Interviews

Aftersun Interview: Frankie Corio – ‘Paul is now my very, very best friend’.

Scottish drama Aftersun by writer and director Charlotte Wells has been knocking audiences for six on the film festival circuit. The plot follows dad Calum, played by Normal People star Paul Mescal, and his daughter Sophie on an all-inclusive week in the sun. Beautifully told through the memories of an older Sophie as she reflects on the holiday years later, the film explores how our perception of our parents can change over time. I was fortunate enough to sit down with 12-year-old Frankie Corio who plays the young Sophie in the film. Already shortlisted for various awards, this is just the beginning for this rising star!

There are elements of Aftersun that are incredibly dark and melancholic but, at the same time, it’s all shot in the summer sun. Did you have fun on the shoot and what was your favourite part of the experience?

All of it! Filming was really fun and most of the stuff I was doing didn’t really feel like work. It was great and it was so hot, so I loved all of it but mainly the nice hot weather!

You often hear from actors that being on a film set can be pretty boring. A lot of sitting about waiting to do the next scene. Did you find that or did you have fun stuff to keep you amused between takes?

I had Uno! Also, sometimes my sister came to sit with me. Like, even at lunches and in between breaks and stuff, we just played Uno! And I played on my phone sometimes too, so I was never bored!

Would you say you are quite similar to Sophie, or was it tricky to get into the role?

I’d say we’re probably quite alike. She’s a bit more embarrassing and cringey, to me anyway! She wears a lot of dresses in the film and I don’t wear many dresses.

That leads nicely onto my next question. Like Sophie, I’m from Edinburgh and I’m also a fan of Hearts Football Club so I enjoyed seeing the maroon jersey in the film. Are you also a supporter or was this something written in purely for the character?

Yeah, I think I remember wanting to keep it because it looked really cool. I don’t support Hearts but I’m also not like ‘ewww Hearts’ either!

So, you don’t support Hibs?

I like Celtic more! It was Frank, the costume designer, that got a hold of it from somewhere and I think it belonged to his friend or Charlie’s (Charlotte Wells, the director) friend…so I wasn’t allowed to keep it which was sad!

It was a great period detail because it was the exact same top that my brother had; it took me right back to the late 90s.

You spend most of the film with Paul Mescal and from all the press and events you’ve been doing together, it really looks as though he’s taken you under his wing. Do you have any fun stories from working together?

When I was with him in rehearsals, I’d push him and Charlotte in the pool a lot! Also, when we were sitting around in the trailer, we’d listen to music and sing together. A bit of Olivia Rodrigo – break-up songs, you know!

And are you good pals now?

Yes, Paul is my very, very, very best friend…but I don’t know if he’d say the same about me!

I like to call him if I’ve got any auditions or if I want to ask him anything, and my mum and dad have him on WhatsApp now!

What has it been like going to all these fancy events? I noticed on MUBI’s Instagram that you were all at a Gucci party the other night.

It’s always fun. Sometimes it gets a bit posh. All the grown-ups are drinking and talking about stuff so that’s when I bring my dancing in. I’m usually the least posh one there but I bring a bit of Scottish to the party! Any time there’s a bit of space on the dancefloor, I do the worm! I make the party start and even if people don’t join in with me, the party’s started for me in my brain!

That’s what counts! Going back to the film, it’s all about Sophie’s memory of this holiday with her dad. What is your favourite memory of a family holiday?

I remember one holiday I went on with like my whole family, with my auntie, uncle, cousins, granny, and grandad. We went to Benidorm and it was amazing. I don’t usually go on holiday with my whole family so getting to go with my cousins was so fun. Oh, and I also saw of cricket there, and it was great! Think it was outside a pub.

Have you enjoyed being asked for selfies and autographs at the premieres you’ve been to?

I like doing them – it’s very fun. Not sorted out the right autograph yet! I’ve got a very bad autograph at the moment that looks a bit strange, but we’ll work on it! I’ve been asked for a few photos but usually it’s autographs so I need to get a better one!

I’m sure you’ll have years of films ahead to perfect your autograph! I’d read that your mum put you forward to the casting call for Aftersun and that it wasn’t something you’d thought too much about. Now that you’ve done your first film, is this something you want to do again?

I definitely want to do more acting! I want to do more of it for the rest of my life until I die!

What was the hardest part about doing this film and being Sophie?

The karaoke scene. That was the hardest part definitely! It was cringy and actually really weird. I didn’t like the song. Sorry guys, but I just hate the song. It really annoyed me singing it in front of a lot of people.

And do you have a favourite movie star that you’d love to work with one day?

Millie Bobby Brown, definitely!

Brilliant, I’d really like to see that!

Aftersun is out now in UK cinemas!

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