Feature Friday : Artist of the month, Laura Fraser.
is not necessarily the kind of artist that stands out. She’s not skinny, blonde, tall or Hollywood in any way. In fact, she speaks with a thick Glasgow accent and captures you more with her eyes rather than her voice. In other words, she might defy every mainstream standard with her appearance but manages to steal the show in every project she gets involved in. Perhaps it’s her stark honesty that has always accompanied her interviews as well her on-screen performances.
The first show I ever saw her in was Lip Service. (Now my nearest and dearest are making fun of me for ordering every film and television series she’s been in on Love Film – I however insist that to grasp and actor and person fully you need to know their work) Lip Service for one, was BBC3’s surprise show of the year. Season one managed to captivate half a million viewers with its groundbreaking and shocking content. Even though some reacted negatively to the show, it was clear that the creator and cast members as well as director were recognised and praised for their performances and creative contributions.
Laura’s career unsurprisingly started quite a long time ago. Freshly plucked out of drama school she was spotted and cast in BBC series Neverwhere. A string of films and series were to follow with notable performances in Julie Taymor’s Titus as Lavinia where she gives a heartbreaking performance as Titus’s daughter who is assaulted and raped by Tamora’s two sons. She spends half the film unable to speak (the boys cut off her hands and tongue) so it’s amazing to watch her perform with her face and eyes. She however was disappointed with her interpretation of the part and let down with the film itself. (How self-deprecating of her, indeed)
Though her personal life seemed quite tumultuous for a while, her career choices remain strong yet subdued. After her marriage to Irish/American writer Karl Geary, she tries to settle down starting in NY, first in Ireland and then back in her native Glasgow. Luckily for her, Glasgow has recently become television and film production prime location. About her husband she says :”I won him round and then Glasgow won him round. He likes that the people here have pride in where they’re from.” Since moving back, they’ve had a daughter the little one often joins her on set. “One day last December I was in the make-up chair with my three year old daughter visiting and we heard a rumbling coming from the hall outside. We looked out and saw two giant pandas on wheelie chairs whizzing their way towards us. It was Ruta Gedmintas (Frankie) and Heather Peace (Sam) dressed up in these panda costumes that were randomly lying around in production office, but from then on my daughter thought I went to work with pandas.” Seems like a good sense of humour has replaced her past of confusion and escapism.
Anyone today who knew little about her personal life would be surprised to find out there are lots of layers to this onion of a person. Laura reveals in the Sunday Herald, 2001 that she used to be a cocaine user in the past and that her life has changed drastically since then. It is not unimaginable thus to pinpoint where her rather intense personality come from and why she seems to need to control things in her life at the present moment.
All in all, her future seems bright and her career and personal life seem driven. She’s currently starring in the Motion Picture soon to be released in the UK, Cuckoo – and signed onto the second series of Lip Service scheduled to be shown on BBC3 next year.