“We got involved with the Hullywood Icons project by accident really. My neighbour, who is also a model, mentioned she was doing a Marilyn Monroe scene with her partner - I assumed this was to do with her modelling career but when she shared the link to Quentin Budworth’s work on Facebook and I saw the pictures, I realised it was 'everyday/normal' people recreating iconic film scenes.
I'd mentioned to my neighbour, saying that if I was thin, then I'd loved to have been part of it and would have chosen the lift scene from Dirty Dancing as my favourite film scene of all time. However, as I gave birth to my daughter, Annabelle, only three months ago I felt my husband, James, would probably collapse if he had to try and lift me up!
Within 5 minutes of messaging my friend, she replied saying she'd been in touch with the photographer of the series and said “looks like you're doing the lift!”, filled with excitement to be part of such a fabulous project, but then also felt slightly anxious about the logistics of it all. I had to find a dress, try to look like 'Baby' and arrange childcare for my 3 year old, I also wondered whether my 3 month old would need feeding whilst I was 'mid-lift' plus the task of trying to convince my husband to be 'Jonny'. To be honest, I was close to changing my mind. With a bit of gentle persuasion from my mum and sister, the plans were made.
Quentin came to our home and fortunately for James, he was saved from gaining a hernia, as with a bit of camera trickery, a green screen and me laying on some chairs the lift was created!
I think most couples with young children focus all their time on their children, so for me and James to do something together was really special for us. For the hour we were with Quentin, I felt like 'me' again, not a mum, or a milk machine - just me (well, I felt more like 'Baby'!)
When I saw the image projected on the big screen I was so proud. I wanted to turn to people and say "that's me and my husband.” I didn't share the image on Facebook but have received some really lovely messages from friends saying how they'd seen our image projected. It's really been such a lovely experience and one that I'm so proud to be part of. I would recommend everyone to have a go. If Quentin would have me and James back, I'd jump at the chance of doing another one.
I feel absolutely privileged to be part of Quentin's work, to be part of Hull's City of Culture and the city’s history. Life can be so serious at times and I think we have to take a step back from reality and do something a bit out of our comfort zone once in a while.
If anyone is interested in getting involved with the Hullywoood Icons project, you can find out more about the next shoot here: https://hullywoodicons.com/participate/