Marli Siu on The whole lot I Know About Love—the TV Present We're Obsessed With

Marli Siu (L) with Emma Appleton, Bel Powley and Aliyah Odoffin in The whole lot I Know About Love

You’ll be able to take your Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda–type friendship group. I would a lot relatively be a part of the woman gang in The whole lot I Know About Love, the BBC’s newly launched adaptation of the smash-hit guide by the identical title from journalist and creator Dolly Alderton. Lastly, this seven-part collection centered round London home share within the early 2010s supplies an on-screen friendship dynamic that comes from an genuine and trustworthy place—wins, misses and all—and it is refreshing, entertaining and certain to be an enormous motive why this collection will undoubtedly be a hit. Forward of the discharge, I had an opportunity to talk to Marli Siu (aka Nell) about being on the cusp of the nation discovering her, what it is prefer to actually be dubbed a “Star of Tomorrow,” how her Chinese language Scottish heritage brings complexity to her work and why shorts over tights ought to undoubtedly have been left in 2012…

Marli, what on earth was it prefer to be named a Display Worldwide Star of Tomorrow? Does one thing like that assist with self-confidence, or is it a little bit of a stress?

Once I bought that in 2018, it made such a distinction as a result of I hadn’t gone to drama faculty. It is exhausting to get seen for stuff while you’ve not likely gone down a extra conventional route into the business. And I believe the individuals at Display Each day are good in the best way they appear out for and discover expertise all over the place. They’re so revered within the business that being on that record instantly meant that I bought auditions for issues I hadn’t beforehand. I met casting administrators I hadn’t met earlier than. So it was an enormous assist having different individuals really feel assured in bringing me right into a room and a undoubtedly confidence for myself as nicely. You’re feeling like, “Okay, I should be doing one thing okay!” 

I would all the time checked out these lists previously as a result of I admired a great deal of the actors that had been on them. So it was each an enormous pleasure to be on an inventory with names like that but in addition, I assume [I felt] a bit of bit nervous as a result of all of them went on to do wonderful issues. I believe that stress can also be related. You simply must be like, “Effectively, everybody’s profession is completely different.”

There are accolades and awards which have already come your manner, so that you’re undoubtedly doing one thing proper! What does it appear like so that you can get into character, and what about getting again out once more?

I used to learn numerous interviews with actors as a result of I used to be  in how they did it. Once more, they’d performed drama faculty, and I wasn’t completely certain the way you have been actually meant to do it and if there was a proper manner and a flawed manner. After which, I actually bought into Carey Mulligan as a result of I actually preferred her and An Schooling. And he or she talked about making books with footage and notes, filling up notebooks with sure character profiles. If I get a job and even really on the audition stage, I now use Pinterest for it extra, however earlier than, I used to make use of notebooks. And as soon as I get a job, I refill a pocket book with concepts, relying on the character. Like for Nell, as a result of she’s a instructor, I bought a bit of line jotter, and I wrote about her. It wasn’t a lot like writing about faculty, nevertheless it type of felt throughout the type of who she was. 

After which getting out… For issues like Alex Rider, when there is a character who has an accent and attire very completely different to me, then it is fairly straightforward, as a result of it is actually simply take off a fancy dress and cease doing the accent, and it’s totally very separate. With Nell in The whole lot I Know About Love, I am doing my very own accent. And yeah, Dolly was so encouraging of us bringing components of ourself to the characters, nevertheless it wasn’t a very heavy character. There are occasions once I suppose you are taking a bit of bit from characters on the finish of the job. 

Had been there have been any reference factors the place you and Nell had something in widespread, something that you simply have been capable of pull on immediately?

Effectively, she’s from Scotland, and he or she’s mixed-race. So I used to be like, “That is me!” I did make an energetic effort to attempt to think about her household and their jobs and the place they grew up and it being a unique city to the place I grew up. So I assume an identical upbringing. … Inside a friendship group, I do not suppose we’ve got hundreds in widespread. I believe Nell’s undoubtedly—from the scripts and once I first bought the audition within the description that Dolly gave—somebody I want I used to be like. She’s very straight-talking. She’s not a people-pleaser. She appears actually clear on who she is. In order that feels fairly completely different to me. However it’s humorous. The ladies—Emma [Appleton] and Bel [Powley]—can be like, “That is a really Nell factor” if I might be like, “I do not need to try this.” Like I hate karaoke. I most likely have extra in widespread [with Nell] than I realised. And once more, while you’re enjoying a personality, you lean into these components of your personal persona. 

Emma Appleton, Bel Powley, Dolly Alderton, Marli Siu, Aliyah Odoffin

How did you get this wonderful gig?

I put a tape via for it initially, and the audition course of was really very nice. The entire group—like Dolly and China [Moo-Young, the director]—I believe all of them actually knew what they wished. And that makes a very nice addition course of, as a result of typically these individuals, the individuals on the high, do not actually know what they need. So you are going backwards and forwards. 

It felt fairly fast, to be trustworthy, in comparison with some audition processes. And I used to be fairly baffled as a result of after one Zoom audition, I used to be like, “I messed that up so dangerous.” I used to be so certain that I misplaced the job. I instructed my agent I am not proper for it. And even on the tape stage, I used to be like, “I am not proper for this.” So it was so bizarre that they have been so certain!

Why did you suppose you were not proper for the position?

Once I learn her, I simply felt like I simply didn’t see these qualities [in myself]. Characters I performed previously perhaps hadn’t drawn on these qualities, and I knew my consolation zone. And I believe Nell … that is a bit of bit additional away. I used to be additionally overthinking it as a result of I actually preferred the guide, and I actually wished it, so I used to be pondering all of the ways in which it might go flawed, in that I might attempt to expectation handle so I would not be dissatisfied after they have been like, “You are not proper for it.”

So what was it like working with Dolly?

It is so pretty. I met her once I bought forged, and all my mates immediately have been like, “What’s she like? What’s she like?” She’s so precisely like how she comes throughout in her guide and on her podcast. There’s no smoke and mirrors. I do know her fairly nicely now. I’ve hung out together with her, and he or she’s nonetheless the identical. She’s very, very, very open and really trustworthy, very humorous. And it was attention-grabbing as a result of when she was on set—she got here in on a regular basis and had a bit of nook the place they’d set her up with a bit of monitor to observe what’s taking place—crew, forged, anybody would all simply migrate in direction of her. There was all the time a circle of individuals round as a result of she’s simply so attention-grabbing. 

How does it really feel to be in a present that is on the legendary BBC?

Once I bought this job, I instructed my grandad. I’ve performed just a few jobs now, and my grandad continues to be like, “Is {that a} actual job?” I’ve had stuff within the cinema, however he’d by no means gone, however now that I will be on the BBC, he was like, “Okay, that is an actual job you’ve got gone and bought!” He is gonna watch it, and he watches every little thing that comes out on the BBC, however that is the one job the place I’ve intercourse scenes in it—why is it the one you need to watch? I’ve not spoken to him about it, however I would be like, “Please simply skip to the beginning of episode three. Like, are you able to simply miss the primary 5 minutes?” I assume I am going to work out!

You talked about your blended Scottish Chinese language heritage, and I would like to know whether or not you’re feeling that brings an additional dimension to your work?

I really feel like being mixed-race is sort of a entire world of various issues, is not it? It is fairly a complicated place—you are by no means certain what individuals see you as. Like, I am going to get in a taxi, and the motive force will say, “Oh, you are not Chinese language!” They’re going to argue with me about whether or not I’m, otherwise you’ll go into an audition, and so they’re like, “No, you are not white.” I’ve liked assembly different mixed-race individuals as a result of it undoubtedly helped me perceive extra. I am additionally blissful and happy with it. There are two cultures and views that I can carry to work or to life. 

It is essential that we transfer ahead by watching tales that everybody is referring to and empathising with and that these tales are being instructed by individuals that are not essentially white. When you develop up seeing reveals with numerous white individuals in, you empathise with them as a result of that is what’s pure, proper? So I believe it is good that we begin doing it the opposite manner round, , encouraging viewers members to empathise with individuals of all races as a result of that then … breeds empathy in actual life too.

For this position, Dolly requested me if there can be something that impacted Nell’s life. Would being mixed-race change her in any manner? It was an open dialog, however I do not suppose the type of story that she’s going via with love and long-term relationships and pals is absolutely impacted by her race or something—everybody goes via these issues. So there are particular jobs the place I believe it is actually nice to carry that, and there are particular issues the place it is simply good for it to not be commented on.

One thing else I am obsessive about in regards to the present is the early 2010s clothes! I’ve recognised items and appears that have been such a second on the time and I had forgotten about…

I hate that I had so many shorts and tights! I bear in mind sporting this on the time, and then you definitely put it on day after day. I bear in mind why I hated sporting this earlier than—so many wedgies. It is simply not a comfortable outfit to sit down in. So many 2010 trend appears. I used to be like why? Why did we hardly ever like belts and scarves? Yeah, I did not love that point in trend, however I liked sporting it for the character of Nell.

This interview has been edited and condensed for readability. Up subsequent: The 9 Most Costly-Wanting Items on the Excessive Avenue

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