We recently caught up with the inspiring and honorable actress, Davina Cole. She was happy to fill us in on her life growing up as a performer, her goals for the future and upcoming projects. Here is what she had to say:
Please introduce yourself to the readers and how and when did you first get into performing?
My name is Davina Cole and I have been performing as an actress in the UK for many years. I was born and raised in the UK but my parents are from Sierra Leone in West Africa (my African heritage is very dear to me). I have performed in various films, theatre productions, commercials, voiceovers and radio. I loved watching old movies including African films with my dad on the weekends and always wondered how I could get into performing. Whilst attending an after school club I saw a poster about drama and dance classes. I attended one and from then on, I was hooked. I started performing from the age of 13 in local theatre productions and I also toured within the UK with a girl band in my teens.
What inspired you to get into this industry?
I remember from a young age watching classic old black and white movies on a Saturday afternoon. I was mesmerized by performances from actresses such as Grace Kelly, Julie Andrews, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. I often used to dream of being on screen too, which enticed me to start going to classes which eventually led to me apply for drama school and the rest is history.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
I studied at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts one of the top ten drama schools in the UK. I completed a 1 year post graduate degree in Acting. The training was very vigorous but set the foundation to the actress I have become today. I think training gives you good grounding as a performer and develops your talent further. I still continue to take classes to keep my creative juices flowing between acting projects.
What has been your favorite role to play so far?
I really enjoy playing the roles of strong women. My favorite role to date, I’ve played was the role of Delilah in the play ‘1867’. This was based on the life of Madame CJ Walker America’s First Black Female Millionaire. It was an honor to play such a prominent figure as well as being very inspirational and it really pushed me as an actress. As a character, she had many layers and I was really able to explore the role. I hope to play more roles similar to this in the future which will enable me to grow further within my profession.
What has been one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
My biggest achievement so far is the success I have received is with my one woman show ‘All the Colours’. I wrote it myself and I was nominated for a best actress award at the 7th International One man Show Solo Festival 2014 in the UK. I then went on to be selected as a finalist at the prestigious 22nd Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival. It was amazing to be selected to perform alongside amazingly talented women from all over the world. The subject matter is very dear to me as it centers around Sierra Leone and the civil war which effected thousands including my family. It’s great to let people know some of what happened back then through performing the show.
What projects do you have coming up?
I am due to start filming next year on a new British TV series. I am very excited about the character as she’s very out outspoken, feisty and witty. She’s a character with many different sides to her and I can’t wait to play her. I am also touring with my one woman show so I will be extremely busy touring and filming in 2016.
Who would you most like to work with?
I really admire the body of work and talent of Angela Bassett and Viola Davis so I would love to work with either one of them. To work with such talented women would be amazing.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to write more including a piece I would like to do on the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, as my family are from there. I also plan to make my one woman show into a web series and by popular demand I will be taking my one woman show on tour which is really exciting. I also hope to get more meatier roles which will push me further as an artist.
What is your advice to aspiring performers?
Never stop working on your craft which will enable you to achieve your goals and continually challenge yourself with every new role to better yourself as a performer. The industry is hard but with determination, hope and faith you can succeed.