our short story. This story is a depiction of some of the realities & challenges most African girls/women have to deal with once immigrating to North America as the Canadian culture is very different compared to African countries.
Lory: One of the challenges Carl and I faced was casting a Congolese woman to play my mother. We needed someone who could respect the dialect as she would have spent most of her life in The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many Congolese people speak multiple languages like Thisluba, Lingala, Swahili, Kikongo, and French. Therefore the accent is very specific. I worked on a series called If I Should Die directed by Simone Stock and my co-star Lily Yawson (who played my mother on that show) did a phenomenal job with her character, so I told Carl that Lily would be the perfect person to play my mother. As we already have a mother-daughter bond from our series. Lily is from Ghana, so Carl and myself thought it would be appropriate to re-write the role of my Mother for a Ghanian woman. ‘Adwoa’ is a Ghanian name that was chosen by Lily Yawson which means Monday in Twi (pronounced “CHWI”) which identifies the day of the week you are born as well as your characteristics and personalities.
Interviewer: What was it like to work with Carl Bessai?
Lory: Working with director Carl Bessai was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot from him and our collaboration as it is my very first writer credit. He truly is an actor’s director and trusted me enough to bring as much truth and vulnerability to the work. I really admire his work ethic and his process. To work with Carl is an Actor’s dream, because he wants you to be as liberated as possible and authentic. Improvisation is how I caught the acting bug and when we went to set we did a lot of improv so it felt like home for me. Passion projects are a wonderful thing and I am extremely grateful that I get to experience them in my career.
Interviewer: Did you have a favourite moment on set?
Lory: The whole experience was very special to me from the virtual meetings with Carl Bessai to searching for a location with my super talented co-star Lily Yawson. Lily and I would meet up to go over note by note on character Breakdown and Scene analysis weekly. Our process fueled the work we did on set. It was sacred and I will cherish these moments forever. I never imagined so early on in my career I’d get the opportunity to collaborate with director Carl Bessai as an actor & Story Co-Creator. I am glad and forever grateful that I was chosen to work with him.
Interviewer: Are you excited for everyone to see the premiere at Whistler?
Lory: Yes, I am very excited for everyone to see the premiere at Whistler as this is my very first feature film as an actor and writer! But also because it is a beautiful film and the other stories are inspirational and I wish I could’ve had the opportunity to meet the other actors & creators to talk about their characters and story because they did such a phenomenal job. Due to the COVID-19, we won’t be having the live-screening in theatres. Everything is now online but I am still so very excited!
Interviewer: Where can we watch it and how can we stay updated?
Lory: You can watch ‘In Her City’ online on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020, from 12:01 AM (PST)
IN HER CITY – WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL 2020
Lory: You can stay updated by attending a Content Summit on Story Collaboration with Carl Bessai on Saturday, December 5th, 2020, from 4:00 PM (EST). I will be a guest there along with other Actors & Creators from In Her City.
IN HER CITY – SUMMIT WHISTLER FILMM FESTIVAL 2020 WATCH VOD.
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