There’s nothing that makes the New York Film Academy family happier than welcoming back a former student who has gone on to major success. Thus far in her young career, former summer camp student Eve Hewson has had the privilege of working with some of the finest actors and filmmakers including the late James Gandolfini, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Sean Penn.
This Wednesday evening, December 3rd at New York Film Academy’s Battery Park location, Hewson returned to screen The Knick, in which she plays Lucy Elkins. Directed by Stephen Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen, the Cinemax series provides us with a look at the professional and personal lives of the staff at New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital during the early part of the twentieth century. Based on Hewson’s conversation with NYFA Acting Chair Glynis Rigsby, working with Soderbergh is both challenging and awarding. Often times he will only give his cast one take, so each actor must be extremely well prepared. Unlike other episodic shows, Soderbergh directs, D.P’s and edits every show. He’s very hands-on, to say the least. At the end of the day she says, “I trust Stephen so much. I love working with him.”
Hewson is a strong believer in jumping right into the audition process. She recalls going to auditions and bombing, even before and after her formal training at NYFA and other acting schools. “Try to do as much preparation as you can, so they’ll [casting directors] really like you. And try not to worry,” said Hewson.
She also recommends students tape themselves, even on their iPhones. Hewson landed many of her major roles through audition tapes, but it didn’t come easily. She says she often tapes herself doing monologues or acting out scenes, then dissects each and everyone of them to look for flaws or areas of potential improvement.
“I remember one teacher told me, when I was here at NYFA summer camp,” Hewson recalls. “She said ‘Be as rebellious as you want with your acting’. If someone tells you this is how you do it and it doesn’t work for you, say that doesn’t work for me. I don’t think that anyone has a set process. You have to find what works for you and what makes you excited because sometimes if you’re in this school—which I’ve been in and other acting schools—you can feel like if I don’t do what my teacher tells me to do, it becomes a labor. So, do the work that makes you feel confident because there are no rules.”
And last but not least, she believes its best to go into auditions without the sides—memorize the lines!
Thanks so much to Eve Hewson for coming back to NYFA and speaking to our acting students. As always it’s a proud moment to reconnect with our blossoming young talent.