Respected actor and director Alyssa McClelland has a beauty as delicate as autumnal butterfly wings and eyes of such intense blue, they could melt a million hearts and jam a thousand show reels.
With the romantically picturesque backdrop of Centennial Parklands at dawn and undoubtedly the sheerest and most exquisite gown that designer Akira Isogawa has ever created, photographer Toby Burrows, make up artist Isabella Schimid and model Alyssa McClelland weaved some late summer magic.
Humble, hard-working and quietly determined, she likes to collaborate, she likes to team play, she likes to commend people. Basking in McClelland’s aura is pleasant to say the least and I can’t help feeling that she’s been here before in some way. Despite her almost child-like beauty, she is without doubt an ‘old soul’. Luckily in this life it feels like the best of Alyssa McClelland is yet to come.
McClelland’s work embodies the everyday with depth, sensitivity and the occasional touch of comedic ridiculous. Her humour is unique, she is astutely insightful and is a master of integral story telling. If ever you wanted your life story and cupboard skeletons unleashed in film, she’s the director you’d choose without question.
Snap Shot Bio
As a teen McClelland attended the Newtown High School of Performing Arts in Sydney, the Australian Theatre for Young People and later won a scholarship to the Atlantic Theater Company in New York.
Her successful acting career followed in tv, stage and feature films including Home & Away, Rake, Dance Academy, Canal Road, Small Claims, A Man’s Gotta Do, The Bet, Deck Dogz & lead roles with The Sydney & Melbourne Theatre Companies, The Belvoir St Theatre & Tropfest films.
McClelland’s model looks didn’t go unnoticed either when she became the face of Jan Logan Jewellery in 2005 and her professional efforts were acknowledged by InStyle Magazine when she was celebrated in 2012 with a Woman Of Style Award.
In Her Own Words
Where it all began
I was a total nerd! I loved to read and was always writing short stories just for fun. I had an overactive imagination… (maybe still do) My sister and I would create bizarre little worlds and go on these wonderland adventures for entire days. One of our favourite games was ‘stomachs’: my parents had a water-bed so we’d make the room as dark as we could, then roll/ crawl/ squeeze ourselves over the wobbling waves on the bed until we were pushed out into the real world through the intestines. Mum says she always had to invent new activities when I was young as I was always asking ‘what’s next?’ I’m still asking that question today.
Without doubt Tina Fey..“One time I laughed at a blind guy eating spaghetti! Sometimes I pee in the shower if I’m really tired! I saw my grandparents making love once and I didn’t leave right away!” Tina Fey. Sigh. I love her and Kristen Wiig and Amy Poehler… They crack me up with their intelligent wit and incredible work in front of and behind the camera. They are very inspiring, both as women and also just as rad humans who love to laugh and make others laugh. Claudia Karvan and Cate Blanchett are women I look up to on home soil; I admire the way they produce and create projects as well as act in them.
Cracking a smile and a laugh is what I wake up for. My favourite films are ‘When Harry Met Sally’,’ Happy, Happy’, ‘Young Adult’, ‘Bridesmaids’ and all of Woody Allen’s work. Away from comedies, ‘Drive’ and the ‘Pusher’ trilogy by Nicholas Winding Refn blew my mind. Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Night on Earth’ and ‘A Prophet’ by Jacques Audiard are also very high up there.
I think funding independent projects can be challenging. Film is an art form that simply needs proper budgets to bring ideas to life so it can be a long road but a good script is worth the journey and the adventure.
I’m pretty proud of my web series ‘One Step Closer To Home’. I’m really happy that the very dry, comedic sensibility translated and found an audience. Also I do love some advertising projects that I’ve worked on and I must say I’m happy with the AEG commercial I directed for ‘Unexpected Power’ featuring a German arm wrestler with one arm twice as large as the other… he strong-armed me into loving the entire project.
Your Next Dream Job
Starting a cult, learning to do a proper roast dinner and then directing a big ass comedy feature.
My mum had Ovarian Cancer so cancer organisations are very important to me and so I am an avid supporter of The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and Pink Hope organisation, which empowers women and their families to take control of their hereditary breast and ovarian health through education, prevention and support. I also feel very strongly about supporting the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Mission Australia.
Well, Season 2 of ‘One Step Closer To Home’ has just been released so please check it out at www.onestepclosertohome.tv I also have a short film in pre-production and some commercial work in the pipeline so the plate is full and I am tres happy.
Centennial Parklands & The Studio – http://www.tobyburrows.com/
Credits, Acknowledgements & Thanks
Toby Burrows – Isabella Schimid – Patrick Tyrell – Milla Jeffryes
Wardrobe supplied by the following designers
Kathleen @ Akira Isogawa HQ