If you were going to categorise Ellie Bamber’s 2018, ‘intense AF’ springs to mind. No stranger to a gritty role – you will recognise Ellie from her chilling role in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals – Ellie jetted to Brazil to portray a real-life backpacker who was kidnapped, repeatedly raped and abused in the back of a tiny van for the film, The Seven Sorrows of Mary.
Then if that wasn’t gut wrenching enough for one twenty-one-year-old, she popped on a corset and tackled one of the most iconic roles of all, Cosette in BBC’s sans singing adaption of Les Misérables. Set to become Christmas TV’s break out star, Ellie’s star turn takes her from rising eugine to fully fledged power house.
Here, one of Britain’s best rising stars opens up her photo album and takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her 2018 from the trap music loving set of Les Misérables to the Chanel Couture show…
I don’t think this snowman has been my best work. With this being taken a year ago, I am looking back at myself in this picture and realise I have gone through tonnes. I don’t think I would speak to you about things in the same way, then. It’s hard to put my mind in the same place that I was because I feel like I’m growing at such a rapid rate that I can’t even keep up. Playing different roles escalates that growing up process, too.
My first reaction when I watched Les Misérables was, ‘wow, my hair looks good!’ They put half a wig in and I was always kinda worried it was gonna make my head look twice as big! This is the girl playing younger Cosette and I. It was actually really bizarre as there was an even younger child, called Milo and then there was a baby me. It was interesting to see what they had gone for and how similar they had made us.
The real lol was, one morning at 5am I asked Dominic West if it was it ok if I played trap music and he said, ‘absolutely I love trap music!’ Next minute I’m playing trap music and we’re having a dance around the trailer. That was fun.
Some Friday nights the crew put on parties in the car parks where we had the trailers. We had fire breathers, smoke machines, disco lights, like, 90s raves!(more…)
Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Gypsy, Red Joan) leads the cast in the role of Christine Keeler. James Norton (McMafia, War and Peace, Happy Valley) stars opposite Cookson in the role of Stephen Ward together with Ellie Bamber (Les Miserables, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Nocturnal Animals) as the model Mandy Rice-Davies. Ben Miles (The Crown, The Last Post) will play John Profumo and Emilia Fox (Silent Witness, Delicious) stars as Valerie Profumo. Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Angels in America, Mope) plays Johnny Edgecombe and Anthony Welsh (Journeyman, Black Mirror, Starred Up) plays Aloysius “Lucky” Gordon.
Written by Bafta award-winning novelist and screenwriter Amanda Coe (Apple Tree Yard, Room at the Top, Life in Squares) and directed by Andrea Harkin (Come Home, Clique), The Trial of Christine Keeler takes a fresh look at one of the most infamous British stories: the chain of events in the 1960s that came to be known as the Profumo Affair.
At the centre of the storm was 19-year-old Christine Keeler (Cookson) – a young woman whom the powerful, male-dominated establishment sought to silence and exploit, but who refused to play by their rules.
The Trial of Christine Keeler takes us behind the headlines to tell a human story about the sexual and cultural politics of one of the most revealing and iconic stories of modern times.
Filming began this week in Bristol.
Sophie Cookson says: “I’m delighted to be playing Christine Keeler in this new drama. Amanda Coe has written an illuminating script about a vivid, complex woman who has previously, it seems, been reduced and misunderstood. Now feels like the perfect time to reconsider her life, and redress the balance.”
James Norton says: “I’m delighted to be working with the BBC on this fantastic drama. The opportunity to play Stephen Ward alongside this stellar cast and crew is something I’m really looking forward to.”
Kate Triggs, Executive Producer for Ecosse Films, says: “I am thrilled that Amanda’s wonderful scripts have attracted such an exciting and stunning cast. They all bring something unique and fresh to the story and will be so compelling to watch. Sophie Cookson is the perfect Christine, embodying all her complexity and incredible spirit”.
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Casting actresses who could authentically convey the age and experience of the young women at the centre of this piece was key to achieving Amanda’s vision for this story. I’m delighted that we have two actresses of such calibre in the roles of Christine and Mandy, and actors of real skill and complexity in James and Ben, to play alongside them.”
The Trial of Christine Keeler is an Ecosse Films and Great Meadow co-production for BBC One. The executive producers are Kate Triggs and Douglas Rae for Ecosse Films, Amanda Coe and Lucy Richer for BBC. Rebecca Ferguson will produce.
The series is commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama.
Keshet International will distribute internationally, while working alongside Endeavor Content to co-distribute the six-part series in the US.
The Trial Of Christine Keeler is the first title to benefit from financial support from the KI Content Fund. Launched earlier in March this year by Keshet International with several of Israel’s largest holding and asset management companies, KI’s five year content fund aims to bring high-profile projects with global appeal to a wider audience by also utilising KI’s worldwide distribution prowess.