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Anouska Mond: an unknown actor, but Plan B is going to turn

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:02 am    Post subject: Anouska Mond: an unknown actor, but Plan B is going to turn Reply with quote

div class="track"img alt="" src="http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.22.4/80902?ns=guardianpageName=Anouska+Mond%3A+an+unknown+actor%2C+but+Plan+B+is+going+to+turn+her+into+a+s%3AArticle%3A1722331ch=Filmc3=Obsc4=Film%2CPlan+B%2CRap+%28music+genre%29%2CUrban+music+%28Music+genre%29%2CMusic%2CCulture%2CUK+newsc5=Pop+Music%2CNot+commercially+usefulc6=Vanessa+Thorpec7=12-Mar-25c8=1722331c9=Articlec10=Newsc11=Filmc13=c25=c30=contentc42=Cultureh2=GU%2FCulture%2FFilm%2FPlan+B" width="1" height="1" //divp class="standfirst"Anouska Mond talks about her new role in the rapper's uncompromising take on gangs and drugs/ppAnouska Mond happens to be a poised, urban beauty, although this is not the way cinema audiences will see her. The 29-year-old actress is about to appear as a violently abused, crack-addicted street prostitute in an uncompromising first feature film directed by rapper, singer and actor Ben Drew./ppThe Brit-winning star, better known as Plan B, created the troubled character of Michelle when he worked with Mond in improvised rehearsals four years ago as he struggled to raise funds for his new film, emiLL Manors/em. Written and scored by Drew, it is released on 4nbsp;May and has been widely billed as the first British rap musical./ppWhen Mond first met Drew in 2008 both were unknowns. His hit second album, emThe Defamation of Strickland Bank/ems, was not yet out and he was auditioning hopefuls for parts in a short film he wanted to make. "I met a nice person who said he was Ben in an audition room in Camden Town and I started to read the part of Michelle as a cockney for him," recalled Mond, who is from Manchester. "Then I stopped and told him I saw her as a northerner. He likednbsp;it."/ppAs lucky breaks go, it was well disguised. "It is certainly one of the darkest and grittiest parts I have ever had to do," she said, adding that she believes getting the part was all down to the furry jacket she was wearing that day. "It was a black, fake one from Camden market and Ben said there was something about it when I walked in. I suppose he didn't want to say I looked like a crack whore. It was not the look I was going for, anyway."/ppDuring filming Mond created a back story for Michelle and Drew wrote a song for the character that features on his latest album, also called a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2012/feb/28/plan-b-ill-manors" title=""emiLL Manors/em/a. "I felt she was escaping from her past and had suffered some sort of abuse, although she came from a conventional background," said Mond. "Because Ben acts as well, he is very hands-on with the cast and likes to get involved." Mond's parents were less pleased about her part, asking why she had to play people who die or are prostitutes. "I have warned them and given them the context, but I am quite nervous about them seeing it."/ppAfter emMichelle/em, the short film, was completed, Mond went to Los Angeles seeking work and two years later got a call asking her to return and read for the same part in a feature film. "I felt I had to get it, because I felt I knew Michelle," said Mond. "Six auditions later Ben told me I had the part. In fact, he said it was always mine, I just had to prove it."/ppThe film weaves six stories together and Mond's character is at the centre of two of them. Set among the gangs and drug addicts of Forest Gate in east London, where Drew grew up, the stories were drawn from his own life. "He based a lot of the script on his own experiences or on people he knew. He had a friend who was a prostitute for drugs, like Michelle," explained Mond. At the emObserver/em's TEDx event this month, a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/17/plan-b-speech-british-youth-tedxobserver" title=""Drew spoke of his passionate political views/a and his hope that his film and music will highlight the poverty and violence that drive teenagers into crime./ppMond did not talk politics on set with Drew but said she was drawn to his perfectionism. "From my point of view the message is up to him and people should watch it and make up their own mind."/ppBy the time Mond had returned from America, Drew was famous as Plan B. He was also annoyed that she no longer had her black furry jacket. When the costume team on the film were unable to find an equivalent the director was happy with, Drew went to a department store himself and found one that was almost the same./ppMond moved to London at 18, determined to act. She took waitress jobs to pay the bills and set up a nail and beauty business. "I wanted to do something I could run myself and organise around my acting," she said. "I am hoping I won't have to do nails for the rest of my life, though."/ppThe finished film proved nearly as hard for Mond to watch as it may be for her parents. "There is a scene where I am dragged through the streets. It is very harrowing and I got quite bruised, but actually it helped me to get into character. People called out of their windows because they thought I was being attacked and you can hear them in the film." Mond also had to deal with grim scenes of sexual exploitation. "After we shot those bits I had to sit on my own for a while, although everyone had been kind during the filming. It upsets me even talking about it. It is definitely going to be shocking for my parents," she said. "Growing up I certainly didn't know any crack, but then playing a part outside the box is what has worked for me in the end."/ppAnd the actress is clear she owes a lot to Drew and his commitment to the film. "He is proof if you really put your mind to it you can do anything. As he has said, he could have been one of those men rioting last summer."/pdiv class="related" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"ullia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/plan-b"Plan B/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/rap"Rap/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/urban"Urban music/a/li/ul/divdiv class="author"a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/vanessathorpe"Vanessa Thorpe/a/divbr/div class="terms"a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk"guardian.co.uk/a copy; 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our a href="http://users.guardian.co.uk/help/article/0,,933909,00.html"Terms Conditions/a | a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/help/feeds"More Feeds/a/divp style="clear:both" /

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