Tilda Cobham-Hervey was 16 when she auditioned for and won her first acting role, the lead in Sophie Hyde’s Adelaide-shot feature 52 Tuesdays, in 2011.
That was a big commitment, juggled with her year 11 and 12 studies as the film was shot on consecutive Tuesdays for 52 weeks.
At the end of last year Tilly shot her second film, playing the title character in One Eyed Girl, the directing debut of cinematographer Nick Matthews.
Both films will have their world premieres at the Adelaide Film Festival (October 10-20). Both were funded by the SAFC's FilmLab and the AFF Investment Fund supported 52 Tuesdays.
Now 19, the Adelaide-based Cobham-Hervey is understandably nervous as she waits to see how the films are received, particularly as she won’t see One Eyed Girl until the premiere.
In 52 Tuesdays she plays teen Billie, who struggles with the revelation that her mother (Del Herbert-Jane) plans to change gender. Billie goes to live with her dad for a year while mother and daughter vow to meet every Tuesday during that year. Matthew Cormack wrote the screenplay from a story he devised with Hyde.
Scripted by Matthews and Craig Behenna, One Eyed Girl is a dark thriller about Travis (Mark Leonard Winter), a psychiatrist who is haunted by the death of a patient. Tilly plays Grace, a girl who lives in an isolated house and forms a bond with Travis.
Neither film has an Australian distributor yet. New York-based Visit Films is handling international sales on 52 Tuesdays for the producers, Rebecca Summerton’s Closer Productions, Matt Cormack, Hyde and Bryan Mason.
One Eyed Girl producer David Ngo, who’s also the film’s editor and colourist, tells IF, “We're talking with a few distribs at the moment but as we're currently burning the midnight oil in post to finish for AFF, I've put it all on hold until November when I can breathe again.”
Showbiz runs in the blood for the teenager. Her father is lighting designer and event director Geoff Cobham and her mother is dance teacher and former dancer Roz Hervey. Her parents sent her to local circus school Cirkidz when she was nine. She performed with her mum in a Force Majeure dance theatre show in Sydney when she was 13
Before she auditioned for 52 Tuesdays, she says, “I never thought of myself doing a film or even doing any acting.” She tried out for the role with a group of school friends and liked the idea of working with theatre director Daisy Brown, who was running the audition,
With friends she created and performed in a circus theatre show called Freefall, which played at fringe festivals in Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane, plus a regional tour.
Now a career is movies and TV beckons, guided by her agent, United Management’s Trish McAskill. “I’m really interested in film now,” she says.