Stalked: Karen Hassan, Actress
28 October 2014
Karen is one to watch this year after making the transition from Channel 4’s hit soap Hollyoaks to hugely successful BBC2 Thriller The Fall which is back for a second series this autumn. Karen began her career by undertaking small roles on the stage most notably in Mixed Marriage at the Lyric Theatre as well as roles in feature films Hunger and Fifty Dead Men Walking and in TV movies including Scapegoat (BBC) and Last Man Hanging (BBC) to name a few.
I had the pleasure of stalking this lovely lady in Marylebone and over coffee at Hunter Gather Cafe quizzed her on her next moves.
What are you working on now?
I've just been cast in Vikings. The script is outstanding and written by Michael Hirst who also wrote The Tudors and Elizabeth. It's also has an amazing cast and stars Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick and Clive Standen, to mention a few. It's an incredible show and I feel so excited to become part of it. Of course I'm sworn to secrecy and can't tell you much just yet about my part but it's definitely something that has been a career high for me. I'm getting stuck in and loving every minute of it. I remember mentioning in an interview that The Vikings was a show on my wish list of jobs and now I'm here. I'm counting my lucky stars. I've also got The Fall Series 2 coming out really soon. I was fortunate enough to be cast in the first series and my character returns again in series two. I've had a sneak peek at it and it's absolutely thrilling. Amazing performances from Gillian Anderson and Jamie Doran. As a viewer I'm glued to it then I pop onto the screen and have to remind myself I'm in it! Written and directed by the super talented Allan Cubitt, series two is just entrancing.
What's been the best part of your career to date?
The best? That's hard to answer, building a career is an ongoing process for me and every job is fought for and brings a sense of achievement. I started my career on the stage, progressed to small parts on TV and was lucky enough to be cast in a soap. It was a huge learning curve for me and taught me a lot. I honestly really loved the work and my experience in Hollyoaks, and being nominated for best actress at the soap awards was a lovely recognition. I would say that coming out of a soap is hard for an actress as you do face a lot of snobbery in this industry. It's frustrating as I am really passionate about what I do and it's just one job in a long career... Hopefully!. Although I want to focus on TV and screen I still want my career to be as varied as possible. I've signed up to do a play at the start of the year, called 'The Business of Murder' by Richard Harris. It's a real thriller and full of twists and turns. Obviously getting The Fall and Vikings is just an amazing feeling. I still want to push on to the next opportunity and I have a long list I want to tick.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors/actresses?
Follow your own trajectory and try to block out the noise. Be genuinely happy for your friends and their achievements. Find a good group of people you love and keep them close. And JUST KEEP GOING! I don't know any actor who could tell you the ABC's of making it but I do know that as long as you care about the 'acting' and the story, you will always get more from a job than someone who is in it for the fame.
How would you describe your personal style and what are you wearing today?
I don't think I have 'a style' really. I guess I dress for the occasion. In my regular day to day I'm probably wearing ripped skinny jeans and a vest top with boots. I like feeling comfortable. But I'll always wear a piece of jewellery or something to make it different. I like more goth style jewellery. Then again sometimes I just feel like popping on a pair of heels and a dress and going for the full makeup look. I love Fearne Cotton's style. She mixes vintage, rock and Classic effortlessly. Today I wanted a casual girl/boy look. The blouse and pants are both from River Island. I love matching tailored trousers with a loose shirt or blouse. All my jewellery is sentimental and I tend to wear them everyday. My black leather bracelet is pandora, the silver bracelet is Links of London and the black and gold arm band is Curbbz. The earrings and bag I picked up from a stall in Brick Lane. Most of my wardrobe is black and white, whether it's tailored, casual or dressy but I've spotted a few bits in the shops in burnt orange that I'm definitely purchasing. Love it!
Where do you shop?
I definitely shop on the high street. I do a lot of browsing online before going into town. Most of the clothes I buy are from Asos, River Island, Top Shop and Primark. I like the vintage inspired look rather than actual vintage clothes as I think body shapes/sizes have changed so much. I don't like throwing clothes out and hate it when something comes back in fashion and I know that ten years ago I did in fact by a Burberry inspired mac which I cannot now find... Where these clothes disappear to is a mystery.
Five items you can't live without?
My i phone ... It's my lifeline and my battery constantly dies from overuse. My sunglasses... I hate squinting and our summer has been amazing! Classic Black stilettos... Go with everything and can sex up an outfit in seconds. Flat boots... black of course (my fav colour) and flat for walking miles around London. A Winter coat... I buy a new one each year and wear it continuously.
I'm rather loving Karen's tweets at the moment, keep up with her antics here.
STALK THE STALKER ON