British thriller Trap For Cinderella hits DVD this week, offering up plenty of twists and turns in an enjoyable offering.

Up-and-coming stars Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach take the leads in this Hitchcockian effort, which centres on a tragic fire, plastic surgery, amnesia and plenty of psychological thrills-and-spills.

To mark the release, here’s a chat with Middleton, the 26-year-old Bristol-born actress who already has appearances in the likes of Tormented, Cleanskin and Trance under her belt.

 

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your character?

TM: I play Michele Dean, but everyone calls her Mickey. When we first meet her in the film she wakes up after a house fire with amnesia. It goes back in time and she retraces her steps and her memories through what people are telling her. Post-fire, to find out that her identity, what sort of person she was and regain her memory. And pre-fire is a kind of very different kind of Mickey, very outgoing. She comes from a relatively wealthy background and she is due to inherit but she hasn’t yet. She is troubled but very magnetic – hence why she attracts the attention of this girl; her friend Do (played by Alexandra Roach).

 

Q: How did you go about getting the part?

TM: The script’s been around for kind of a couple of years. When I first left drama school, about two and a half years ago, it wasn’t long after I left that I went up for it initially. I really loved the script and always remembered it, but it didn’t happen at that point. Then a couple of years down the line my agent said this project has come back and I said “Yes!” I do remember I loved it and really loved the character at that time. It’s funny because when I first read it I felt an affinity with it and felt like I would want to do it. I met (director) Iain Softley a few times; auditioned with a few different girls and here we are!

 

Q: I hear it was quite a lengthy rehearsal process?

TM: We had quite a few rounds actually, maybe three or four rounds, and it was good actually. It was nice that it was very thorough. Obviously he had a very clear picture of what he wanted and what he wanted for the parts. I read with a few different girls, just chemistry reading really, to see how we got on, to see how we looked together. Because obviously it’s an important part of the script – not that we look exactly the same – but something about us becomes quite similar. And as soon as I read with Alex, I kind of knew, yeah, I think she’s gonna get it.

 

Q: How did you find working with director Iain Softley?

TM: When we got the part we went to meet Iain and we were there with the costumes and the makeup head of department. We talked about of vision of it, the look he wanted and he showed us various kinds of snippets of films he put together and type of music that he wanted. So he’s very clear about it. It’s absolutely his baby this project and he knew what he wanted from it. We have definitely been on the same page the whole way through and he’s he’s so into peoples input and ideas. That’s great from an actor’s point of view because we can have a scene, look at it and he’ll rework it with us.  He’s written but he’s really open to doing this and he’s very concise with what he wants from the script so it’s great.

 

Q: Your character develops quite a lot over the course of the film, doesn’t it?

TM: Micky’s seemingly extrovert and sociable but actually quite introverted in her own way, and Do at the start of the story is quite shy. She remembered Micky from when she was younger and always wanted to keep friendship going because of things that happened in the past. It’s a confidence thing, it’s an image thing, the way they dress, it’s just all very different. But then they start to become, as friends do, more alike and dress more alike and stuff it develops into something more unhealthy.

 

Q: The film is obviously based on a novel by Sebastien Japrisot – did you read it ahead of filming at all?

TM: I love the book. He’s a great writer. It’s just a great thriller and a really exciting read. In terms of, character stuff I spoke to my doctor, an amnesia doctor, who talked through some symptoms with me, and I asked him questions and he was really helpful. And I talked with Alex trying to find the differences in our characters and things that could become the same in how we speak, use your voice, you know, things like that. We also spent time together doing Bikram Yoga and we were separately training as well to try and make our bodies the same. In-depth things.

 

Q: The film spends a lot of time playing with audience expectations – did that appeal to you?

TM: It’s fun to making an audience work and to make an audience think. They don’t want it spelt out on a plate for them so I think it’s an exciting thing to go and watch. Especially as it has lots of twists and turns and keeps you guessing.

 

 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.