‘FBI International’ Star Eva-Jane Willis Spent Her Wedding Night and Honeymoon Auditioning for Life-Changing Role … – PEOPLE

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FBI International star Eva-Jane Willis has a wedding story for the ages!

Mere minutes after exchanging vows with her now-husband Alexander Forsyth in London, in June 2022, the actress’ agent told her she had landed what would turn out to be a life-changing audition.

“My agent was one of the guests at our very small, but lovely wedding. He came up to me shortly after the ceremony and said, ‘I know you don’t want to hear this today, but I’ve got an audition for you for a series regular on a Dick Wolf show,’ ” she recalls to PEOPLE. “I was like, ‘You must be joking because I’ve got other things to think about now.’ ”

Eva-Jane Willis (L) and Alexander Forsyth (R) on their wedding day in June 2022.

Alessandra Davison

“I said, ‘Okay, send me the stuff and I’ll look at it but not right now because I’m a bit busy at the moment.’ And I sat down, and my father gave a beautiful speech and we all cried,” she continues. “Then we did the first dance and then I told my brand-new husband, ‘I’ve got a self-tape to do. It’s due in two days.’ And he was like, ‘Right. Shall we finish doing this first?’ ”

After their reception, the couple went back to their hotel suite and when Forsyth — who is also an actor — fell asleep, Willis got down to business, reading over her script and learning her lines to prepare for the audition.

The next morning, they traveled to Paxos, Greece — but before they kicked off their dream honeymoon, Willis filmed her audition tape for the role of FBI International‘s Europol Agent Megan “Smitty” Garretson.

Eva-Jane Willis on her wedding day in June 2022.

Alessandra Davison

“I said [to my husband], ‘Let’s just shoot it and get it out of the way and then we can enjoy our honeymoon,’ ” she recalls. “And we didn’t do any of the stuff we normally do for a self-tape. Normally we have lights and a tripod and we spend hours and hours on it doing countless takes. For this, he held the iPhone in his hands, so it had that shuddering, shaking effect which I’ve come to realize worked quite well for this show.”

“We did it a few times and then I said, ‘That’s it, that’s it now. Let’s go have our honeymoon and forget all about it,’ ” she adds, though she admits she constantly refreshed her email and reached out to her agent several times for updates.

The day the newlyweds arrived back home after their trip, Willis’ agent knocked on her door with a bottle of champagne in hand to deliver the good news in person — she got the part.

“It was one of those unbelievable moments. Obviously, I expected my wedding day to change my life, but this was just icing on a big fat cake,” she remembers.

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Eva-Jane Willis filming ‘FBI International’.


What made the moment even more unbelievable was that, prior to her wedding, she had made the difficult decision to give up acting. After many years of “struggling to make ends meet,” compounded by the impacts of COVID on the industry, Willis felt she needed to find work that was more “stable and consistent,” especially as the pair had recently welcomed a son.

She had begun applying for various assistant and temp jobs, all while planning her wedding with Forsyth. The couple had already had to postpone their nuptials for two years due to the pandemic, after getting engaged at home during the lockdown in May 2020.

“It was kind of supposed to be the start of this new life where we leave this acting dream behind and become sensible people who have sensible jobs,” Willis tells PEOPLE.

Eva-Jane Willis with costar Luke Kleintank in ‘FBI International’.

Nelly Kiss/CBS

When she reflects back, she says she believes there “was some kind of magic that happened that day” she filmed her audition tape in Greece. “Because I threw my coin into the wishing well and just let it go, somehow it worked,” she notes. “I feel very lucky and grateful.”

Willis says she hopes her wedding day story will inspire other actors to keep chasing their dreams.

“I had some dark times as an actor — it’s very difficult. But I think persistence can prevail. It was stories like these that would keep me going,” she explains.

“It was when I had decided to let acting go that it actually gave me something back. And I think that’s because I was holding on to it too tightly. If I was to give advice to other actors who are finding it difficult, it would be to fall in love with something else so that acting isn’t everything,” she continues.

“It was only once I had accepted that I wasn’t going to make acting everything and I’d actually fallen in love with something else and that became my priority that it suddenly gave back to me.”

Eva-Jane Willis with costar Luke Kleintank in ‘FBI International’.

Nelly Kiss/CBS

Just weeks after the wedding, Willis’ family of three packed up and moved to Budapest, where her CBS series — which is currently airing its third season — is filmed. She says she is relishing her role as Smitty — whom she describes as a “badass” and the “complete opposite” of herself — as well as the action-packed nature of the show, which follows a group of elite operatives from the FBI’s International Fly Team.

“We get to do the things you’d only imagine you’d ever do in a Hollywood movie — like running through the streets of Prague and blowing up buildings and playing with guns and feeling like a real action hero,” she tells PEOPLE.

Willis is next set to star as Hanka Zborowska in the upcoming Johnny Depp-directed film Modi, about the famous Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani.

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