The camera loves Lisa Williams, so it seems fitting that film and TV roles have floating her way ever since breakout performances in local theatre productions got her proper notice. Following up her appearance in the award-winning short film Proscenium, which won raves at this summer’s Jamaica Film Festival, the 26-year-old firecracker is lighting up our TV screens as the female lead in Flow’s vibrant Christmas ads. As she looks ahead to returning to the stage and honing her journalism skills at Nationwide Radio, Williams has a quick chat with TALLAWAH about art and life.
TALLAWAH: You bring such radiance to Flow’s crisp new ads making the rounds on local TV and in print for the holiday season. How did the gig find its way to you?
Lisa Williams: The agency that works with Flow contacted me and asked if I wanted to do it. [The commercial] took some to shoot, but it was a lot of dun. I’m easy to work with and I usually have a good time on-set, so working with the people on this shoot was another fun experience.
TALLAWAH: Are Jamaicans still as passionate about Christmas as in years past? What’s the vibe you’ve been getting?
L.W.: The passion for Christmas is not there like years ago. You don’t feel that Christmas energy any more. But my family is very big on Christmas, so I’ll be spending time with them. Country Christmas feels more traditional than Christmas in Kingston.
TALLAWAH: You’ve been a media professional for a few years now. Why did you want to become a journalist?
L.W.: I’ve always been inquisitive, and I wanted a career that would allow me to pursue my passion or theatre at the same time. But back in high school doing law was actually my first choice.
TALLAWAH: So what’s it like working at Nationwide and having Cliff Hughes as your boss?
L.W.: It has been filed with ups and downs, but I’m grateful for the experience. It was rought at first; the culture here is so different. But I just get my job done. The aim for me is always to grow professionally and do everything to the glory of God. I was nominated for Best Young Journalist this year, which I am very proud of.
TALLAWAH: Many Jamaicans first got to know you as a fierce up-and-coming actress appearing in solid productions like Where Is My Father? and Taboo. How come we haven’t seen you on stage in so long?
L.W.: My most recent play was last year, when I did A Small Room with Angie Binns and Cathy Levy. It got a small run, so not a lot of people got to see it, but the character was one of my favourite roles. Since then, things have been on and off. I was supposed to be in Real Friends [the new TV series]. I was booked as the main talent but because of a misunderstanding I had to part company. But I do want to be back on stage. I’m expecting big things in 2016. I’m working with some friends on a few theatre-related projects. I’m praying about it, so we’ll see what happens.
TALLAWAH: How do you feel about Sanneta’s chances of bringing home the Miss World title from China?
L.W.: I’m a big Sanneta fan! I tell people that I think she will win and many don’t agree because of her locks and other factors. I think she stands more than a good chance. I expect her to win.
TALLAWAH: What do you know now that you wish you’d known five, ten years ago?
L.W.: That I am beautiful and talented and I shouldn’t let anyone make me feel small and insignificant, or let their opinion get to me. I wish I was as confident as I am now back then. In becoming a better version of me, I just want to stay true to the Lord and be true to myself.