Zawe Ashton

Zawe Ashton has already had a breakthrough year with the release of Blitz, Weekender and Dreams of a Life. Zawe is one of the most unique and interesting young British talents today, with her career already spanning stage, television and film.

Zawe Ashton


FAULT: Tell us a bit about your background- how did you get into acting?
Zawe: I started when I was five and a half, doing a drama class in Islington. Some people came from an agency so I started doing professional work from the age of six. Doing parts in television like the Demon Head Master, things for the BBC and short films. I did more of my training at Manchester Metropolitan Uni, getting involved with theatre. Then I landed parts in films like St Trinian’s 2 and Blitz.

FAULT: You’ve worked across film, TV and theatre. Do you have a preference?
Zawe: I just love film at the moment. They’re all such different disciplines, like with theatre you get to show your mettle as an actor. You have to keep your head and keep your energy up. With film, it’s just amazing, all the preparation that goes into it. I see it as a real beast to be slain with the varied roles. With television, it’s so quick and you have to make your character recognisable.

FAULT: Can you explain a poetry slam?
Zawe: A poetry slam is a night where poets show what they can do. They read material across three different rounds, and the competition winner gets a prize. You have different poetry slams, such as London champion. There are different themes too. It’s a lot about performance, not just the words and you get judged.

FAULT: You’re in a range of different films this year. Do you prefer playing a certain type of character?
Zawe: I like what happens with my work, it’s such a kaleidoscope. The two main features I’m in, Blitz and Dreams of Life both have darker subject matter. I like being versatile but always with that element of madness.

Production & Team: LMC Worldwide: Stylist: Aida Dolrahim Make Up Artist: Xabier Celaya using Inglot Hair Stylist: Kieron Lavine using Mizani

FAULT: Another of your films, Weekender is about the rave scene, are you a bit of a raver?
Zawe: At the moment I’m really into my nesting. I like furniture and bed linen. I’ve actually seen a bed spread I want to get. I’ve been a raver in my time, coming from Manchester naturally you get affected by that scene. I suppose you could say I’m a raver in retirement, but I could always come out of retirement. Right now I’m so busy that I want to make my home lovely and learn to cook.

FAULT: What do you like to cook?
Zawe: I can cook fish really well. I made fish and chips from scratch for friends and that went down great, they loved it. I also want to do proper breakfasts, things like omelettes. When you have a guy staying, I think it’s really impressive.

FAULT: What is your latest TV venture, Case Histories, about?
Zawe: It’s a detective series, based on the books by Kate Atkinson.  I ended up with loads of say on my character in the end. She’s in it a bit more than originally. It was good practice in perfecting the art of beefing up my role.  She’s strong, funny, dry but with a streak of empathy. She also has a flamboyant dress sense which we had fun with. I hope she’s well received.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?
Zawe: Chocolate hobnobs! They’re a bit like my drug; I have a bit of a chocolate hobnob problem.