FAULT Interviews: Victoria Summer, who stars as Julie Andrews in ‘Saving Mr Banks’

victoria summer - lace (images by Christos)

FAULT: You play the legendary Julie Andrews in Saving Mr. Banks, what was it like to portray such a popular and well known actress?

Such big boots to fill! It was an honour. She is truly a remarkable woman and as a student of Musical Theater, Julie Andrews is someone I’ve looked up to and admired since I was a child. Of course being on set with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson was a dream come true. I watched Tom’s career since ‘Big’, and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and ‘Love Actually’ are two of my favourite movies.

What helped you prepare for such a big role?

I watched the 1964 premiere of Mary Poppins on You Tube. It’s really well covered and I took on board her mannerisms as far as the way she held herself, her mannerisms etc.

You star alongside some great actors; Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell and Emma Thompson to name but a few. Coming into your lead role as a relative newcomer (when set against some of those performers) must have been a daunting experience! Was there any additional pressure on you to prove yourself?

People judge. You just do your best. What is funny to me is that since I cut my hair short, people upon meeting me immediately think I’m a model. I only really earnt substantial money modelling in the last year and a half with my short hair. I started acting and singing really young and I have a degree in acting and Musical Theatre; I studied in London for three years. You just hope people actually look at your body of work and versatility to play any role.

VictoriaS-9818_300dpi_COLOR (images by Christos)

Did it all go smoothly from the start or was it a bit of a learning curve? If the latter, was anyone particularly helpful in terms of helping you find your feet?

A learning curve to say the least! It was not a smooth ride for me. I definitely met people who have influenced my journey, as well as role models whom I’ve never met.

Can you give us some details about the character you play in the upcoming Transformers movie?

I can’t say much on this but I’m the Executive Assistant to Stanley Tucci. Another wonderful actor.

What is Michael Bay like as a director?

He has incredible attention to detail, he’s always several steps ahead and, of course, you can’t deny he knows exactly how to pick beautiful actresses and make them look like movie stars; his shot set-ups and lighting are exquisite. What actress doesn’t want that? I’m a big fan. After all, the proof is in the pudding and the gross statistics of his movies do not lie.

victoria summer - portrait_bw (images by Christos)

Was the move from musical theatre to the big screen an organic change or did you struggle to find your place within this new discipline?

You just stay honest as an actor. There are obvious differences like keeping it all much smaller for camera but you adjust. Actors need to be adaptable. After all, you can get on set and the director could change everything you’d planned. It happens all the time.

You arrived in LA in 2012 and have already found success that some can only dream of. What’s the secret?

Work ethic. I focus on production. I count how much money I make each week, I keep really close touch on that! If I’m making less than the week before, I burn the
midnight oil! I’m a nerd! I look at my successful actions and keep doing them… I’m heavily into self improvement. My family were not in the business – I didn’t get any
foot ups it was all hard work, persistence and determination.

VictoriaS-0198_300dpi (images by Christos)
Photo by Christos

What does the future hold for Victoria Summer? Are you already thinking ahead or are you just concentrating on the present, and Saving Mr Banks, for the time being?

I have big dreams and I always have one foot in the future. Victoria Summer the actress but also the brand. That’s movies, fashion, music and beauty. I really enjoy the
business and I’m very excited to keep expanding.

What is your FAULT?

Do you know that ‘fault’ has fourteen definitions and three idioms in my dictionary?

Definition (1): A defect or imperfection.

My eyes are blue and I have a fleck of brown in my right eye. It’s the first thing my father noticed when I was born. There you go!

Twitter: @VictoriaSummer

Interview by Miles Holder; images by Ricky Middlesworth (unless otherwise stated)