At first, when she started taking drama courses, Justine Mallan used to work as an extra on local TV series such as Evanġelisti, Il-Klikka and Anġli Kapitlu Ġdid. This really helped her understand the inner workings of filming, and she also learnt a lot from other actors. Consequently, she was given some small speaking parts in Katrina, Iċ-Ċaqqufa, Rajt Ma Rajtx and Inkwilini.
Date of Birth: 1st January, 1996
Star Sign: Capricorn
Media-related occupation: Actress
“My first character on television was that of Hilary, a secretary on the soap opera Ħbieb u Għedewwa. After that, I got chosen from an audition by DarC Productions to play the role of Dr Petra Azzopardi Caruana in Il-Patt, for which we’re on Season 2 right now. Dr Petra is a successful lawyer who’s secretly also a member of a gang. She’s a manipulative and seductive woman who’ll do anything to get what she wants. It’s a completely different character to who I really am, which is why I’m really enjoying playing her prowess! I guess that’s the beauty of acting after all; that you can immerse yourself into someone else, and sometimes you have the opportunity to do things that you cannot do in real life. Actually, I can do them, but I’d end up behind bars!”
At what point in your life did you realise that you had a talent for acting?
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always had a passion for drama. I used to watch a lot of movies and interpret different characters in front of my family. My father wanted to send me to judo lessons, but that didn’t last very long! At the age of 15, I had a summer job through which I saved enough money to start attending a drama course with Freespirit Acting. In that year, I gained a lot of knowledge from different talented tutors like Carlos Farrugia, Duncan Azzopardi, Clive Piscopo and James Sultana. From those lessons, I realised how much I love performing, and I knew that I wanted to take acting more seriously.
What’s your general perception of the local industry?
Looking back when I was young, my parents used to tuck me up in bed at 8.30pm, and I used to sneak out to the living room just to watch local drama on television. I’ve always supported it, and I truly believe that we have some kick ass talent on this island, But unfortunately, the resources and finances are limited when compared with international dramas. Although I can proudly say that in the media sector, we’ve made lots of improvement in these last years.
When you’re not acting, what do you do that gives you equal pleasure?
When I have some free time, the first thing I try to do is visit my dad and my grandparents. I love spending time with my family, and sometimes with our hectic life, it’s not always that easy. I also enjoy hanging out with my older sister Katya and my friends, whether it’s at a club or somewhere more relaxing. The place doesn’t matter as long as I’m surrounded by good company. Apart from having the right people by my side, I’m also an adventurous person; I want to try all the scary rides or the fastest slides. I just love the rush and excitement one feels while you’re on them. However, I’m also a nature lover. I like swimming, pets, the outdoors… so my ideal getaway would be camping.
Do you feel you have enough space to spread your artistic wings in Malta?
In my opinion, it depends on one’s ambitions and if you see acting as a hobby or you want it to become a career. As I’ve said before, we cannot compare our industry with international ones. Internationally, people work as full-time actors, so they can give all their time and effort to work on their characterisation and scripts. In Malta, this is not an option, which means that here, no matter how good or popular the show is, acting is our hobby. At the end, we all do it because it makes us happy, we love performing and it gives us satisfaction. I think nowadays we have many opportunities to study and perform acting. There is a vast number of productions, drama schools, workshops and auditions throughout the year, so there are more open doors than before. Although, for those actors who want to grow more and wish to pursue a career in acting, internationally yes, they can find more opportunities.