VIOLETT BEANE TALKS “GOD FRIENDED ME” AND HER LOVE OF BAKING 0 144

With credits including appearances in The Leftovers and The Resident to her name, it was her role of Jessie Quick in the smash-hit CW series The Flash that saw Violett Beane truly come to global attention. She’s currently starring in the CBS show God Friended Me and with a secret film project lined up, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with the talented actress to discuss her early career ambitions, what she does with her downtime and her support of environmental and animal causes.

TITL: You fell in love with performing while in middle and high school, but prior to that, did you have any other career ambitions? What was and is it about acting and performing that makes you so passionate about it?

Violett Beane: I wanted to open a bakery! I love baking and creating recipes. I might still do that someday, you never know! I was raised in Austin, Texas which is where I really found my creative side. I went to an arts high school that technically you had to apply for, and I was in theatre for a long time. I just loved acting and performing. When it came to senior year, I realized I didn’t really want to go to college necessarily at that point in time. So I decided to commit fully to my passion and I found a local agent in Austin and just started sending in taped auditions for film and television.

TITL: You’re perhaps best known for your role of Jesse Quick on The Flash. Looking back, do you have any favourite memories of being on set and what impact did being part of such a successful show have on you both personally and professionally?

VB: One of my favorite memories was my very first day on set. I was so nervous but luckily, the scene was with Tom Cavanagh and he was so nice and really helped me that first day.

The biggest impact was just honestly how much I learned. You learn something different from every set but with The Flash, I was really just learning the basics and what it meant to be on a high-production television show and working with that great cast and crew. Also, the fans were just so supportive and loyal from Day 1 and that has been so amazing to experience.

TITL: You’ve also starred in The Leftovers and The Resident, as well as featured alongside Lucy Hale in the film Truth Or Dare. How important to you is it that you’re able to take on a varied number of roles, and how much character prep do you tend to do for each?

VB: Very important! I want to learn and experience new situations and expand my craft with each role and I have been very lucky so far to be able to have that chance. As far as prep, I do research before each role. For example with The Flash, I went right away to a local comic book store in Austin and bought as many comics with Jesse Quick as I could.

TITL: What’s been the highlight of your professional career so far?

VB: Very hard question! But I have to say that putting on the super suit as Jesse Quick for the first time was crazy to experience! It’s not every day you get to be a superhero.

TITL: Your new show, God Friended Me premiered fairly recently and was picked up for a full season by CBS. What drew you to audition for the show and the part of Cara? What can you tell me about your character?

VB: Well when I was auditioning during pilot season last year, I was reading a ton of scripts and going in multiple times a day for things. It was honestly one of the only ones that I read that really left me feeling uplifted and positive at the end of it. I think with the world we’re in right now, we kind of need something like this.

God Friended Me is about an atheist who gets friended by someone calling themselves God on Facebook. He ignores the request because he doesn’t believe in God and he thinks someone is messing with him. Eventually he accepts it and he starts getting these friend suggestions for people. He sort of ends up being a change in their lives. I play Cara Bloom, she’s an online journalist and she ends up being one of the friend suggestions that Miles gets. In the pilot, you see that she struggles with the fact that her mother left when she was really young. She came to New York in search of her and she’s actually found her, but she doesn’t really know how to take the next step. That’s when Miles and the God account enter. Then she decides to stick around after they’ve helped her. Each week, there is a new “friend suggestion”.

TITL: What would you say makes God Friended Me different from the many other shows out there and how would you sum it up in a few words? What is its unique selling point?

VB: I think the show is very uplifting and ultimately is about inclusivity and connectivity and it does this by showing different beliefs and lifestyles.

TITL: If you could appear in any other show, past or present, which would it be and why?

VB: There’s so many great shows! But what immediately comes to mind right now is Orphan Black. That show was so amazing and it’s a dream to someday work with Tatiana Maslany. Also, I am currently obsessed with Killing Eve. I can’t wait for season 2!

TITL: Are there any other upcoming projects you can tell me about or are you just waiting for the next ‘right’ role to come along?

VB: Right now God Friended Me is keeping me pretty busy and I will be shooting the series until spring. But I am also going to be shooting a film next year. I can’t talk details yet but I think fans will be really excited once the news gets out.

TITL: Away from acting, you’re passionate about environmental and animal causes such as Meatless Mondays, and have partnered with PETA for a campaign. How important do you feel it is for people with a platform such as yourself in particular, to use said platform to speak up about the issues that matter to them, and do you wish more individuals would do the same?

VB: With my social media and in life, I don’t try to force my beliefs on people but rather try to start the conversation. I have learned people have a lot of opinions and they’re often times fear base opinions. When I did the PETA campaign, I got a lot of comments from people saying, ‘Why do you have to shove this down our throats? Why are you putting this in front of us?’ Some people are very passionate when they feel that something is going to be taken away from them and fear is what drives negativity, I believe. It is a defense mechanism and I feel that once we are able to break that wall and be open and just have a conversation, things could be better. So spreading awareness is the biggest key and I just want people to not go blindly into their choices.

TITL: Finally then, given that filming and performing can be tiring, especially with long shoots, what do you like to do for down-time? Do you have a favourite vacation spot or one particular hobby you indulge in?

VB: I bake! I love creating yummy vegan and gluten-free donuts, cookies, brownies. You name it! And of course, spending time with my bunny, Milo, and puppy, Kora. I also love traveling and my favorite place so far has been Thailand.

God Friended Me is airing Sundays on CBS and you can keep up to date with Violett by following her on Twitter and Instagram. Header photo credit: Storm Santos.

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BRIT AWARDS 2019 WINNERS REVEALED 0 47

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BRITs 2019 WINNERS
Tonight we celebrated the achievements of British and international artists and musicians over the last year, live on ITV from The O2 Arena, London!

Jack Whitehall was back on hosting duties for the second year to present an exceptional night of entertainment for the 12,000 arena guests and the millions watching from home. A grand total of 13 awards – designed by acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye – were handed out during the show.

Presenters on the night included: Paloma Faith, Annie Mac, Suki Waterhouse, Khalid, Jared Leto, Liam Payne and Winnie Harlow.

Multi-award winning actor and performer Hugh Jackman kicked off proceedings with a dazzling rendition of ‘The Greatest Show’ from the global music sensation The Greatest Showman, resplendent with over 100 circus-themed dancers. Calvin Harris made his BRITs debut with a collaboration with Dua Lipa, Sam Smith and Rag’n’Bone Man, and the show also hosted performances from George Ezra, Jorja Smith, Jess Glynne with H.E.R., Little Mix with Ms Banks and The 1975. P!nk closed the show with an incredible four song medley following the presentation of her Outstanding Contribution to Music award.

Winning British Group for the second time, The 1975 also added the much coveted Mastercard British Album of the Year award to their BRIT tally, for their third No. 1 album A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships.

A true ‘Giant’ of British music, Calvin Harris bagged his first ever BRIT awards, having been nominated 16 times in the last ten years. Winning British Single, along with Dua Lipa, for their No.1 smash hit ‘One Kiss’, the multi-million selling DJ was also honoured with Best British Producer, in acknowledgment of his immense chart topping success over the past twelve months, collaborating with some of the biggest artists in the world and responsible for some of the biggest hits of the last decade.

More BRITs firsts on the night saw a win for George Ezra for British Male Solo Artist and Tom Walker in British Breakthrough Act, the latter a public vote. Rising star Jorja Smith, who won the Critics’ Choice award in 2018, came away with British Female Solo Artist.

The BRITs Global Success award, identified by global sales success of a British artist, was awarded to Ed Sheeran for a second year, continuing to celebrate the phenomenal success of his third album Divide – certified sales alone account for 10.5 million, and overall Ed has sold an estimated 150 million records to date.

Ariana Grande was announced as Best International Female and Drake won his second BRIT award for Best International Male. Best International Group went to The Carters, their first as a group – although Beyonce and Jay Z have both won BRIT awards as individuals previously.

British Artist Video of the Year was once again determined by public social vote and this year the winner was Little Mix for ‘Woman Like Me’, which the girls performed earlier in the show.

WINNERS & SPEECHES

BRITISH MALE SOLO ARTIST – GEORGE EZRA (PRESENTED BY DANIEL STURRIDGE & PALOMA FAITH)

BRITISH FEMALE SOLO ARTIST – JORJA SMITH (PRESENTED BY H.E.R. & NILE RODGERS)

BRITISH GROUP – THE 1975 (PRESENTED BY NATALIE DORMER & VICKY McCLURE)

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT – TOM WALKER (PRESENTED BY ALICE LEVINE & CLARA AMFO)

INTERNATIONAL GROUP – THE CARTERS (PRESENTED BY JACK WHITEHALL)

INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST – DRAKE (PRESENTED BY JACK WHITEHALL)

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST – ARIANA GRANDE (PRESENTED BY JACK WHITEHALL)

BRITs GLOBAL SUCCESS AWARD – ED SHEERAN (PRESENTED BY ABBEY CLANCY & ROMAN KEMP)

BRITISH ARTIST VIDEO OF THE YEAR – “WOMAN LIKE ME” BY LITTLE MIX FEATURING NICKI MINAJ (PRESENTED BY BROS)

BRITISH PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – CALVIN HARRIS (PRESENTED BY ANNIE MAC & SUKI WATERHOUSE)

BRITISH SINGLE – “ONE KISS” BY CALVIN HARRIS & DUA LIPA (PRESENTED BY LIAM PAYNE & WINNIE HARLOW)

MASTERCARD BRITISH ALBUM OF THE YEAR – “A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS” BY THE 1975 (PRESENTED BY JARED LETO)

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC – P!NK (PRESENTED BY KHALID)

HOLBY CITY & CASUALTY CROSSOVER ANNOUNCED FOR MARCH 0 61

For the first time since 2005, the cast of Holby City and Casualty will join forces for a two-part crossover special on BBC One as the staff of the emergency department and the wards come together when Holby City Hospital is plunged into chaos.

Characters from both series will interact as their storylines are intertwined across the two dramatic, action-packed episodes.

A major cyber-attack plunges Holby into blackout and disables most of the hospital’s automated monitoring equipment. At the same time Sacha (Bob Barrett) is in a car crash which injures his daughter Bekka (Francesca Barrett) and Ric’s (Hugh Quarshie) granddaughter Darla (Naomi Katiyo), one of whom might be pregnant. Fighting a different battle amongst the chaos, Connie (Amanda Mealing) is left to save the life of a member of her own team with surgery. As Sasha’s injuries become apparent Jac (Rosie Marcel) comes to his rescue and is ready to operate but with only one theatre available in the blackout, Connie and Jac have to make the impossible decision of which of their friends to try and save first.

Simon Harper, Executive Producer of Holby City and Casualty, says: “We’ve known for some time there’s been major audience appetite for a mega crossover between these sister shows, so that’s exactly what we are serving up! You’ll see both the Casualty and Holby teams striving heroically against the odds in two episodes of pure, nail-biting, taut, emotional medical drama. I’m quite literally in awe of Michelle Lipton’s writing achievement and Steve Brett’s direction in pulling off this double, and so proud of both the Cardiff Casualty and Elstree Holby crews and casts in making the mind boggling logistics work, quite aside from their creative wizardry. There’s so much to relish in the cross-show character interactions: an especially poignant thematic resonance between two regulars, Connie and Jac in delicious conflict, and perhaps most vitally, who from Casualty has been secretly carrying on with whom from Holby!”

The crossover will begin during Casualty on Saturday 2 March and will conclude during Holby City on Tuesday 5 March on BBC One.

Throughout 2019, Holby City is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a host of guest appearances from previous Holby characters and fan favourites across the year. Amanda Mealing will be the latest returner in the crossover, coming back to her old stomping ground in Holby as Connie Beauchamp.