Karen Bryson became a household name with her role as Avril Powell in the popular show, Shameless. Karen has become a firm fixture on British TV ever since graduating for last decade and has featured in Buried, Bodies, The Bill, Holby City, Silent Witness, Torn, The Children and Doctors. Karen also won a Screen Nation award in 2013 for her work in Shameless. She took five minutes out to talk to me about her acting career and her tech essentials.
When did you know acting was for you?
I knew acting was for me, very early on in my life. As a child I would be the one in the play ground improvising and rehearsing plays with my unwitting friends. Performing for anyone who’d watch! For me it was never a case of what do I what to do, but how?
How did you get your first break?
My first break into the professional acting world was straight out of drama school LAMDA. I did Romeo and Juliet at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. I couldn’t believe I was being paid to do what I love.
How has Shameless changed your life?
Shameless was such an amazing experience on so many levels. I was overwhelmed how popular a show it is. So I now get the fantastic fans saying hello when I’m out and about. As far as changing my life, that would be on a professional level. By that I mean playing Avril for three years in a show like Shameless, which constantly pushed the envelope. I have learnt to think outside of the box and take some risks as an actor. …. Oh and I can no longer go to the corner shop for the papers in my pajamas on a Sunday morning.
Name five tech products that you cannot live without with the reasons why?
1. My smart phone.. Simply because I actually can’t imagine life without it..( scary ) I use to take photographs, write receive emails, tweet, text message, whether reports, trains times.. The list is endless.
2. A close number two would be my tablet. Since I commuted from London to Manchester weekly.. This amazing thing made my life so much easier. I had all my scripts, which I could refer to at the touch of a button. Also I’m helping save the planet by not using paper. Also I’m a film buff, so for my journeys back and forth I could also rent and watch films. I also used it to sykpe my husband. It also weighs next to nothing.
3.My laptop, I can move around my house with ease and be totally connected through the wonderful powers of wifi.
4. DVD recorder.. I can tape Shameless.
5. My Wii, I love games, and the fact a lot of the games are quite physical games that can be played in groups, makes for hours of entertainment.
Do you tweet or Instagram?
Oh yes, I was bitten by the bugs only late last year. I must admit I was resistant but I love Twitter as way of sharing information expressing thoughts, ideas. It’s also great to have instant access to the fans of the show and vice versa. As for Instagram, what a lovely idea. As a keen amateur photographer, being able to capture and share your life through photographs. I dislike when people post words, it almost defeats the object.
Do you follow any celebrities on Twitter?
Yes a few…
How important do you think Social Media has been for celebrities in creating brands?
I think Social Media has played a huge part in celebrities creating brands. Some might argue there is an element of manipulation. Instant contact globally? The press now regularly use this medium in their reporting. The celebrities who are honest and somewhat open are the most successful for me. For example, I love Sheridan Smiths tweets, I feel I get a real sense of who she is, and she’s fabulous!
You can watch Karen on Shameless on Tuesdays at 10pm on Channel 4.