Marisa Abela on Wielding Power on the Set of ‘Industry’ Season 2—and Landing a Role in ‘Barbie’

The first season of Industry, Mickey Down and Konrad Kay’s electrifying drama following a group of ambitious young graduates navigating the politics and pitfalls of a prestigious London investment bank, brought us a compelling cast of anti-heroes: Myha’la Herrold’s Harper, a steely American transplant fleeing a troubled past; Harry Lawtey’s Robert, a striver with a cocaine habit; David Jonsson’s Gus, an openly gay old Etonian already disillusioned about the business; and Nabhaan Rizwan’s state-school educated Hari, whose obsession with proving himself leads to tragedy.

The character who seemed to inspire the most discussion, however, was Marisa Abela’s Yasmin. A glossy-haired, well-spoken, hard-working new recruit on the Foreign Exchange desk, she is something of an enigma: a multilingual old-money heiress with a sprawling house in Notting Hill who still insists on picking up everyone’s lunches; someone who is often meek in the face of misogynistic workplace bullying but embarks on a risky, subversive flirtation with a colleague; a young woman in a stagnant relationship with a directionless deadbeat who, through other encounters, discovers that she is a sexual person.

Credit must go to Abela, the 25-year-old Brighton native and recent Royal Academy of Dramatic Art graduate, who walks an impossible tightrope, balancing Yasmin’s underlying fears and insecurities with her natural ease and charm in privileged circles, and the confidence she radiates in her numerous sex scenes.

Luckily for fans eager to know more about Yasmin’s motivations, her background, and her fascinating dysfunctional relationships, she is now returning to screens for the show’s hotly anticipated second season. Set more than a year after the graduates became permanent employees, it opens with them coming back into the office following COVID-related lockdowns. As they settle in, Yasmin crosses paths with Celeste (Katrine De Candole), an executive in private wealth management who proceeds to take her under her wing. On her own desk, she butts heads with Venetia (Indy Lewis), the newest addition to the team, who is keen to disrupt the system in the hopes of changing things for the better. Meanwhile, her home life is disrupted, too, with the arrival of her charismatic, manipulative, playboy father, Charles (Adam Levy).

Ahead of the release of Industry Season 2—on HBO August 1—Abela discusses using her leverage to have serious conversations with the show’s writers about onscreen nudity, the evolution of Yasmin’s wardrobe, and her upcoming role in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.

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