Fern Deacon is an English actress who started out in theatre performing in Kin at the Royal Court Theatre, London, (2011) and in a modern adaption of Electra at the Gate Theatre, London, (2011). Fern then made her move onto the screen with a small part in Doctor Who, (2011), in TV mini series The Secret of Crickley Hall, (2012), the BBC’s Call the Midwife, (2012) and Casualty, (2013). Fern’s most recent projects include providing the voice of young Lara in the animation Underdogs, (2013) and being cast alongside Josh Hartnett and Eva Green in horror series Penny Dreadful, (2014).

Fern is a very special actress. She gave Hazel great depth by not playing her in a straight forward bully way. Fern is brilliantly expressive with her face and can show thoughts with subtle movements of her eyes, with the slightest twist of her facial muscles. She can do tiny frowns and horrible grimaces.

She plays the sad bully girl Hazel perfectly.

Interview with Fern Deacon

Q: How did you start acting?

A: I started acting around the age of six just going to a local performing arts class on a Saturday to gain confidence and I was in my element. One day they were handing out flyers to audition as part of the chorus in an Amateur Dramatic Society musical so I went along and got a part. After, I auditioned for their next show Annie and I got the part as Annie I enjoyed it so much and learnt loads that decided I wanted to do acting professionally so I started auditioning and I guess it went from there really!

Q: Why do you love acting?

A: I think it’s being able to lose yourself in another character, taking on another persona that’s different from yours and completely immersing yourself.

Q: How did you feel when you got the part in Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism?

A: I was on the tube on my way home from school when I got the phone call to say I got the part and I was so excited and nervous at the same time but I couldn’t wait to meet everyone involved and start filming!

Q: Were you ever scared or nervous on set?

A: Yes, I think stepping on set for the first time in anything is always quite daunting as there are so many important people involved, all of them watching you, these massive expensive cameras and some incredible actors working alongside you but after I got over that initial stage and you get to know the cast and crew, it is probably the most enjoyable experience of my life so far!

Q: Do you think you have any similarities to Hazel?

(This is a difficult question for you, Fern as you are so nice..! of course an easy question for the kids who had the good guy parts!)
A: Haha, I hope I don’t come across too similar to Hazel! But in some respects I think I’m similar as she is desperate to perform and wants to impress everyone, she tries to keep on the good side of Miss Adderstone, which I try to do with my head teacher! And Hazel is quite a tomboy which I am. But I would like to think people know that I would never dream of bullying anyone in real life!

Q: If you weren’t acting in the film, what other process would you liked to have been involved with?

A: I would love to become a scriptwriter, I think that’s also why I love acting so much is that you get exposed to so many different scripts and characters that one day I would like to invent my own characters and story and maybe act in it as well! Also while filming Molly Moon I was really interested in the food design side of things, it amazed me how much went into making the food look great or disgusting on film while still tasting amazing!

Q: Did you do anything to prepare for the role of Hazel?

A: In the rehearsal period I worked with a really cool rapper Ty who helped me a lot as rap isn’t really my forte! But we looked at different styles and I watched some famous rappers watching their movements and ‘rap face’ also I watched some street dance to hopefully convey Hazel’s rap in the talent competition effectively. During the rehearsals we also did a lot of improvisation with other cast members to get in to and experiment with our characters.

Q: What was your favourite moment or thing that happened whilst filming?

A: It’s difficult to pinpoint one thing as I enjoyed every moment on Molly Moon, I had such a fantastic time and I learnt so much! I loved working with Raffey and all the other cast and it was difficult to be an onscreen bully when we were all great friends! It was quite surreal for me getting call sheets every day, having costume fittings, eating breakfast on set and I loved getting my hair and makeup done every morning!

Q: Did anything really funny happen to you on set?

A: There were so many funny things that happened on set! But I found filming the spaghetti scene the funniest. Some people from the crew warned me to only eat little mouthfuls of spaghetti in a take as we were going to be shooting the scene most of the day but the spaghetti was so tasty that I nearly ate a whole plate in the first take! So keeping up with that for most of the day was hilarious and filling! But I still managed to squeeze in pudding!

Q: Anything else to add?

A: I’m head girl at a full time theatre school in London. I only have three days a week academic and I have two days a week vocational where we take various drama, dance and singing classes. It is great fun and an amazing learning environment but we have to work hard and keep up with our academics while being able to have fabulous experiences working and enjoying our vocational lessons!
I also write my own poetry and have a passion for cooking and fashion! I am addicted to Pinterest and blogging. I live in London and love going to the theatre, cinema and shopping!

Fern Deacon as Hazel Hackersly