The actress caused a sensation at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in her role as Alice in The Solid Life of Sugar Water. Praised by audiences and critics, it has garnered stellar reviews. Here, the BAFTA award winner and International EMMY nominated actress talks to BDN about why we need more Deaf talent
Los Angeles last year and I was stuttering over my words as much as my meagre ASL.
BDN: What’s your advice to aspiring Deaf actors?
Don’t give up. I never had any big roles in the school plays or someone who said “Genevieve, you were born to act”.
BDN: What’s your view on Deaf representation in the arts?
This is a complicated issue that is currently being discussed a lot in the arts. I can tell you this – in the five years I’ve acted, there have been less than a handful of parts that have been “hearing”.
Typecasting is understandable to a degree, but limiting a disabled performer to their disability is just wrong.
Being deaf is character-building, it brings another dimension to the richness of life around us, but does it sum up who we are? No, it just adds to it.
BDN: What are you working on next?
I have my first lead role in a feature film coming up in Berlin and so I am going to be focusing on that. There’s some talk about a television drama.
The Solid Life of Sugar Water will also be going on tour early next year and so I am very excited about that! Did I say I’m getting married? I kind of need to start planning that too!
The Solid Life of Sugar Water goes on tour next year. It tells the story of Phil and Alice, who are in love in that familiar, flawed, ordinary love way. Candid, uninhibited and visceral, this world-premiere from award winning playwright Jack Thorne is an intimate, tender play about loss, hurt and rediscovery. Thorne’s credits include Let the Right One, which played to sell-out audiences in London’s West End and Glue, Skins, Shameless and This is England.
Published in BDN October 2015 issue