Inside The Actor's Brain...

Ever wanted to know what actors think about the characters they play? Read below to see what Marissa O'Reilly thinks about her character Alison Ellis from Crestfall.

If the writer of Crestfall decided to edit the script again and cut lines, which line of Tilly’s would you fight for?
Ruby motes in a sun shaft spinning.

What do you love the most about Tilly?
She has such heart and a very strong drive to survive. Despite the most harrowing of circumstances, Tilly still manages to express hope, humour and beauty.

What do you find challenging about playing Tilly?
Honouring her complexity is a welcome challenge. I hope I do her justice.

What do you think audiences will take away from Tilly’s story?
Tilly is a prostitute and a drug addict. In everyday life people who work in the sex industry or who suffer from addictive illness are often judged, and in fact, misjudged. While Tilly's story would not represent a lot of people's experience of or exposure to prostitution and drug use, her story does demonstrate that she is not just a victim of circumstance, but a survivor; she is as strong as she is vulnerable, as full of love as she is full of rage. She is a complex young woman whose illness and occupation do not warrant judgment, but rather, empathy.

What made you want to be involved with Crestfall?
I fell in love with the language and the characters. Aside from that, I really did think it would be an epic challenge. I like to push myself.

Why should citizens come and see Tilly in Crestfall?
I would say because she's a rough diamond, but she's not. She's simply a diamond and I think she's utterly loveable. But then again, I'm biased.


Originally from Sydney where she studied with the Australian Theatre for Young People and the Actor's College of Theatre and Television, Marissa moved to Melbourne in 2006 to attend the Victorian College of the Arts. She has toured nationally for Hit Productions,  Complete Works Theatre and Phunktional Theatre as well as appearing in many productions for independent companies, most notably The Artisan Collective.

Marissa is a proud member of Equity.