Coco Lloyd interview: Opening up about new horror film ‘Heks’ and more
Coco Lloyd is a multifaceted talent. She’s an actress who got her start on British television shows like Footballer Wives & Berlin before moving on to feature length films like Trypophobia. In addition to her acting career, Lloyd has dabbled in producing and singing.
She’s also the star of the upcoming horror film Heks, which she also produces. Film Daily was fortunate enough to sit down with Coco Lloyd to discuss her process, her production company, and her desire to work with director Nancy Meyers!
Tell us about your history in acting. How did you start your journey?
I went to a youth theatre school as a kid and would always be putting on performances for friends and family! By the time I was in my teens I knew that was all I wanted to do and so I got an agent and started auditioning for small roles.
Heks is your first lead role in a film. How did the experience differ from your supporting work?
It was an amazing feeling but definitely more of a challenge and I felt a lot of pressure to prove myself. I went in every day as prepared as I could be and really enjoyed every second of playing Dillane.
What initially drew you to the project? Are you a fan of horror films?
I love horror films! It is for sure my favorite genre. Aside from that I had already worked with the director Reine on a short film and so when she let me read the script for The Hex I was so excited to be a part of it and to explore the culture in South Africa.
Do you have any acting rituals (supernatural or otherwise) to help you get into character?
I wish I had supernatural powers! I really use any memories and experiences I’ve had that align with the character and try to connect and immerse myself in their world. I’m a huge method acting fan.
You previously said that acting helped change your mindset. Do you learn different things about yourself by playing different characters?
Absolutely. I love learning and evolving as a person and when I play different characters I am constantly finding new things about myself that I may not have been aware of (both good and bad). Acting truly challenges your mind and emotions because everything comes to the surface.
How much of your own personality do you put into your characters?
I try not to put my personality but rather the emotion behind my thoughts and why they are linked to what the character is going through so that I can become more connected to them.
Talk us through your experience working with first-time director Reine Swart.
I love working with Reine! She directed so seamlessly and I honestly could not believe it was her first time. The whole cast and crew got along so well that it felt like spending time with family every day.
Heks was shot primarily in South Africa. Did you get a chance to experience the culture and the scenery during production?
As luck would have it I caught a very bad flu just a few days after landing and was so ill right into the first week of shooting (I was trying so hard not to sneeze in some scenes!) but we had a few days off on the last week once I was better and I got to go and experience the wildlife and do some Safaris which was honestly one of the best experiences of my life.
You are both the star and co-producer of Heks. Is it difficult to juggle acting and producing duties?
It wasn’t as I let go of production duties the month before I went to SA so that I could fully focus on the character without distraction. When we wrapped I picked back up again! It was also the first feature I had produced so again it was a huge learning curve for me.
Do you have any interest in working behind the camera as a producer or director exclusively?
I started my own production company last year and want to continue to produce as much as I can, and I would love to try and experience directing a project at least once.
You have acting experience in both film and television. Which medium do you prefer and why?
I love both – but live television definitely terrified me! You wouldn’t believe it but I get really bad stage fright.
What is your favorite part of acting?
Being like Cinderella, every role transforms you into a new person, new look and new story.
Some actors say they can’t watch themselves on the big screen. Do you enjoy watching your work?
Oh I fully agree! I cringe seeing myself on screen! Or even listening to my songs when I did music. It’s so hard not to over analyze your performance. Also I remember in one short film I had this piece of mascara stuck in the corner of my eye and on a big screen at a film festival it was giant and all I could focus on!
Show business can be difficult to break into. What advice do you have for aspiring actors?
I’m honestly still breaking into it now! My advice would be that you should always go for the things you dream of as you never want to leave this life with regrets. I can’t tell you the amount of people [in the] last ten years who told me to give up, but it’s just noise and I’ve kept on going and remained true to what I love.
No matter how many no’s you get, you are lucky to be living your life doing what you love, and if you work hard one day [an] opportunity will come. Everyone’s path is different, as long as you are happy and have your health then you have the world.
Do you have a dream role or character you’d like to play?
I would love to be in the Frasier remake! It was always my favorite TV show. I also would love to do a BBC Drama.
Are there any actors or filmmakers you’d like to collaborate with?
It would be a dream to be in a Nancy Meyers film – pretty much every film she has done is one of my favorites!
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
I wrote a short film that I hope to produce in 2021 to celebrate the end of the pandemic.
What has been your biggest success?
Everything honestly, as even the ‘failures’ have made me the person I am today.
What is your favorite film of all time?
So many I seriously can’t choose just one! But if we are talking all time then the film I have loved the longest would be Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – I used to watch Marylin Monroe films on repeat when I was little!