When I ask Ellie Bamber for the names of some of the actresses she admired growing up, her answer unintentionally provokes a giggle. “Definitely Nicole Kidman,” she starts. “Moulin Rouge was one of those films that I watched as a kid and was like ‘Oh my god, that’s what I want to do.’ And I love Emma Stone, I think she’s a really amazing actress.” I pause, waiting for the moment of recognition, then laughing, point out the common theme of red hair, shared also by Ellie. All at once, she’s surprised and apologetic, almost as if it didn’t occur to her. “That’s so weird, sorry!” She nervously laughs. “When I was a kid, I was blonde. I’m naturally blonde. It’s weird how as a kid I was already gravitating towards that – that’s funny actually.”
Real or not, Ellie Bamber is a redhead rising through the ranks, her signature strawberry-blonde hair a striking point of difference from many of her peers. It’s this hair that would have played at least a small part in snagging her career-making role in Tom Ford’s haunting 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals, where she joined a flame-haired acting trifecta completed by Amy Adams and Isla Fisher. After a disturbing, but powerful performance as a daughter on a doomed family road trip, it sparked excited murmurs surrounding the Berkshire-born newcomer. But hair is just one thing. Talent is another.
And talent is something that Ellie has in buckets. She’s been lauded as somewhat of an industry chameleon, seamlessly embodying all manner of roles. Pre-Nocturnal Animals, there was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a comic, feminist, gore-filled riff on the Jane Austen classic which saw her train for two months in martial arts. Last year, she made her much-celebrated Donmar Theatre debut for a modern adaptation of the famous Henrik Ibsen play, The Lady from the Sea. In 2017, after the visuals for Shawn Mendes’ hit “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” were released, fans went into a frenzy investigating the identity of his music video love interest – played convincingly by Bamber, a free-spirit in the early raptures of love.
A stint as Tom Ford’s muse means that her style – which she describes as “a combination of classic, pretty things, and street style” – has also snagged her opportunities such as being appointed as a Chanel ambassador. Casual. She’s also the lead in upcoming project, Taipei (High Resolution), a love-in-the-age-of-social-media tale, about “a couple who takes loads of drugs together, film themselves and put it out on the internet.” Currently, she’s speaking to me over the phone from Brazil, where she’s shooting a harrowing abduction true story, The Seven Sorrows of Mary, which she calls a “tough” but also “really important piece of work.”
Harper’s Bazaar UK: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella: it’s fair to say the traditional Disney princess has come under scrutiny of late.
The notion of a damsel in distress saved only by a man is enough to make the modern woman uncomfortable with the fairytales they read – and accepted, often without question – as children.
Over the past few years, Disney stories have changed with the times, with a rise in strong female characters – thanks to , and a slow move towards more diverse princesses such as Moana and The Princess and The Frog’s Tiana.There was also the #DreamBigPrincess initiative in 2016.
One of Disney’s latest offerings is another modern spin of a classic tale: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. The all-star cast includes Bazaar cover star Keira Knightley, who takes on the iconic role of the Sugar Plum Fairy alongside Dame Helen Mirren, ballerina Misty Copeland, Jack Whitehall and Ellie Bamber.
For Bamber – who spoke to Harper’s Bazaar ahead of the film’s release and straight after a dress fitting for the London premiere – the movie comes with a plethora of strong female characters to complement this new wave of modern game-changing female Disney leads.
However, while the 21-year-old welcomes this new wave of princesses, she can’t quite bring herself to completely oppose the traditional fairytale role.
“I mean, I think it’s about time really [to have these powerful Disney female leads] but, having said that, I still love Cinderella,” she says. “There is something about that film and about all of the other fairytales that is magical.
“But, in this day and age, it is really important to have strong female characters and there is certainly that in The Nutcracker. So I think it’s about time and [it’s great] to be reimagining the story in this way which is so truthful and also so wonderful for young girls to have role models.”
While Bamber would have liked these new strong female characters to look up to as a child, she wasn’t short of them herself.
“I had two very strong and powerful women in my life,” she says, referring to her mother and grandmother. “So, they were the fairytale I had.”
Ellie Bamber attends the European Gala Screening of Disney’s ‘The Nutcracker and The Four Realms’ at Vue Westfield on November 01, 2018 in London, England.
She was absolutely beautiful in a Chanel Couture.
See the photos by clicking on the thumbnails below.
#VIDEOS: Cast and Crew at The Nutcracker And The Four Realms Gala Screening.
Ellie Bamber at The Nutcracker And The Four Realms Gala Screening.
INTERVIEW – Ellie Bamber on her great memories from set and Les Miserables at The Nutcracker And The Four Realms Gala Screening.
Ellie Bamber attended BIFA Nominations Photocall at The Everyman Cinema on October 31, 2018 in London, England.
Alongside Arinze Lene, she announced the nominations for BIFA 2018.
See below the video with the announcement of nominees.
Interview during the photocall of the Bifa Nominations 2018.