A veritable triple threat if ever there was one, model, recording artiste and actress Nicole ‘Sky’ Grey is commanding attention on the catwalk, putting the finishing touches on her debut album and making her acting debut in the Storm Saulter film ‘Better Mus Come’. Pree10, a special interview feature that serves up 10 questions to interesting personalities and top talents, now casts the spotlight on the young beauty as she talks about her ‘Better Mus Come’ experience.
1. How did you land the female lead role for Better Mus Come?
I was on my way to a recording studio and saw someone who resembled a friend of mine. I called to him and blew him a kiss. When I got closer, I realised that it wasn’t my friend…it was actually Storm Saulter, the director of the film, and he was standing with Paul Bucknor, the producer. Storm asked me if I could act and I told him yes…he explained that they were working on a movie and had selected all the cast except the lead female. He said I looked just like the girl he had in mind…they brought out the camera and I auditioned on the spot and go the role.
2. How did your acceptance of this role impact your modelling career?
I was gearing up for New York Fashion Week and was supposed to go to Germany for a three-month modelling stint afterwards. I told them that they had to grab me now (laughs), before I go to New York. I signed the contract with them the following day and didn’t go through with my plans for Germany.
3. What was your preparation like for this film?
Before filming I had to dig into the 70s…talk to persons who lived through the period and try to understand the context. We also had to move to the Sandy Park community for the entire filming of the project. ‘Better Mus Come’ is a movie, but to me it feels almost like a documentary.
4. What impact did this film have on you?
There were a lot of things that I didn’t know about the period, and being in this movie gave me a better understanding of the roots of political violence in Jamaica.
5. How do you think this film will impact moviegoers?
For persons who lived through the 70s in Jamaica, this film will remind them of the past. For the younger generation and persons not familiar with the situation, this film will definitely open their eyes as far as politics and violence goes…where it’s all coming from.
6. There has been talk about the depiction of violence in the film. What are your thoughts on this debate?
There are movies that are made that show violence and tragedy, but this is done in a certain context that is relevant. As a country, I think we’re still not over what happened in Tivoli Gardens this year, and ‘Better Mus’ Come’ provides a background that can help us to understand where we’re coming from and why things are the way they are.
7. What major challenge did you have acting in this movie?
I was very emotional at the time because a week before we started shooting I lost my father. The movie was supposed to be a surprise for him…I’d often find myself thinking about my father and it was quite difficult…handling my mood and staying in line with what the role required.
8. You had a love scene in the film. How difficult was it for you to do it?
On the day that the love scene was scheduled, I actually thought that we were going to do a “skeleton shoot” with a few crew members downtown on the water front. That shoot was actually scheduled for the following week and I wasn’t really prepared to do the love scene on that day. I told Storm and he was understanding about the whole thing…he changed the day and rescheduled the love scene.
So when the day came for the scene I was very nervous! I remember asking for a glass of wine before…then I had a few more glasses just to help me to relax. I think when the time came to do the actual scene I was a bit tipsy (laughs). We went straight into it and did it in one take.
We were in a room in a zinc shack in Sandy Park and I had to make loud moans (laughs). Storm was very sweet about the whole thing…I couldn’t have gotten through a love scene like that without a good director and he managed to make me feel very comfortable. Sheldon [the male lead] was also very encouraging and kept telling me it was going to be okay and it was going to be over quickly.
9. How does being in this movie stack up with your other professional experiences?
It was a great experience and I would never trade it in for anything in the world. I’m glad that I am a part of history…this movie will go down in history as one of Jamaica’s best films.
10. What’s next in your film career?
After filming ‘Better Mus’ Come’, I managed to land another role in a film in New York called ‘Restless City’ directed by Andrew Dosunmu. I play the role of a love interest again and the movie is scheduled for release next year.