OVERDUE had the pleasure of interviewing Vanessa Vanderpuye, a young British actress currently starring in the new series Bulletproof, Season 2 with Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke, of Top Boy and Kidulthood fame. Vanessa plays Ashley’s wife Arjana in the series and is also known for starring in the award-winning Web series Dreaming Whilst Black, for which she received two nominations for Best Actress at the Digital Screen Nation Awards.
Congratulations on the new series! Any memorable highlights from the behind the scenes? What did you enjoy the most while filming season two of Bulletproof?
Thank you so much! It was a honestly a blessing to be apart of this production. The chemistry between everyone was light and fun even after 6 months of filming.
The most memorable highlight has to be my sex scene with Ashley Walters. It was my second day of filming so what a way to really break the ice! We had an intimacy advisor, Ita, on set with us all day. She reminded me that it was my body and I had to power to say yes or no. You should never feel obligated to do anything if you feel uncomfortable. The whole team were extremely respectful and made me comfortable. We had to practice how to hone in to our inner mammal self to climax, as our character of course! Cringy but hilarious at the same time.
How did you like working with Noel and Ashley?
Banter all day! Never a dull moment when they are around. I’m actually quite a shy person but they made me feel so welcome. They inspire and motivate me everyday
Acting is somewhat similar to modelling, in a way that you have to get in the character, but also very different, what advantages does one bring to the other in your opinion? What do you see yourself as first, an actress or a model?
I have always seen myself as an actress first. That was the vocation I had always dreamed of. To be honest, growing up, I never saw anyone of my aesthetic, skin tone or hair so never thought I could be a model.In some ways yes, I can take aspects I’ve learnt from acting into modelling and visa versa. However, with modelling, it’s all about your natural charisma/ personality. With acting, you have to research, have or create a backstory to dig deeper and find the truth in each character to convey a truthful performance overall. For me, that’s definitely more rewarding.
As we’re in the endometriosis month at the moment and you’ve been vocal in your fight for raising awareness of this invisible condition that affects so many women, do you see this changing in any time in the future. How do you cope with it?
Endometriosis is a long-term condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Around 1.5 million women (1 in 10) in the UK are currently living with the condition. It’s one of the most painful health conditions according to the NHS. Symptoms include chronic pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain), nausea, vomiting, irregular & heavy periods, bloated stomach, lack of energy, depression/isolation and pain during or after sex. It may also lead to infertility and bowel and bladder problems.After being diagnosed after suffering for over 15 years, I had surgery In October 2017. The pain still persists now on a weekly basis but the gynaecologist are monitoring the growth of the endo. Unfortunately there is no cure, so I cope by using painkillers when in chronic pain, especially when I have to work.
I never heard of this condition until I was diagnosed but commendably now, I see more and more brave women come forward to tell their story. In the long run, it will definitely help raise awareness to health officials globally to find a cure and diagnose women sooner.
How are you spending this time of quarantine? Are there any passions or hobbies that you’re exploring at this time for which you wouldn’t have time for before?
I’ve always wanted to improve my fitness but I must admit, I enjoy working out through social sports like netball and classes than going to the gym. I need a gym buddy or a PT to motivate me to go everyday! But surprisingly, I have enjoyed doing insanity beach body workouts. Intense interval circuit training during this time has been a great stress reliever. It’s also been fun discovering online classes with my friends and family. Great how we are using this time to motivate each other to keep busy and fit! I’m also teaching myself to cook one new recipe each week! I do love to cook as my mum is a caterer but I rarely had time to so it’s been fun brushing up on those skills.
Tell us about your style, also do you have health and beauty routine? Any particular products that you swear by?
I love structure, textures & simple styles with the use of bold colours! Especially since England consists of grey skies 90% of the time, colour is a great way to help me start my day upbeat and positively! Health wise I have cut out gluten and diary which helps lessen the inflammation in my stomach due to my condition. I do have sensitive skin so I have to be careful with what I use. I keep my routine quite simple. I use Dermalogica to wash my face, rose water as a toner, then shea butter & olive oil to moisturise, especially at night. Murad are a great brand to help plump your skin and feel fresh, especially for those 5am call times. As for makeup, Mac or Nars concealer to combat my dark circles is a must! Fenty beauty, YSL, Nars and Bobbi Brown have a great range of foundation shades for women of colour. I never go on set without these two products.
What’s next for you, are there any projects that you’re involved in that we can look forward to seeing you in the future?
I’m praying Ryan Coogler is writing a role for me in Black Panther 2 as we speak, but until then, I am excited for you all to see the Bulletproof special. Will be released hopefully this Summer which we filmed in Cape Town for over 8 weeks! Such a beautiful city. The story line for this 3 part special is insane! You wouldn’t want to miss this!