Kelly Thornton chats to Film Ireland about her debut acting role in Life’s a Breeze.
Life’s a Breeze features an impressive cast including the likes of Patt Shortt, Brian Gleeson, Eva Birthistle and Fionnula Flanagan. But it’s debutante Kelly Thornton who steals the show in Lance Daly’s feel-good “recession comedy” about a family struggling to stay afloat and stay together through hard times in Ireland. Kelly plays Emma, the niece of unemployed slacker Colm (Shortt), who along with his aging mother Nan (Flanagan) must overcome their many differences to lead their family in a race against time to find a lost fortune.
Kelly’s performance has already garnered recognition, picking up the Bingham Ray New Talent award at the Galway Film Fleadh.
As well as being her first feature, it was also her first experience of acting. Her entry into the world of film makes for a great story of discovery. As she explains herself: “Someone just came up to me on Grafton Street and asked me if I’d audition for a movie. It was a casting scout. It was unreal. So I left my details with her and they gave my mam a ring and and I went to 2 auditions, which were open auditions. They called me back a third time and told me I had it!”
Only 14 at the time, Kelly’s first experience of a film set was on Halloween night 2011 as Lance wanted to get footage of the bonfires and Halloween activities for the film with the shoot concluding in August 2012. For a couple of months it was Monday to Friday for Kelly, who was in third year at the time. How did that effect her school? “I had a tutor when I was on set so I didn’t do too bad in my Junior Cert!”
Kelly says she learnt so much from working on the film in particular the little things like “taking a breath before saying your lines, and not always having your mouth closed when I’m not speaking on camera – just things that make it look more real on the screen.” In particular director Lance Daly was a great help during the shoot. “We did some rehearsals and Lance would always let me know the little things I needed to know. Obviously I had no experience so he taught me a lot of things. He was always letting me know what’s going on and how things should be and what we were trying to get across in the scenes.”
After the work and thrill of making a film was over, the run-up to the film’s release proved to be just as exciting for Kelly as “all my friends kept telling me ‘I saw you on the side of a bus’ and seeing the trailer online was great fun.” Now that the film is in the cinemas her friends can tell her ‘I saw you on the big screen.’
And judging from her performance, we’ll be seeing alot of more of Kelly Thornton on the big screen in the future.
Life’s a Breeze is in cinemas now