Tuesday, April 19, 2011



“My first break into television came when I was 15 and was offered the lead role in LWT’s series Black Beauty.

Although it was what every little girl dreamed of, I wasn’t desperate in the least to become an actress. In fact, I’d done a bit of acting before and had sworn I’d never do it again!

Five years before, when I was just 10 years old, I’d had a part in the film Cromwell with Richard Harris and had absolutely hated it!

I thought it was a very silly way to earn a living, and I had found it dreadfully uncomfortable, with a dress that was too tight and those horrid hot lights that made me feel like I was going to faint!

I’d heard of suffering for my art, but this was ridiculous!

After that experience, I decided showbiz was not for me, and put my energies into becoming a nurse. I studied very hard at school to get the right qualifications, until the school took us to a hospital where I saw terminally ill children and elderly people in the geriatric ward. I knew then that I wouldn’t be able to make it as a nurse, so it was back to the drawing board. I was very depressed about it, and thoroughly confused.

Then out of the blue, my mother, who was also an actress, got a call from her agent who said that the producers of Black Beauty were looking for a teenage girl to take over the lead role in the series, and he thought I would be perfect.

I went to see LWT on Thursday, mainly because I wanted to skive off school for the day. By the following Monday I was at the farm in Richmansworth and the very next day I was told I had the part, and was to start filming 10 days later! It was all so sudden that I didn’t really have time to think about what was going on.

There was only one slight problem though – I didn’t know how to ride a horse, so the next week and a half before filming started were spent in the saddle with loads of padding under my bottom, desperately learning how to ride so that hopefully I would look like a professional.

My initial fear of horses soon left me, and although I was stiff and bruised I couldn’t wait to get back in the saddle.

I did nine months of filming and it was one of the happiest times of my life. Everyone I worked with on the series was absolutely lovely.

It was totally different to the filming Cromwell, and all the aspects I had hated about filming that weren’t there when I was filming Black Beauty. Firstly, Beauty was mainly on location so there were none of those horrid studio lights, and my costume was much more comfortable!

Needless to say, the acting bug really hit me, and I’m afraid I never gave nursing another thought!”

No comments:

Post a Comment