Black Eyewear Woman | Jenny Runacre

Jenny wears JAMAL in Black, shoot by Markn for Black Eyewear

Jenny Runacre is a South African-born English actress and artist. She was attending the Actors’ Workshop when she was cast for the role of Mary Tynan in Cassavetes’s film Husbands. During her career she starred in iconic films such as Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Canterbury Tales, John Huston’s The Mackintosh Man, Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger and Derek Jarman’s Jubilee.

In the 90s Jenny obtained a Master’s in Fine Art Practice at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design and she has since worked mostly in the art world, focusing on installation art and experimental filmmaking.
She continues to act and has just performed in the Lady of Camellias at Waterloo East Theatre.

Jenny Runacre welcomed us into her striking West London house, a home as original and unique as she is, and we talked about her career, personal style and her Black Eyewear shoot with photographer Markn.

Black Eyewear: Cinema. Theatre. TV. Art. Is there a common thread that run across all the different areas you explored during your career?

Jenny: The main emphasis of my work has always been on art and the avant garde.  Especially in theatre – I have worked a lot in experimental theatre – and of course I have loved working with most of the Directors of the films I have been in due to their artistic vision and innovative ways of working.

You worked with Jack Nicholson, Derek Jarman, John Cassavetes, Pasolini and Antonioni. Is there any moment in your career you are particularly attached to?

I have always loved working in the films I have been in.  I suppose the director I learnt the most from was John Cassavetes,  I was still at Drama School when I started work on ‘Husbands’ with him, and although it was a grueling experience I have always felt that that was the film I learnt the most from.   I also particularly loved working with Derek Jarman, on Jubilee – as he was a mate.

3 movies that everyone should watch?

Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ – a classic film,  Ridley Scott’s – Thelma and Louise –  a seminal feminist movie and new film US by John Peele – brilliant for the times we live in.

left: Jenny wears LENA in Matt Black right: Jenny wears JAMAL in Black

What’s your take on personal style and how important is it when working on a new character?

I have a very personal style and I always know what I like and don’t like, however on movies you often have to dress as the Costume Designer wants and the film requires, though you can often have an input.

What are you looking for in a frame and what’s your favourite frame in the BLACK EYEWEAR collection?

I like a frame that is stylish and original and also one that suits my face shape and creates the look that I want.

” I like a frame that is stylish and original
and also one that suits my face shape and creates the look that I want. “

What drew you to Black Eyewear and made you decide to take part in this photographic project?

I love Black Eyewear- their frames are very stylish, cool and accessible.

We love your home’s personality, what does it say about you?

My home is made up of images and furniture that I love, and that are of personal satisfaction to me.

What are you reading at the moment?

The last book I read is ‘H is for Hawk’ by Helen Macdonald  – a brilliantly written autobiography about the loss of her father combined with an extremely sensitive celebration of the relationship between human kind and the environment.

Jenny wears JAMAL in Black, shoot by Markn for Black Eyewear

” I love going to markets, buying things from markets and watching the people in markets.  I love the multi-culturism and the people you meet there.” 

As we speak, you’ve just finished at the Waterloo East Theatre with The Lady of the Camellias. What’s coming up next?

We finished our run at Waterloo East Theatre on the 24th March.  It was very well received and great fun to do.  I have several new projects in the pipeline, including the book I have been working on regarding the different influences of the various Directors I have worked with.

And finally, you have been living in London for many years now, what are the best places to see humanity go by?

I love going to markets, buying things from markets and watching the people in markets.  I love the multi-culturism of markets, and the people you meet there, my favourites are the Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill, Roman Road Market in Bow, East London and any market that has some history attached to it.

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