Marisa Abela interview: ‘Industry’
“There’s a lot of vulnerability and cracks in her character,” Marisa Abela says about Yasmin in HBO’s freshman drama series “Industry.” Abela stars as one of the recent college graduates who takes a temporary position on the Foreign Exchange desk at the prestigious Pierpoint investment bank in London and must compete against her fellow grads for a limited number of permanent posts. Watch our exclusive interview with Abela above.
Abela shares that she was “overwhelmed with excitement” to play Yasmin, who she describes as “intelligent” and “ferocious,” and who is “majorly overwhelmed in this world and not ready to be challenged and targeted.” Throughout the first season, Yasmin is ignored and harassed by her line manager Kenny (Conor MacNeill), and an early scene in which Kenny forces Yasmin to pitch investment ideas while sitting on a garbage bin proved an important moment for Abela in unlocking the complexity of her character.
Abela praises her “incredible” co-star Myha’la Herrold, who plays Yasmin’s close friend and often rival Harper. Harper “puts a mirror up to Yasmin in a way that no one else in Yasmin’s life does,” Abela notes, and she discusses how the two characters complement each other really well: “Harper can be all walk and no talk, and Yasmin can be all talk and no walk.”
Yasmin also has complicated relationships with the men in her personal and professional lives, including boyfriend Seb (Jonathan Barnwell) and office flame Rob (Harry Lawtey). Abela says that she doesn’t feel Yasmin “cares that much for Robert,” and shares that she personally felt “pretty happy” when she read that Yasmin breaks things off with Seb.
On that much-anticipated scene in the season finale in which Yasmin delivers her RIF, or “reduction in force,” Day speech, Abela notes how “Yasmin’s journey has not yet reached a point where she is the girl who fights for the sisterhood in a room and comes clean,” and for the first time Yasmin must think about “just pure survival.”
“Industry” has been renewed for a second season, and Abela has read the first two scripts. Though she cannot reveal much about where the plot will go, she does share that our favorite characters have “grown up a bit” and that all of the “core relationships are in a really interesting place.”