Welcome to Kaya Scodelario Daily, your most updated source for all things Kaya Scodelario. She is most known for her parts in Skins, The Maze Runner and Pirates of the Carribean. Our goal is to bring you all career related news about the british actress. Kaya knows about this website and supports it. Please bookmark us and check back!
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By Helena on March 14, 2024 with 0 Comments

WONDERLAND – Since bagging the role of Effy Stonem at the age of 14, Kaya Scodelario’s tenacity has got her places. From gritty to grueling, her indelible performances have made her a household name – with her new role in Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen pulling her back into the buzz. But Kaya’s complexity also lies in her desire to unpick Hollywood’s fabric. Skins co-star and long-time friend, actor Nicholas Hoult, finds out why.

Kaya Scodelario is attracted to roles that are a little bit different from the rest. The 31-year-old British-Brazilian actor certainly does a great line in mysterious, rebellious teens: her first role was as bad girl Effy Stonem in British cult phenomenon Skins at the tender age of 14, before flitting from Wuthering Heights’ Cathy to the rambunctious Tessa in the Maze Runner franchise and the precocious Carina Smith in Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Speaking of, she’s graciously leaving the ‘teen thing’ behind now that Hollywood is finally ready for her to play women (and her dream role as a young Keith Richards – read on for an explanation), so the actor can next be seen doing exactly that as powerful drug-boss Susie Glass in Guy Ritchie’s spin-off series: The Gentlemen. Bold, brave, and beautiful with an enigmatic aura, like her characters Kaya is palpably smart and relentlessly unwavering. This self-made powerhouse strategically digs her own path, veering off Hollywood’s fame-beaten track into complex stories and spaces that matter. From her desire to help other working class actors by one day launching her own drama school to a need to move behind the camera and produce with female-led crews, Kaya isn’t someone to accept things as they are – she’s one to change them. Here, she calls up actor Nicholas Hoult to give him the lowdown on her game plan.

Kaya Scodelario I do!

NH I know, I’m joking… you only answer if it’s for an interview. Let’s go back for people that are reading this and are like, ‘Why are these people talking?’ How did we meet? And what were our first impressions of each other?

KS So I think it was 17 years ago, does that sound right? I know it sounds depressing. You played my brother on a little TV show called Skins that was set in the UK, a very long time ago. I remember very clearly the first time I met you – do you remember
meeting me?

NH I remember doing that scene in the kitchen and it was a very strange set-up…

KS The whole show was a bit strange. But I remember on the very first day, I got taken down to the unit base and I got introduced to you whilst you were eating KFC. You had a bucket of chicken and went to shake my hand and said, ‘Oh sorry – I’ve go chicken fingers!’ That’s my first memory of you – you telling me you had chicken fingers.

NH Oh that’s a good one actually. I remember shooting our first scene because our first scene was a very strange one in the kitchen when it was split screen [filming]. You were handling it with a great amount of grace and maturity. I didn’t know what was
going on, so I just thought, carry on. But you did, it was fantastic, and that was our first scene together. It wasn’t easy circumstances to come and join a show, I don’t think.

KS No, because they’d cast someone else, hadn’t they, as Effy? And I think her parents had an issue with the content of the scripts because they were obviously quite out there for that time. I mean, now I don’t think anyone would even blink watching the show. I didn’t understand any of the technical stuff. I remember looking at my mark the whole time. I remember not having a clue. But you were so warm and kind and it just became like playtime. My biggest memory of Skins is that it just felt fun. It was before jobs became really political or stressful…or you’re planning your career or you’re annoyed about producers or production, it was a very clean, just fun experience. It really was like going to uni.

NH I think that’s a great way of summing up when work is going well and what it should feel like. Hopefully, for you to create good things. So going back a minute, that was your first job. How did it come about?

KS It came about because I was 14 and my school had a fax – this is how long ago it was.

NH A fax?

KS Fucking fax.

NH They got Morse code sent through.

KS They had a fax come through to the Drama Department saying there was an open audition at the National Youth Theatre on Holloway Road for this show called Skins And anyone between the age of 16 and 18 could go and audition. I was 14 at the time, so I was like, ‘Oh, I really want to see what an audition is like’ because I knew it was what I wanted to do.

NH When did the seed of you knowing that’s what you wanted to do get planted?

KS When I was seven years old, I watched a TV show on BBC One about West End theatre kids. There was this kid on it who was about eight, and looking back, he was an obnoxious little prick. But I thought…

NH And it was me.

KS [Laughs] And it was you.

NH It comes full circle.

KS It was about a day in his life of going to the theatre – singing, dancing and auditioning. And I remember just thinking, ‘Oh, my god, I’m too old.’ Like, he’s my age and he’s already doing it. It’s never going to happen for me at eight. And then I played Oliver Twist in my primary school year six play because all the boys were shit and I was the only one that could do it. Genuinely, they wouldn’t let the girls audition, they just auditioned the boys for all the parts. They gave me one line to say. I remember just feeling like I could do it. I never had that feeling in school. I never felt like I could do anything, but I felt like I could do this. I said my one little line with gusto and everything I could muster.

NH I’m trying to get into deep psychological questions so here we go: Has that first impression of [acting] being something where it felt like a bit of a boys’ club felt like something that’s carried through a little bit career-wise? Is it something that’s still affected you? Obviously that’s a big memorable moment that put you on this path, so does it get your blood boiling?

KS You know what? Honestly, that’s already the best question I’ve ever been asked in an interview and it’s so true.

NH My work here is done. Thank you very much. I’m gonna log off.

KS [Laughs] It’s given me the tools to never accept that because I’m female I shouldn’t be where my colleagues or contemporaries are. It’s given me the fight and the fire to always understand my worth within this industry. I still get deeply insecure, I’m way too polite with people, I know I do let myself get kind of pushed around a little bit too much but I’m getting better at it in my 30’s. But I think that very first moment of knowing that I could play the part of Oliver Twist meant that it’s always kind of stayed with me – that thought of I can play anything and I’m not just going to be the girlfriend. I’m not just going to be the wife. I’m always going to want to be the lead storyline. It 100% comes from that moment because my big memory of that first play is the fact that they wouldn’t let me audition and then I played Oliver Twist. I’ve never played a man since, though – that’s a bit annoying. Maybe that’s my next move, I want to play a young Keith Richards – that was always like my dream role.

NH That would be great. I think that’s special, because that’s one of the things that I love about you: your ability to be very focused and determined. You have that fire burning inside of you of knowing what it is that you want to do and the stories you want to tell. I think it obviously goes back to that moment. I’m sorry it happened, but also at the same time, I’m glad it did spark something inside of you to carry forward because it’s obviously given all of us many great characters. So, it’s good news for us.

KS I think if I played Cinderella at that age then maybe I would have always just wanted to do that – and there’s nothing wrong with that. God, Nick, it’s like a therapy session now. Well done.

NH [Laughs] So we’re here to talk primarily about The
Gentlemen, and I saw the trailer last week. It looks amazing, I’mso excited. First of all, because Guy Ritchie movies like Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels were my teen years. I absolutely adored them. I think he’s a fantastic storyteller. When was the first time you became aware of his work and also heard about the idea of The Gentleman becoming a TV show?

KS I was lucky that growing up, I was always allowed to watch quite grown up movies. I mean, it’s probably messed with my head a little bit. But I was never kind of mollycoddled with film. I was allowed to watch anything as long as it was a story. And so…

NH Do you remember what movies you saw that were like that?
KS I watched The Exorcist at my eighth birthday sleepover. The parents of the other kids didn’t speak to my mum for the rest of the time we were in school because they all got traumatised. You know my mum. You know that’s the truth.

NH [Laughs] I do. It makes me laugh even more knowing the playground politics. I remember watching The Exorcist. I was a little bit older than that, but I used to go through my brother’s VHS tapes. Again, a bit of obsolete technology. It was better than a fax machine, maybe. But I used to go through his VHS tapes when he was out and watch his films and he had The Exorcist. I remember being so scared that I had to keep on flipping back to normal TV to watch the Teletubbies.

KS That’s a great idea. Let’s recreate a mashup of the Teletubbies and The Exorcist. But I grew up watching a lot of action movies like ‘90s natural disaster movies – Volcano and Twister. I loved anything with Arnold Schwarzenegger. And then Guy Ritchie came along to me about 14 or 15-years-old and put all of those great things together but in such a fundamentally British context. I thought that was so fucking cool to hear accents that I knew from school. I love telling fucked up stories and in-depth retrospectives on the human psyche. But I also truly believe in cinema for entertainment sake. I think there’s something so beautiful about that. Sometimes we’re told that we shouldn’t, everything has to be extremely artistic and for this one percent of Oscar voters or whatever. I really think that movies should be an experience. Harry Potterwas the first film I ever saw at the cinema and that feeling…. I think Guy still loves that. He loves entertaining people. He loves taking you on a fucking ride. I had an ex boyfriend that would quote every single line from Snatch. I mean, from start to finish. I think it’s a man thing, right?

NH What lines can you still quote?

KS I don’t quote. Now I have my own Guy Ritchie lines.

NH Can you share one of your favourites?

KS ‘Gin and tonic, I’d kill for one.’

NH Oh, very good. I hope that becomes part of the zeitgeist and people always, whenever they’re ordering a gin and tonic, go ‘Gin and tonic, I’d kill for one.’

KS Then this audition came up and I had taped for it a couple of times. The feedback from the casting director was that they really wanted someone that felt authentic, and the accent was authentic. I was like, ‘Fucking hell, I am from North London. It doesn’t get more authentic than me.’ But I think they wanted to see what Susie Glass could look like more glamorous. I’m quite a jeans and black T-shirt kind of girl. So me and you were at a wedding in Italy and I shot the audition tape on the side of the cliff at that bougie hotel in the dress I wore for the ceremony – and I got the fucking part.

NH That’s so good. I didn’t know that you’d shot the audition tape there. It’s weird, isn’t it? Auditions and that process. That’s brilliant when it’s intertwined with a big memory like that.

KS Yeah, which is odd because normally if I’m doing a personal life thing, I won’t stress about auditions and stuff – over the last 15 years I’ve learnt that, otherwise I’d drive myself crazy. I’m trying to set boundaries.

NH Let’s talk about that for a second because that’s interesting, that’s something that I probably need to get better at as well. Your email goes and they’re like, ‘Hey, can you learn these five or ten pages?’ But they need the tape in the next three days. And suddenly, the weekend you’ve planned and the things you have to do all get put aside. It becomes kind of mentally all consuming. So how are you going about that?

KS I also think the auditioning process is a skill within itself, right? I think certain actors are really fucking good at auditioning – I’m not. And my dyslexia, I can’t. It’s just not something I naturally can do. I can’t memorise lines quickly. It doesn’t feel like acting to me. My style and the way I work has always been quite instinctual. But with auditioning, you have to have every fucking detail planned because you need to get it in before the deadline. The lighting needs to be good. You need to look a certain way. You sometimes don’t have any context of what the script is. You’re just sent 12 pages, sometimes not even of the actual script. I find it all a little bit intimidating.

NH Your thing about being an instinctual actress is very important. It’s what makes you brilliant to be in scenes with and also to watch, because there’s no gimmickry or trickery going on with your performances. It’s just honest, and that’s what makes you care about the characters you play. So talking about the characters you play, let’s get onto your role as Susie Glass.

KS Susie fucking Glass.

NH Give her a gin and tonic. What’s she like?

KS I play Susie Glass, who is a woman. It was very important to me that I play a woman now. I played teenagers for a very long time and young women for a very long time. I wanted a grown up, and she is very much that. She is the caretaker, as it were, of her father, Bobby Glass’ [played by Ray Winston] weed empire and criminal organisation. Do you know Ray?

NH I haven’t worked with him, but I’m a fan of his. Sexy Beast is one of the all time great films.

KS He’s just the cuddliest man in the world. He’s the head honcho but he’s doing 12 years in prison. So, I am the caretaker and I go to these different Dukes’ and Lords’ estates across the UK who can’t afford these huge mansions that they’ve inherited and the upkeep and the electricity bills so we install weed farms underneath their land and turn a profit. One of these Dukes suddenly dies and his son inherits everything – Theo James’s character, Eddie Horniman. Him and Susie form an unlikely friendship, she realises that he may be a little bit more useful as someone on her side of the fence. You know, he’s got more to him than a lot of the posh boys that she deals with. She thinks that perhaps he could be an asset to the criminal organisation as well. She kind of takes him on the journey of understanding how their world works. He helps her sort out a few problems, and she sorts out a few problems for him. That’s what I found interesting about this story. I think being working class, coming into this industry, and over the last 15 years rubbing shoulders with extremely wealthy people and still kind of having my friends from my life that are all normal and kind, dipping in and out of both of those worlds – Susie’s very good at that. She understands how both these worlds work and she sees them as equal, you know? She doesn’t see any difference between this Lord and her dad who’s a gangster. To her, everyone is a hustler, everyone has a dark side to them and everyone can be exploited and deserves to be. I think the challenge of stepping into a Guy Ritchie movie for me personally, and I want to be open about it because I think it is a big question, it’s kind of a man’s world, all of his movies have been set up that way and I wanted to do something different with this. I know that he was open to doing something different with this character and I felt a responsibility to try and bring a bit of female boss power to this usually overwhelmingly male universe that he creates.

NH Talking about being able to kind of migrate between regular life and these kind of higher echelons of society… How do you feel about doing that now, just as Kaya, and also how did you feel about that when you were first in the industry and suddenly invited to events? How do you separate those two things in your brain, or do you?

KS To be completely honest, for the first five years of my career, I felt completely out of place. Especially here in the UK, not so much in America. I really enjoy working in America because I don’t think they see class as much, where I’m kind of overwhelmingly aware of my background when I’m taking meetings with British people. For a long time, people wanted me to be this English rose but I’m not. I’m part Brazilian, half of my identity and half of my culture is Latina – that was never embraced over here. In fact that was something that I was subtly told to hide. You’d go to these really fancy receptions or Fashion Week and I didn’t feel like I fit in at all. I mean I loved that there was usually free booze and I was like 18 and I would take all my friends with me. I think slowly now there’s starting to be more people that sound like me in those spaces. I think there’s still a long way to go. The biggest missed opportunity that we have in the creative arts is this huge pool of talent within working class neighbourhoods and families that are just never seen, they’re never encouraged, and they’re never made the most of. You know, we’re still very much on a ‘drama school equals career in acting’ moment. I’ve worked with some incredible actors that have been in drama school and I think it’s a huge privilege to be able to train that way. I’m not trained and that’s why my style is perhaps slightly different and maybe why I never felt like I fit in, but now it’s levelling up a little bit more.

NH What side of Kaya have we not seen in your roles so far that you’d like to show the world? What roles have you not played that you want?

KS Grown-up stuff. Susie’s the first woman I’ve played and I do like that, there was a certain amount of power that comes with that. I kind of miss doing the action stuff like Maze Runner. I miss the fun of learning a stunt.

NH I love doing that, where they’re like, ‘All right, go in here, and learn to jump and kick and fly about.’

KS Like when you learned to do a backflip, you were so happy.

NH I still look at that with a smile on my face. The funny thing is now sometimes we’ll go to this park where the kids can all jump on trampolines but they’ve got an air mattress type thing too and I’ll just sneak off to the air mattress and practice a couple of backflips to make sure I can still do it. I can see some of the kids being like, ‘Uh-oh that old man’s gonna…’ and then be like, ‘Oh, didn’t expect that!’ Or, sometimes when I don’t make it, they can be like, ‘Oh no somebody come get their dad.’

KS I did that with ice skating — I had to learn to ice skate for a job, do you remember that? And then I was at Daniel Kaluuya’s opening of The Kitchen and it was at a roller rink, and I was like, ‘I got this guys, I did six months of ice skating, I can roller skate.’ I can’t for shit, it’s a completely different thing.

NH Roller skating is very difficult. I threw a roller skating party for a halfway party through one of the seasons of The Great and we got there and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can barely stand, this is terrifying.’ But I like that Flippers place. I ended up going to the opening of it and met Usher. Usher came and said hello, and seemingly I think he knew my name. He came over, and he was like, ‘Nick!’ Big moment in my life. Can we talk about Senna a little bit please? I’m very excited about it, because I’m a big racing fan. So, how did [it feel joining that project] being Brazilian? And, did you shoot in Brazil primarily? What was the atmosphere like and how did it feel? Did you know about Senna growing up as a kid?

KS It’s really hard to overstate how much of an icon he is to Brazilians. I mean, as a Formula One fan, you can understand it. As a Brazilian, you can understand it. One of my core memories of being Brazilian is going to the Odeon cinema in Camden Town to watch the Senna documentary when it came out with my mum and it was wall-to-wall Brazilians. Throughout the entire movie they were all on their feet screaming at the screen, crying hysterically, and swearing every time [French racing driver] Alain Prost came on. It was the most emotional room I had ever been in. I sometimes have a bit of an identity crisis about being multicultural because I feel Brazilian in my core, but I’ve obviously really benefited from growing up in the UK and by looking British. Being British is obviously a part of my identity too, but emotionally I feel very much more connected to my Brazilian side so that’s why I really wanted to do a Brazilian project. I didn’t want to just play the English girl that arrives in Brazil and is shocked by the crime. I wanted it to be a real story and something that mattered and something that was produced by Brazilians. I wanted to support that, I wanted to lend my name to that, and when this came up, I mean I took a call with the director, Vincente, and I came off the call and just cried because it felt like I finally was about to collaborate on something that would mean more to me than anything I’ve ever done before. Even to speak Portuguese on camera, which is something that I’m quite insecure about, because I was never taught Portuguese in school. I don’t know how to write in Portuguese, but I’m fluent because it was my first language. I only ever spoke Portuguese to my mum, so it is a language that I have but I haven’t used very much. I also randomly found out when I got to Brazil that I had a country accent?

NH I always weirdly knew that about you.

KS No you did not! [laughs]

NH Whenever I heard you speak Portuguese, I’d be like, ‘She sounds a bit country.’

KS But no, it was incredibly cool. [Actor] Gabriel Leon who plays Senna is a gorgeous, gorgeous human being inside and out and a very talented actor and I hope that this job kind of puts him on an international platform. It was cool, we shot in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. I got to take my kids out to Brazil, so they could experience it for four weeks which was a dream come true. They came back speaking Portuguese and are obsessed with it and I want to make my home there one day.

NH You should!

KS You should definitely come visit me in Brazil, just hang out there.

NH I would love to go to Brazil, I’ve never been to Brazil. What was the atmosphere in Brazil around the production in terms of making a show about him? Was it very protective, celebratory, was there a lot of, I mean obviously enthusiasm, but did it feel different to any other productions because of that?

KS You could tell it was personal for everyone from the director down to the caterer, you know, I’ve never seen an entire set stop. When we filmed the pivotal moments in his life, there would be days – it gives me chills now thinking about it – the entire crew would stop, come and watch, and thank Gabriel afterwards and cry. I saw so many crew crying all the time and not necessarily out of sadness, but out of joy, out of happiness, out of just pride to be a part of it. We screened some scenes during lunch and you know, normally, especially with a Netflix project, everything’s kind of lock and key and please put your phones in these bags, don’t record, and they just put it up on a big screen. The caterers and the drivers were all sat weeping, watching the clips of it, because we’re aware of how much it means to the people of Brazil and I think they were all incredibly proud to be a part of it. We had the [Senna] family on set a lot of the time, so we got to know them quite well, which was really cool. I actually got you a Senna hat that I need to give you.

NH No way! Yes, thank you! You know, I visited his crash site. I went to the track and there were lots of people there, all paying respects to him – it was very emotional to be there. Well, I’m very excited about my hat, primarily, and the show. Is there anything I haven’t asked you, where you’re like, ‘Oh I want to talk about this?’

KS To go back to you asking about showing a different side to me, I really am at the point in my career where I want to take control of what I put out creatively and I really want to produce. I think that’s something that I’ve been terrified of. It was another kind of barrier that I thought was only for successful old white men, you know? They are producers, you are the actor. And on so many sets, I’ve been terrified of the producer. They’re this kind of cloak and dagger figure in the corner that you’re not supposed to approach or you’re not supposed to be yourself around and I don’t think that’s how it needs to be anymore. I think producers should be collaborators and they should be at the heart of a set and they should know everyone’s job. The amount of experience that we have just being on a set is crazy compared to most. The years that we’ve put in, if we were pilots or surgeons, we’d be like, [mocking old voice] ‘Oh I’ve been doing this for 18 years.’ I want to be in that role. I want to bring creative people together. I want to champion females. I want to champion the working class. I just want to find people that are on the outskirts of the industry that are cool and that have good ideas and bring them together and try to make something.

NH Are there any female film workers at the moment that you’re excited about, that you’re like, ‘Oh, I want to work with them’?

KS There’s a bunch. I think Barbie is an incredible example of how successful [female fronted sets] can be. They don’t need to just be these indie darlings that do really well at Sundance and then we never hear about them again. I also want to find new people. We were kind of discovered, it sounds so cheesy, but there’s something beautiful about that and I want to do that. I want to go into local drama workshops and youth clubs and just find new people out there and help them on their way.

NH Good, I would like to do something similar. I’ve been thinking for the last couple of years of how to implement that in a way that it’s continuous and sustainable so that it can continually try to give back.

KS I think it’s important to work with the organisations that are already around. I think me and you’d be very good at it, Nick. Let’s start our own little drama school. I said to you earlier that maybe we shouldn’t talk about the motherhood thing, but now that we are talking, I feel like it is quite an honest conversation and it is an important, interesting part of it. What do you think?

NH It’s completely up to you!

KS I want my son to grow up seeing me work. I want him to grow up seeing me do something I love because I think I’m really lucky. I used to get asked a lot if I play strong female characters to inspire little girls, and I’m like, ‘Well I play them to inspire little boys, too!’ It kind of makes me want to do better. I remember me and you being sat in Shoreditch outside a pub, god knows how long ago, maybe 10 years ago, and we looked at each other and went, ‘Ugh, can we promise that we’ll never get married and have kids and stuff?’ And we so clearly went, ‘Yeah, no let’s not do that, that sounds very grown up and scary.’

NH [Laughs] It’s funny how it comes around.

KS Last thing I want to say – you are the person that whenever work has felt overwhelming or scary…I know I can ask you for advice and it’s non-judgmental and you’ve really been a bit of a guide for me in the last 15 years. I love that about you, that you’re able to have a really deep conversation with me about something I’m stressed about at work and then two minutes later we are making fart jokes and downing beers in Soho and I think you’ve definitely been someone I’ve looked up to in my career. I say to everyone you are proof that you can be a good person and incredibly successful. You’re not a dick, you’re not arrogant, there’s no ego about you. You are humble and kind and also work really, really hard. I think we all from Skins saw that, you were such a good leader, and we’ve all tried to carry that on.

NH Oh man, thanks. That means a lot – I love you.

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