Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott is bringing back strong female characters. Her newest film, “Renegade” is a nod to 1980’s Television when tough policewomen were kicking a** and taking names. I recently interviewed Jeanine on the inspiration behind her role and her plans for the future.
Thank you for taking the time to interview with me! Your newest film “Renegade” is out, and people are loving it. What drew you to this film?
I have always wanted to play a cop – my two absolute favorite things to watch are true crime documentaries and cop shows like “NCIS” so playing a cynical London detective investigating a spate of vigilante killings really was a dream role! And talking of dreams a couple of the critics have said my character should have her own spin off show and I’d be all over that in a heartbeat.
In addition to that the cast was absolutely stacked with big and small screen legends – not just childhood idols such as Stephanie Beacham, Lee Majors and Ian Ogilvy but also action movie royalty – Danny Trejo, Louis Mandylor, Tiny Lister and great British actors like Patsy Kensit and Billy Murray. And we were all like a big family, everyone got on so well – I knew it would be fun and it was!
What was your inspiration for the character you play?
I guess looking back “The Gentle Touch” with Jill Gascoine was a big influence, Cagney & Lacey and especially Helen Mirren in “Prime Suspect”. I love playing strong, ballsy female characters.
Do you have any tips for young actors just starting out in the business?
I think it’s getting harder and harder for them as entertainment has become so devalued by things like YouTube and TikTok where out and out nonsense masquerades as entertainment. Just take it seriously, be the very best you can be and don’t get distracted by passing fads… and never underestimate theatre, it’s so much fun to do!
If you weren’t an actress, what would you be doing instead?
Wishing I was an actress probably!! I think if my life had gone a certain way, I might have become a lawyer. I worked in the legal world in my younger life and I enjoyed that (and now my oldest daughter is studying law at university)… but I think performing is a key part of me so if not an actress hopefully a musician or a dancer, both of which I was very passionate about in my youth.
What do you love the most about acting?
Creating a character that audiences can get to know and enjoy – I love it, it’s the ultimate high. If you can get that perfect storm of a good script, good director and good actors then that gives you an unlimited palette with which to create amazing pictures.
What is the hardest thing about acting?
The waiting. There’s an old Hollywood gag that actors get paid for waiting around and do the acting for free but in the Indie film world there’s a whole to of waiting way before I get anywhere near set – Covid, weather, flakey financiers, the ever-complex casting puzzle to satisfy distribution. All of these arcane vagaries have to play out sometimes for years let alone months. But I trust in the journey.
How do you prepare for a role?
I learn the script meticulously – not just my lines but everyone else’s. I think a lot about the costume, make up and the ‘world’ my character inhabits. In the case of “Renegades” I also had some police firearms training which was great fun.
If you could do a film with anyone, who would you choose and why?
If you mean an actor probably Nicolas Cage, he’s just amazing isn’t he and what a career? I have followed his work from the very beginning, things like “Moonstruck”, all the way through “City of Angels”, “Leaving Las Vegas”, “Gone In 60 Seconds” and all the way up to “The Old Way” and “Pig”. I know he does these cool Indie films from time to time – to be in one of those would be fantastic.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Directing – that’s my ultimate goal. I appreciate I have a shelf life as an actress. The problems older women have getting good roles are incredibly well documented (not that it seems to do much good) so it’s my plan to circumvent that by crossing over behind the camera. There’s a serious lack of female directors making the kind of movies I’m currently in, so I’d like to fill that particular niche.