Real Creative Magazine

Page 22


“Veteran filmmaker Julia Verdin is a multi-hyphenate – she is known as an accomplished Producer, award-winning Director and has written a number of screenplays.” Julia Verdin is a British independent film producer and founder of Rough Diamond Productions,[1] established in 1993. She has produced over 30 feature films and is best known for Stander, starring Thomas Jane, The Merchant of Venice (2004), starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes, and 2 Jacks, starring Sienna Miller and Danny Houston. Verdin has been serving as a director on the board of BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)[2] since 2006. In 2015, she received The Executive Achievement Award from the La Femme International Film Festival.[3] I met Julia at a local bistro called Cecconi’s in West Hollywood. I was there with my business partner John Campbell-Mac. John knew Julia over the years when he was acting in Britain. She struck me immediately as someone who was oozing positive energy and very personable. When I learned a little about her I asked if I could interview her for RCM. She agreed. We met one more time at her home above Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood. She was a delight to talk to. Here’s the result... When did you first think about performing, writing and producing film as something you wanted to do? Were you encouraged or discouraged by family, friends, teachers, mentors? My mother was an English teacher and loved theatre, when I was young we went to the theatre a couple of times a week and I saw many wonderful productions. I initially wanted to be an actress. After university, I trained at the Drama Studio in England. My parent’s weren’t keen on me going into acting as they did not think it was a very stable profession. I was very passionate about it so didn’t take their advice and paid my own way through drama school. I am happy to say that I managed to reach a certain level as an actress and was able to support myself. What kind of kid were you? Where did you grow up? What were your influences. I was an avid reader and loved all types of literature. We didn’t have a TV in the house until I was 15 years old. I felt like I was missing out at the time but later was super grateful as it enabled me to sail through high school and college as I had already done so much of the required reading. I grew up in Oxford which is a university town and very academic and

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