Didsbury's Holliday Grainger hits the big time
PUBLISHED: 17:20 14 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:09 20 February 2013
Didsbury-born actress Holliday Grainger is busier than ever, as Paul Mackenzie reports
It's been a busy few months for Holliday Grainger - alongside studying for a degree she has developed a liking for corsets, saved Jane Eyre from destitution, and heart-throb actor Robert Pattinson has divorced Uma Thurman for her.
But despite all that, she has managed to get back and see her mum in Didsbury pretty regularly.
'I get back whenever I can,' she said. 'But I do keep being dragged down to London. I seem to spend half my life down there. I spend the rest of the time at home in Didsbury with my mum Jan and my boyfriend Luke'
Holliday, who appeared in the recent film The Scouting Book for Boys, has recently finished filming Bel Ami which will be released next year - that's the film where she won Robert Pattinson's affections.
And although she is just 22, Holliday is already something of a veteran with a CV which covers the last 16 years. She made her debut on the comedy drama All Quiet on the Preston Front as a six year-old and has worked regularly ever since.
'I just sort of fell into it and did it as a hobby,' she said. 'It was always just something I did rather than something I wanted to do professionally.
'When I was six my mum had a friend who worked in the casting department at the BBC and they were looking for a child and he thought of me. I'd been off school with chicken pox and to keep me occupied my mum had given me the script and I'd been doing paintings of the scenes I would be in.
'I took them along to the audition and I think they were impressed how keen I was. I didn't say it was my mum's way of stopping me getting bored. I've not done that for auditions since, but if there's a part I'm really passionate about, I might resort to painting again!'
She hasn't needed to employ such desperate tactics, with work coming in regularly through her childhood and appearances in television programmes including Casualty, Dalziel and Pascoe, New Street Law and Waterloo Road.
'At primary school people just accepted that it was something I did,' Holliday said. 'People took a bit more notice at secondary school and would shout my lines at me, but I've had the same close group of friends for years and they just accept me for what I am.
'When I was in my early teens I secretly wanted to carry on but I think I hid that because I didn't want to deal with the disappointment if it didn't happen.
'Then I came to apply for university and I realised I was choosing courses which would allow me to take time out for acting. In the end Leeds University told me I had to make a decision between uni and acting and that forced my hand.'
Although she chose acting, she is continuing her studies with the Open University and finds her English language and literature studies beneficial in the day job. 'It's helpful in a lot of ways, especially the module on how dialects developed, as I'm doing a different accent every week.'
Much of her early work was in television but Holliday is now taking more film roles and is looking to extend her range to the stage as well. 'I've only ever done one theatre production and I would like to do more,' she said.
'I love the variety that doing films gives you. It means you are immersed in the story for a relatively short time and then you move on to another one but I'd like to be able to do all three genres. It would be great to be in a position in a few years to be able to do a play a year, with television and film projects in-between.
'The next filming will be for Jane Eyre where I play one of the governesses who saves Jane Eyre from destitution in that film which we're filming in Derbyshire. I'm also going to be in Any Human Heart, a four-part dramatised version of a William Boyd book for television.
'I had never done period drama before this year and now I'm doing two - I love the corsets. I'd wear them off set as well if I had the time to tie myself into them!'