curated | antonia campbell-hughes

Irish writer and actress Antonia Campbell-Hughes has gone from strength to strength, crafting dynamic performances across projects like 3096 Days and Dangerous Liaisons. Now, her directorial debut It Is In Us All is showcasing her deft touch as a director. The slow-burn film features esteemed actor (and Schön! 43 cover star) Cosmo Jarvis who returns to tie up the affairs of a deceased aunt and must confront his self-destructive core when a violent car crash challenges him to face his truth. 

To celebrate the release of the film hitting streaming, Campbell-Hughes walks Schön! through her curated selection — touching on everything from her dream fashion garment from a film to her favourite lyric and more.

Hey Antonia, what are you up to right now?  

In development on my second feature DIAMOND SHITTER with BFI. It’s set in Geneva where I  lived as a young child for many years. Acting in a few projects in the UK in between. About to do Jury for Camerimage- looking forward to seeing some wonderful films. And, of course, my first feature as writer/director (and actor) IT IS IN US ALL starring Cosmo Jarvis,  is being released in the US.  

If someone asked you what your origin story was, how would you describe it? 

I was in art and fashion as a teenager. Then was seduced by film, working as an actor for years…but always writing. Now I am making films. I have always had an insatiable desire to push further into the unknown. That was my origin and continues to be the journey.  The word for it now is 3rd Culture. I moved around constantly as a child. You learn fast and absorb plentifully but there are also large gaps in some necessary areas of formation.  I was always a watcher and nomadic drifter.  

Describe your style in 3 words.  

Lithe. Prince. Ceremonial.  

An iconic piece of clothing from a film that you’d like to have?  

The obvious answer is Christiane’s leather jacket from Kinder Zum Bahnhof Zoo.  Christian Bale’s flight suit from Empire of The Sun.

Where are you happiest?  

Without a doubt in a cave, deep in a forest, clinging to a rock. Or Yogurtland.  

Ideal 3-course meal?  

Every 3-course meal on an airplane is better. (Ideal)  

Who would play you in the story of your life?  

If we aren’t speaking in real time…?. Edward Norton. Or Charlotte Gainsbourg 

What would it be if you could only watch one film for the rest of your life? 

Watership Down. It exists in isolation – beyond cinema and story. It is a world of parallels. Emotional and challenging. Animation- that is pure artistry allows us to be liberated from our current life/world trappings. It dances between innocence and horror- the balance shifts on every watch.


What’s one song that you’d like to listen to the first time again?  

Securicor. CRASS. The intro. Try it. Listen to it. The first time, the first beats it grabbed my insides in an adrenal anarchic thrill that changed me for life.  

An underrated song/artist you love?  

Most? I love an underdog. Scout Niblet? (Although Scout has had an incredibly long career) 

The song that describes your coming-of-age story?  

I’m trying to figure out when that was…. I was on a rigorous diet of non-profit euro/UK punk from the ages of about 14 to 17. I yearned for pop. For folk. For disco or metal. My closeted  ‘cheat meal’ at the time was old Cure albums. So much tender melancholy as an antidote to hardcore. Gender tug-o-war. Then I allowed the rigid pure punk rules to bend and fell in love with pop punk. So. The song that filled my teenage heart and made the world magical.  Distillers- The Hunger. Not so much a description, but more the accompaniment in the thrilling transition out of childhood. Soft enough to not be threatening, female enough to feel the friend’s hand on your shoulder, guttural fearless enough to make late summer nights electric.  

An album that you’d put in a time capsule?  

I think Grunge was a pivotal moment in music. Nirvana is a time-defying time capsule in itself.  Their short run continues on through generations. But I feel that Courtney Love/Hole should have the throne now. Something so raw and essential- was of its Time. We saw that with punk.. it’s the natural process – to strip everything back to its core elements and release the primal scream,. I would worry that in the future, that might not happen again. Time capsule reminders could be essential.  

There have been so many extraordinary anarchic voices. But Hole was the commercial broader reach. Maybe wise to go gently with our time capsule-chosen representative.  

A lyric that you love and the song it’s from?  

Moonshiner. First recorded around 1927, by an unknown writer. Became an Irish folk song. Then Bob Dylan.  

THE GREAT WESTERN squares were an Irish country rock band. Their version- it breaks your soul and electrifies your blood.  

Nothing moves me like bravery. Sacrifice. Hardened Unrequited lonesomeness.  I discovered this about age 11- and it made me the man that I am.  

And I go to some barroom  

To drink with my friends  

Where the women they can’t follow  

To see what I spend  

God bless them pretty women  

I wish they was mine  

With breath as sweet as  

The dew on the vine” 

A track that reminds you of a happy moment?  

Violent Femmes- Blister In The Sun Dancing about wildly as a tiny person.  It’s so full of joy.  

A song that you discovered recently that you love?  

Given that I know nothing about the world of Spotify – some new music passes me by. But I  came across that young person called Girl in Red everyone is raving about. I think they’re very cute.  

Best record to get you out of a funk?  

Rich Bitch. Die Antwoord. Sexy, cool, and quite funny.  

What’s the last song you searched for on Spotify? 

I don’t use Spotify. Have never used it. Does Shazam still exist? I used that once or twice- but it never found the songs I  was trying to get info on. I did look on YouTube for some Bonnie Prince Billy and Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster, as my computer wiped my whole music library. Seriously… go vinyl. Stay vinyl. Or cassette. Or cd.  

A song you wish you wrote?  

I really wish I had completed writing the EP I spent a year writing at age 19 with my best friend.  We were called Rabbit. Scrappy scowly garage punk rock 2-piece. 

photography. Chris Barr

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