We are so proud of our Year 9 student Le’Shantey who has been working hard outside as well as inside school. Le’Shantey, who is developing an early acting career, already has a nomination for ‘Breakthrough Performance’ at the British Independent Film Awards to her name and has just been nominated for ‘The Best Young British/Irish Performer’ by the London Critics’ Circle. We met with her to hear all about it.
Here is Le’Shantey recounting her recent acting pursuits:
My first acting job was when I starred in the film ‘Girl’ by director Adura Onashile, at the age of 11 before heading into Year 7. I played the character ‘Ama’, the 11-year old daughter of Grace, played by my co-star Déborah Lukumuena.
Here is a synopsis of the film: Girl is the story of 24 year old Grace and her 11 year old daughter, Ama. A coming of age story that centres Grace’s inability to leave the past behind or let herself become the woman she could be against Ama’s burgeoning puberty and curiosity of the world. As Grace is forced to confront the truth of her past, she has to come to terms with her trauma and its effects on Ama. And in the ultimate sacrifice, she understands that she has to let Ama go, in order to give them both a chance to really start living.
I then went on to do a Lego commercial, which featured two football stars: Thierry Henry and Marcus Rashford, who were delightful. I did this project when I was 12.
In 2023, I was offered a voice acting job! This was very exciting as I’ve never done any work inside a studio, where they’re only recording my voice and not me physically. The voice acting job was for the animated TV series ‘The Brilliant World of Tom Gates’, based upon the books by Liz Pinchon. I will be featured in Season 2 – it is not out yet, but hopefully it will be out soon! It is available to watch on Sky Kids and NOW TV.
For my role in ‘Girl’, I was nominated for ‘Breakthrough Performance’ at the British Independent Film Awards. When I heard about my nomination I was quite surprised. I had never really expected to get this far so quickly, especially with my first job! Everything was quite a shock. When I got to the Awards show I was absolutely star-struck. I saw quite a few actors who I look up to and who have been inspiring me to be who I am today.
I did quite a few interviews. Predictably, I was quite nervous. I was nervous because I didn’t know what they were going to ask and what I was going to say. Going on the red carpet felt like a dream come true. When I was younger I had always wanted to be on the red carpet like my ‘heroes’: Zendaya; Lupita; Angela Bassett.
When I heard that I didn’t win, I wasn’t as upset as I thought I would be. Instead I thought about how far I had made it and the opportunities to follow.
More recently, I was recently nominated for another award: ‘The Best Young British/Irish Performer’ by the London Critics’ Circle. I attended this event on Sunday 4th February. Actors such as Andrew Scott, Rosamund Pike and Paul Mescal were all nominated and attended, so it was really exciting to go.