Bonnie Wright is a busy bee. At the age of 21, she’s already a fast-rising star, thanks to her role as Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter series, as well as an in-demand model (fact: she won the cup for Most Edgy Look at last year’s Rodial Beautiful Awards). And now, having recently graduated from London College Of Communication, she’s turned her hand to filmmaking. Wright is in Cannes with her directorial debut, a short film called Separate We Come, Separate We Go, which she showed to Empire earlier today.
The 11-minute tale of a young girl who lives in the Kentish coastal area of Dungeness with her depressed mum, it’s largely set outdoors, as Thea (Emily Dunham) goes for a stroll across eerie flats and encounters a mysterious man, played by David Thewlis. Sweet, gentle and assured, it’s an impressive first work from someone who clearly has ambition to burn.
“I wanted to make something personal and I’ve spent a lot of time in Dungeness, because my parents have a house just down the coast from there,” says Wright. “So it has a strong connection to my family. Also, I was always a massive fan of Derek Jarman and he spent his last years there. I just love the strangeness of it, the bleakness. The more I’ve been there, the more I fall in love with it.”
Wright is a cinephile – in Cannes she’s made time to watch Lawless, The Angels’ Share and On The Road – but says she’ll stick to making short films for a while to come. “I don’t want to dabble in a feature for quite a long time. My plan is to keep trying out different genres, until I find my feet.”
In the meantime, she’s not giving up the day job, with two more acting jobs lined up for 2012. “I’m doing Shakespeare’s Sister, which is a period piece, all on location,” she shares. “Sasha Spielberg is playing my sister, my character is all in flashbacks and it’s set in ‘40s New England. I’m also doing a British independent film called In Want Of A Wife, and might be doing a music video as well. I can never sit still!”