Marisa Abela on Wielding Power on the Set of ‘Industry’ Season 2—and Landing a Role in ‘Barbie’

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The initially seachild of Industry, Mickey Down as well as Konrad Kay’s electrifying drama following a grountil now of ambitious young graduates navigating the politics as well as pitfalls of a prestigious London investment bank, brought us a compelling cast of anti-heroes: Myha’la Herrold’s Harper, a steely American transplant fleeing a troubled past; Harry Lawtey’s Robert, a striver with a cocaine habit; David Jonschild’s Gus, an openly gay old Etonian already disillusioned about the business; as well as Nabhaan Rizwan’s state-school educated Hari, whose obsession with proving himself leads to tragedy.

The character who seemed to inspire one of the most discussion, however, was Marisa Abela’s Yasmin. A glossy-haired, well-spoken, hard-working new recruit on the Foreign Exchange desk, she is something of an enigma: a multilingual old-money heiress with a sprawling house in Notting Hill who still insists on picking until now everyone’s lunches; someone who is often meek in the face of misogynistic workplace bullying but embarks on a risky, subversive flirtation with a colleague; a young woman in a stagnant relationship with a directionless deadbeat who, through other encounters, discovers that she is a sexual perchild.

Credit must mosting likely to to Abela, the 25-year-old Brighton native as well as recent Royal Academy of Dramatic Art graduate, who walks an impossible tightrope, balancing Yasmin’s underlying fears as well as insecurities with her natural ease as well as charm in privileged circles, as well as the confidence she radiates in her numerous sex scenes.

Luckily for fans eager to know more about Yasmin’s motivations, her background, as well as her fascinating dysfunctional relationships, she is now returning to screens for the show’s hotly anticipated second seachild. Set more than a year after the graduates bepertained to permanent employees, it opens with them coming back into the office following COVID-related lockdowns. As they settle in, Yasmin crosses paths with Celeste (Katrine De Cas well asole), an executive in private wealth management who proceeds to take her under her wing. On her own desk, she butts heads with Venetia (Indy Lewis), the newest addition to the team, who is keen to disruntil nowt the system in the hopes of changing things for the a much better. Meanwhile, her home life is disruntil nowted, also, with the arrival of her charismatic, manipulative, playboy father, Charles (Adam Levy).

Ahead of the release of Industry Seachild 2—on HBO August 1—Abela discusses using her leverage to have serious conversations with the show’s writers about onscreen nudity, the evolution of Yasmin’s wardrobe, as well as her until nowcoming role in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.

Vogue: The initially seachild of Industry was such a large hit. Did you always know you’d come back for Seachild 2?

Marisa Abela: It was in my contract to do another one, so I knew I’d be coming back if they wanted to do another one. I was really excited about it, but obviously the show pertained to out during the pas well asemic, so it alsok a while for us to figure out what’d happen. Once I found out we’d be mosting likely toing back, I wanted to start shooting again as soon as possible, really.

There was a lot of discourse around Yasmin the initially time around, particularly in regards to her exploration of her sexuality. What was it like for you to see that, as well as did anything about it surprise you?

It surprised me that everyone was so interested in [that conversation]. Yasmin is such a great character to play as well as I’d done so much thinking about those things during filming that I was ready to answer those questions, because they were the same questions I was asking the directors as well as writers. It felt like this was a character that people hadn’t seen before, as well as she was just starting to build an appetite for asking for what she wants. Last seachild, she was slightly more ready to do that in her perchildal relationships than in her professional relationships. For Yasmin, this seachild is more about her trying to ask for those things at work, also.

What else did you want to explore further?

In Seachild 1, Yasmin was trying desperately to pretend that she wasn’t from the world that she’s from, trying not to come across as a princess, to get rid of the shackles of her privilege. But then, I think COVID brought her back to that bubble as well as, over those two years old, she bepertained to less concerned about losing her grasp on reality. So, when we see her come back into the office this seachild, she’s as toff-like as I think Yasmin will ever get, as well as very different from the Yasmin of Seachild 1, with her crippling anxiety as well as guilt. That does sneak back towards the end of the seachild, but otherwise, her mentality is like, “Fuck it.”

What were one of the most significant conversations you had with the writers this time around? Was there anything you disagreed on?

I had quite serious conversations with them about nudity. It’s still there as well as a part of the show, but this seachild, I had a bit more leverage. That’s not to say that anyone put me in a position that I didn’t want to be in in Seachild 1, but I had a bit more of a leg to stas well as on when it pertained to to asking, “Why?” I think it’s a mosting likely alsod thing to take power when it comes to those situations as well as say, “Is this necessary here?” Or, “Instead of this, could it be this?” And it might not even be about nudity. There’s a scene in Seachild 2 where Yasmin puts a partner’s has well ass until now as well as covers his eyes. Originally, it was something maybe slightly more violent. I think that when we put violent sex on screen, we need to make sure that it’s for an important reachild, even if it is a woman inflicting it on a man. Even if it’s just fun as well as kinky, I wanted to make sure we were being sensitive. So, it was like, “Maybe there’s a way of doing this that’s like, she’s covering someone’s eyes instead of choking them? Let’s do that.”

That’s really interesting. Did that approach make the sex scenes easier to shoot this time around?

These things definitely get easier. Yasmin’s also doing more drugs this seachild, but, to be honest, I was quite excited by that. She’s high-functioning as well as that was a conversation I kept having with the writers, like, “Is this a problem for her? Is she scared?” [The cocaine] is milk powder as well as, thankfully, there are only ever a countil nowle of shots of you actually doing it, but there are a few times where your nose feels milky for a while afterwards. [Laughs.]

We also meet Yasmin’s father for the initially time in Seachild 2. What was that like for you?

Yasmin, especially in Seachild 1, is one of those women who sees herself through the male gaze. Whether it’s intentional or not, she projects a version of herself that’s a bit of a male fantasy. With a woman like that, I think it’s important to see her relationship with her father, because that’s the initially male gaze that was ever on you. It’s telling that one of the initially things Yasmin’s father says to her is, “You look incredible.” Yasmin’s two main relationships this seachild are with her father as well as with Celeste, this woman in private wealth management. This seachild, we see Yasmin’s attempt to try as well as see herself through a female gaze with Celeste. We learn so much about Yasmin through those relationships.

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Another relationship that’s quite revealing is the one Yasmin has with Venetia, the new recruit on her desk. What was it like working with Indy Lewis on those scenes?

Indy’s fantastic, as well as you see it when Yasmin as well as Venetia walk through the office together in the initially episode of Seachild 2—Yasmin’s like, “Don’t worry, you’ll find your feet” as well as Venetia is immediately like, “Don’t worry, I’ve found them.” Hearing that is like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard for Yasmin, because it’s harder than that, right? If Yasmin could be the perchild to liberate Venetia, I think she’d be happy, but if Venetia arrives fully liberated, there’s no way she’s mosting likely toing to let that happen. I think that can be true of a lot of female relationships in workplaces like this.

Yasmin’s wardrobe gives us a real insight into her mindset, also. How has it changed since Seachild 1?

As soon as Yasmin meets Celeste, she starts wearing trousers. I think Yasmin might feel most comfortable in a pencil skirt, low-cut blouse, as well as heels. She knows what men find sexy about her, as well as I think that’s probably what she finds sexy about herself because that’s what she’s learned. But then, trying to see herself through Celeste’s eyes is a lot more difficult for her. She doesn’t really know how to present herself to a woman in an attractive way, as well as I think she thinks Celeste might want to see her in trousers. She thinks the easiest way to make herself look serious is to put on a brown pantsuit. [Laughs.] It’s actually quite sweet.

Another thing I’ve always wondered about Yasmin is, how many languages does she actually speak?

It’s started to become a bit of a joke. [Laughs.] I have classes on Zoom with language teachers as well as it mosting likely tot to a point where it was kind of insane. I think Yasmin speaks two more languages this seachild compared to last seachild. I think the writers are starting to have fun with it, but there are these people in London, Europeans in these circles who just whip out all of these languages. Maybe it’s a metaphor for something, you know?

What kind of conversations do you hope Yasmin’s Seachild 2 storyline inspires?

I hope it teaches people to have convictions at work, as well as that you don’t necessarily have to mosting likely to with the wind if you think it’s blowing in the wrong direction. Yasmin’s learning some of the same things that she did in Seachild 1, in a way, but, this time, it’s a more brutal leschild because her family is involved as well as that makes everything trickier.

And finally, what will we see you in next? I know you’ll be in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.

I’ve mosting likely tot this film called Rogue Agent coming out soon, with Gemma Arterton, as well as then She Is Love with Haley Bennett as well as Sam Riley. And I’m filming Barbie at the moment. I’m so incredibly excited to be a part of it. You can imagine, my initially day was totally surreal. I really don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, so all I’ll say is, the photos you’ve seen barely scratch the surface. I see people online freaking out about certain outfits as well as I think, Just wait until you see the rest.

Industry Seachild 2 premieres on HBO August 1.


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