As a girl from East Cheshire, sometimes I feel like a northern actress who isn’t northern enough. Living in a country like England, where the divide between north and south runs deep, there is often a stereotypical idea of what it means to be ‘Northern’, which somehow or other, I don’t fit into.
I mean my accent definitely has a Mancunian twang, but it’s still not really the kind of voice you think of when you picture Corrie. And my face doesn’t fit either. I’m a mongrel with Bajan, Chinese and Scandinavian roots but somehow I look Italian, (I know, now you’re confused because I have an Italian boy’s name but ignore that, it’s a separate issue). So I’m not your quintessential ‘northern lass’. I almost never get cast in roles that are overtly northern and when you live in the north that can bit a little bit of a problem.
One of my dream roles would be to star in a period drama. I’ve always been drawn to period dramas – the haughty heiress, the nobleman’s rebellious daughter, the poor governess who falls for a man far above her station…as an avid fan of 19th century novels, these are the roles I day dream about. More importantly, these are the kind of roles I would excel at and yet I don’t get these either. This is because, to the Southern ear, my accent does sound most definitely northern, and with countless southern actors to pick from why would anyone want to listen to me doing my RP? (Even though it’s really good I promise!)
However, on the other hand, I’m pretty weird and dark and daft and clumsy and have a tendency to say inappropriate things. Traits which I think would lend themselves well to shows like ‘Inside no.9’ or ‘The End of The F**king world’ or ‘Flowers’ but again, this never happens for me either…Can I blame that on my face? Do I look too straight down the line? Too serious? Too boring?!
I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised that Casting Directors struggle to cast me. I’m half in and half out of about 5 different boxes, and in an industry where you are the product you’re trying to sell, not knowing what you represent is just bad business. So I’ll put my hands up – I’m no business woman, but I reckon I’m actually not bad (I’m also very English so I can’t quite bring myself to say ‘good’) at pretending to be other people. All I need is for someone to look outside the box…