Written by JJ Barnes
Interviewing the wonderful Josette Celeste, whom I worked with in her role as Harriet Holt in Hollowhood, has been a real joy. She discusses her career experiences, career goals, and shares her advice for others.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m a silly, happy, little human with big dreams to make the world a better place by spreading joy and love. Literally—that’s my life goal. I want to make this happen ASAP. If I could use filmmaking and/or diplomacy, then that would be GREAT.
I landed in the UK almost by pure chance—well, I came here on purpose, but I wasn’t expecting to stay so long! After frolicking to-and-fro about Wales, Scotland, and England, and backpacking Europe for a little while, serendipity had me stay in England during the pandemic. That’s when I was able to take advantage of yet another dream of mine and get my masters in international relations in the beautiful country of Wales (Cymru). I’m quite the lucky human, I must admit!
When did you first realise you wanted to be an actor?
I have dreamt of acting since I was three years old. It never really left, if I’m honest. I tried other avenues, but acting brings me so much happiness and light; it certainly highlights my purpose.
What is your favourite thing about performing?
You know, I enjoy everything about being on set. I don’t necessarily have to be ON camera to enjoy the energy—but, what I love about acting, specifically, is having the ability to bring truth to a character, to channel that soul and bring them to life in a magical way. Acting is a privilege to share an untold story and tell it with all the authenticity I can muster. Once I feel the character, I can make others feel them as well—and that ability to feel, the magic of emotion—well, to me, that’s such a huge part of this existence.
What classes or training sessions have you taken to support your acting career?
My undergrad degree was in theatre with a main focus on acting, and I took a couple lessons on the side. I’ve been in a few movies as an extra here and there as well—but Hollowhood is my biggest (and proudest) role, yet. Hollowhood is in post-production and is expected to be released this Halloween! So, watch this space!
What was your first professional acting job?
I worked several plays in my undergrad, but I remember my Dad randomly bumping into John Savage when I was sixteen, and he was able to get me in his movie as an extra in Tennessee. I’ll never forget that. That was my first movie set. I was in awe.
What was your most recent professional acting job?
A lovely magical picture—I’m sure you’ve heard of it? It’s called Hollowhood! The cast and crew are so amazing that they are now my family. I’ve adopted every last one of them. Or, perhaps they’ve adopted me. Either way, lots of hugs ensued.
Tell me a favourite experience in your career. Something that stands out in your memories and makes you want to find more experiences like it.
Every single experience is better than the last. I’ve been writing a lot of poetry lately, and I’m working on a short story for Siren Stories as well. I’ve got a lot in the pipeline, but my favorite acting experience I’ve ever had was Hollowhood. Thinking back to it makes me tear up with overwhelming gratitude and love.
What was your toughest experience in your acting career?
Ironically, that first movie I was in with John Savage. It was a really difficult year in my life—that movie was my glimmer of hope that year; it inspired me to keep going and showed me how possible my dreams could be, as long as I focused my energy on them. On the inside, my heart was breaking, but this movie guided my path. It’s such a distant memory, now, but it inspired me so much. I’ll always be grateful to my Dad for getting me in that movie.
Have your family and friends been supportive of your acting career?
Absolutely!!! My family and friends are the only reason I even HAVE an acting career! I am overwhelmed with so much love and I am the luckiest human imaginable. I’m so grateful to each of them for their love and support!
Tell me some career goals. What would you like to achieve?
I’m all over the place, truth be told. I adore being on set and the energy of being behind and in front of the camera. However, I’m almost done with my masters degree in international relations (global governance), so if I could do something with that AND film—whew—all life goals would be shining. The BBC or National Geographic—or even becoming an influencer or someone who can inspire others to live their best life would be something that would bring me so much passionate joy! I love making films—I just love everything about that creativity and the energy. I feel at home on set, I can’t explain it.
After I get my dream career, then I’ll want to use it to better the world, one smile at a time.
Tell me something you were surprised by, something you had never realised about being a professional actor.
I honestly was surprised by how much I would enjoy it. I was rarely ever tired on set, and I worked hours and hours and hours on end. I didn’t realize how MUCH I would fall in love with acting. I’ve worked hard jobs that were grueling hours and I felt every single hour. But, on set, time flew by. Time was irrelevant—that’s how I knew it was right. Time didn’t mean a thing.
What are words of advice you have for other aspiring actors?
Focus on that dream—don’t let the “what ifs” take you off your path. We literally attain and manifest what we put our energy towards, and we attract that energy; so, it’s absolutely imperative to keep focusing on your goal. Dream about it, pray on it, meditate on it, believe in it, and don’t give up.
Don’t chase it—believe that it’s already yours and you’ll be living it before you even realize it. I was randomly filming in one of my favorite places on the planet before I even realized that literally all of my dreams up to that point in my life had come true!
Give me your social links so people can come and find you!
PS—HUGS AND LOVE!
More From JJ Barnes:
I am an author, filmmaker, artist and youtuber, and I am the creator and editor of The Table Read.
You can find links to all my work and social media on my website: www.jjbarnes.co.uk
Buy my books: www.sirenstories.co.uk/books
Follow me on Twitter: @JudieannRose