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Actress Aida King uses her craft to educate on society’s toughest topics

Aida King is more than simply an actress, she is a storyteller. She makes sure to research every character she is going to portray, knowing that it is not enough to simply read the lines of a script; she has to become someone else, just for a moment, and turn someone who simply exists on the pages of a script into a real person. If she doesn’t know their backstory, she creates one, discovering similarities between herself and her character and key differences.

“While I would not describe myself as a method actor, I can say that I truly immerse myself into the character at that moment while filming. Since I have a music background, I apply my method of how I used to prepare for playing music towards acting. I have a part in storytelling, so I ask myself, how do I want to say my part? What do I want the audience to feel?” King described.

Such an approach has garnered King a distinguished reputation as an actress in Canada’s film and television scene. She has worked on celebrated films such as Desert Drive, Hemorrhage, and The Convicted, which have gone on to renowned international film festivals and popular streaming platforms. Awards and accolades however, are not what drives this actress. She simply enjoys doing what she loves each day.

Telling important and impactful stories drives King, and her work on the 2015 film War of Mind allowed her to do just that. The film tells the story of a veteran suffering from PTSD who is forced to face a dead soldier from his past. Although it is a thriller, it takes a harsh and realistic look at mental illness and a disease that affects so many.

“Currently there is still not much general discussion about mental illness in our general western society. Unlike physical illness, mental illness is still considered a taboo to admit oneself (or relative) is stricken. I support open mental illness discussions and feel that PTSD is just one of many illnesses that must be spoken about, as much as possible. Not only do the soldiers suffer, but also the families and friends they return to. It’s an important social commentary to have out in the open in order to decrease the taboo of mental illness and to increase support plus understanding,” said King.

King plays the character of Silvia Childs, an essential part of the story as she provided the suffering military wife friend with education and support. She needed to know that she was not alone and that there were others that could relate to her home situation. She needed to know that PTSD was not about her, but about what her spouse had been afflicted with during his tour of duty. It was important to show someone willing to talk about PTSD, with patience and support towards another that was confused about this condition. Silvia was already aware of the effects of PTSD, as her husband had already returned from duty and was suffering. She makes an attempt to have her fellow military wife friend understand what her suffering military husband was going through, in hopes to provide comfort, understanding, support and friendship towards her new situation that she was trying to adapt to. The writers of the film had previously seen King’s work in The Convicted and knew she could perfectly portray the sincerity necessary for a role like Silvia.

King’s portrayal of Silvia helped lead the film to great critical acclaim, and it went on to be an Official Selection at the Blackbird Film Festival. The trailer is currently featured on the Daily Motion website and is currently available on Vimeo on Demand. “I have family in the Canadian army and that have gone to Afghanistan. I also have family that suffered during WWII while they were just children. I have heard stories that I could not possibly relate to nor comprehend witnessing. I have also observed a veteran showing signs of suffering with PTSD. I used these feeling of longing to understand and to help towards this character,” said King. 

King knows that breaking the stigma toward mental health is important in today’s society. It is a hard topic for many to understand, and she wants to be able to use her skills and power as an actress to help shed light on pressing issues. Through her work in War of Mind, she was able to increase the awareness of this condition.

“I liked that this story went straight to the point. It was quick to illustrate what one person may be going through when suffering with PTSD. No one can really imagine when they see a person on face value what they may be suffering inside. This film illustrates what kind of internal battle a person could be going through. It also shows the confusion that the waiting spouse is going through. Another part of the equation that will also suffer from PTSD affects is the family. It will take a great amount of patience and understanding to support a person - but without it, the sufferer will feel alone,” she concluded.

Written by Sara Fowler

Actress Aida King uses her craft to educate on society’s toughest topics Reviewed by JaamZIN on 7:33:00 PM Rating: 5
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