|Wizardry, Austen and Hippie Shaking|
Christina Farr meets the 'ridiculously multi-talented' Genevieve Gaunt
17 year old Genevieve ‘Gigi’ Gaunt began her film and TV career at young age, starring in short film Straight the summer before Secondary School, and later the third Harry Potter film as Pansy Parkinson, scoring the role despite not being an “ethnic girl with sticky-out ears” which the part required. You’ll see more of her in the part of Trudi in Hippie Hippie Shake (the must see film of 2009) where she plays small role alongside Cillian Murphy, Sienna Miller and Matthew Beard. You may also recognize her from the small screen as she has recently guest starred in the TV shows Heartbeat and Lost in Austen.
Chatting with her over a Gingerbread Latte, I realized pretty quickly that Gigi Gaunt is far from following the path of her London based contemporaries, whose primary ambitions seem to amount to making it into the London Lite’s gossip pages for their Vegas-weddings and nipple-tassel-wearing antics . She is among a new legion of girls including Lily Cole, who believe that education comes first. Gigi was unable to play the part of Susan in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe trilogy as it would have meant 10 months in New Zealand. “I could do a part here and there, but I wouldn’t take that much time out of school.”
Currently she’s in her final year at Godolphin, and she hopes to study English Literature at University. Her love of reading has helped her choose acting roles, “I played Georgiana Darcy (in Lost in Austen) having read Pride and Prejudice 400 times.”
In the upcoming Hippie Hippie Shake, she plays a student in the swinging sixties of London where neo-revolutionists start a wild, semi-pornographic magazine called Oz, “school kids are recruited to the magazine, and I’m one of them.” She also loved working alongside Sienna Miller and Cillian Murphy as well as Matthew Beard, who played a fellow school kid “we’d all been in one room together, and to begin with, it was daunting sitting next to them but I watched and learned.” Harry Potter, on the other hand left Gigi with some long-lasting friendships, “there were quite a few kids so we used to hang out a lot.” She describes working in the third Harry Potter film as “a bit like the army, a lot of nothing and then all action, all go.”
With UCL student Freddie Stroma who plays Cormac McLaggen in the Harry Potter films experiencing a barrage of girls setting up facebook groups entitled ‘Freddie Stroma puts me in a coma’, I wondered whether Gigi had begun to experience similar attention. “I got facebook a long time ago and I was introduced through American friends. I wasn’t aware of the dangers. Fans took all my photos and made a website about how they loved Patsy Parkinson, which I find a little crazy but a huge compliment. You expect adoration sites for Daniel Radcliffe, but not for me.”
Gigi is ridiculously multi-talented having recently won second prize in the Telegraph’s poetry competition. Thus she is keeping her eye out for any opportunities that come her way, “acting is a fickle business, and you have no idea what’s around the corner.” However, she is also having fun being seventeen, “I’m just trying to get my license and at the moment I’m just hoping not to drive my examiner into a lake.” With big dreams for the future, she hopes to “be intellectually stimulated, act, write and be happy” and it would be surprising not to see more of her.
Christina Farr – Article originally published in UCL’s Pi
November 29, 2008