We sit down with actress Eleanor Matsuura, who plays Amber on new Netflix show I Used To Be Famous, to talk about the series, dream roles and Paddington Bear.
Eleanor Matsuura on Netflix’s I Used To Be Famous
What can you tell us about I Used To Be Famous?
It’s a heart warming and uplifting story about Vince, an ex boy band star who is down on his luck until he meets an amazing neurodivergent young musician, Stevie. They form an unlikely friendship and sort of help and heal each other in a surprising way. I play Amber, Stevie’s mother. For me, this film is all about these people who are trying so hard to get it right, and desperately hide the bits of themselves they feel are wrong. It’s about true friendship, the fierce bonds of parenthood and the power of music. And most of all it is unashamedly feel good.
Favourite person you’ve worked with on I Used To Be Famous?
Hard to choose! I honestly loved this team so much especially Eddie the director and Leo Long and Ed Skrein. But special shout out to Trisha who was Leo’s acting coach, we all loved her and valued her insight so much. Also to Lucy my dance coach who gave me the confidence to twirl around on camera like it was something already in my bones.
Favourite role to date and why?
Playing Amber is up there because it is one of the happiest times I have ever had on set. Eddie Sternberg was such a collaborater, every day felt like we were creating something special. You can tell when the cast and crew is happy and the vibe is good on set, it seeps through the camera and on the screen. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it.
Role you’d cut your right arm off to get?
Above anything else I want to be in a Paddington movie. They’re the greatest, sweetest, funniest movies ever. And wholesome enough my kids could watch, unlike most of my other work.
What demands do you have during rehearsals?
Good coffee on hand all the time and snacks. If you want to be my friend on or off set, bring me good coffee, bring me snacks.
What qualities do you think have made you successful?
I have no idea. It depends on what you call success I suppose. I hope it means people like working with me, and that maybe that’s reassuring, that you can always find your tribe, like-minded people you connect with, making stuff that makes your heart sing.
Film you think everyone in the world should see?
What’s your relationship with social media like?
I enjoy Instagram. I’m here for all the beautiful pictures of your curated, filtered lifestyle. But I draw the line at dancing on TikTok, or the endless screaming match that is Twitter. My nervous system can’t cope with all that.
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
A TV presenter with my own travel or cooking show. They always looked like they were in the best places with the best view or eating the best food. Why wouldn’t you want that job? I still want this job.
If you could give advice to your 15-year-old self, what would it be?
Your body is your best friend. Stop being awful to it.
How can we all live a little bit better?
Put better people in charge, people that might actually care about you. Vote. Use your voice. The powers that be need to be acting on climate change, not debating whether it exists or not. And lastly, in the great words of Ru Paul, put your phone down and go walk a child in nature!
What’s your interior design style?
Cosy. Baby toys everywhere. Crayon on the carpet. Not saying this is by choice, I’m just saying this is what my design style is right now…
What is your current beauty regime?
No sleep, coffee, lots of makeup, sunglasses. Or just don’t ever go out and then no need for any of the above. (I have a 4 month old baby I never go out anyway.)
What are your indulgences?
Candles. I spend silly money on nice candles.
What would your best friend say about you?
I wish she would stop wasting money on candles.
How do you relax?
I have two small kids, I can’t remember.
If we’re coming to your area for a visit, where should we go?
I’m currently living in Toronto and all I’ve seen are the playgrounds which, to be fair, are very nice. Highly recommend! Also, we are here because my husband is playing Harry in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on stage – it’s a great show so you should totally go and see that.
Are you a rule breaker or a rule taker?
I’m a big fan of rules, especially my own. My rules are brilliant. I try and explain this to my toddler but she often just laughs in my face.
I Used To Be Famous is now streaming on Netflix.
Images (c) By Pip