Marta Vella: ‘The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm’

London-based actress Marta Vella tells all in our Q&A

Marta Vella. Photo: Lidia Crisafulli
Marta Vella. Photo: Lidia Crisafulli

London-based actress and theatre practitioner Marta Vella has just wrapped her first editions as the Artistic Director of ŻiguŻajg Festival, and been made an Associate Artist with Teatru Malta.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I do an exercise called priming. So as soon as I wake up, before opening my eyes - I set a positive intention for the day and I go through a list of things I’m grateful for.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

What do you never leave the house without?

Phone, keys, headphones, wallet and now of course, mask.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Chill. Funny. Interesting.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Being loved by so many awesome people.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

No pleasures should be guilty.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

All is in passing.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My phone but that’s so basic. A copy of Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Tree of Codes’ on the other hand is a very prized possession.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

It’s actually not so bad after all and you eventually find your way.

Who’s your inspiration?

Every day’s unsung heroes.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Not attack noses peaking out from behind mask.

If you weren’t an actor what would you be doing?

If I didn’t work in the arts, I’d be a neurosurgeon.     

Do you believe in God?

More often than not, yes.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

My nanna Rose.

What’s your worst habit?

Playing with people’s ears.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

My crazy would be amplified but let’s face it – it’s always there in any case.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Kat Dennings.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Humble bragging. If you’re bragging at least own it.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

‘Breathe Me’ by Sia and Einaudi.

What is your most treasured material possession?

Anything handmade for me.

What is your earliest memory?

Looking at the sun rays seep through my Nanna’s window.

When did you last cry, and why?

Last week – pandemic anxiety. The situation gets to me from time to time.

Who would you most like to meet?

I’d love a chat with Fran Lebowitz.

What’s your favourite food?

Tortellini panna e fungi.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?


If you could travel in time, where would you go?

60s Woodstock.

What book are you reading right now?

‘The Walker: On Finding and Losing Yourself in the Modern City’ by Matthew Beaumont.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?


What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Too many to list, especially now that over year from our lives has been stolen from us.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Matthew and the Atlas.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Some good ol’ classic hip hop.