Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott is best known for her critically-acclaimed performance in the film Nemesis opposite Billy Murray and Bruce Payne. Her most recent role is in the newly released international action film Renegades starring alongside Danny Trejo, Lee Majors, and Michael Paré. Other notable film roles include The Exorcism of Karen Walker with Shane Taylor and The Krays: Dead Man Walking with Guy Henry, as well as many other award-winning roles in short films.
A trained dancer, Jeanine performed with the British Ballet Organization and was offered a scholarship by the Royal Ballet until an injury prevented her from pursuing those dreams. She turned from dance to music and became an accomplished musician and was first violin in the Kingston Youth Orchestra.
Jeanine is one of the founders of the disruptive independent production company Shogun Films. Since her son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 2, she has become a staunch advocate for Diabetes charities running in several marathons for the charities including the London Marathon. When not working, Jeanine enjoys fashion, fast cars, and spending time with her 4 children and husband, producer Jonathan Sothcott.
Follow Jeanine @JeanineNerissa
Hi Jeanine, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a British actress best known for the movies Nemesis and Renegades. I was born in Chelsea in London and grew up in Kingston in Surrey. I’m married to the film producer Jonathan Sothcott and we have 4 children and a dog, Barney the cocker spaniel. I am also one of the founders of Shogun Films, a disruptive production company making traditional action movies in the US and UK.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Unconventional. Compassionate. Curvaceous.
How did you get started in acting?
My youngest son Gabriel was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 2 years old and it made me reevaluate my life and realize it was ‘now or never’ to pursue my dreams. I was in my forties at the time which was pretty daunting but I threw myself into it and took every opportunity I could – student films, shorts, fringe theatre, rehearsed readings, radio – everything to learn my craft. Eventually I was leading my own theatre group, reviewing new writing and curating scratch nights. I didn’t go to drama school but I feel like I paid my dues.
How has this changed your life?
It has enriched it massively – I just love performing. It’s like a drug, the greatest buzz you can imagine. It has also allowed me to meet so many interesting people and experience some truly wonderful things. If I could act every day of my life I would.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
The best thing is the buzz of performing, immersing myself in a character completely. It’s quite unlike anything else so it’s hard to quantify. The worst part is the jealousy it brings out in people, which manifests itself in so many odd ways. Old friends who won’t acknowledge you as anything but a mother no matter what you achieve. People who latch onto you because they want something. Total strangers who leave vile comments on social media. And that’s what I get as basically a totally unknown newcomer, I really can’t imagine what it must be like for people who are really scrutinized in the public eye.
How do you prepare for a role?
I know the script inside out – I don’t just learn my lines but everyone else’s too; I find it much easier that way. On “Renegades” I had some weapons training from a former Police Firearms Officer named Jamie Clarke which was very helpful. There are no guns in the UK so it isn’t an everyday skill!
Tell us about your work in the international action film “Renegades?”
“Renegades” is a revenge action thriller in the style of R.E.D. with a dash of Harry Brown and The Wild Geese. I play a Scotland Yard detective, Annie Moore, investigating the vigilante reprisals after the death of Major Carver (Lee Majors). Initially I dismiss his old special forces veteran comrades as suspects due to their age but eventually I not only realize what they’re up to but end up helping them! Usually characters in action films have strong convictions one way or another (hero or villain) so to go on a journey like that was very satisfying.
How was working alongside such a talented cast like Danny Trejo, Lee Majors, and Michael Paré?
A joy. Michael Paré and I filmed our scene separately but I am a huge fan of his and am hoping to make a film with him properly later this year. Danny Trejo is just an absolute legend. It was so exciting getting him in the film. And Lee was a dream come true – I loved him in “The Fall Guy” and “The Six Million Dollar Man” growing up and over the years he and his wife Faith have become really good friends of ours. And on top of that my first scene was with the wonderful Stephanie Beacham who I adored in “The Colbys”. It really was the most fantastic experience from start to finish.
What other projects have you been part of?
I was in a horror movie called “Aura” (aka “The Exorcism of Karen Walker”) which was released by Sony in the USA. It was a solid little thriller about Kirlian Photography and I worked with an amazing actor named Shane Taylor, super talented and so nice. More recently I did a gangland home invasion movie called “Nemesis”, which was released by Samuel Goldwyn in America and is currently playing on Tubi. Amazing cast – Billy Murray, Bruce Payne, Julian Glover, Ricky Grover. I played a very glamorous gangster’s doll, that was a wonderful role.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
Playing a cop in “Renegades” was wonderful because I love crime shows – both drama and true crime documentaries which I watch obsessively. It would be my absolute dream to be in one of those iconic American crime shows like “Criminal Minds”, “Law and Order” and “NCIS”.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Knowing that it will live on long after I have gone – movies are wonderful time capsules.
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
Don’t just sit around waiting for the phone to ring, find something to do to support yourself and keep you stimulated when you’re not acting. I was very lucky to come to acting when I did in some ways because I had a career and some stability already. Most actors are unemployed as actors and I think that isn’t good for your mental health if you’ve nothing to fall back on.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
Never stop believing in yourself – the day you do is the day you should no longer act.
How would your best friend describe you?
Full of life, energetic to the point of turbo-charged and always positive. I want to make the most of every day, I don’t sleep a lot and I try to make every minute count.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Friends will come and go – everyone’s on their own journey in life, so you can’t get hung up when they come in and out of yours.
What’s next for Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott in 2023?
Renegades is released in the UK on the 30th January and I’m really looking forward to the premiere. My next movie will, I hope, be a western called “Reckoning Day” written by Robert Dunn and directed by Brandon Slagle. I’m doing another film for Brandon called “Chase”, a very dark horror thriller based on the novel by Shaun Hutson. He’s an amazing talent and I can’t wait to work with him. I’m also doing a female revenge movie called “Eyewitness” written by Josh Ridgway and directed by Reg Traviss. So 2023 is shaping up to be very, very exciting.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Fresh Lobster and prawns – I’m addicted to shellfish. I’m not the biggest fan of crab but funnily enough it’s my husband’s favourite so we never argue if they only have one left in a restaurant (and he’d let me have it anyway haha)!
And your favorite cheat food?
Chinese food – when I find a great Chinese restaurant, and they’re few and far between in the UK, I immediately become a regular. There is a great one in Bournemouth called 1805 which I’d happily drive 100 miles for dinner in. In London Mr How and The Good Earth in Knightsbridge are both amazing. I love using chopsticks too, I actually enjoy it more than Western cutlery.
What is your own definition of happiness?
People think that as an actress it’s all film premieres and parties but I’m all about family and am quite a homebody really. We’re lucky enough to live near the sea and on Christmas Day we took the kids and our dog to the beach and had a bottle of pink champagne with the older ones. I looked out at the sea and all the people I loved and thought I am truly blessed. At the end of the day your health and your family are the only things that really matter.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Marilyn Monroe – so much mystique has grown around her legend and I’d love to discover the real her. I think she was funny, sexy and very intelligent and I think she’s a very underrated actress. The true definition of a star.
Best advice ever given?
When I was doing a radio interview talking about my son’s diabetes the guy I was working with said to me “you know you really don’t have the face for radio, you should be in front of the camera” and that was one of the things that really pushed me into acting. Just goes to show how much of a difference the right words at the right time can make.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I can see myself either living in America or spending a lot more time there. I hope our production company will have become a very serious player in the action movie space and in order to do that we’ll need to be there. We have an office in Atlanta already and an American partner so things are moving in the right direction. I’d like to have reached a stage where when people see me in a movie they’re pleased to do so, not because I’m a big star but because they think ‘oh that’s her from such and such a film.’
Favorite song? Why?
“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears. I grew up in the 80s and it really was our anthem – whenever it comes on the radio I turn it straight up and blast it out. A real feel good song.
What do you think of Social Media?
Put it this way, I wish it wasn’t the necessary evil it is. I try to limit mine as much as possible because I just think it’s a portal to negativity and unrealistic expectations. It is a wonderful way of connecting with your audience but there’s a huge amount of pressure that comes with that.
Where can we follow you?
Book: “The Box of Delights” by John Masefield
Quote: “It’s Never Too Late to Change”
Movie: “Con Air”
Tv Series: “Hart To Hart”
Favorite Food: Caviar
Travel Destination: Monaco
Sports Team: Chelsea Football
Photo Credit: Portraits – Dean Street Designs