The Friday Five: Maryam Hamidi

Maryam Hamidi (image by Brandon Bishop)

Maryam Hamidi is an actress, theatre artist and is an Artistic Associate of A Moment's Peace Theatre Company with whom she is developing a new theatre show for 2013 called I Could Eat A Horse.

She is currently a cast regular in River City playing Leyla Brodie.

What was the first film that had an effect on you?

Not quite a film, but around 5/6 years old I was deeply terrified by Michael Jackson's Thriller video. My brother had the video of the making of and when he put it on I would crumble, but I'd always taunt myself, runaway and hide and then sneak back to scare myself again. I think it was the first example of heart racing, mind bending art. That end bit when she's being attacked by the zombies, and the lights come on and it's just him and he's not a zombie, but oh no he looks down the lense and he's got zombie eyes.

I also used to be obsessed with the world of dance, and remember being blown away by the psychedelia of the ultimate dance sequence in The Red Shoes. Totally challenged all the showy musicals I'd been filling up on.

What's your local cinema?

Right now the Glasgow Film Theatre, but formerly the Cameo in Edinburgh where I worked for three years. Lurking at the back of screens waiting for films to finish...a little oasis of calm. I am now just an ordinary cinema civilian bumping into things in the dark.

What was the last DVD you bought/film you downloaded?

Erm...rather unfortunately, it was The Expendables...the irony melted quickly and I was left with a puddle of Stallone and Mickey Rourke's lips, cheeks and eyelids and some guy with really powerful, decapitation bullets.

What's your favourite moment in a Scottish film?

The many moment's of music of The Wicker Man, the maypole and fertility songs. But being burnt alive...not a favourite of mine.

What's your favourite film?

I don't think I can do favourites. Most of the films I can watch again again and again are deeply flawed nostalgia films. I'm fairly prone to films with a high whimsy/punk levels such as The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Ghostbusters (Bill Murray??) and Napoleon Dynamite. Although the first film that I watched as a teenager that deeply inspired me was Citizen Kane. Fairly obvious, but a total one stop shop of all the things they try to teach you about film with the art of film setting me on fire rather than just the story and the stars.