Things have worked out rather well for Esme Creed-Miles considering she never planned on making acting a career choice. The second season of her highly acclaimed Amazon Prime Video series, “Hanna,” is set to debut July 3.
The streaming service offering is based on the 2011 feature, “Hanna,” where Saoirse Ronan played the title character. Both the movie and the series have featured very physical work for Hanna. Creed-Miles went into the project knowing there would be a lot of hard work to go along with the acting. That didn’t surprise her as much as ending up as an actor.
“That was never part of my game plan,” Creed-Miles says. “I was in school and experimenting with music and sports. I thought I was going to go to university and study.
“I left school when I was 16 and was scouted for a film because of a resemblance to Ruth Wilson and they were desperately searching for someone to play her younger self in a movie. I auditioned for that part. Got it. And, I kept on working from there. It was not a planned thing at all.”
The work she was doing in front of the camera resulted in her being cast to star in the first season of “Hanna” in 2019. In describing how the second season will be different from the first, the British actress says, “I think that the relationship between Hanna and (CIA agent) Marissa (Wiegler) is the most exciting. It was really great to get to be able to develop that relationship.
“The show is about family. It is about wanting family. It’s about how sometimes having to create family when you do not have one with the people you meet in life.”
Asked to describe Hanna in the first season, Creed-Miles calls her “feral.” That description changes to “determined” when it comes to the second season of “Hanna.”
As for taking on a role that had been played by another in the feature film, Creed-Miles stresses that no matter what has happened in the past, once she learned her lines and stepped in front of the cameras for that first season of “Hanna,” the role was the way she wanted to play her.
The series has given Creed-Miles plenty to do as she plays a 15-year-old girl who has been trained in severe isolation by her CIA father in the art of survival. The one thing that he could not prepare Hanna for was her eventual need to contact the outside world.
The aspect of season two that’s so exciting for Creed-Miles comes out of how she no longer has her father looking out for her. The loss of the father figure in her life means that Hanna will be looking for another paternal-type link.
Series creator David Farr (who wrote the screenplay for the “Hanna” feature film) knew immediately he had found the actor to take on the role of Hanna for his production as soon as he heard her speak.
“We did an exhausting search,” Farr says. “I remember seeing her self-tape and thinking there is something so haunted and intimate about her. It was so truthful.
“She had this voice that was it. It was the way I wrote the dialogue and really felt the character. We helped her with the physical part which initially was not her favorite thing.”
The second season has Hanna risking her freedom to rescue her friend Clara (Yasmin Monet Prince) from the Utrax assassin program, now run by John Carmichael (Dermot Mulroney). Hanna finds help in the unlikely form of her previous nemesis, CIA agent Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos), who must protect both herself and Hanna from the ruthless organization she once trusted.
As for the role that got the acting career started for Creed-Miles, it was in the film “Dark River” where she was cast to play a younger version of the role that would be played by Ruth Wilson. The film follows the journey of a woman who returns to her home village for the first time in 15 years to claim the tenancy of the family farm she believes is rightfully hers.
Other work by Creed-Miles has included “Pond Life,” “Mister Lonely” and “Undercliffe.” Between the promotion of season one and filming of season two, Creed-Miles wrote, directed and starred in the short film “Jamie.”
Acting may end up being the path that takes Creed-Miles to where she really wants to be in regards to the acting world. She can’t imagine a life where she would not be involved with film and TV but she enjoys working behind the camera more than being on screen. That could end up being her future.
For now, she can be seen in the second season of “Hanna.” Prime members can stream the eight-episode second season of “Hanna” exclusively via the Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Fire TV, mobile devices and online. Members can also download it to mobile devices for offline viewing at no additional cost to their membership.