Sie mag ihre platinblonden Haare nicht besonders. Sagt sie, zupft an ihrem Kurzhaarschnitt und schaut an mir vorbei, um sich in der Fensterspiegelung der U-Bahn zu betrachten. Aber mit ihren langen, braunen Haaren sah sie zu vielen Schauspielerinnen ähnlich. Also hat sie sich verändert.
Amanda Doherty ist für zwei Wochen nach New York gekommen, um hier ein Stück aufzuführen. Sie hat das Ganze nicht großartig geplant oder durchdacht, sie macht das, weil man als Schauspielerin immer wieder neue Aufmerksamkeit braucht. Und wenn eine relativ bekannte Künstlerin aus Nordirland nach New York geht, um dort einen Monolog zu performen, dann macht das schnell zuhause die Runde.
Wir standen gemeinsam in der Küche unserer Gastgeber, als wir durch einen kurzen Smalltalk feststellten, dass wir beide Schauspielerinnen sind, beide allerdings genauso gerne schreiben und in diesen Bereichen erstaunlich viele Parallelen haben. Also habe ich sie gefragt, ob sie Lust hätte, Teil meines „großen Kinos“ zu sein. Und so habe ich ihr auf der U-Bahnfahrt nach Manhattan ein paar Fragen gestellt – und herzergreifende Antworten bekommen.
Das Interview ist (noch) in Englisch, da ich möchte, dass Amanda es lesen kann. Danke für das Verständnis!
Amanda, from actress to actress: How many times have you been at the point of asking yourself: „Why am I doing this?“
(long pause). Not many, to be honest. When I was at school I remember saying to some of my friends that I wanted to be an actor. And they asked, „oh, was acting not really difficult?“, and I said: „Yeah, it is. And there might be times in my life when I’m not working and I might have no money but as long as I’m ok with that, I’m ok.“ And I never prepared myself for any unrealistic vision that I will be a star…
So how old were you when you said that? It seems very mature…
I think I was 14. I just prepared myself for the reality.
We are right now meeting in New York where you are going to perform a play. Can you tell us about it?
Yes, it’s called „Medea redux“, it is an adaptation from the greek story „Medea“. And I’m really excited about it because it is very intense and raw. It demands a lot from an actor but I really relate to it in times of just finding the character.
In this adaption Medea falls pregnant to her teacher at the age of 14. He leaves her and she has to bring up this kid by herself; she’s got nothing. And then she reaches an age when she decides that it is time for her child to meet his father. She sees how happy the father is that he got away with it. He didn’t get into any bother at all while she was left with nothing. So while her son is having a bath, she goes into the bathroom and drops the radio into the water. In that way what happened to her is no longer a secret and what the teacher did to her cannot be kept away anymore.
There’s no moral decision being made, it is purely a process of survival. She is an instinctive person. And that’s why I find it so refreshing to work on it. She is very different to me.
Even though she is different to you, is there anything about yourself that you can find in her?
Definitely. I’m a naturally vulnerable person. I guess one thing that I like about myself is that I’m comfortable with it and I don’t try to hide this and be a strong robot all the time. I’ve got a quiet strength inside of me but I am vulnerable. I didn’t grow up with everything being very happy around me. I grew up in Northern Ireland in the 90s and you can’t do that without being left with something in your heart. It’s like growing up on a scar. And I will always carry that and that’s ok. I find a lot of happiness in my present life but I will never be able to escape anything that I’ve seen or witnessed or felt or heard. And I guess in that way, Medea and I are both people who survived through really unusual circumstances.
Do you think your growing up has something to do with wanting to become an artist?
I guess so. I always just jump along with how I feel. Anytime when I was growing up and found things difficult, I always consulted myself: „It’s okay, this is going to be stored somewhere and you’re going to use it sometime to create a brilliant piece of art.“ But I feel this idea of offering consolation a lot stronger through my work as a writer. I feel like giving people a voice.
Speaking of writing, you wrote a play that is going to be performed in New York in October. At which point did you decide to write instead of act?
Oh, I wanted to be a writer before I wanted to be an actor. I started writing poetry when I was like seven or eight and this was something I have always kept alive. I was always surprised of how well things were recieved, like when I was a teenager, I was being published in books and rewarded.
I always wrote to express what I was thinking or feeling and that is similar with the play in October. It’s called „inheritance“ and is about how it really affected me on growing up in Northern Ireland and how it affected my generation. It’s not a piece of work that looks at the trouble in times of being there, it’s looking at the reminiscences that you are left with in a place of conflict.
Why New York? Why are you here?
New York excites me. It really excites me. I love the importance of training here as an actor. The continual work. And also the understanding of that need of vulnerability. It’s a brilliant balance.