August 09

5 things interview with actress Hannah van der Westhuysen currently appearing in Autopilot at the Edinburgh Fringe

We are very grateful to Hannah van der Westhuysen for this interview. Hannah has just been cast to play Nic in Autopilot. Autopilot is a deeply modern love story counterpointing hard-hitting drama and searching moral questions with moments of irresistible humour and warmth. It was shortlisted for the 2020 Popcorn Prize for New Writing, in the year of the cancelled Fringe. In 2022 it finally makes its debut.

Autopilot, Pleasance Courtyard (Forth), 1.35pm, 3-29 August (not 15)
Booking Link:

How long does it take you to prepare for a role?

As long as I have! I will always find more things to do to prepare!

Do you prefer stage or screen? 

Definitely stage.

What five things did you love doing in the town you grow up in? Do you ever go back and revisit them? 

I grew up in London. For me, I can usually have a wonderful time in most places, as long as I have good people to connect with. So generally, it would be going to an art gallery or the theatre or any sort of joint experience, whether that’s a bar to see live music or to walk around a garden. As long as I can have stimulating conversation, I’m there!

What advice would you give to a school child that wants to be an actor or actress? 

It’s tough. People aren’t lying. However, a lot of the time when things don’t go your way, it’s got nothing to do with you. There’s a lot of intersection of privilege that will determine how easy (or not) it will be to break in, so it’s really important to keep that in mind as you work towards your dreams.

How competitive is it to become a lead role and how do you feel when you become one? 

I think you can become one and then never have a lead role again, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s about embracing the opportunities that you do have and having as much fun as you can because it’s a lot of responsibility but also a unique experience that isn’t necessarily going to be consistent!

Have you performed at Edinburgh Festival before? Do you have to do things differently there?

No, I haven’t, so I’m not entirely sure! However, living with my castmate will be such a unique treat, and I’m excited for that!

What’s your favourite London restaurant and things to do in London? 

I love Jam in a Jar in Haringey, because the food is delicious, and they also have loads of gorgeous live music that’s very community orientated.