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We sat down with renowned Australian Actress, Cassie Howarth, on her career highlights, her sense of style, meeting Jane Fonda and what’s next on the cards.
Tell us your story. Where are you from? How’d you grow up?
I grew up on a farm by the beach, north of Sydney. That’s where my love of the ocean and nature originated. Most days were spent with my brothers down in the surf or playing on the farm. I also took ballet from 5 years old until I finished school, which led to an interest in Musical Theatre and drama. As much as I enjoyed these things, I never really thought you could make a living from them and therefore did not pursue them straight after school.
After finishing my degree at University of Sydney, I was given a scholarship to dance with the Broadway Dance Centre in New York, which led to my acting career.
How did you start acting? Was it something you always wanted to do?
I had a back and hamstring injury in New York whilst dancing, which resulted in me spending more time in acting classes. I had always loved to act but I didn’t feel it was a possible career path. Once I started attending more classes and joining a theatre company there, I decided to give it solid go and really dedicated myself to learning everything I could.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far? What’s next on the cards - any interesting projects, opportunities?
I don’t know if one job has been a highlight, I’m so grateful to my career for allowing me to live overseas and have experiences I never would have without it. One that stands out is being part of a panel with Jane Fonda at the Cannes film festival. She is someone I look up to and I loved our conversations.
How has COVID affected the world of cinema and television here at home?
Last year I felt a huge emotional toll from it. As an actor, you get so much rejection when you are in the auditioning process but you always have the hope that one will land. That keeps you going. When there are no auditions, and that hope is removed, it really makes you question what you’re doing in the career. I found that hard.
This year, it seems to be the opposite. There are a lot of productions coming to Australia and so the auditions have started up again. I think it will be a fantastic time for our local writers, producers, crews and actors. I’m looking forward to the projects that will come out of it.
Outside of acting, what are your passions and interests?
Definitely the ocean, and more recently I’ve become really interested in ways of preserving it. I’ve started to feel quite protective of it, I think because I want my children to enjoy it the same way I have been able to. Dance is still a passion of mine, it always will be. It’s a form of expression without words and allows me to be completely in my body and out of my head. This year I have also become really interested in how people manage their money and invest for the future. I’m especially interested in this as an artist, because my income isn’t always set. I’m studying it at the moment but I’d love to learn more.
How would you describe your sense of style? How does it reflect who you are, and how you live?
I think my style has changed over the years, it has always been very feminine but I am now leaning towards more classic.
Do you think tailored garments for women are becoming more commonplace? What are the sorts of occasions you think you’d wear a suit, or a blazer, to?
Definitely. Suits and especially suit jackets are not confined to work or after work drinks anymore. It is not uncommon to see a woman out in a great tailored suit on a Saturday night. I love that look. I find a lot of events I attend with acting have moved from the traditional gowns to tailored suits for women. It brings another degree of elegance.
For me, I love a suit that can go from a business meeting straight to after work drinks or a date. I love it when a suit has a structured elegant look so I feel professional and polished when I’m in a meeting but also very feminine.
Take us through designing your own custom suit. Have you done it before?
I have not ever designed a suit before. This was a first for me! The process was so easy and simple to follow, and the team was extremely helpful. They guided me to create the exact suit I was looking for.
What are the details you settled on? How does it reflect your personality and vibe?
The longer jacket, leather buttons and high waist pants were small details that had that professional yet relaxed vibe I was after. I had been looking for a suit with these details but was unable to get them all in one. The custom design solved that for me.