Daniela Norman might be a new name in Hollywood but she has earned quite a lot of fame in the world of ballet and is a star in her own right. She is trained at The National Ballet and has performed many recitals including ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘An American In Paris’ at the West End.
On screen, she made her first ever appearance in Tom Hooper’s ‘CATS’. And working in such an enormous project, marked a great start to her acting career. We got into an one-on-one conversation with Norman and learned about her work, her debut experience, meeting some of the biggest names in the industry, and what lies ahead for the debutante.
Tell us about your journey from being a ballet dancer to an actor. How was the shift from stage to screen?
It was quite a journey since I was nine. I grew up training to be a professional ballet dancer but I did do a little bit of acting and singing lessons on the side. Acting always intrigued me but I kept my focus on ballet. It was only three years ago, I got the opportunity to dance and lead in American in Paris, and that’s how I landed in acting. Also, I get a proper acting coaching. It’s been interesting to explore the world of acting and land my feet here.
‘Cats’ marks your on-screen debut. How was your experience playing Demeter and how did you feel working alongside some of the biggest and the best in the industry?
Oh! It was amazing! You know, I am lucky to have been working side by side people like Dame Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba, and so on. Then there’s Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo and all. Every day, we will get into the studio looking forward to the day. And also, singing with Jennifer Hudson. Everybody has been so welcoming and warm and I made some of the best friends of my life on the set here. At the same time, there were very high standards of what was expected of us but playing Demeter was fun and exciting.
We learned that the CGI used for ‘Cats’ is one of a kind. Can you share more about the technology and how it was working with it?
This was all real hi-tech for us. So we had to wear the motion capture suits, which capture the muscle movements. It was more tangible than just CGI and gave us a lot of leeway in our moves. With the CGI bit, we had to use a lot of imagination and act. For instance, we had to imagine having a tail to kick off a can or something without having the actual tail. It was great!
So, what’s next for Daniela Norman?
Well, I am already working for a new Netflix’s Original series titled ‘Tiny Pretty Things’. I play the role of June Parks, whose life is very much like mine. She is a ballet dancer from Chicago and she is under constant pressure from her mother who is a perfectionist. The series is about her journey. And well, for the rest, you’ll have to see how it all turns out.
You can watch out for Norman in the upcoming drama series,’Tiny Pretty Things’, ready to launch on Netflix this 2020.