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#Interview with #Actress #MarleenMathews

March 5, 2020

Marleen Mathews is a Dutch actress and model based in London. As a bilingual actress, she got a lot of media attention in The Netherlands after portraying the role of Merel in The Entertainment Experience Project by Paul Verhoeven. The organisation even declared her ”The Face” of the project. Moreover, she is also well known in Turkey because of the film Turkish Ice-cream. Today, we are lucky enough to have the chance to interview her and get to know more about her career as an international actress and model.


1. When did you start your acting and modelling career? Where are you mainly based?

I’m based in London after moving here 5 years ago from The Netherlands, where I’m originally from. I was scouted for higg-end fashion modeling in Amsterdam at the age of 15. Did that for a few years until I was 19 and became too “developed” physically to be a model. So I moved into acting, which is a lot more fun to be fair. I trained at one of the Netherlands top private drama schools in the evening while studying for my bachelor’s in fine arts with specialisation in digital arts, technology and science.

2. What was the original motivation for you to become an actress in film and entertainment industry?

During drama Amsterdam is quickly became apparent I was more of a film actress than a theatre actress as my tutors kept pointing out my acting was “too small and too fine”. Reluctant to change my natural way of going about, I decided to move into screen acting as a camera captures the reality of emotions on such an intricate and refined level. It felt like a natural thing for me to do, as in my work I want to show the delicacy of the shifts in the emotional spectrum, mentally and physically. Next to that, I’m a storyteller and I’ve always been extremely interested in human psychology, trying to analyse and understand why people make certain choices in life and how it affects them, the people around them and the route they’re set out on. I also love observing people and how they interact. It’s something I do a lot, watch people and make up background stories of who they are, where they’re from or where they’re going, what the relationship is between two people, what the clothes they wear say about them. And hands, hands tell you everything about a person’s emotional state. It’s fascinating.



3. How do you find your acting life in this industry so far?

It’s a way of life. I’ve been in the industry since such a young age. I know no other way of living. And I actually really enjoy the hustle, the uncertainty of booking a job, the constant race against my competition, the odd work hours and auditions (which most people hate) I really love. It gives me drive, momentum, keeps me sharp and on my tippy toes. My brain is always firing on finding better, creative and more efficient short cuts in this career path (which is not easy at all impossible) but trying to outsmart competition is very rewarding and that challenge has always stimulated me to keep going. Over the years this high pace way of going career has made me a very skillful networker. It’s what we in the creative industry refer to as ”the hustle”, you’re chasing these connections and links to your next job, where ever you go, ’round the clock. You snooze, you lose!

4. What is your favourite movie that you have cast? Any upcoming film projects in London?

My own films are never my favourite. It’s work, so I analyse and learn from them. Then I move on. Job done, next project! But, the Turkish feature film I did last year was a lot of fun to do. Made some new friends (including a litter of stray kittens and a grumpy camel) and had a lot of fun filming near Istanbul for 3 months. It’s a bit weird to see your face on filmposters plastered billboards all across Istanbul and other major Turkish cities.
I’ve been cast in a few projects in the upcoming year, one American feature film and a potential new Turkish project, too. But I can’t say much about those projects yet!

Turkish Ice-Cream

Movie Poster: Turkish Ice-Cream


5. What is the biggest challenge you have found on this journey?

In the beginning I was very hard on myself, very goal driven. I thought “by 25 I need to be here and there or my career failed!”

Competition is still competition, but back then that mindset would make me envious of other actors. This.way of thinking also madenit harder to work together with people and made me very impatient. Then I started meditation and doing a lot of mindfulness practice which helped me to loosen the reigns and chill out about the end goals of my career. It also made me much more kind and understanding and I discovered a desire to help others with their careers and projects over my own. I actually now don’t really focus much on an egotistical goal or an end result at all, I just flow and follow down what ever path that opens for me and what feels good and aligned with my energy at that give. time in my life. As long as you feel good and your energy is positive you have already won. Because everyone’s ultimate goal is happiness and contentment, and if you are able to find that while still moving forward in life, you’ve already won.

6. Any advice you would like to give to prospective actors/actresses who would like this career route?

Don’t pull to heavy, just relax, enjoy the ride. Look after yourself and be your best version because then people will want to be around you and work with you, even if your acting is shit.

Here is a video edit of Marleen Mathews’ acting:


Interview Notes Courtesy of ‘The Designer

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