Michelle Ny: What is your dream role to play?
Emma Harvie: I’m not sure my dream role exists yet. I do think Liam Neeson’s role in Taken would be fun.
How did the journey of wanting to be an actor begin for you?
Since I was a kid I loved performing. I used to make up dances with my sister and cousin and make films with my best friend. At some point in primary school I knew I wanted to be an actor.
What are the obstacles you’ve had to face as a POC actor?
The roles I used to apply for were very different to what I put myself forward for now. I was always aware of families and would look for roles that didn’t have any relatives on stage because I didn’t believe a non-white family would be cast on a Sydney stage. Now I apply for everything. The conversations around ‘diversity’ in the arts are so important, and I cannot wait for the time when I no longer have to have them.
Tell me about your most cringe audition?
Mmm I’ve done a few bad Indian accent auditions… I just have not mastered this accent yet. My family is Sri Lankan and the accent is similar so I slip into that and it becomes a mess.
Where do you want to see yourself in 5 years?
Somewhere with a few more screen credits to my name. My sister and I speak a lot about writing a comedy series, I want to make that happen and play the lead. I will also have a dog.
Emma Harvie: Can you remember a word/phrase you loved when you were 17?
Michelle Ny: I don’t know if I loved it… but I used to say ‘lol’ ironically until it became part of my normal speak lol.
What’s your favourite post show snack?
A pint of VB or San Remo instant pasta.
Did you play sport in high school?
I played soccer and netball but in year 10 (year 9 here), I was put in a crappy netball team and (in no way a brag!!) I was the best player and I had to do all the hard work so I dropped out. Then I started playing social soccer with my friends and our team was called Dragon Fire Ninja Warriors.
What are the challenges/perks of being a Cambodian/New Zealander actor in Australia?
I’ve been lucky to work with people who are conscious of diverse representation so the perks are actually being seen and standing out among my white peers. But the challenge of course is still under-representation and lack of opportunity for work. But there’s a reason I’m working in Sydney and not New Zealand. It may not be perfect but there is a conscious effort to support young POC artists and the quality of work is high, buzzing and exciting.
What song do you think your character would pump before a game?
“Katy on a Mission” by Katy B. Listen to it.
Emma Harvie and Michelle Ny are appearing in The Wolves, by Sarah DeLappe.
Dates: 14 March – 14 April, 2018
Venue: Old Fitz Theatre