A SUPERMODEL has swapped the pages of Vogue for Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Agyness Deyn – whose striking looks have seen her booked by the fashion elite, such as Burberry, Armani, Mulberry and Vivienne Westwood – spent time with nurses at the city hospital for the film Electricity.
The 31-year-old has taken up acting and her latest movie, which tells the story of a young woman whose epilepsy brings extraordinary hallucinations, is set in the North East.
Real nurses from the hospital were drafted in to film scenes which show Agyness’s character, Lily O’Connor, having an EEG to record the electrical activity of her brain.
North East audiences will be able to see Electricity, which is adapted from the novel of the same name, when it is screened at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle, on Thursday.
Director Bryn Higgins said: “When I read Ray Robinson’s beautiful novel Electricity, two things stood out among a rich array. Firstly, the energy and appeal of Lily O’Connor as she spoke straight to you with her brash, funny, endearingly defiant voice.
“And secondly the extraordinarily visual hallucinations brought on by Lily’s temporal lobe epilepsy and the fact that we experienced these through Lily’s eyes.”
Speaking about filming in the North East, the Bafta nominee said: “Electricity is the second feature I’ve shot in the North East and I’d love to do another one tomorrow.
“Although the monstrous city of London is a character in the story and about two-thirds of the action takes place there, we actually only shot in London for four days.
“All the interiors and many of the streets were done in Newcastle. It doubles extremely well for parts of London and yet it only takes 20 minutes to get from the city centre to the sea, or in another direction to the wild northern moors.
“People in the North East are so welcoming and have such enthusiasm for anybody who is making something.
“It’s a wonderful region to work in and when the northern light starts to work, there’s no better light in the world.”
Though Agyness made her name on the world’s most famous catwalks and high-profile fashion campaigns, including being the face of designer fragrances, she retired from modelling to focus on acting. Since 2010 she has appeared on the screen in films including Clash of the Titans with Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes.
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Uplifting story of Lily’s search
Lily O’Connor (Deyn) – brash, sexy, witty – lives on the North East coast away from the world and her past. But when her mother dies, the past draws Lily back in.
When she discovers that her younger brother Mikey (Cooke), the only one who looked after her when they were kids, disappeared to London years ago, she resolves to try and find him. But the search could kill her.
Lily’s epilepsy brings vivid visual distortions, strange auras and terrifying visions that we experience through her eyes.
Electricity promises “a journey that brings Lily to the brink of death before triumph in an uplifting story of self-discovery.”