Actor Vicky Knight opens up about filming captivating new lesbian drama Silver Haze

Knight spoke to GCN ahead of the film's Irish cinema release this March.

A still from Silver Haze. It shows a close up of Vicky Knight as Franky (left) with glitter all over her face in pink light, looking at the character Florence, who also has glitter on her face and closes her eyes.
Image: Viking Film

Coming to Irish cinemas on Friday, March 29, Silver Haze is a captivating new queer drama set in working-class Britain. It follows 23-year-old nurse Franky, who lives with her large family in an East London borough. She has an obsessive thirst for revenge following a traumatic childhood fire that left her permanently scarred and is unable to build any meaningful relationships.

That is until she falls in love with one of her patients, Florence, with whom she flees the city. While on the coast with Florence’s open-minded family, Franky finds emotional shelter to deal with the grudges of the past.

The film is loosely based on the real-life experiences of lead actor Vicky Knight, who herself is a gay healthcare worker and was the victim of an arson attack when she was just eight years old. Although the actor emphasised that many aspects of Silver Haze have been “dramatised for the movie”, there are some similarities between the stories.

“I was very much like Franky in the sense of, my only goal in life was to get answers and get justice and figure out why (the incident) happened. I’m similar in the sense of attitude towards it, of always wanting to fight.”

With the story being quite close to her, Vicky explained: “I think it was easier for me because I could take myself back to these situations. We improvised quite a lot in Silver Haze. Sacha (Polak) was really free with the script, so she would say the situation and then we would go off and do it our way.”


It’s the second time that Vicky and Sacha have collaborated, previously working together on Dirty God, which follows a young mother in London who gets acid thrown at her. 

Knight admitted that filming that was “more traumatic” for her compared to Silver Haze.

“I hid myself for so long – no one saw my scars,” she explained.

“They only saw what I wanted them to see. Being a non-professional actor, I didn’t understand why the camera had to be so close, why Sacha wanted certain shots,” she continued.

However, going through that process solidified a great relationship between the director and the actor, with Vicky saying, “I’ve got so much trust in that woman, especially with the intimate scenes”.

“It’s Franky’s first time being with a woman, so it needed to be a really powerful but subtle thing…I think it’s really important for it to be in a movie,” she said.

“The way Sacha works, she’s got so many rules in place that you can only feel safe on her set…She never crosses the line, and that’s what I love about her. If there’s any concern or anything, I can just say it to her and she’ll fix it instantly.”

Although Silver Haze is the first time that Vicky has played a queer woman, she says, “I’m not ashamed to say that I’m gay, but I am very aware of younger generations that are very scared to come out or they feel it’s a taboo subject. So I think it was really important to show my sexuality in Silver Haze.”

Vicky expressed how important it is to have realistic LGBTQ+ representation, adding: “I hope the impact would be that people can find their voice and find who they actually are within themselves.”

In terms of the broader message of the film, Vicky wanted audiences to learn to stop living in the past “because you won’t ever get to the future”.

“Silver Haze is a journey, and that’s the reality of life…I want people to take away strength from Franky – doesn’t matter what gets in her way she will still get through it – and my message to people is never give up and be true to who you are.”

Don’t miss out on seeing Vicky Knight in Silver Haze, available to watch in Irish cinemas from Friday, March 29.

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