In life, one must constantly be learning. No one will ever know everything there is to know, and this realization is what keeps us humble. For Marysia Peres, acting is the very same. She constantly sees what she does as a learning opportunity. This acceptance and realization is what makes her so extraordinary. There is no role that doesn’t excite her, as each comes with its own set of challenges to overcome. She is constantly working at being better, and as she is already one of Malta’s best actresses, this is no easy feat.
Whether it be modelling or acting, Peres is always at the top of her game. As a model, she has worked all around the world, showing off fashion trends and styles with large brands in many countries. As an actress, she has impressed international audiences, whether in the blockbuster Assassin’s Creed alongside Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, or the romantic travel tale Love to Paradise. No matter what she embarks on, she impresses both audiences and colleagues. Jonathan Pyatt, a fellow actor, has worked work Peres on four short films, as well as a commercial photoshoot for Vodafone. He believes she is a one-of-a-kind actress.
“It is always a pleasure to work with Marysia because she’s very professional, focused and dedicated to giving her best performance. She is very good at receiving feedback from directors and incorporating it onto her performance, as well as at communicating with her fellow actors. She has a good combination of intense focus and seriousness while also incorporating a nice sense of humor when appropriate, which is an important trait to help keep moods light at times during long filming days. I am always grateful when I sign on to be part of a project in which she’s also taking part because I know that it will help to elevate my performance,” said Pyatt. “Compared to other young actors that I’ve worked with locally, Marysia is the most dedicated and hard working. She also has a strong passion for the craft of acting and sees it not only as a job, but also as an art form. Due to the fact that she enjoys the process so much, she can perform at a very high level. She has a willingness to bring parts of herself into every role, which leads to authentic performances.”
Most recently, Pyatt and Peres worked together on the upcoming TV documentary mini-series The Mystery of Brittanic. The series, produced by U-Film, tells the story and research of the wreckage of the Britannic, the sister ship of Titanic, which shared the fatal fate of its predecessor during the World War I. The ship sank near Kea in the Aegean Sea on the 21st of November 1916. The project has two parts: underwater footage of the Britannic, the sister ship of Titanic that sank in 1916 near Kea in the Aegean Sea, and the re-enactment part of the tragic events. The reenactment portion follows the adventures of the volunteer nurse Eleonora Morrison (Nelly), played by Peres.
“The entire world knows about the Titanic, and I believe the Britannic deserves the same honor. It is a sister ship of the Titanic, it was used as a hospital vessel during WWI, and its story is both terrifying and fascinating. I am very happy that U-Film researched the wreckage site and decided to tell the story of this ship. I believe it will be both educational and entertaining for the audiences,” said Peres.
The character of Nelly was very complex and interesting for Peres to dive into. She is from an upper-class family, but against her family’s wishes she joins the Brittanic as a volunteer nurse. Her eagerness to help people takes her on a journey that changes her life forever. There is both strength and vulnerability to the character of Nelly; shy and introverted on the surface, she is brave and full of love and empathy on the inside. In the show, Nelly is the main character of the story. The re-enactment part of the docudrama is told from her perspective, and she is always in the center of events. The script follows her adventures, relationships, accomplishments and struggles. For Peres, is great to see such a female-driven story, and her embodiment of the character is essential for the show’s audience engagement. Her portrayal already impressed those she worked with, and will undoubtedly do the same with viewers.
“Marysia is a very easy-going and friendly person. Whilst shooting scenes it turned out to be very natural for both of us as we have already had a good chemistry. It was an honor working with Marysia and I do hope we will cross paths again in the near future. She is a very focused, ambitious, determined person and a very talented actress to say the least,” said Jeanette Cutajar, Actress.
Peres has always loved historical films, and when she had the opportunity to be a part of the show, she knew she had to take it. Initially, she was interested in a supporting role, but the director was so impressed with her talents, he wanted her as the lead. Peres was eager for the challenge, as she had never been a part of a docuseries before.
The Mystery of Britannic was a big budget production with a lot of comprehensive sets and filming in the open waters. It was the biggest local project of the year in Malta. Some days provided unique challenges for Peres: the cast was soaking wet in the cold, swimming and overcoming obstacles while trying to escape the sinking ship. She also had a day in the open sea, where her character swam in a dress while carrying along her best friend. Peres wanted to do the role justice, and extensively prepared. She researched the history of the time period, especially regarding Vera Brittain, a volunteer nurse on the Brittanic, reading her memoir Testament of Youth. These first-hand experiences greatly impacted the way Peres portrayed Nelly, and the authenticity is evident in the show. For Peres, her passion for the project eclipsed everything else.
“One of my favorite days on the project was when we filmed Nelly leaving her home and family to volunteer on the Britannic. The location was Palazzo Parisio, a beautiful venue in Malta, usually used for weddings and specials events. It was a spectacular day, full of beautiful costumes, family drama and decision-making for the character of Nelly. I also clearly remember the day we filmed in the open sea. The water was cold, and the sun was burning, we were filming the sequence when Nelly and her friends finally reach the lifeboat. It was such an emotional moment for all the characters, and although challenging to film in the open waters, it was truly special and memorable for me too,” said Peres.
The Mystery of Brittanic is currently in post-production and with the distribution company Fairway Film Alliance in Los Angeles. It will be released early next year.
Photo by AJ Singh