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A True Creative: Grace Truly

Photo: Namoh Kongdhana

Grace Truly is a multidisciplinary filmmaker and actress who knew her path early. She is from Greater London, England and she is on the rise! Grace has recently graduated from Central Saint Martins (UAL), London, with first-class honors, studying BA "Performance: Design & Practice." Grace was exposed to various creative disciplines at Central Saint Martins which made her experience very unique. At the young age of 24, she has already acted in several other short films, appeared in Downton Abbey: A New Era and currently has two projects in development as a writer/creator. Her solo movie A Delirious Eye (2020) was very successful on the festival circuit, having won many awards around the globe for her work both in front & behind the camera. Grace's next role will be in the feature film Book Club: The Next Chapter which is in cinemas now. She stars alongside Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, and Mary Steenburgen. It will be her first feature American film. The film is about four best friends who take their book club to Italy for the fun girls trip they never had. When things go off the rails and secrets are revealed, their relaxing vacation turns into a once-in-a-lifetime cross-country adventure.

Grace is passionate about acting, directing, and fashion. In her pastime, Grace is an avid dressmaker - whether it's designing garments herself or using vintage patterns. Grace is so lovely and insightful to speak with, and Gemma Magazine had the fantastic opportunity to talk to her. In our interview, we spoke about her love for film, her creative training at Central Saint Martins, her affinity for fashion and design, and what working with four legendary women was like.

You knew early on that you wanted to become an actress, correct? Yes, I did, and I consider myself lucky to have known. It's a challenging decision in general. Although, I wondered if acting was the only creative entity I wanted to be involved in. I have been exposed to many different art forms and am grateful. However, I did know that film was my pathway and that acting has always been within me.

What do you like about acting, and tell us about your method?

I'm very interested in people, their work, and how they think. Acting allows you to create a person within yourself. It's a unique position because only a few occupations have this. Acting allows you to leave yourself and be someone else. On a deeper level, where someone else comes from is also fascinating. In terms of method, I have to encompass the character entirely. That is how I work. I need to feel what my character is feeling -- therefore, I understand how this person came to be or at least my interpretation of that. For me, it feels authentic in this particular manner.

Photo: Andrew Dunn

What was it like working with the cast in Book Club: The Next Chapter, and can you tell us a bit about your character?

The cast was terrific and incredibly supportive. It was such a positive experience. My first scene consisted of talking to all four key women. Ironically, it was my time to experience first stage fright, and I still blush about it. So, we had to do a couple of takes, and it all worked out. Overall, it is a learning curve. My character is named Grace, and she plays an assistant to a fashion designer in Rome who owns a boutique. It is her job to create a luxury experience for the clients.

What was your training like while in college?

I attended Central Saint Martins in London and graduated with first-class honors, studying BA "Performance: Design & Practice." The school is known for fashion in particular. An endless list of British designers attended the University, including Alexander McQueen. It was an incredibly creative experience that allowed me to be very broad within my creative expression to figure out how specific I wanted to be. The program will enable you to explore so many creative aspects simultaneously. I was in many productions, but my program allowed for other art forms besides acting. Therefore, I was exposed to writing, directing, art, installation work and much more.

Photo: Andrew Dunn

I'm very interested in people, their work, and how they think. Acting allows you to create a person within yourself. It's a unique position because only a few occupations have this. Acting allows you to leave yourself and be someone else. On a deeper level, where someone else comes from is also fascinating. (Grace Truly)

Tell us about the Indie Film, Delirious Eye.

Delirious Eye is a 10-minute short film that I enjoyed doing. I had the opportunity to act and direct. It was partially an experiment on how to specialize. I figured out that I wanted to do both. The short film was challenging because it involved stop motion animation. It involved me working alongside a stop motion puppet. It is about a woman who is going insane. However, I learned so much, and it's incredible what technology brings to the arts.

I'm currently working on another short film that is fully animated, and I made a trailer for it. At this time, it is not now named. It became super time-consuming, so I stepped back for a moment. It is a combination of me illustrating scenes, which I act in (on a green screen), combined with Artificial Superficial Intelligence mixed with generative art. It is pretty fascinating. In this film, you are creating a new animation form with so many unique technological aspects.

I know that you love fashion as well. What do you think of LA fashion?

Well, I love fashion and have an insight into that world. Compared to London, people in Los Angeles are very open and willing to experiment. I do like that about Los Angeles. Before I come out there, I tend to make a dress. I see many pretty summer dresses while I'm in LA because the weather is always so lovely. Overall, I am very attracted to feminine designs. Ultimately, fashion is what suits you. Since I make many of my clothes, I may get there quicker. However, it takes quite a bit of effort and time to make them, so you want to make sure the clothing is something you will wear.

What was it like being on set with all those wedding dresses, with your love of fashion?

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is "Say Yes to the Dress," I love wedding dresses. It was dreamy! I often fantasize about when I'll be on the hunt for my own - I can't wait! Even now, I can quickly look at bridal wear online. My two favorite things - being on a film set & being surrounded by gowns! So, in any breaks from shooting, I looked through the racks they had on set, the designs, and the fabrics on show. It genuinely felt like heaven to me. What more could you want?

Photo: Andrew Dunn - Courtesy of Focus Features

Who are some of your favorite fashion designers?

Christian Dior is a favorite, for sure. (However, more so in the '50s), Simone Rocha, Cecilie Bahnsen, Vivienne Westwood (Weddings) & Molly Goddard. I also am attracted to many Scandinavian designers.

Is there an actress that you are inspired by?

My all-time favorite is Audrey Hepburn. She sparkles onscreen -- in every single genre. Of course, I also loved her fashion. Just magical. I also like Florence Pugh and Sandra Bullock.

Photo: Morgan Shepherd

If someone came to you and wanted to get into the industry, what advice would you give them?

I would tell them to be especially sure. Is it truly your passion? It might seem glamorous but, in reality, it is a lot of work. There is also the rejection factor that you have to be able to handle. However, even with rejection, it is important to keep going because chances are, you will find something that fits you. It comes down to determination and never giving up!

Courtesy of Focus Features

You can keep up with Grace Truly and all of her upcoming projects on her social platform:


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