The Eternal Daughter: The Whole Story

© A24

The Eternal Daughter comes to cinemas across Wales and the UK in November 2023.

We’ve created a Made in Wales Support Pack for this film, featuring an exclusive video introduction from Welsh actor Carly-Sophia Davies, editorial in partnership with Buzz Magazine, social cards, programming recommendations and social assets, all of which you can share with your audiences to promote the film’s Welsh connections.

In The Eternal Daughter, an artist and her elderly mother confront long-buried secrets when they return to a former family home, now a hotel haunted by its mysterious past. Featuring a towering, deeply moving performance by Tilda Swinton, acclaimed filmmaker Joanna Hogg’s beguiling latest film is a brilliant and captivating exploration of parental relationships and the things we leave behind. The supporting cast includes Welsh actress Carly-Sophia Davies (Spring Awakening, Midsomer Murders) and Joseph Mydell (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Son).

Filmed in Flintshire, this film is part of a trilogy of Joanna Hogg and Tilda Swinton films.

Find downloadable versions of the film in the Support Pack, which you can screen in your cinema space before the film, or use to promote your events on socials.

Making her feature film debut, Port Talbot actor Carly-Sophia Davies hits the spooky jackpot.

Initially interested in singing, Carly-Sophia came to acting late, joining the West Glamorgan Youth Theatre at the age of 16 then getting a place at drama school in LAMDA. She moved to London at 18, ‘quite a shock to the system… I was pushed into the deep end’ and thrived. Since graduating her career has been stellar.

A stint at Theatr Clwyd in the play Pavilion led to her second job, amidst the upheaval of Covid, acting alongside Tilda Swinton in acclaimed director Joanna Hogg’s film The Eternal Daughter. Hogg has previously turned autobiography into celluloid with The Souvenir Parts I and II, the Eternal Daughter continues this via a ghost story of sorts, but it is ultimately an exploration of the mother/daughter bond. Carly-Sophia plays a surly hotel receptionist, providing bluntly funny light relief with her offhand way of treating Swinton as she stays at an impressively Gothic hotel.

It was a bit of a pinch me moment..

…recollects Carly-Sophia, who found working with Hogg a delight. The audition comprised a few questions that she had to respond to on camera, regarding experience in the hotel trade, if she had had a paranormal encounter and how she was with movement. Believing she would never get it, ‘it’s with bloody Tilda Swinton! She was surprised to have a Zoom and recalls speaking for over an hour with Hogg who was ‘so lovely. smart, sensitive and warm and had a real transparency…’. They clicked and Carly-Sophia was allowed to weigh in on Hogg’s vision of those frosty receptionists who affect anyone’s stay in a hotel over the seven week shoot. She felt trusted by Hogg who gave her ownership over her character, responding rudely to Tilda Swinton whenever she would make a reasonable request with acidic aplomb, Hogg gave her directorial ‘nuggets of gold and let me have a play’.

Carly-Sophia felt rewarded, her first professional experience on set was supportive, collaborative, relaxed and playful.

It was a total dream to be honest.

Filmed in the imposing Soughton Hall in Flintshire, a place that Carly-Sophia revisited recently and found herself terrified by it, ‘it does look like something out of a horror film’ she recalls. Hogg and her crew had some experiences they can’t explain whilst filming there as did Carly-Sophia when a make-up bag seemingly moved of its own accord. Whether this was due to low key hysteria and dealing with the ghostly subject matter she does realise makes things open to question! ‘It was like the film. Where does the film start and where does it end’, a truly immersive experience.

Carly-Sophia went with the film to the Venice Film Festival, ‘an amazing experience’ and has been very busy since. She was in Spring Awakening on stage and is currently filming a major new drama ‘Out There’ with Martin Clunes, as I speak to her she has just returned from another audition for an upcoming project. Holding her own easily against Tilda Swinton and providing some caustic levity to the proceedings of The Eternal Daughter marks Carly-Sophia as a Welsh face to watch.

She counts as her inspiration her drama teachers and the collaborative families she’s encountered making theatre shows and films that come together to make something. She wants to do more work that resonates, hoping to work again in indie film, to work on projects that are challenging and hard-hitting to do with real life and relationships. She’s so pleased to have been involved in exciting films, TV and theatre.

I think I could stop now, not that I want to, but I’ve already made some really cool projects with some amazing people.

Carly-Sophia Davies is on the rise.

First published by Buzz Magazine online on 18th November 2023. See article here.

If you need some extra inspiration to help with your programme, we’ve put together a pack with news and reviews, including about the Welsh filming location, themed Welsh features and short films including The Sin Eater, which also stars Carly-Sophia Davies).


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