13-year-old Darcy, who attends The St Leonards Academy, has already spent a year in the West End as the young Cosette in Les Mis. She was also seven or eight months in The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth, directed by Sam Mendes.
Now she returns to the screen for a short film to be made near Horsham this summer which will increase awareness of mental health and PTSD.
Finding Wilson will aim to stimulate conversation on important social issues. The hope is also to submit it to the Academy Awards for consideration – just as was Darcy’s first film with the company, Missing A Note (missinganote.com), a short film raising awareness of dementia. It enjoyed a selected theatrical release with Everyman.
“I auditioned for Missing A Note which was another important subject, and I met the company through that. That was 2018 when I was 11, and I met the most amazing actors and actresses.
“I played Molly and it was a film seeing dementia through a young girl’s eyes. I had to sing in it. She was going to a singing exam, and the singing judge had dementia. I started singing when I was very young.
“I was very nervous watching it. I have been mostly on stage. It was my first proper screen acting. I was nervous but it was amazing. I usually think ‘Oh my gosh, that’s me!’ but because I am such perfectionist, I am always trying to find a tiny, tiny thing that I can wish I had done better.
“I just get so amazed when I see myself on screen rather than being on stage and performing every night.”
Les Mis was a remarkable experience: “It was my first professional thing. I played young Cosette in 2015 when I was eight, and it was amazing. I remember being absolutely star struck. And I was lucky enough to be chosen to perform in the 30th-anniversary gala. I got to meet so many talented people. I was in Les Mis for about a year and then I had a little break until I got into The Ferryman in the West End. My school has been very supportive. I am very lucky to have that. And all of my friends are very supportive as well.”
Now comes the film Finding Wilson, written by Viv Young.
“I am playing Jess. She is struggling with mental-health issues. I can’t really say too much more about it! But unfortunately she is struggling. She doesn’t really know how to talk about it. The film is raising awareness of PTSD and mental-health issues. I am thrilled to be part of it. Jess is very quiet. She is very lonely as well which is very upsetting, and I think there are some girls that are bullying her.”
Fact Not Fiction Films CEO Tristan Loraine is making the film in partnership with The Lucy Rayner Foundation, of which he is a trustee.
On May 5 2012, Jenny Rayner and her family in Reigate were tragically faced with the impact of mental illness when their daughter Lucy took her own life, aged just 22.
Jenny and her family were inspired to start campaigning about the mental health challenges faced by young adults; they quickly found the support and help available to recognise and treat young adults with mental health challenges was “woefully inadequate and significantly underfunded.” Hence they established The Lucy Rayner Foundation.
The film has a promo film on the crowdfunding link of: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/finding-wilson-short-film.
More details: https://www.facebook.com/FindingWilsonFilm; and https://www.findingwilson.com.
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