Do you live or work in west London?
I lived in Chiswick whilst I filmed the first part of The Nevers, which was filmed mainly in west London. I also attended Drama School in Chiswick, at Arts Ed London.
What’s your favourite thing about the area?
I love how green it can be! The parks are a welcome part to the hustle and bustle that comes with living in the city. There’s definitely a sense of people knowing each other and staying connected within the community in west London – people smile and wave as you go about your day. It’s so rare, I love that. There are also some great, hidden food gems in west London.
Describe your perfect day and evening in west London… Any favourite haunts?
I love spending summer evenings in west London, usually starting out hanging out with friends in one of the greens, then going for a drink at a pub – there are so many to choose from! And grabbing something to eat. There’s so much choice; one of my faves has to be Tarantella just off the Chiswick High Road. Their carbonara is drool-worthy. Being half Italian, finding authentic Italian food can be hard but they’ve got it spot it.
Tell us a bit about HBO’s The Nevers…
The Nevers is set in Victorian London, 1899, where it’s rocked to its foundations by a supernatural event that gives certain people – mostly women – abnormal abilities, from the wondrous to the disturbing. But no matter their particular “turns,” all who belong to this new underclass are in grave danger. It falls to mysterious, quick-fisted widow Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) and brilliant young inventor Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) to protect and shelter these gifted “orphans.” To do so, they will have to face the brutal forces determined to annihilate their kind.
It’s centred around dynamic, powerful, badass women who are establishing their place in the world; finding identity and strength in a society that tells women they have none.
I play Beth Cassini, an Italian Immigrant, who is hiding a rather big, powerful secret… She tries to keep to herself because A.) not all of London are accepting of ‘The Touched’ and B.) not everyone accepts immigrants. She’s got double the amount of hardships. I love playing Beth because what she’s going through is what my relatives went through. My Italian Nonna and Nonno immigrated from south Italy, in search of a better life with more opportunities. Exactly what Beth is doing.
How did you end up working for BBC Radio?
I grew up in Lincolnshire and have been into the BBC station there several times for interviews before, but I attended the New Voices open call for talent in the area back in 2019, then Covid hit so put a halt on work. I got a call from them a couple of months ago that they would love to have me on as their new Evening Presenter. It’s great speaking to local heroes, playing music by upcoming artists and somehow I usually end up telling a couple of embarrassing stories that have happened to me – be it dating or my past work disasters!
You also work as an Executive Producer?
I work as an Executive Producer for DBK Studios, founded by Director and Writer Koby Adom (Top Boy, Noughts and Crosses.) With DBK we want to give the opportunity to unrepresented and minority talent. We’re currently shooting five short films that will be shown on Sky Arts later in the year. I started off as one of the first women in the Company and now it’s grown – there are incredible people involved but it’s extra significant to me to have strong, talented women in the crew and cast.
You’re an anti-bullying campaigner. Can you tell us why this cause is so close to your heart?
I was bullied as a child and in parts when I was a teenager, mainly about how I looked and what I wanted to do with my life. I took part in an anti-bullying and gun crime awareness short film that was shot in Lincolnshire when I was 13, which I was then awarded the Diana Award Against Bullying that same year at BAFTA. Since then I became an Ambassador and public speaker for the organisation, which was set up in memory of the late Princess Diana and with the belief that young people can change the world.
I lived out in LA for a couple of years – as my Mum is American, I have dual citizenship – and worked as an actress out there. LA can be quite a lonely place, but I made friends with a wonderful, talented, kind actress whilst working on set together – we became good friends. A few months later she decided to take her own life. She was battling inner demons. Since then I decided I wanted to get involved with more Mental Health organisations and became an Ambassador for MQ Mental Health too.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
If you want to do something, give it your best shot because you’ll never know what can come when you put your mind to it. Ignore any negative comments concentrate on yourself. It’s your life at the end of the day, so go live it and enjoy it.
You’re also the Deputy Miss England! What drove you to enter and what was that experience like for you?
Pageants definitely aren’t what people tend to assume they will be – full of air-headed women, tottering around in heels. It’s evolved and there isn’t a swimsuit round anymore. I entered because I wanted to use the platform to speak about causes close to my heart, such as The Diana Award and Leukemia care and research foundations. I’d never entered a pageant in my life and I have to be honest, it was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done in my life! Because there are so many aspects and rounds to it now; I came out as Deputy Miss England out of 22,000 women.