Born to a Saudi father and British mother, Aiysha isn’t someone who always fitted in at school, in Surrey, England for her dark exotic features, “I was one of the few non-white girls, which wasn’t something I had thought about until other children pointed it out to me. The girls would never play with me or let me be involved in their games, so I’d often just sit alone,” she told Vogue Arabia. Fast forward to 2018, she is now making her mark in a world many aspiring actors can only dream of, Hollywood.
Hart was born in Saudi Arabia and moved to the UK with her family aged 3, and explained that she struggled with her education until one of her teachers introduced her to the stage, “Suddenly, I could be someone else, and that saved me. I was also finally told that I was good at something, at a time when I was struggling academically. Getting into drama school was the first indicator to me that the dream could become a reality.”
Following her studies at King’s College London where she obtained her degree in English Literature, she went on to drama school aged 22, and landed her first leading role in an independent movie, Honour (2014). Seven years and a number of TV, film and theatre roles later, including Dubai based horror film, Djinn, she is set to star in a huge forthcoming Hollywood production.
Aiysha Heart in BBC show Atlantis
Starring as Polaire in biographical drama entitled, Colette, Aiysha Hart will be working alongside Kiera Knightley and Dominic West this winter, as well as playing a role as Miriam Shepherd, in forthcoming TV series, A Discovery of Witches about a 2000 year old vampire geneticist.
Speaking of her Saudi Arabian heritage, the young actress is positive about the reforms being made in the kingdom and even more so as a feminist, especially about the country’s Vision 2030 plan coming to life, women’s rights and the growth of its entertainment industry, “That’s what attracted me to Colette. The movie’s release is very timely. Ultimately, it’s a coming-of-age story about a woman taking ownership of her career.”
Colette is a story about a groundbreaking writer, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (played by Keira Knightley) who writes books under her husband’s name (Dominic West). When she writes a semi-autobiographical novel about a bold country girl called Claudine, it becomes a bestseller that her husband takes all the credit for. Hart explains, “The theme of female authorship is at the core of the movie’s narrative. It won’t be lost on a modern, ‘woke’ audience.”
Kiera Knightley Colette
In her own role in the film, Aiysha plays Polaire, a French-Algerian singer and actor known for her tiny corseted waist and elaborate style who shoots to fame after being casted as Claudine in a theatre adaptation within the film. For this particular role, the 30 year old actress extensively researched the woman she is set to play and found her to be rather fascinating, “A child runaway, she fled from Algeria to Paris where, as an outsider, she grafted a career for herself from scratch. Starting as a singer in cafes, she later became one of the biggest celebrities of her time and a star of early cinema.”
Aiysha’s shoot to stardom is just around the corner, and allows her family to keep her grounded in the midst of her successes. Fully supportive of her acting career, she praises her close family and friends for keeping her from suffering the pitfalls of stardom that come with it too. Hart seems to want the best of success and stardom as well as a somewhat private life, “Of course I want success, and I’m a very ambitious person, but I also appreciate having a sense of anonymity and being able to integrate into society and everyday life. I think it must be difficult as an actor to have to portray real people when you yourself can no longer function within the real world. There are lots of great actors who retain their privacy and normality despite their success. I respect that,” she said.
Along with her successes, the Brit-Saudi actress is fully aware of the responsibilities that come with being in the public eye and speaks about being a role model in a social media world, “By virtue of being a female in the job that I am in, you automatically become a role model in some way, whether you choose that or not. I’m careful of the things I advocate and the message I put out there. I hope I can offer young women something beyond the aesthetic and demonstrate that power comes from a realm outside of the patriarchal gaze. I’d rather offer something relatable than something unattainable.”
We love her already and can’t wait to catch Colette in January 2019, and forthcoming TV show, A Discovery of Witches.