Barry school pupil, 8, stars in film thriller
3:43pm Monday 18th February 2013 in News
A BARRY youngster is set to star in her first film after being chosen as a lead character in a supernatural thriller.
Eight-year-old Mercy Gaiger was chosen to feature in the film Molly Crows after catching the eyes of the director from a horror photo ‘that went viral’.
A short trailer of the film on video-sharing website Youtube has already been viewed nearly 13,000 times and has been widely talked about on horror blogs.
Amateur photographer mum Shanea Gaiger, whose photo of Mercy dressed as ‘Chucky’ originally caught the eyes of director Ray Wilkes, said that Mercy loves to dress up for Hallowe’en.
“Every year she goes over the top for Hallowe’en and dresses as the likes of Freddy Krueger, Chucky and Billy the puppet from Saw,” she said.
“Someone saw the pictures of Chucky as they went viral.
“I then had a phone call from a guy who was directing a film who had seen the photo and wanted to know if she could act.
“She had had a few parts but never anything big.”
After Mercy sent over a video audition to Ray Wilkes, who has written, directed and produced the independent film, which is based on a 17th Century story of witchcraft and is set in modern times, she was selected to star as the character Jess.
“She goes from being a spoilt little kid to being possessed by a witch who wants revenge as she was bullied,” said Shanea.
“It was completely new and a little bit daunting.
“It took just over a year to film and there were more than 70 actors and extras.
“Some of it was done in Barry and Porthkerry, while other parts were filmed in Stoke-on-Trent.”
She added that it was difficult trying to fit in filming around Mercy’s lessons at Barry Island Primary School.
“It was a nightmare but the director managed to do it mostly for weekends,” she said.
“At one point we were filming at Porthkerry at minus two degrees at 6am in the morning.
“It was supposed to be barefoot but we scrapped that look as it was a bit too cold!”
She added that after filming the director gave Mercy an ‘amazing’ reference.
“She almost never forgot her lines and always had the right emotion.
“She played her part really well, too.”
The film is set to be submitted to festivals in March, before it is hoped that it will be released in the autumn.
Actor George Newton, who has starred in Dead Man’s Shoes and This is England, also features in the film.
Mercy, whose favourite actor is Johnny Depp and favourite film is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, said filming was ‘really fun’.
She added that the worst part of filming was taking off the make-up.
“It took three hours of special effects to get the side of the face to make it look burnt and charred,” said Shanea. “It took three days to take off!”
Mercy, who has previously dressed up as a Fallen Angel from Doctor Who, said: “Doctor Who is my favourite series and I would love to be in it.”
Mercy attends acting lessons at The Workshop in Cardiff once a week lFor more information about the film, search for Molly Crows – The Movie on Facebook.