It’s the kind of spring day that makes you very glad to call London your home, and we’ve been brought to Parliament Hill – the highest point in the city – by actress and self-proclaimed explorer Lucy Chappell. That second title might just come in handy, actually. Harry Soames, our photographer for the day, has approached the shoot with all the gusto of a Safari marksman, throwing himself gamely into the undergrowth and diving around in the long grass in search of the perfect angle. “It’s spring – we’ve got to make use of all this beautiful green!” he cries, as Lucy drapes herself, with the grace of a Shakespearean fairy, around the spruces and brambles of the heath.
Soon, a small crowd has gathered around us – enticed, no doubt, by the flickering lenses of the 18 Carat Rollrights – and Harry is trotting off to examine the dappled sunlight further down the hill. With London’s skyscape far below us like some ridiculous model village, we take the opportunity to ask Lucy a couple of questions.
Hello Lucy, would you introduce yourself for us?
Hello, nice to meet you! I’m Lucy Chappell and I’m an actor who also likes writing and taking pictures.
Who are your style icons?
Kristen Stewart, Johnny Depp, characters from movies – like Drew Barrymore’s character in Poison Ivy, and Ryan Gosling’s in Place Beyond the Pines.
What was your first ever acting role?
One of the three kings in the nativity. It was less acting and more standing but my mum made me a really cool gold cape. Professionally, I had a small role in ITV’s “The Suspicions of Mr Whicher” – it was the first time I had ever been on set and got to wear a corset and had an amazing berry strudel for lunch.
We like to think that our glasses have a truly timeless style. Which fashion era would you most like to live in?
Now – anything goes! I can live in any era I want to.
Your Instagram feed is beautifully gothic. Does this theme continue into your wardrobe?
Thank you, that’s such a compliment. My wardrobe is full of black and lace but there’s also florals, and a lot of boots, bomber jackets and grunge. I like mixing it up and impulse buy a lot; if a piece of clothing makes me think of a movie, or time, or character, that’s what I’ll choose. So I get inspiration from a lot of places and don’t follow a particular trend. It’s more, “who or what do i want to be today?”.
Are there any directors or cinematographers you’d really love to work with?
I love that you included cinematographers too – there are so many I admire. My list is so long but includes Nicholas Winding Refn, Alex Garland, Derek Cianfrance, David Fincher, Sean Bobbitt.
Why did you bring us to Parliament Hill?
I lived in Camden while I was at university and it was the perfect place to come running, pace about learning lines and climb trees. I love nature, so it’s a haven in the middle of the city.
What’s your favourite pair in the new collection?
They were all so cool, but the gold “Explorer” style pair has to be my favourite.
You describe yourself as an ‘actress and explorer’. Any places we should explore that we might not have discovered yet?
Probably around the corner from where you live! I search for the creepy and weird, so I love places like Highgate Cemetery or the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, abandoned buildings or anywhere with neon lights.
What does Truly British mean to you?
Standing up for what you believe in.