Short and sweet: Film role has Ramanique buzzing ; Now she has emerged from her cave, the future looks bright for Ramanique Ahluwalia. Becky Jones meets the Oadby actress
The matted hair and stained teeth are long gone, but Ramanique Ahluwalia is still buzzing after filming her starring role as a cavewoman in the short film, Modern Man. An entrant in the hotly- contested annual Virgin Media Shorts competition, Modern Man is a two-minute 20-second film telling the story of a time-travelling cavewoman and her chance encounter with a man named Rupert on the day he plans to propose to his girlfriend.
As we sit chatting in the cafe at Leicester's Curve, Oadby- raised actress Ramanique is full of enthusiasm abous s s t her latest project, filmed in a house in Putney, London, in just one day.
It was an incredible experience. I'm still buzzing off it now and it was about three weeks ago, smiles the 20-yearold, looking rather more elegant than her on-screen persona. I'm still amazed about what we achieved. It was incredible working with the team that we managed to bring together.
The team included actors Sean Knopp (The Bible, Dr Who) Nathan Bryan (Some Girls) and Nicola Posener (Life Bites, Dawn of the Dragonslayer).
The crew featured producer Jassa Ahluwalia, Ramanique's brother and star of Some Girls, The Bible, The Whale and guest lead in Ripper Street; director/producer Sebastian Solberg, who has directed more than 40 short films; writer Simon Guerrier, who, together with his director brother was short-listed in last year's Virgin Media Shorts competition; cinematographer/ executive producer Dale McCready who has shot Doctor Who, Merlin and Being Human; and stunt co-ordinator Dani Biernat, who worked on Thor: The Dark World, 28 Days Later and Children of Men, and won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her work on Skyfall.
I've done short films before but this was the best experience I've had by far, said Ramanique. It was great to be learning from the best so early on in my career.
So, what was it like playing a cavewoman? It was really fun. It took about two-and-a-half hours to get ready. I had all my teeth stained and my hair was messed up. There was a whole lot of back- combing, then they put on this make-up which looked like fresh snow, which they re-applied for each scene.
Although she didn't mind the matted hair and yellow teeth, one thing Ramanique did struggle with was wearing a cowhide, fur boots and reindeer pelt in the middle of summer.
I was so hot and sweaty by the end of the day, she laughs. We couldn't go into the garden because it was part of the set, so to cool down we had to go out the front of the house.
I was standing there looking completely ridiculous and a dog was being walked by. He walked by and saw me, then did a double-take.
He probably thought I was wearing one of his brothers. It was so funny.
Talking of brothers, what was it like working alongside Jassa? We have a really good working relationship. I've worked with him before on short films where I've done production design, but this was different because I was acting.
It was nice to have Jassa there, knowing that if I'm doing something a bit off, he'll tell me and I'll get honest feedback, says the bubbly brunette, who has wanted to be an actress for as long as she can remember.
Her first professional role came in 2010 when she was a featured congregation member in BBC 2 sitcom Rev. It was great fun to do although, unfortunately, my part got cut. It taught me the ways of the industry very early on, smiles Ramanique, who appears as an extra in film comedy Jadoo, which was shot last year in Belgrave, Leicester, and will receive its UK premiere in the city in September.
September is set to be a momentous month for the former Beauchamp College student, who will take up her place at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.
She was accepted on to the course last year, but deferred her place while she sought to raise the Pounds 60,000 fees required for the two-year course.
She has been working as a hotel cleaner as well as doing two days a week at her mum's interior design business. Together with the help of friends and family - and using her mum's new kitchen fund'' she now has enough for the first year.
It's been a tough year-and-a-half, but it'll be worth it. I'm looking forward to getting on the plane and doing it.
In the meantime, there's the excitement surrounding Modern Man to keep her going. We're having a big push on Monday - which we're calling Modern Man Monday. We're trying to get as many likes and shares as we can.
There are 13 short-listed slots and, if you're short-listed, you get played in cinemas across the country, which would be incredible. One of the shortlisted slots is the audience award - the film that gets the most likes and shares - if we can get that it would be great.
Why not see for yourself. View Modern Man by visiting: www.virginmediashorts.co.uk If you like it, show your support on Facebook and Twitter and help Modern Man on its way to victory... ? .M:
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