You hear the saying ‘it was a dream come true’ used a lot about young actors and actresses. But never is it more appropriate then when you talk about young star Daisy Axon landing the lead role in the new Australian film H Is For Happiness. As HEAVY Cinema found out when we sat down to talk to Axon she was a fan of the novel that the film was adapted from before she even had a chance to audition for the film.
“I knew the book a few years prior to when I knew it was going to be turned into a film,” the young star tells us. “Because my sister had the book at primary school and she lent it to me. So they ended up being quite special between us. I had read it and really loved it because I found that I related to the characters a lot. So when the email came through that said that it was being turned into a movie and that I would have the opportunity to audition for it I was pinching myself because I couldn’t believe it. I told my sister straight away.”
As we talk about what it is like winning the role of a character that you already love Axon said it didn’t make her more nervous. “I think it actually made me more confident if that makes sense,” she says. “I knew the character way more before the actual audition so it felt like her character was really clear to me, so it felt like I had really known for awhile, and that felt nice. When we actually got into filming of course I had nerves but I felt like I had Candace’s back and she had mine because she had been inside for such a long time.”
Candace of course is the character that Axon plays in the film – a character whose family have gone through a massive trauma and she is the win that feels like she can try and save her family from complete destruction. “Candace is a very unique character,” she explains. “She is full of optimism and she has a very unique view of the world compared to other people her age. She is able to see things in a very different light to her family who are under a very dark cloud. Her personality is one of the reasons that she is so headstrong and why she believes that she can fix her family. She has optimism, she is strong and she believes that she can do it. Plus she has her honesty which is a great personality trait, it does get her into trouble but it also makes the audience laugh and it is who she is so I wouldn’t change that.”
Of course the fact the film revolves around a family who are dealing with the loss of a child makes the performance for a young actress like Axon a lot harder. “I think from reading the book I had seen her traumas and her family’s grief,” explains Axon when I ask whether or not she had done any research into young people who had lost a sibling. “Naturally going onto set and seeing her room and where everything was going to be played out helped, especially the scene where Candace is asking her Mum if Douglas can come to the cemetery – when we practiced that scene it really felt like I got into her shoes and they helped me feel the grief that she was feeling.”
“I know you can play it both ways,” she says continuing. “That can be more of a light but because of the emotions that were running through me that day it made me feel like I wanted to just let loose and do what comes naturally. I think from the book and through the pre-production I was actually able to get some really interesting facts and those were things that I really did help me on set. But I think at other times I just let myself see what came naturally to Candace as a character as well.”
There is little doubt after watching H is For Happiness that Daisy Axon is going to be an actress with a huge future ahead of her. In performances here and in the amazing Judy & Punch suggest an actress that has maturity well beyond her years and the talent to make it big both in Australia and overseas.
H Is For Happiness opens in cinemas on February 6th.