Lara McDonnell Interview | Greatest Days

LARA McDONNELL is starring in Greatest Days, the film based on the Take That musical of the same name.

We caught up with Lara McDonnell to talk about her recent role.

What can audiences expect from Greatest Days?

LARA McDONNELL: You can expect to have Take That songs on repeat in your head! The film is so much fun and energetic and I think people will have just as much fun watching as the characters are having, and as much fun as we did while making it. It’s a feel-good film, you’ll come out smiling and humming a Take That song.

What do you think is your character’s ultimate goal?

I think Rachel just wants to make everyone happy, in any way she can. In a lot of her life she is surrounded by turmoil and so she has naturally fallen into the role of peacekeeper. She takes care of everyone around her and I think her ultimate goal is just to make those around her feel happy and at ease.

Can you recall any funny moments from on-set filming?

One of my favourite memories from filming was dealing with battling the weather while filing outside in Clitheroe. On one day in particular we were filming a massive dance sequence in the middle of a pedestrian crossing and it started absolutely pouring. While we waited for it to clear up, we all ended up taking shelter in a bank right beside where we were filming. I’d say there were some very confused clients. 

As an actor, what are you still trying to learn?
I think there is always more to learn, you can never know enough in any avenue in life, but I think that is very evident in acting because when you act you are just being. We all learn so much about ourselves and other people and life and the world as we move through life and gain more knowledge and experience, so every day I’m learning more and more about people and life in order to tell the stories of people as truthfully as I can.

How can you tell when you’re reading a great script?

I will become completely and utterly lost in the story. A million things could be happening around me, but I will become so immersed in the script that I am in another world. I remember reading Greatest Days for the first time and crying because I was just so completely absorbed.

When did you begin to see acting as a potential career avenue?

I think the minute I first walked on a set when I was nine years old was the start of it for me. Being in that atmosphere, surrounded by so many incredibly talented people and telling a story, I knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life if I could.

How important is social media to you right now?
Personally, social media is not a massive priority to me, I love it for being able to keep in contact with friends and see what is going on in their lives and in the world and being able to share my own happy moments, but I also love just being in the moment and actually getting to experience those fun times and memories with loved ones.

What’s the biggest realisation you’ve had this past year?

It is something I am always acutely aware of, but was emphasised during this past year while working on Greatest Days and readjusting to normal life… just how lucky I am. And what a beautiful world we are in. After being in lockdown and then being able to travel all over, from Clitheroe to Athens, all while doing what I love, it’s reminded me to embrace and love every single thing around us and take the world in more.

Everyone seems to have an app idea at the moment, what’s yours? 

This is probably a very boring answer but, I would love a really good trivia app! I am a huge lover of fun little obscure facts and am always looking to learn more about absolutely everything, so I would love an app where I could just discover and learn more little pieces of knowledge.

What makes you feel nostalgic?

Like Rachel, music is one of the most significant things in my life. Hearing a certain song can completely transport me through time, to maybe when I first listened to it or when I had it on repeat. I am also an avid photographer and at the end of each year put together a scrapbook of my favourite photos. I love reliving all the memories and remembering the stories behind them.

Greatest Days is in cinemas 16th June.