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Getting ‘Industry-Ready’ with Screen Actor Barbara Brito

By Elise Czyzowska

17 April 2024

Before enrolling on our twenty-week Certificate in Acting for Film, Barbara Brito didn’t have a huge amount of practical experience as an actor. But by the time she completed her course, she felt ‘ready to enter the industry’.

And that’s exactly what she did, booking a lead role in Andrea M. Catinella’s horror feature, Island of the Dolls 2.

In today’s blog, we spoke to Barbara about her first horror film experience, and how her time at MetFilm School prepared her to follow her lifelong dream of becoming an actor…

When did acting become a career aspiration for you?

I always wanted to be an actor, but I thought it was a dream for others, and that I’d never have the courage to follow through. It was only after university that I realised I didn’t want to do anything else – it’s important to try and follow your passions, even if it’s scary.

At the end of the day, you’ll succeed so long as you love what you do, and work hard enough for it… And that’s what I did! I decided on that day that I was going to pursue screen acting, and that I would see how it went, one day at a time.

And how did this bring you to our Certificate in Acting for Film?

After speaking to an actor friend about their own experience at MetFilm School, I decided to attend an Open Day, and I loved it!

Everything about the classes we were going to have, from what we would gain, to how practical it would be, fascinated me. I knew there and then that I needed to enrol – and it was the best first step I could have taken.

Barbara Brito’s Professional Acting Headshots

And straight after finishing the course, you joined the cast of Island of the Dolls 2 – can you tell us a little about this project?

I applied for it through Mandy, and I was lucky enough to be offered the role straight away, without having to go through an audition process – and that meant I didn’t know much about my character, Tori, before shooting.

Little did I know, Tori was going to teach me so much, and push me to be a better actor in so many ways. She starts out as a shy and awkward girl, but by the end, she’s definitely not opposed to killing a few people – and having some fun along the way!

It was such a pleasure to have this as my first on-set experience, and to work with so many people who taught me not only about my own craft, but theirs too. I’m forever grateful for it.

How did this project push you as an actor? Was horror a new genre for you?

I think a horror feature was a great place to start my career. Playing a character who shows completely opposite sides of her personality, all in one script, is already a challenge in itself. But horror adds a whole new dimension of physical elements: long night shoots, being covered in ‘blood’ in the cold and rain, having to scream and perform stunts over and over…

For me, all of these things made me realise how much I still want to learn, how much more I can explore in my craft, and all the ways I can continue to grow as an actor.

On-set of Island of the Dolls 2!

Speaking of stunts, did you have much experience in stage combat before joining the Certificate in Acting for Film?

Before the course, I had no experience in screen combat – or in acting! I absolutely loved the classes that we had on stage fighting – we learned several different movements, and then got to develop a script that involved a choreographed fight.

We even got the chance to film it on the Virtual Production stage at Garden Studios, which was an incredible experience.

Going forward, it’s definitely something that I want to continue improving, so that I can add to my skillset as an actress.

Were there any specific lessons from the course that surprised you?

I’m forever grateful to have had the chance to do this course, and to meet the people I got to meet. Everything I know about acting and this industry, I learned at MetFilm School.

Every class felt valuable and exciting – I think the best part was feeling like I was learning so much in such a short amount of time, and feeling both supported and challenged every day. Some of the best moments for me were the combat classes, filming our showreel scenes, audition prep, and the voice classes.

It’s truly hard to put into words how much I learnt – the best way I can think to express it is by saying that, after this course, I felt ready to enter the industry.

BTS of shooting horror with Barbara Brito

And finally, what would be your dream role?

I would love to be part of something that impacts generations – something that becomes a part of people’s lives, and never gets old, like Harry Potter.

I’m a big fan of both fantasy and horror, so I’d also love to explore these genres more, and to see where that takes me!