A Rising Star: Ella Jones
Ella Jones (2020) has been very busy pursuing her career as an actress. Below, we hear from Ella about what inspires her to work in this industry.
Did your time at Santa Maria, or any of your teachers impact your decision to become an actress?
Definitely. Miss Huxtable was my drama teacher at SMC and she was one of the reasons I fell in love with performing. She was so enthusiastic about drama and made it such a fun subject for me. She helped me to realise that I wanted to become an actress in the first place. Mrs Wynn was also a big support for me and we had many talks about having a career in the arts, so she was also a great mentor and guide. All of my teachers were extremely supportive, especially my homeroom teacher Mr Cooper, maths teacher Mr Walker and head of year, Mrs Newton, and they were always excited to hear what roles I’d been cast in and what projects I was working on.
How many years were you in the Drama program at Santa Maria?
I began Drama in Year 6 at SMC and Miss Huxtable was my teacher the whole way through.
What plays were you involved in at the College?
I was in the cast for the middle school productions in Year 8 and 9 and the senior school productions in Year 10, 11, and 12, playing the lead in the 2019 production of Blue Stockings. Unfortunately, our final production at SMC was canceled because of COVID, which was a bit of a bummer.
Are you currently studying drama?
I study and teach acting at Ali Roberts Studio in Leederville. It’s an incredible studio and has gotten me quite far in the Perth Film Industry and introduced me to my incredible agents, so I’m very grateful to everyone there.
Who inspires you? Do you have any role models or mentors in your field?
There are so many actors and actresses that I look up to. A few Aussie actors that I love are Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, and Rose Byrne. They all started in similar ways to me in the Australian Film Industry, so it’s cool to see where they all are now. I also love Meryl Streep, she’s definitely one of my favourite actresses and is amazing in every role.
If you could star alongside anyone in a movie or show, who would it be?
I’ve always said that I’d love to play a superhero, so I think working with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man would be so much fun. I also just love Marvel movies in general, so really anyone from the avengers cast.
What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
So many things. I’m always excited to go to the studio or work on a script. I also love just waking up and going to cuddle my doggies, so lots of things get me out of bed.
Has COVID impacted your career?
COVID has actually impacted my career in a really positive way. We’re so lucky to be in Perth where we have always done really well dealing with COVID. And because Perth has done so well, the film industry here has blossomed a lot in the past year. There’s a new film studio being built and a lot of projects that couldn’t film in other places filmed here instead, which meant there were a lot more opportunities for us Perth actors. Last July, I was filming for an American web series that filmed in Perth, which might not have happened if it weren’t for COVID, so that’s quite exciting.
Tell us about your most recent project?
I filmed The Runaway last year just before the WACE exams, which was a bit nerve-racking having to take so much time off from school and study but was so rewarding. It premiered last December at the Razor Film festival, alongside another film I was in called “All Good”, and has since been nominated for and won over a dozen awards in film festivals around the world, including best actress in Toronto, London, and India, so that is super exciting. I’ve filmed a few projects since then, but they are all still in post-production so I’m excited to see those too.
What are your future plans?
I have a few projects lined up at the moment, which I can’t talk about just yet, but I’m very excited about those. In terms of goals, I’m currently studying filmmaking at uni, so I hope to eventually be able to create my own projects as well as continue acting. I’m also hoping to temporarily move to Sydney in the next few years, which I’m really excited about too.