Lying prone with a gentle gaze, the blonde woman sets the scene as being “just you and your honey.” Those first words set the stage for a landmark U.S. commercial.
An Actor’s Professionalism
Linette already had extensive modeling and commercial jobs plus roles on popular British shows like Coronation Street and rave reviews for performances as Lady MacBeth. When she auditioned for the Viagra spot, helmed by Swedish director Jonas Akerlund, she says she made full use “of her body, voice, and eyes which are part of the actor’s toolkit.”
Elegance was the concept she used in approaching the role. She leveraged her blue eyes and worked with Akerlund to communicate a vision of a British beauty, her gown swaying in the breeze.
The spot marked a shift in marketing message for Pfizer, the maker of Viagra. According to an article in the Daily Mail, Revealed: The “reassuring” British soap actress who’s become a US TV sensation, Pfizer polled men who said a woman would motivate them to use the pharmaceutical.
The company enlisted ad powerhouse BBDO and Akerlund. The pressure was on Linette, but she delivered and the result was a flood of media attention with articles in the trades, publications like The New Yorker, debates on Fox News and smirks from Bill Maher on why Americans are suckers for British accents.
An Actor’s Challenge
She paces quickly across the darkened yard, her ex-husband standing with his back to Eva and when he turns, the jealous wife plunges the blade deep into his gut. As he lies on the grass bleeding, she is in the house, on the phone pleading for help, and sobbing.
This scene from the short film The Prowler is a highlight found on Linette’s theatrical reel via her website.
Linette has confidence in her work thanks to her prior training through Drama Centre London. She’s worked on notable shows with noteworthy stars but additional roles didn’t easily materialize. She is a performer who values collaboration yet stepped out of her comfort zone and took control as the CEO of her own career to get her capabilities noticed.
Soon after Viagra she took the lead role in a short thriller film, The Prowler. But unlike many short films the director, Tim Kent, and screenwriter Matthew Arlidge, have a great deal of success between them in the film and television industry.
Arlidge wrote the part of Eva for Linette, the ex-wife raging with jealousy who wants her husband to come back home during the Christmas holidays. Nothing works and murder is her only answer.
The Prowler, produced by DG Productions, has earned numerous awards on the film festival circuit, including Best British Film 2016 and Best Performances Toronto 2017.
Linette played opposite Dominic Rowan and won Best Lead Actress in the 2017 Best Shorts Competition, La Jolla, California along with nominations for Best Lead Actress at various festivals, including the Madrid International Film Festival.
An Actor’s Momentum
Careers have ups and downs and in the entertainment industry, whether Los Angeles, London, or the burgeoning market of Atlanta, and momentum is crucial. Getting the parts to get the audition nods, to secure the roles and gain greater attention is a time-consuming task, a natural process within the industry just like salmon swimming upstream to spawn and begin life anew.
And just like salmon finish their lives in the cycle as they give birth to others, an acting career is fragile and may finish a cycle sooner than what the artist had anticipated.
Wrapping both Viagra and Prowler simply fuelled Linette to take additional steps forward with roles on EastEnders, Doctors, and the hit series Endeavour.
She will reunite with Kent, a force behind Pinewood Studios, on his next film. A professional who is a fan of Linette’s work, writer-director Daniel Yost who directed Drugstore Cowboy with Matt Dillon, has cast Linette in his upcoming project Melody’s Tune, a film about a girl abandoned by her negligent mother and who creates a good mother in her imagination for comfort. Linette will play both the negligent mother and the good mother.
An Actor’s Belief
Part of what has fuelled Linette’s drive is the belief in her own work and obstacles that she’s fought to overcome.
She grew up inspired by stories from both of her late parents and was training as a classical ballerina by age three. Her mother was an opera singer from New Zealand and her father was a British commando who became Chief Herdsman at the Hatfield House — one of Britain’s stories houses.
Her life took a dark turn in her early teens as her father died and she cared for a brother with a disease of the brain, and the family moved from what was an idyllic country setting and took shelter in public housing in the city of Essex.
While dealing with the trauma of loss, Linette became a teenage dance instructor at age 14, giving lessons to local children who couldn’t afford to pay as part of a local arts program.
More of her story is found in her bio on her website that also features her work with a nonprofit, helping children in Darfur, Sudan.
When Linette isn’t auditioning and performing, she is running an arts school in London that she owns, Stagecoach Primrose Hill, for students ages 6 to 19.
Linette is confident that she can accomplish much more as an actress and keep momentum swinging in her favor. Artists, like professionals in all industries, experience emotional ups and downs when circumstances appear overwhelming. The invisible brick wall or mountain to climb can stop anyone.
But Linette has leaned on resources — those who respect her work — to push forward, making gains and contiuning to pursue her calling as an actress. A calling that included a very successful commercial in the fanciful world of U.S. pop culture.
Los Angeles, 2017