If knock-backs don’t hurt, something’s hurt’ wrong because they do
“I WAS turned down at drama school when I first auditioned. But all I can say is that I just knew acting was all I wanted to do. There was no back-up plan. It was a creative need I suppose.
I love the variation that acting brings. I love getting under different people’s skin, that’s what it’s all about.
This past year has been a great year because I played three parts that were so different (in Fortitude, Wolf Hall and upcoming BBC crime caper Partners In Crime). You just want to push yourself – how different can I be in something else? That’s the aim. That and to hopefully do a good job!
I think the media like to portray an actor as the next big thing – that they burst out from nowhere. But that is so often not true.
Years of work have gone into someone ‘bursting on to the scene’. It’s unhealthy to think that’s the way that it is. You have to work really hard and take the knock-backs and keep on going. There are exceptions of course and I’m not taking anything away from that. But I’m working quite hard and it doesn’t get any easier, really – you just have to keep chipping away.
[Even now] it’s not like you get the job and it’s over. You’ve still got to do the job. But that’s the challenge and the beauty of acting, I think.
I honestly don’t know how I’ve developed a thick skin when it comes to getting knock-backs. I think you just have to take it one day at a time. You have to have this silly belief in yourself, and I have no idea where it comes from.
You have to surround yourself with good people who you trust. With good eggs. And you just have to keep going forward.
There’s no magic formula. If knockbacks don’t hurt, something’s wrong because they do hurt. So you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth. Acting’s an odd profession, there’s no doubt about it.
When it comes to acting jobs, you never have any idea about what is going to tap into a nation’s heart. Call the Midwife seemed to do that and I’m so proud of the show and the work that I did on it.
I loved working with those girls. The cast were just ace, I really liked them all and we still see each other so that softens the blow (of leaving).
It can be hard leaving something that you know to go into the unknown, but ultimately it felt like the right thing to do. My knees are definitely grateful for not being down on them all the time helping women give birth!
I’ve been spoiled with the roles I’ve played so far. What’s my lucky secret? I don’t know. I just hope it keeps coming.” WOLF HALL SATURDAY, 8.30PM, BBC FIRST