AIYSHA HART – EXCLUSIVE PHOTOSHOOT AND INTERVIEW WITH FAULT MAGAZINE
10/02/2016 by 1 Comment
Aiysha Hart is a 27 year old actor from London. Some know her as the girl with the eyebrows from BBC’s Atlantis. One guy we speak about knows her as, ‘one incredibly sexy woman.’ And before I spoke to her, I didn’t know much more.
Now I know that Aiysha is self-deprecating, funny, and has made me feel awkward about referring to her looks. She speak with passion about public perceptions of her, the industry she is in and how labels don’t seem to fit the reality the Glamorous Celebrity finds herself in.
You started your career at a very young age. What was the moment where you thought of this as your future? Every time I see a young actor, I cant help but wonder if they have a pushy stage-mum behind them.
Although I fell in love with acting quite young, I didn’t actually pursue it as a career until a few years ago. I went to university to study English Literature and had a couple of different jobs before acting. It’s strange when friends recount me saying I wanted to act, because I don’t ever remember thinking that dream out loud. I thought I was too scared to voice something I wanted so badly, at a time when it seemed the furthest thing from my reach.
Thankfully I’m not the product of pushy parents, just an incredibly supportive mum who happens to be my biggest (and up until recently was my only) fan. And as for my dad, he wanted me to be a professional tennis player, so…
Acting was something I discovered as a shy seven-year-old. The stage was my escapism at a time when I was struggling with academia and self-confidence. I got a sense of purpose and belonging from performing. After a show was done I’d want to do it all over again, and I’d fall asleep humming my musical numbers!
Were the people around you supportive?
All of the significant people in my life support me and would have supported me whatever career I chose. In this industry it’s so important to have those solid, unconditional relationships that give you perspective and remind you that even if it doesn’t work out, everything will be okay. Saying that, it’s the people who haven’t been supportive or have put me down, that have made me more determined. It’s often when someone doubts you, or when you fail, that you achieve a greater understanding of yourself, and become more resilient. Not to mention the sense of satisfaction you gain from doing the thing you were once told you couldn’t do.
Atlantis is a massive hit. How has your life changed since being on the show?
Apart from being recognized as “that girl from Atlantis”, every now and again, nothing much has changed.
Do people have an expectation of you now? When people meet you, do they feel like they know you? Do you have an expectation of yourself?
Maybe people are disappointed not to see me in a dress and crown. But honestly, I’m not really sure what anyone expects when they meet me. Saying that, my eyebrows became a bit of a social-media fixation during the show, and a bunch of school girls once shouted, “Ariadne, we love your eyebrows!” in the street. So, apart from the constant pressure to keep those bad boys ‘on fleek’, I don’t really have any pressing expectations of myself. I’m usually wearing gym clothes or trackies when I get approached for a selfie. At times like that I wish I had made more of an effort!
Because you are a star now and you are still young, tell me about the cool things fame has done for you. Make me jealous! I want to hear about free stuff, skipping queues, bathing in pools of money etc.
I hate to disappoint you but my life is pretty ordinary. The reality is, I’m really not well known enough to get a taste of that crazy lifestyle. From time to time I get to walk around fashion showrooms choosing lovely outfits to wear for events. But sadly those outfits always get sent straight back the next morning. Once I did get free gelato in Soho though, because the guy behind the counter was an Atlantis fan. I asked for two scoops of course, because fame changes you.
On your imdb page, there is a lot of talk about your looks. User Bladematrix writes, ‘She in one incredibly sexy woman. Those eyes and lips! Gorgeous.’ What does it feel like to be judged like that by bloggers, tabloids, and other assholes?
Also, you are a sex-symbol. Does that feel like anything? And don’t say you’re not, cause you are. Now I’ve told you that, how does it feel?
My instant reaction to that is to feel flattered, because it’s a compliment and everyone likes to be told they look nice. But this is quickly superseded by the more passionate, feminist part of me that would prefer it if members of an IMDB forum were discussing my acting performances, rather than objectifying me and reducing me to a ‘sex symbol’. I also recognize that it’s all a load of bollocks anyway, because my day-to-day life looks nothing like the so-called ‘glamorous’ or ‘celebrity’ narrative articulated in magazines. But what bothers me the most is the constant sexualisation of women in the media as a whole and what that’s done to the female psyche. Young girls now grow up with such a false sense of what it means to be a woman and to be beautiful because of the images they are exposed to constantly, and it makes me uncomfortable to feel like I’m part of that discourse.
Be you an actor, musician or model posing for a magazine, it usually takes a whole technical and beauty team to attain that final “look”. And after all the processes involved in achieving the desired product, you can often look at the image and not even recognise yourself. Despite the polished images you may see of me in this magazine, I wake up every morning with all the insecurities and issues that anyone else has. And however pretty a picture may end up looking, it doesn’t solve any of those things. I think it’s important to be honest about that.
What does it do to your idea of yourself to have people write about you and take glamorous photos and also photos of you not at your best?
At first it was really strange. The first time you see yourself on screen or in a newspaper or a magazine, is always a surreal feeling. I think what makes it most surreal for me, is that I’m usually doing some mundane thing in the most normal place when stuff like that happens. So it just feels like I’m having an out-of-body experience and witnessing someone else’s life. And with regards to social media and having an online presence, you have to bare in mind that, like the rest of my generation, I’m that strange Millennial that grew up with dial-up Internet, and without social networks or cameraphones. So I find the manner in which nascent technology impacts an individual’s privacy to be a scary thing that I’m only just beginning to come to terms with it.
There is a lot of talk right now about sexism in the industry itself, have you ever experienced that? Do you have a take on it? Other than what Bladematrix writes.
If Jennifer Lawrence, a beautiful, young, Caucasian woman at the top of her game, can experience sexual inequality, then it would be naïve to assume that the problem doesn’t exist throughout the industry as a whole. Women make up half the world’s population and yet within the acting world they are still underrepresented on-screen, off-screen and on the page. I definitely feel I’ve been treated differently to male costars in the past, whilst carrying an equal workload. However, the problem extends far beyond the issue of salary and underrepresentation. Age, race, ethnicity and sexuality further complicate an already extremely challenging industry for women. What Iwill say though, is that because so many high profile females are speaking out about gender inequality and the pay gap, I think things are really starting to change. I’m excited to be around at a time when this gender debate is really gaining momentum and I believe the industry is transforming.
What do you want to do now? Is there a dream of what you want life to be like? Is there something you are working towards now?
Apart from holding my handstand for more than three seconds in yoga class, there are no specific goals right now. One thing I’ve had to learn as an actor is to relinquish control a bit and just accept the ‘not knowing’. But my dream of playing roles that challenge me, reading scripts that excite me and working with people that inspire me, are career ambitions I that don’t think will ever change.
What is your Fault?
There are no faults, just imperfections and learning curves.
Words: Chris Purnell
Photography and set: Rossella Vanon
Hair: Viktoria Toth
Make-up: Virginia Bertolani
Nails: Roxanne Campbell
Photography assistants: Carolina Nikotian & Anuska Rose
Location: Huddle Studios