Balgowlah resident and award-winning actor, Taylor Ferguson has had her short film Tough make the finals in this year’s Sydney Film Festival.
The 29-year-old most recently featured in series The Letdown where she played the hippie mum at mothers’ group.
Taylor says she has always been passionate for performance. “There’s something about feeling seen. I think I was always entertaining people to try and get that applause. My dad watched television all the time and I thought maybe if I was on the TV I’d get that attention.”
So how did she make it happen?
“I did a play called Miss Julie at Belvoir and that was my first big thing that helped me get into the industry.”
Performing at Belvoir gave Taylor the opportunity to meet a huge range of people within the industry, which is how she landed more jobs.
However, the glitz and glory of acting is not all as it seems.
“I wouldn’t want my kids to do it. It’s so hard, so much rejection. It’s an interview every week! It’s not always about your skills it’s about your character.”
Taylor studied psychology at university. “I guess that’s why acting came about, because it’s like a character study.”
Taylor is dating lead singer of Boy and Bear, Dave Hosking. She first tried her hand at directing when she directed a music video for their song Three Moons which she filmed around the streets of Manly.
She enjoyed the process of directing and it opened her to other ways of being involved in performance. This led her to write and direct Tough, about a girl who believes that if she makes body armour she will be as tough as her horse and overcome her bullying dad.
“There’s something about feeling seen. I think I was always entertaining people to try and get that applause. My dad watched television all the time and I thought maybe if I was on the TV I’d get that attention.”
The film is raw and honest. It highlights the reality of growing up for many. It captures the some of the shortcomings of parenthood while also showing parental love. The themes in the film are complex and relatable.
Taylor explored her own childhood through the characters in the film.
“I tried to delve into what I wish I had done as a child, or what the strongest part of me would have done. My dad was a pig hunter and used to create breast plates for our dogs so I think I got the armour idea there.”
Still, Taylor speaks adoringly of her parents. She says she knows how proud her dad is of her, even if he doesn’t express it so obviously.
“My dad has me as his screensaver and all his friends tell me how much he talks about me. My mum is my biggest support, she’s my best friend.”
Love is complicated, and sometimes the best way to explore that is through film.
Taylor loves living on the Northern Beaches, having moved here from Newtown.
“My partner and I moved here three years ago. We started in North Manly and then moved to Balgowlah. I love Manly. I mean, it’s a bit ‘white’ but it’s pretty good!”
Taylor will continue acting and directing despite her musings on how tough acting can be. She’ll be appearing next week on the new Netflix series ‘Clickbait’ which is set to come out 25 August 2021.
The 68th Sydney Film Festival runs from 3-14 November 2021. The film festival will be showcasing the 68th Dendy Awards for Australian short films and Europe! Voices of Women in film. Taylor’s ‘Tough’ is one of the finalists.