MilliOnAir Magazine July 2017 - Page 42


Do you regularly work with charities?

I tend to work with the charities that relate to me, such as Anna Kennedy Online and Advanced Autism. I am very passionate about my craft and diversity in the industry - much as there is room for middle upper class white people in the acting world there should be equal representation for black, Asia, transgender and disabled actors.

Triforce helps people from all avenues without the funds for drama school to show their skills in acting, writing or anything within the industry by giving them a platform, hosting a nationwide showcase, MonologueSlam.

I am also involved with Enough Abuse UK, a charity aimed at preventing child abuse. I have no personal experience in this field but, as a human and a mother, who would not want to be involved in protecting the vulnerable?

The Enough Abuse Campaign

You make a guest appearance in Black Eyed Susan, the short film about depression. Have you ever had depression yourself?

Not personally, but I am good friends with Denise Welch so I have seen it first hand and my partner has been living with depression since he was 12. At one point back then he wanted to take his own life and while he manages it now, it never really goes away.

Everyone should see this film - it really gives you an idea of how it feels to live with depression.

What was it like working with Denise Welch?

I really admire Denise, not only as an actress but also as a person who has battled her own demons. We worked together in Steel Magnolias; back then she was still drinking and my father was an alcoholic so I had empathy with her right from the start. I am really pleased that she has come out on top.

We had such a good time working on the film. Angie Lonsdale, whom I adore, was there too. We improvised a bit and it was glorious.

You toured in Steel Magnolias a few years ago - were you a fan of the film?

Oh my goodness yes! Who isn’t? It had such a great cast and all those camp eighties hair-dos! We went to Nicky Clark’s to learn how to do hair for the show. In the stage show I played the Darryl Hanna character, Annelle Dupuy Desoto, who is a young beautician.

The bond between the women in the salon is wonderful to watch. And with a cast including Sally Field and Shirley MacLaine, it’s a classic.

What are you favourite films?

My favourite film has to be Black Narcissus - it's intense. Much as I love the glamour of the forties and fifties in the film word it was mesmorising to see an actress stripped bare of make-up - a nun gone bad - and it is an iconic British film. Deborah Kerr is sensational.

You once played Peter Pan - would you like to play that role again and what stories do you read to your own children?

I played Peter Pan for the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations. It was written by Alan Bennett, directed by Sir Trevor Nunn and we got to do it in Buckingham Palace! It was a once in a lifetime experience. But if the opportunity came up again, it would be great to do it.

My children are very different - my daughter loves fantasy such as Harry Potter while my son loves factual reading on subjects like volcanoes or the Universe. We have to balance story time.

You played Little Mo in EastEnders for six years. Do you still get asked about her?

Yes, and I’m very proud of that. The role made a real impression on people.