Interview and Photoshoot of Daniela Norman by Zuzana Breznanikova
DANIELA NORMAN is a British actress and dancer best known for her role of June Park in Netflix’sTiny Pretty Things. However, she could not be any different in real life. Daniela has a very amiable personality if you get to meet her in person which is a testament to her acting skills I guess. I must say I wasn’t expecting her to be so nice having seen her in the role of June in Tiny Pretty Things which was such a different character to her. Having a strong work ethic and determination has helped her to overcome some incredible challenges (read the full interview to find out more). Daniela is a classically trained ballet dancer and very talented as you might have seen from the series. She also appeared in Cats alongside its famous cast including Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench and Taylor Swift. Her credits also include An American in Paris in musical theatre and Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and more.
You are the most well known for your role of June at Netflix’s Tiny Pretty Things.
How did you prepare for the role of June in Tiny Pretty Things (dance and acting wise). You could not be any different in real life in a positive way. I guess that it a testament to your acting skills.
Preparing to play June wasn’t too far from what my normal life was. I intensely trained in ballet running up to filming and we had a fantastic acting coach Maria Ricossa. I was able to pick so many moments from my real life training as a ballet dancer and incorporate that with my imagination of June’s world!
Could you tell us more about filming it?
Filming TPT felt like hanging with my best friends everyday, my stomach would hurt from laughing all day. The days were long and tough having to keep up with training, learning new choreo as well as filming, but it was all a dream come true to be honest.
It is impressive to be able to dance and act. Do you think dancing helped you in your acting career?
Dancing 100% helped with my acting career. Ballet has given me the most incredible foundation of dedication and hard work that I take into everything I do. Expressing myself through dance (and having to memorise things very quickly) definitely made it easier to do so in acting.
You have worked alongside such big celebrities and icons in Cats musical. How was it working with them?
Everyday on the CATS movie was a masterclass from a different legend. One day we’d be on set with Dame Judi Dench, the next with Sir Ian McKellen and so many more. I tried to soak up as much as I could as well as just being absolutely in awe at the fact I was dancing next to Taylor Swift. Career highlight!
What other acting or dancing accomplishments are you most proud of?
TPT is one of my proudest moments for sure, but I have to say playing one of the Swans in English National Ballets ‘Swan Lake’ is definitely a proud moment. It was what I dreamed of when I was a little girl and the work every woman in the Corps de ballet put in to be absolutely in sync, doing at least 9 shows a week… the ethic and pay off when we all danced as one is something I’ll never forget. It’s those moments all the struggle is completely worth it.
What were some of the biggest challenges for you?
I’m so blessed to have worked on such incredible productions and the challenges I faced definitely led me to them. I had two surgeries by the time I was 20 from working my body to the maximum everyday and it definitely challenges me physically and mentally. They were blessing in disguises though because the time off allowed me to asses what I’m truly passionate about and I’m able to pursue acting as well as still keep my roots! I’m able to work in all different creative outlets.
What is your philosophy in life?
My philosophy is to always listen to your gut. No one knows you better than you and that’s your power not your weakness. I wish I knew that when I was younger and I’m still learning now. Especially because the acting/ ballet and so many more industries are so tough and rejection comes more often than the yeses so have faith in the work you’re doing.
Follow Daniela’s journey as an actress and dancer on her Instagram