Vanessa Davis entered the entertainment industry at the young age of sixteen. Her passion for performing has earned her numerous roles in film and television over the years. She has also studied at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) where she got her degree in Musical Theatre. Soon after Vanessa realised her love was acting and begun studying at Actors Pulse Sydney which lead to her landing her first television role. Vanessa is best known for her role in the much-celebrated Logie award-winning Australian TV series franchise ‘Housos’.
During the 2020 pandemic, Vanessa revisited her role on Housos to launch their latest series ‘Housos Vs the Virus’ that aired last October on 7MATE. She has recently wrapped filming on her series “Don’t Tell My Wife” and is looking forward to starting working with the cast and crew on ‘Our Friend Flint’ and her other upcoming projects for 2021. Vanessa lives in Sydney and is proudly represented by power agency GTE | GLOBAL TALENT ENTERPRISE.
FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Vanessa to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:
Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
My mum says that from the moment I was born I was an entertainer. For me, it all began when I was in Year 10 when my drama teacher told me I had to audition for Mrs. Hangian in the production of Annie. I was a competitive 400m runner at the time with dreams of the Olympics
rather than being an actor. On opening night it turned out I was a natural and received a standing ovation and that was it, I was hooked.
What do you like most about acting?
My favourite thing is getting to become a character that is totally different from myself. There is nothing greater than being able to ‘step into someone else’s shoes’, take on their feelings and emotions, and do and say things that I wouldn’t typically do and say in my own life. That’s an amazing thing about acting, becoming someone totally different and at the end of the day I get to step away and be myself again after experiencing all these new things.
How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer?
I absolutely love both and while there are many similarities, there are all subtle differences. With a TV show, you film out of sequence a lot more, you do this as well for movies but sometimes it can be harder to connect with your character emotionally when you can start Ep.1 then jump to filming Ep. 5. Having to constantly jump between my character’s process is more of a challenging emotional journey.
What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?
One of my weak points as an actor is my modesty, I’m just no good at it… just kidding. Actually, it’s probably the fact that when I’m lacking a sense of balance in real life, this can occasionally travel over into my acting but that is also part of being human and the journey of being in someone else’s emotional ‘shoes’.
What are your strong points as an actor?
I am fearless brave, unique, determined, spontaneous, and love what I do very, very much.
What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?
That the director is the person who decides how the story should be and there are many ways and styles to tell a story. A big thank you to Paul Fenech, Kevin Khachan, Jay Peacock, and Samantha Serhan, just to name a few, for all they have taught me and for being a great source of inspiration.
What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?
Trying to mold yourself to someone else’s vision or criteria is somewhat challenging. There are many traps and pitfalls in this industry however I am very lucky to have great representation and management who genuinely ‘have my back’ and go above and beyond to develop, promote and nurture my career.
What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?
The most challenging part about bringing a script to life is keeping within the standards of the character/script that someone else has created but also adding my own level of depth so I can truly inhabit the character and tap into them on an emotional level.
What do you do when you’re not filming?
I love to shop, my sister, who is an incredibly talented and successful Australian fashion designer loves clothes and especially designer fashion dresses and I guess we share that passion for fashion to some extent. I do work incredibly hard so when I’m not, I take pleasure in the simple things like spending quality time with my partner and our dog Churro, spending time with my amazing sister and my family, and my secret love of pretending to be a mermaid.
What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?
Getting on a bus and seeing my face on it and being on the big screen was an absolute insane moment.
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
The fans, they are absolutely incredible and truly make it all worthwhile. The support and devotion of Australian audiences and people around the world is incredible.
If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?
Definitely, 80’s young Goldie Hawn with a tan.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
Outside of my career, it is the simple pleasures of life… marriage, kids, and family. In terms of my career, just to continue to develop and grow as an actor and be the best possible actor that I can be. My best-case scenario is to be recognised by my peers in some capacity for my hard work and abilities and the dream would be to one day win an award for best actress in a major motion picture. In the meantime, I just want to be a part of making truly great films and television and to continue to do what I love.
The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Sorry, but it has to be Housos vs Authority.
2. What do you consider beautiful and why? The ocean because its moving art.
3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Write, direct and star in my own series/film.
4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” pack my bags and swim to an island with my partner and churro the dog/
5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? That I’m competitive.