Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Claire's Going Postal

25 year old rising star Claire Foy, who last year landed the lead role in the BBC's adaptation of Little Dorrit, is to star as Adore Belle Dearheart in Sky 1's up and coming adaptation of another Terry Pratchett novel "Going Postal".

Claire trained at the Oxford School of Drama after attending university in Liverpool where she focused on drama and screen studies.

'When I was a little girl, I trained as a ballet dancer,' she says. 'Then, when I was 13 I developed juvenile arthritis. That's when I began thinking about acting, although I never really thought I could do it.'

The turning point came at school - Aylesbury High in Buckinghamshire. 'We did a couple of shows. But I was never the prettiest or the most talented girl. It was always an uphill struggle. I've loved drama, but somehow I just thought everyone else was better than me. Then when I went to university, I realised you've just got to have the guts to go for it.'

Here's Claire's description of the audition process for Little Dorrit:

'It's uncanny how this has turned out to be a story with a very modern connection, but I hadn't even read the book when I first auditioned because I was convinced I didn't stand a chance of getting the part', she says. 'All I knew was that it was a period drama.

'There were four auditions and for the first two with the casting director Rachel Freck I was struggling to get a grip on it all. I went in and read my lines and I got completely the wrong end of the stick. It was atrocious.'

Claire was lucky. Instead of being dismissed - as some tough casting directors might have done - Rachel Freck encouraged the young actress to try again.

'She said to me, "You can do it." So I spent a lot of time on it and finally read the book, which really helped because then I realised how Dickens had envisaged Amy Dorrit, and what the casting people wanted.

'Even when I found out we had gone down from 40 candidates to just three or four girls, I still thought I didn't stand a chance. Then I got the call saying they wanted me and I said: "Are you sure?" I thought right up until the last minute that they were going to turn round and say: "No, we've made a mistake!"'

But producer Lisa Osborne explains why they gave this plum role to an unknown with only three National Theatre plays and one TV drama, Being Human, to her credit. 'We were keen to find a girl who viewers wouldn't have seen before so she'd be fresh and believable as Amy Dorrit.

'I think Claire is beautiful, but the look was kind of less important. Obviously, there's a thing you want to have in Little Dorrit and that's a sense of littleness. She's described as being almost child-like, and Claire is tiny, like a sparrow. We couldn't have cast a 5ft 10in Little Dorrit, that wouldn't have worked.'

We'll also be seeing Claire next year in Season of the Witch, starring along side Nicholas Cage which is sure to raise her profile in the US.


  1. What a lovely interview! Shame they got the casting director's name wrong - it's Rachel Freck, not Frett! :P

  2. Thanks Olivia, I've corrected that.