Bonnie Wright
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Bonnie Wright

“It was one of those experiences that took a while to fully comprehend,” Bonnie Wright says of the moment her decade-long stint as Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter came to an end.

“It takes days to come to realise what the experience meant to you and what it was. It was definitely one where all of us were really excited with the next chapter ahead of us – having spent such a long time with these characters.

“It was always going to be very exciting to support one another on what would be our next endeavour. I think it took me longer than I thought to find where I wanted to work and what products I was into or interested in, and I think that was probably just down to that fact that anyone in their early 20s is going through the same thing no matter what kind of experience they’ve had.”

Sift through Wright’s Instagram account and it may seem she’s swapped her career as the red-headed witch in the Harry Potter franchise to the beach going, sun baking beauty often taking in the lilac tinged sunset on the rocky coast.

However, many of those travel-inducing shots are taken just North of Bondi while visiting family and as part of a long form film series Wright is piecing together with each trip.

“All my mum’s side of my family live in Australia so I have a strong connection to there – having gone there since I was a child. I recently was there in Sydney visiting my grandma and my aunt and I was also there shooting a film that is part of a long series I’m doing,” she says.

“To be honest I always wished I could travel a little bit more and I say that every time I go. I just see my family and then never go and explore. There are such beautiful landscapes and it’s such a huge country. I went to Uluru once when I was a child and I thought that was incredible.”

It was only expected of the now 25-year-old that after first stepping foot on set at aged eight, film would become a key part of who she was. After being exposed to the industry for so long, Wright continued her studies in film and television at University of the Arts in London and since graduating has gone on to create her film company,  BonBonLumière.

While acting is still something Wright takes pleasure in, recently acting in After the Dark (2015) and The Highway is for Gamblers (2015), her passion has now stepped to the other side of the camera in directing due to the unique perspective it provides on storytelling.

“That was why directing is something that naturally appeals to me more, because I just like to see the whole picture of things and be there at the birth of the idea, the development and how you put people together,” Wright says.

“I’m still so much trying to tell stories I’m interested in and figuring out what stories I want to tell.”

Having premiered her directorial debut in 2012 with Separate We Come, Separate We Go at the Cannes Film Festival, Wright has developed her style and was even described by Empire as “an impressive first work for someone who clearly has ambition to burn”. Though there’s still plenty of growth ahead for the budding filmmaker.

“I feel comfortable but I don’t think I’m anywhere near having figured out my niche as a director,” she says.

“I think the beauty of short films in particular is that they are on a much smaller scale in terms of turnaround, so you can be making a lot of content year-by-year and each piece is a progression of what you’re trying to say, what kind of questions you’re trying to ask with your work and what kind of stories you’re trying to explore. I definitely feel much more confident than I did the year I left film school.”

Entering into study after being exposed to the film world of Harry Potter definitely put her ahead of her fellow students, and it’s exactly that exposure that lead Wright to study film to begin with.

“I was very curious as to how they achieved their job [on set for Harry Potter], and that curiosity lead me to ask them how,” she says.

“I think everyone we got to work with was at the top of their game at that point in their career… Some film sets don’t have that sense of camaraderie, but we were lucky with Harry Potter that everyone wanted to be there and tell the story.”

As for the rest of the Harry Potter cast, Wright is still in contact, even having David Thewlis (who played Remus Lupin in Harry Potter) feature in her directorial debut. And where Harry Potter was all about doing justice to a story loved by many, in Wright’s new venture she’ll hopefully be creating her own stories that others will come to love just as much.

“I think the greatest film you can create is always helped by having creative people around you that you can springboard ideas off,” she says.

Written by Amanda Sherring

When & Where: Supanova Pop Culture Expo, Melbourne ・April 16 & 17

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