Behind Diana, there is Camille - Actress talks life, men and sex
Published: Monday | November 30, 2009
It's the way she plays up the connection between the gorgeous face and the goofy attitude that makes Camille Davis so appealing onscreen. But when it comes to knowing what she wants in life, there's no faking.
"No. I don't like to live the status quo lifestyle," said Davis.
And why in the world would she?
Davis is one of Jamaica's leading theatre actresses whose performances - from light comedies to edgy, ambitious dramas - resonate with critics and audiences alike.
Her current role as Diana in Patrick Brown's romantic comedy of the same name has been earning her critical acclaim. She has also been equally mesmerising in several other plays such as Cutie and the Freak, Class of '73 and Love Games.
Davis sat down with The Gleaner at the cool and serene Kingston Waterfront on Ocean Boulevard to talk candidly about love, men, friends, family and charting her own course.
This self-proclaimed shy girl, who hails from the little-known district of Ketto in Westmoreland, said she's now gearing up for another lead role in Easy Street for Jambiz International Productions, which is written by Patrick Brown and directed by Trevor Nairne.
Davis shared little information about her role as 'Queenie', but promised fans that she'll be portraying an interesting character.
Life hasn't been the same for Davis since she debuted in Woody's Last Stand, a 2004 play which caught the attention of her many admirers. Now after five years of acting, Davis has played lead or significant roles in at least 10 plays, with commercials and radio dramas also under her belt. Not bad for a little girl from a little-known district.
But where did it start for Davis?
"One day I was watching a play with my aunt (Doreth Williams) and I told her that I'm going to act someday but she never took me seriously," she said.
She exercised that faith and boldly walked into an audition at Centerstage in 2004 with nothing but talent and dogged determination.
"Wow! It still thrills me. God has really been blessing me," she said of her career. And that was enough to gain her an opportunity at stage acting and brought her from a first-class dreamer to a first-class actress among comedy heavyweights, Oliver Samuels and Glen Campbell.
Davis' first lead role was playing 'Dimples' in Patrick Brown's Vibes. And less than a year, in 2005, an Actor Boy nomination for Best Actress in a Lead Role was bestowed on her.
There hasn't been many public hiccups for Davis - no public outbursts, no scandals and no sex tapes. She credits this to her strong morals in God and to the lessons instilled in her by her grandmother, with whom she grew.
"She's a pastor, so of course, I grew up with a lot of good morals, which is very good these days, seeing how the young girls are carrying on. I'm glad I still have those morals and ethics in me," she said of her grandmother who pastors at City Mission in Westmoreland.
During our interview, The Gleaner couldn't help but notice Davis' penchant for colours.
Her neatly manicured nails were polished in red, yellow and purple. She was perfectly matched in a purple scarf, which complemented her sleeveless pink blouse and blue fitted-jeans and her burnt caramel complexion glowing in the morning sun. Her outfit revealed toned arms and biceps and she possesses a disarming smile.
"Fashion for me is simple. I have a lot of small dresses. I wear pants everyday; my legs are extremely white and look different from my body tone. I love comfortable clothes and I like colours," she said, when asked about her fashion style.
She continued: "I love short shorts and I don't believe anyone should limit his/her desire to dress comfortably."
She expressed a love for meeting people and perhaps that's what motivates her vision of opening a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts. She speaks passionately about achieving this goal even though she's lacking the financial strength.
"That is something I have to do. That's money and I hope one day I will acquire it. It's a personal thing for me. It is very painful to see people on the streets," she said.
The centre, she hopes, will give drug addicts another chance in life. Another goal on her wish list is breaking through in the international movie industry. Though no offers have come her way, Davis remains confident of achieving her goal.
"Well, I haven't really got any movie offers. I still very much want to do films. I want to do good work; that's my aim. I don't want to just act, I want to do good and wholesome work that people can enjoy. Hopefully, I can get overseas in the movie industry," she said.
Having portrayed a prostitute, housekeeper and even a 12-year-old onstage, Davis said her ultimate role would be as a lesbian. She firmly believes in diverse characters while building her resume.
"I look forward to different characters. What would be out there for me is playing the role of a lesbian. Like a 'butch' lesbian," she said.
Davis is admittedly a single girl who has had her share of lost love. But she's open to pursuing a relationship. Yes, Camille Davis is interested in developing a serious love life with someone who can challenge her and help her grow.
Glen Campbell (left) and Camille Davis in Patrick Brown's 'Love Games' in 2007.
But, let's talk sex! "Really?" she responds. "Wow! Nobody has ever talked to me about that. I don't know, this one is new."
1. Which makes a better partner: Sexy movie stars or a sexy 9-5 worker?
"Sometimes the ones in the limelight are trouble. If the person is genuine and fabulous it works for me."
2. What is sexier: Black eyeliner or red lipstick?
"Red lips. I don't particularly love it for myself but love to see it on people. A lot of people love the eyes though."
3. What do you think about male strippers: Sexy or cheesy?
"Sexy ... men go to clubs to see women, so I think there should be a club where women can go and enjoy themselves too."
4. Pick the sexiest date spot: the beach, the club or the sofa?
"I love water, so the beach would be my thing. At nights!"
5. Pick one sexy thing men must have: head of hair, facial hair or chest hair?
"Hair on the chest for me is a huge turn off. That shouldn't even be in there. There are some bald men like (singer) Tyrese, who I think is the sexiest man on earth. Some men look nice with hair and some don't."
While Davis' past may make for great drama, these days her life choices are heavily informed by goals she set for herself - professional and personal.
"I think my life turned out pretty well while not having a father figure. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I was going to act. I wasn't prepared for all the stuff, good and bad. So, it's now learning to cope," said Davis.
Judging by her résumé so far, she's coping just fine.
In this scene from 'Diana', Diana (Camille Davis) has a conversation with Doggie (Courtney Wilson, left) and The Candy Man (Chris Hutchinson). - Contributed photos