Claire is a Northern actor based in London and is one of the four co-leads in ensemble drama The Other Plans, directed by Kate Murphy, produced by Meera Shaunak and written by Catherine Bray and Sarah Hunt.
1. Apart from The Other Plans (of course), what do you consider your career highlight to date?
Every job I do has its highlights, but my most recent highlight would have to be Elaine Constantine’s forthcoming Northern Soul (starring Antonia Thomas and also featuring Steve Coogan and Ricky Tomlinson). It was such an amazing experience from start to finish. I was so fortunate to work along such amazing talent in both the cast and the crew and I really didn’t want to leave the 1970s.
2. Tell us about one of your favourite films, TV series, plays or books and why you like it?
I have far too many favourite films to list, but at the moment I am completely obsessed with the French TV series The Returned. I love the way it’s shot; the storytelling; the acting; the directing; everything about it is brilliant – I am now learning French!
3. Describe your character in The Other Plans in one sentence.
I play Olivia, who struggles to cope with the pace and unforeseen circumstances of life, which along with her insomnia is making her life pretty difficult. She is a character who I think everyone could relate to on some level, and has been great to explore and research – entering the world of insomniacs has been really interesting for me. The normal day to day tasks that we overlook suddenly become huge obstacles.
4. If you could choose to work with anyone – living or dead – who would it be?
It would have to be Mike Leigh. One of my favourite ways to work is through improvisation – its my most valued tool as an actor and never fails to stretch, challenge and excite me. To work with Mike Leigh who has honed the skill and technique of using improvisation in film is a life long ambition.
5. Who would play you in a movie of your life?
Rita Tushingham. Not only is she an incredible talent with an unbelievable career to date; but she was also leading the way for a group of actors in the 1960s who were raised out of London, and “refused to let go of their accents or adopt posh manners”. That’ll do for me!