Kent-born actress Jo Woodcock got her big break in television, working on such popular British shows as “The Bill,” “Land Girls” and “Casualty.” Woodcock had worked with filmmaker Thomas Lawes on a short film called “Three Sides of a Coin,” and when he decided to turn the short into a feature-length film, Jo got the call to return. Her latest project is called “Monochrome,” out in June from Gravitas Ventures, and it is a female serial-killer thriller about a detective on the hunt for a killer who targets rich land-owners.

Jo recently granted an exclusive interview where she discussed her television and movie roles, the characters she plays, and more.

Movies, short films, and characters

Meagan Meehan (MM): So, Jo, what inspired you to seek the path of a professional actress and did TV or film come first?

Jo Woodcock (JC): I grew up watching so many films that I think from an early age I appreciated the way great cinema can affect you. Good films can move you emotionally and can stay with you for years. I just wanted to be a part of that process. I started working in TV first, but my heart was always in the film. Nowadays there isn't as big a difference between good TV and good film but for me there's will always something about the way films leave you wanting more. Just knowing that there isn't a second installment, you can binge straight away.

My first proper TV gig was an episode of “The Bill” it was a long-running British procedural drama.

MM: Is there a distinct character on TV who you especially loved playing and which character has been closest to your own personality?

JC: I loved playing Bea Holloway in “Land Girls.” It was a wartime drama for BBC. She was a young girl who signed up for the women's land army during the second world war.

It was so much fun to film and making a drama about the women's effort in WW2 was an honor. I hadn't really known much about the subject before. I guess the closest character to me personally was in a mini-series I did call “Torn” I played a girl who had been kidnapped as a child and raised by her kidnappers as their own. Who has then reunited with her original family twelve years after.

I have a very divided family, and I felt that I could understand in my own way how Alice felt, not quite belonging in the world she grew up in and the world she was taken from.

MM: How did the “Monochrome” movie project come to you and can you tell us a little about the character who you portray?

JC: I did a short film called “Three Sides of a Coin” with Monochrome's director Thomas Lawes, and it was a similar premise. So, when he wanted to make that feature film based on it, I was on board form the beginning. I play the part of Emma Rose. She is a person who is haunted by a traumatic past, she tries her best to distance herself from it and moves forward with her life but she can't. She doesn't handle her emotions well, and when we meet her in the film, she's on the edge of breaking.

I would say Emma is a bit of a sociopath.

Thrillers, advice, and upcoming projects

MM: Does it go without saying that you love a good thriller since you’ve performed in a few now!

JC: I do love a good thriller! I'm always drawn to anything dark, and that often surprises people when they meet me. I'm just fascinated with the murkiest parts of life.

MM: Considering all of your experiences, what is most enjoyable about being part of the film industry and how do you hope your entertainment career evolves within the coming years?

JC: Sometimes being able to wear someone else's clothes, look different and think like someone else for a little while can be freeing. It’s like taking a little holiday from yourself!

Hopefully, several years from now I'll still be able to have the opportunity to play interesting characters since that's what it’s all about for me.

MM: You keep really busy, Jo, so are there any exciting upcoming projects that you want to talk about?

JC: I've recently finished a film called “Perfect Skin” directed by Kevin Chicken I really enjoyed the whole experience, I play a rather loud mouth Australian called Lucy, the films pretty grisly it doesn't have a release date yet, but it’s one to look out for. Also, I'm in an audio adaptation of an old folk horror film called “Blood on Satan's Claw” which is on Audible right now, it has a great cast, and I was very proud to be a part of it.

MM: Since you’ve been in the movie industry for a while, and have enjoyed substantial success, what advice would you give to people who are just stepping into the entertainment industry?

JC: “DON'T GIVE UP!” I know it’s a cliché but the difference between being an actor and not being one is that if it’s really your dream no amount of rejection can deter you. It’s tough sometimes, but if you hear no a lot it doesn't mean that you're not good enough, it’s also sheer luck being in the right place at the right time. Also, find something to do in your spare time that isn't anything to do with acting, so you’re not just sitting at home obsessing over your last audition!