Macey Chipping in Mystic (2021)
The fictional town of Kauri Point is home to a tight-knit community of people. Shot on location in New Zealand, this small town has a tranquil way of life and a strong sense of togetherness set against a beautiful landscape. But there is more to Kauri Point than meets the eye, and in a town where everyone knows everyone, news travels fast. There’s something incessantly appealing about stories set in small towns. When done well, the intimacy of getting to know a lot of characters and spending time in a place that becomes familiar can become a comfort. Such is the case in Mystic. Filled with adventure, mystery, and resonating universal messages, Mystic is a comforting new family friendly series that people of all ages can engage with.
Based on bestselling author Stacy Gregg’s Pony Club Secrets book series, Mystic incorporates multiple genres and speaks to many meaningful themes, from environmentalism to friendship. At the core is a young girl on a spiritual journey of self-discovery. When 14-year-old British girl Issie Brown (Macey Chipping) moves to her mother’s remote hometown in New Zealand following the death of her father, she feels out of place and missing her friends from London. Living with her mom and activist grandmother, Issie befriends members of a local youth equestrian club, and things get strange. With the appearance of Mystic, a spirit horse only Issie can see, she soon uncovers secrets about a mysterious group of horses connected to environmental turmoil.
In this interview, actress Macey Chipping speaks about her role, what drew her to the series, her experience working with horses, and more!
Nadia: Mystic excels at incorporating multiple genres and speaks to many meaningful themes, from environmentalism to friendship. There are universal topics that I think people of all generations can relate to. Was there a specific element about the story that you felt most drawn to?
Macey: I think Issie's storyline about her dad's death drew me in the most. I loved filming it - especially with Laura Patch who plays Amanda, Issie's mum. I think I was drawn to it because Issie never coped with her father's death and that was why she acted the way she did. There’s a scene when she opens up to Amanda and they have that conversation and it was such a huge part of Issie's journey and a real turning point in the relationship between Issie and her mum. Also, as an actor, it’s so great to have deeper and more meaningful scenes because you have to access a lot of emotion and I find that really exciting - there are only so many times a character has a moment like that!
Nadia: Your character, Issie, leads a series in which self-discovery and speaking up on important issues play a large role. You did such a wonderful job portraying her strong-willed personality and her fight for truthfulness, which drive the storyline well. How did you find Issie's voice?
Macey: I love playing Issie because of how headstrong she is and how much she fights for what she believes in. As a girl, I think it’s really important to have that to show the younger viewers that girls are strong that can do the same things as boys and stand up to anyone who’s doing wrong.
Nadia: Were you familiar with Stacy Gregg's Pony Club Secrets book series before Mystic came your way? Did the books become a big resource for you in preparation for filming?
Macey: I actually hadn’t read it before I auditioned and only read the first book in the series when I got a call back audition. I knew the series was going to be an adaptation of the book and therefore it’d be dramatised and changed in certain aspects so I didn’t want to drill the storyline of the book and how the characters are in my head too much, but I thought it was a great book - I really enjoyed reading it.
Nadia: The fictional town of Kauri Point is home to a tight-knit community of people where everyone knows everyone. There's a strong sense of togetherness, especially among the young equestrian club members. Could you speak to working with the incredibly talented ensemble of actors?
Macey: Of course - I honestly have met friends for life on this job. Every single cast member is incredible and they welcomed me in so quickly which was so lovely. We are all so close and support each other and try to uplift each other if anyone needs it. I’m honestly so grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given because if I didn’t get the job I wouldn’t have met these amazing people!
Nadia: We see Issie as a gifted horse rider with raw talent; she connects with horses on a spiritual level. I love that this connection feels embraced in the series, and is considered a gift rather than an oddity. Could you speak to your experience working so closely with the horses?
Macey: Working with horses has been amazing. Learning how to ride, learning about them and forming a bond with your horse has been amazing and a feeling like no other. It obviously makes things a little harder as they are animals and have their own cheeky personalities, but all-in-all they are so well behaved while they're on set with loads of people, cameras in their faces and screens being walked in or held over them. Also seeing and learning about how the horse wranglers train them has been so interesting.
Nadia: I binge-watched the series and already can't wait for more seasons. What excites you most about the idea of returning to your character and to the Mystic world?
Macey: The main thing that excites me is returning to New Zealand and seeing everyone again! But I also want to see how Issie's journey develops - the relationships she's formed with the young riders and Blaze and... possibly any trouble that comes her way...
Mystic premieres Sunday, May 16 at 8pm ET on Super Channel Heart & Home.
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