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S3: 12 Journeys With...

12 Journeys With… Romola Garai

Actress, Writer, and Director, Romola Garai speaks to CF’s Sheena Bhattessa about her career in performance.

Garai received early training at the National Youth Theatre. Her first big break (i.e. her first professional acting job) playing the young Judi Dench in The Last of the Blonde Bombshells came about in 1999. In this episode, Garai explores the complexities of starting out in the industry at an early age and expounds on how the industry has changed since.

From the roles she’s really loved playing, including that of ‘Sugar’ in BBC mini-series, The Crimson Petal and the White, which Garai deems one of “the best experiences I’ve ever had”, to her love for writing and directing – her latest work, Amulet, a horror film Garai wrote and directed, comes to UK cinemas in January 2022 – this episode spans many genres and roles.


In Episode Six, Season Three, Actress, Writer, and Director Romola Garai joins CF’s Sheena Bhattessa to discuss her career in performance to date.

Tune in for a conversation spanning award ceremonies and external validation, flits between centre stage and the director’s chair, and much more in the latest episode of 12 Journeys With….

To listen to Episode Six, Season Three, in full, visit iTunes or Spotify.

Garai is eclectic in her interests “I like dark pieces of work. I like the supernatural. I like macabre. But, I’m quite broad in my taste.” “I don’t really see a huge amount of distinction in a lot of genres, really. I think that those distinctions are becoming less and less relevant to cinema in a way […] a good film is a good film.”

Flitting between stage and screen, as Garai does, pinpointing a favourite medium is a challenge. “I don’t have a favourite form. I don’t know that many actors that do. I think actors just want to play good parts.” When it comes to dealing with the ups and downs of working in the performing arts, Garai has this advice: “Go into every enterprise thinking what you are going to get out of it.” “Separating what you need to survive, what you want to create as an artist, and how much external validation you get” are important considerations. “External validation is a large part of why people are attracted to the industry.”

As for the type of work Garai would you like to see more of on our stages and screens, she’s “excited to see pieces of work made by individual and unique voices.” To listen to the episode in full follow the links below.

Click to listen on iTunes or Spotify.

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