A young actress from the Channel Islands, now based in London, with British, Canadian, and Portuguese heritage, Antonia Tootill‘s experience is as varied as her background.
Although still very early in her career, she has already completed an extensive spread of acting work on stage, in independent film, and in commercials.
The fact that she’s so busy is testament to her quality and range, and to her wisdom in following the work to London, from the Channel Islands – she was born on Jersey and raised on the smaller island of Alderney.
She joined the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain at the age of 15, and in 2010 appeared as Judith in the original cast of Sharman Macdonald’s play She Town (then titled Lu Lah Lu Lah).
While studying for her BA in Drama at the University of Bristol, she started acting in indie films, including the award-winning The Port.
Having recently [I write this in November 2016] finished training with her Masters from Drama Centre London, Antonia has two feature films and a short in post-production.
She couldn’t tell me much about the short, but it involves crew members who have worked on “very high-profile Hollywood films”, and it marked Antonia’s first experience of action/stunt and green screen work. We’ll soon find out more.
Furthermore, she has just been cast in an interesting-sounding feature film, Catalyst, as Rosanna, “a quirky wannabe head-chef”. It’s due for release in 2018.
Despite being so busy, Antonia agreed to answer a few of my dumb questions:
You started in theatre. How does theatre acting compare with film acting, and do you have any plans to return to the stage?
Theatre will always be special to me and I do want to get back into acting for theatre in the future. Having a direct connection with your audience is amazing, however I love the subtlety and realism of film. It’s wonderful to walk onto a set and feel like you really are in the character’s world. It’s a very intense experience and I enjoy being a part of a team where everyone in it is a specialist in what they do, and essentially we are all working together to make the shot work.
A lot of independent film is in the horror and scifi genres, but you seem to have largely avoided those projects. Is that a deliberate choice?
I’ve done two indie sci-fi films now, the second one is a very exciting project in post-production. I have also done a horror feature which is also in post-production. However I have learnt to choose projects of these genres carefully and make sure that the team have either chosen a concept that suits their budget, or that they are experienced and skilled enough to pull off a high-concept idea on limited funding. The last thing you want is to turn up on set and get asked to be a robot covered in tin foil – unless that’s ironically part of the plot!
Are there any genres you particular favour? Any types of roles you’d really like to do?
I love drama and comedy, and currently I’m pushing the comedy side of things. I used to be a part of a sketch comedy group which was wonderful, so I am itching to do more comedy again. I also would love to do period drama one day – it’s probably my favourite genre to watch at home.
And finally, the “and finally” question: what do you like to do when you’re not acting?
Acting is the love of my life so I don’t do a lot that isn’t connected to it some way. I’m taking dance lessons again and really want to get back into horse riding. I used to play competitive tennis and I really enjoy sketching.
From her work I’ve seen, it’s clear Antonia is destined for big things. Don’t be surprised to see her in a Sunday night costume drama before too long; but do be surprised if you see her as a robot covered in tin foil.