Film

Bridgerton Break Out Star Ruby Barker talks new lead role in “How to Stop A Recurring Dream”

“I had two white mothers. I have a black Dad and a mixed-race sister. So I come personally from a very modern, a contemporary family. So when I picked up the script, I could see that I was at least represented here”. RUBY BARKER

HOW TO STOP A RECURRING DREAM , the feature film debut of British writer – director Ed Morris , and starring Ruby Barker (Marina Thompson in Bridgerton ) is now on release across UK digital streaming platforms . The film won both Best Feature and Best Actress awards at December’s British Urban Film Festival. ​ Exploring themes of separation and loss, this dreamy trip takes place over a weekend in the lives of two sisters whose relationship is being tested to its limit . After Mum and Dad announce an imminent, split -custody separation, Yakira – the oldest daughter – kidnaps her younger sister and takes to the road, in an attempt to reconnect before they part.
Ruby Barker, has recently become a breakout star following the huge success of Bridgerton Netflix’s most successful show of all time. 82 million households tuned in to watch Ruby play Marina in Shonda Rhimes’s empowering and most diverse period drama to hit the screens ever!!

How to Stop a Recurring Dream still


HOW TO STOP A RECURRING DREAM is produced by Polly du Plessis, with TV and radio presenter Edith Bowman as executive producer. The film features original and previously released music from #Ibeyi, the Afro – French Cuban musical duo of twin sisters Naomi and Lisa – Kaindé Díaz, who meld elements of Yoruban music with modern jazz, soul and hip – hop. ALT caught up with the 24 -year star to talk.

Image credit: Netflix

ALT: How did you first get into acting? It’s going a little bit by yourself.

RUBY:

So, I first got into acting when I was 11, I did a commercial for the Royal bank of Scotland and then I didn’t act for a few years and I was about 15 when I took GCSE drama at school and I studied it at A Level as well. And I got into university. I supposed to go to uni, but I decided not to I was going to try and pursue my acting career. So, I got a job at the National Railway Museum in York and I started getting involved with community theater and then I just worked my way up from there.

ALT: It’s kind of like a big moment for you because you have just come out of Bridgerton and now you’ve just done this movie How to Stop a Recurring Dream. So what was it like working in the Shona Rhimes universe?

RUBY:

Yeah, it was, it was amazing. Like it was everything that I’ve dreamed of as an actor in an opportunity. It was, I, you know, it, it took a while to fully sink in. I’m not even sure if it really has some sunk in, you know, what I was a part of, But it was just the most amazing experience and it was everything I was looking for in a role handed to me.

ALT:

You play Yakira in How to Stop A Recurring Dream what did you like about the character?

RUBY: For me she was, she was rebellious. She was, in pain. she was suffering. she has all of that angst that comes with being a young person. And I just related to her and I wanted to tell her story and tell it truthfully.

ALT:

What kind of roles do you like to play?

How to Stop a Recurring Dream still

RUBY:

I really enjoy doing dramatic acting. I would love to challenge myself though and maybe try comedy in the future or something like that. That would be a real challenge for me. I like playing strong female characters really.

ALT:

And what was it like working with the young, lily who plays your sister?

RUBY:

It was pretty good. Lily was great to work with. She was a lot of fun on set. She had a great energy about her. She was super professional and was just very nice to work with and we also got to live with each other while we shot the film. So, we got to know each other quite well. We’d go out for runs together and stuff like that. Or I will take her bowling sometimes that sort of thing.

ALT: This was Ed’s first feature. So, what was it like working with the director and did you feel an added pressure of this being your first lead role?

RUBY:

Yeah, I felt, I did feel the added pressure of it being my first lead role. And it also being Ed’s first feature film. I think we both felt a lot of pressure because all we wanted was for the film to do well. Do you know what I mean? Cause we both believed in the project. so yeah, that was a lot of pressure. I was stressed about doing a good job. But I work quite well under stressful situations. So, I do have that in my favor and I’m glad, I’m happy with how it turned out.

ALT: Are you the kind of person who has recurring dreams?

RUBY:

Yeah, I have, I had one where I can’t speak and my tongue is all swollen and then an old lady pours honey down my throat and it clears it. It’s really weird.

ALT:

So, let’s talk about the family dynamics, in the film and the conversations we’ve been having around Meghan Markle. Do you think that Ed got it right presenting this very modern version of the family?

RUBY:

Yeah, I know you got hit right. For a fact because I come from modern family myself, I had two white mothers. I have a black Dad and a mixed-race sister. So I come personally from a very modern, a contemporary family. So when I picked up the script, I could see that I was at least represented here. So, I do think he got it right. Yeah.

ALT:

Do you feel encouraged that now that we’re actually having these conversations in 2021. Maybe 10 years ago we had this conversation. Or are you optimistic that this is progress?

RUBY:

I’m optimistic that this is progress, you know, because we’ve got Ed’s film and his representation, then we’ve also got, Bridgerton and this has been the most successful show on Netflix ever. And it’s got one of the most diverse cast. And so, I think that it’s the proof is in the pudding quite literally, you can see that diversity works and that is what people want, you know? So it’s just a matter of everybody else catching up to what’s hot right now.

ALT: Who would you like to work, role and work with any directors, actors, etc?

RUBY:

I’d love that I’d met so many people I’d love to work with. I’d love to work with David Lynch. I’d love to work with Lars von Trier I’d love to work with Lynne Ramsay. You know, I’d like to work with Steve McQueen. You know, that’s a really, really difficult question because there’s so many great, great directors out there, but you know, hopefully I’ll get to work with one of them before I die.

ALT:

Were you filming any of these projects during lockdown?

RUBY:

No, we wrapped #Bridgerton just before the first lock down happened. And then obviously because of lockdown, I’ve not been able to, none of us have been able to work or film anything during that period.

ALT:

Cinema appears to have moved to streaming platforms across many big blockbuster releases or do you prefer the big, massive, blockbuster cinema experience?

RUBY:

Obviously, it would be lovely to have the big blockbuster cinema experience.  I think that’s how film in particular should be experienced. But you know, it’s okay that things are live streamed now, there’s so much to watch and you just spoiled for choice and you can watch things instantly, you know, you don’t need to wait for it to come out or anything. It’s just there it’s, you know, it’s just great. I think Netflix and online streaming, but I can’t wait for the world to open back up again and the cinemas to open their doors.

ALT:

What have you taken away either personally or professionally from this moment, whether it’s been in Bridgerton or whether it’s been the lock down, whether it’s been doing How to Stop a Recurring Dream?

RUBY:

I have been in a very blessed position because not many actors have a film coming out during this lockdown, you know, most actors are in a really difficult sticky situation. I don’t really know if anybody wants to hear what I learned from this situation, because I’ve been very privileged during this whole lock down. I’ve had things to focus on, I’ve learned a lot about myself, I’ve learned, but you’ve just got to keep calm and carry on.

ALT:

I’ve heard that Bridgerton is doing a second series, are you excited about that?

RUBY:

I am excited about it, but I’m afraid I need to keep my lips tightly sealed on Bridgerton season, because of the powers that be, I will get into a lot of trouble if I spoke about it. (laughs)

ALT:

(Laughs) I tried so what are you working on next?

RUBY:

I am currently writing at the minute. I’m developing my short film into a feature. So I’m working on that every day and that has given me something to focus on during lockdown. And it’s been a great, insightful experience and a very creative time for me right now.

ALT:

Ruby, thank you so much for talking to ALT Africa.

The film is available to stream on Amazon, Google Play, Apple TV , Microsoft TV and Virgin On Demand .
Film details :
Run time : 82 minutes
Cast : Ruby Barker , Lily – Rose Aslandogdu, Jamie Michie, Miranda Nolan, Andre Flynn

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