Exclusive Interview: Jemma Moore Dishes on Her Role in Red Eye

by | May 14, 2024

Our Talent and Features Editor, Sofia Deus, recently sat down with Jemma Moore for an in-depth discussion about her role in Bad Wolf/ITV's Red Eye


Step into the heart-pounding world of Bad Wolf/ITV’s Red Eye as we sit down with the dynamic Jemma Moore for an exclusive interview. With her upcoming role as reporter Jess Li promising to be an electrifying journey, Jemma offers us a glimpse behind the scenes, sharing her preparation process and insights into the adrenaline-filled setting of the series. Join us as we uncover the secrets of Red Eye and delve into the captivating world crafted by Jemma and the talented team behind the show.


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Your upcoming role as reporter Jess Li in Red Eye sounds intense and action packed. How did you prepare for this character, especially considering the adrenaline filled setting of the series?

I was super excited to get my hands on the scripts! Being someone with dyslexia and neurodiversity, I have to stay organized, so I used my tried-and-true method of textual analysis to break down each scene and really get into my character’s head. I did a ton of research too, because that’s my fave thing to do. I looked into badass female journalists like Marie Colvin and Alex Crawford to see how they operate in the industry and who my character Jess might look up to. And I even talked to a cool journalist who gave me the lowdown on stuff like cold calling and dealing with rejection. Basically, I learned that Jess is all about finding the truth, even if it means breaking some rules. My amazing acting coach Miriam Lucia helped me dive deeper into the character and bring her to life. And with Peter’s fantastic writing, Jess’s aims and thoughts were already on point – it was such a joy to play her!

Host received critical acclaim, and your performance was particularly praised. How did you approach portraying your character in the found footage Horror. And what challenges did you face in bringing her to life? 

When we decided to make Host, everyone involved (including VFX artists, stunt artists, sound technicians, and riggers) were stuck at home during lockdown. We were all in a WhatsApp group and we joked that we were tired of doing virtual quizzes, so why not make a movie. It was quite the challenge to create a found footage horror while filming through our phones on Zoom. But we were up for it. The preparation for the role was mostly focused on the technical aspects, since we had to work with limited resources. We had all the props and gear sent to our homes and we had to figure out how to film ourselves effectively. It was definitely a complicated process. The most interesting part about Host I found, was that it was mostly improvised. We only had a 10-page script, written by the talented Jed Sheperd and Gemma Hurley, and the rest of the dialogue was completely up to us. This allowed for a lot of creative freedom and spontaneity. We also had a unique rule where we couldn’t see what the other actors were doing on their Zoom screens, so our reactions to the death scenes were actually genuine. The director, Rob Savage, would even message us privately to prompt specific reactions to each other. Despite the challenges, working on Host was a truly amazing experience. We were all close friends and had no idea it would become such a hit. So to see it go global and even receive a BIFA nomination was a surreal and unforgettable moment for us all.

Being featured in Empire magazine’s 100 best horror movie characters list is quite an accomplishment. What do you think sets your character apart and resonates with the audiences? 

For me, being included in Empire magazine’s 100 best horror movie characters list is definitely a milestone in my career. It’s an honour to be recognized for my portrayal of this character. I believe what sets my character apart is that, often in horror movies, we see male characters taking on the role of the antagonist and challenging others. But with this character, I wanted to break the mold and have a woman/non-binary person in that role. At the same time, I wanted to show that she does have a heart and cares for her friends deeply. I think that dichotomy of being both abrasive and caring is what resonates with audiences. Mainly, I wanted my character to be relatable. Yes, she may be abrasive and unapologetic, but she also has fears and insecurities just like anyone else. And I think that vulnerability is what makes her a well-rounded and compelling character.

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Fantastic, thank you so much. Lockwood & Co. has been a massive hit on Netflix, what drew you to this project? And what was your experience like working alongside Ruby Stokes and Morven Christie?  

I was immediately drawn to the unique concept of Lockwood & Co. and the opportunity to work with Joe Cornish. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a part of a Netflix ghost horror series directed by Joe Cornish? I’ve been a fan of his work for a while, from Attack the Block to the Adam and Joe show. So, I was eager to be involved in any project he was working on. My role as the voice of the ghost of Annabel Ward was such a thrill for me. I mainly I worked closely with Joe, the producers, and the incredible sound engineers. Joe’s intelligence and curiosity are evident in his work, and it was a blast to collaborate with him. I truly hope we’ll have the opportunity to work together again in the future.

Winning the ABC Discovers UK Digital Talent Competition must have been a significant milestone in your career. How did this opportunity shape your path as an actor? And what lessons did you learn from it? 


Yeah, that was a big moment in my career as I was working part time jobs and felt at a bit of a crossroads in my career. I thought, let me just throw my hat into the ring like I do with every audition, once it’s done, put it in the “Fuck it folder” – If I get it, I get it. If I don’t it’s gone to the right person. And I didn’t hear anything for ages. Then suddenly, I got a call back and a producer in LA wanted to hop on Skype…who told me I got the job! Everything shifted from there; I got loads of auditions and booked in a film. The whole process really taught me a lot about self-worth and reaffirmed my desire of wanting to pursue a career in acting. I guess we just need someone to recognise that and wait for that moment to be seen. I then went on and did a film called Doom and got an AMC pilot, but I couldn’t turn my visa over in time. Since then, I’ve just been building on that career.

As a filmmaker yourself, how does your experience behind the camera influence your approach to acting and vice versa. 

Overall, my experience as both a filmmaker and actor allows me to approach projects from multiple perspectives, resulting in a deeper understanding and appreciation for the craft of filmmaking, the filmmakers and the acting process. With filmmaking, I just want to make things that are original, that entertain people, that are dynamic, that are character dirven and make people think and want to either change or question where they’re at in life and where they’re going. And that is also how I wish to approach acting, I guess they are similar just the actual craft and how you go about it is different.

Your comedy short film Stalling It, screened at prestigious festivals like BAFTA and BIFA. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the film and your experience as both writer and director. 

So, my friend Caroline Ward approached me with a fantastic script about bridesmaids who were struggling with feeling like they were behind in life. We worked on the script together and decided to set it in the 80s, adding some fun elements like big hair and wedding cake dresses. We filmed it in one day with an amazing cast and crew, right before the pandemic hit. The response was incredible and people really connected with the characters. It was my first time as both writer and director and I loved every minute of it. It also gave me the confidence to write more, as someone who is dyslexic, I initially lacked confidence in my own voice, but now I see the power in my unique perspective as someone who is neurodivergent, autistic, and ADHD. It has sparked my passion for writing, which is fuelled by my imagination. I have also learned the importance of building a team of kind, caring, and curious individuals. However, now that my acting career has started to get busy, I need to find a balance and make time to continue pursuing writing and directing.


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With such a diverse range of roles in your filmography, from horror to action to comedy, how do you navigate the versatility needed to embody each character authentically?

I think one of the things that drew me to acting in the first place was the opportunity to explore different facets of humanity. Each character I play is like a new journey where I get to delve into their unique experiences, emotions and perspectives. And as a person, coming from a mixed background and being queer and neurodiverse, I understand the complexity and diversity within us all. My curiosity and willingness to fully immerse myself in each character helps me bring authenticity to my performances. Going to therapy has also greatly enhanced my understanding of myself and my ability to tap into different parts of my personality when portraying a character. I’ve learned to embrace vulnerability and to give myself the grace to make mistakes, which helps me bring depth and authenticity to my roles. As Joaquin Phoenix once said, our job as actors is to turn up and embarrass ourselves in order to fully embody a character. And I truly believe that by doing so, we are able to showcase the complexities and nuances of being human. So for me, navigation of versatility in my roles is an ongoing journey of self-discovery and vulnerability, but also an incredible opportunity to connect with different aspects of our shared humanity.

Thank you! Doom: Annihilation, Wonder Woman, Silent Witness, Flashback, Two Doors Down- Your credits span across various genres and platforms. What drives your choices in selecting projects? And is there a particular type of role you’re drawn to?

What really draws me to a project is the originality and heart of the story. For example, Red Eye was a beautifully written show that really resonated with me. The writing was so well-crafted that it was all right there on the page. It’s a privilege to be a part of projects like that. I also enjoy being a part of something new and exciting, like the movie Host, which we filmed entirely on Zoom. No one could have predicted that it would be such a success. I’m always drawn to projects that push boundaries and do something unexpected. In addition to the creative aspect, I also like to consider the impact that a project can have. For example, working on something within my community or with people who are making a difference in the world is something that really resonates with me and if my work can help bring attention to important issues or inspire others, that’s a bonus.

Fantastic. Looking ahead, what kind of projects are you excited to explore in the future – Both as an actor and a filmmaker? Are there any dream roles or genres you aspire to tackle next? 

As a writer and director, I am drawn towards comedy and have recently dabbled in horror as well. I love the horror community and their support. However, comedy is a genre close to my heart when it comes to writing and directing. As an actor, I am eager to take on a historic role that is not clichéd or degrading for my mixed heritage. I also have a passion for sci-fi and fantasy – the Lord of the Rings films sparked my love for the industry and I would be thrilled to work on something similar. Anything involving supernatural elements and world-building excites me because it allows for creativity and unique storytelling. I’d love to do a period drama but that’s just because I’ve always wanted to wear a corset, which I know I’m going to regret saying the moment I’m put in one! But ultimately, I am open to any project as long as the script is compelling and the team is awesome. And who knows, new genres could emerge in the future, which is incredibly exciting!


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Red Eye is available on ITV1 and ITVX now


Photographer: Jemima Marriott

Styling: Tilly Wheating

Make-up: Sara Hill

Hair: Chad Maxwell

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