Elif Knight is an award-winning British actress, receiving the Patricia Rothermere/Evening Standard Theatre Award, awarded by Sir Richard Attenborough when she was just 17. Soon afterwards, she starred alongside Sir Ben Kingsley in Nick Willing's The Magician of Samarkand and continues to work across both TV, film and on the stage both acting and directing.
She's currently directing the adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic 'The Crystal Egg Live' which has its world premiere at The Vaults, London, from the 6th - 13th January.
Merging the theatre and film experiences in a major production which sees Victorian London brought to life in a multi-media, multi-disciplinery experience, Elif's one busy woman in the arts. So we wanted to get to know here a little more.
I am Turkish Kurdish and was born in Anatolia (same place as one of my favourite directors, Elia Kazan- Streetcar Named Desire, On The Waterfront) and I moved to London when I was three. I have been acting for 20 years and over the last year or so I've started directing, most recently The Crystal Egg Live (an adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic at The Vaults, Waterloo.
My first acting job was playing the daughter of a drug addict at my local community centre theatre when I was 9 years old – a pretty intense start! And my first acting job after drama school was with Sir Ben Kingsley (otherwise known as Ghandi) in a production called ‘Jackanory’.
When I was 18 years old I won the Patricia Rothermere Evening Standard Theatre award selected by Sir Richard Attenborough, who later became an inspirational mentor.
I performed stand-up open mic nights in the East Village in NYC some years ago. I was impersonating American people and their way of life. It was really fun to do this because their response was pretty amazing. They found it quite intriguing to see an ethnic looking Brit with a very London accent take on American characteristics and reflect it back to them.
I meditate in the Theravada Buddhist Tradition. The practice is aimed at developing a calm mind leading to insight. I'm still waiting!
I like wearing colourful clothing. Recently I’m into pink which was a colour I would have never worn before. I enjoy fashion but don't let it rule me and what I chose to wear everyday but I do make a consciousdecision to wear more colour as it lifts my mood and makes me feel happier.
One of my favourite directors is David Lynch. I love Twin Peaks, it fuses dream logic with brilliant larger than life characters and sound and music, each frame a visual feast with a somewhat sinister tone. Stylistically its great - and without its framework we wouldn't have so much of our favourite TV shows today.
I was a student and an assistant of acting teacher Jack Waltzer from ‘The Actors Studio’ in New York. Jack is very inspirational because he is always looking for truthful acting and he manages to get that out of every student who works with him in the most effective and fast way. His workshops are all about working on the craft and he never believes in performance in his classes, just that everything you do is a work in progress.
My hobby, when work permits, is cooking. I can whip up a mean lamb chops or or an oven cooked Turkish meat Tava!
I love eating Lamb ribs at my local Turkish on Green Lanes, North London.
The Crystal Egg Live runs at The Vaults, London, from the 6th - 13th January 2018. For tickets for this limited run visit: https://www.thevaults.london/the-crystal-egg
Tagged in Richard Attenborough