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.”
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Ellie is the new ambassador for African Bush Camps and she has launched a blog where she will post about the work of the foundation. Visit Ellie Bamber ABC Foundation and get to know some of the incredible work of African Bush Camps. If you liked ABC’s work, you can make donations on the Foundation’s website.

The African Bush Camps Foundation is honoured to be able to call British actress, Ellie Bamber, an Ambassador for the work that we do in Zimbabwe, Botswana & Zambia.

Ellie spent time visiting and learning about the partnerships and initiatives with the communities we are working to empower during a visit to Zimbabwe in July 2017. The visit inspired her to assist with raising awareness of our work, leveraging on unique opportunities she has by connecting with and inspiring many people through her work in film and theatre.

Ellie stayed at Somalisa Camp in Hwange National Park and during her visit she learned about our projects in the area, including a visit to the Umtshibi Camp Pre-school, Hwange Main Camp Primary School and the Secondary School & some of the income generation projects in Dete. After her visit Ellie said that; “The thing that really resonated with me is the fact they are helping people and animals simultaneously. It’s such a great cause and one I’m really passionate about.”

The thing that really resonated with me is the fact they are helping people and animals simultaneously. Its such a great cause and one that I’m really passionate about.

Looking forward, Ellie will be working to run events and raise awareness in her endeavours around the world and will periodically return to Zimbabwe to visit the projects and see their progress. We are very excited to have Ellie on board.

We asked Ellie a few questions to help understand a bit more about her what inspired her to kindly take up the role as African Bush Camps Foundation Ambassador.


African Bush Camps Foundation (ABCF): It is really great that you have decided to support and help raise awareness about the work the African Bush Camps Foundation does in Zimbabwe, Botswana & Zambia. What made you want to take on the role of an ambassador?

Ellie: I went on holiday to Zambia and Zimbabwe this year, and whilst there I had the opportunity to see so much of the amazing work ABC do and it was just incredibly inspiring. Firstly, can I just say that it was an absolute honour to be asked to be their ambassador! All the things I saw, the people I met, their dedication to improving and making a better and safer life for themselves and the wildlife, there was no question for me to want to help.

ABCF: Where did you grow up, and has there always been an interest in community and conservation in your life?

Ellie: I was born in Surrey but grew up in a country village in Berkshire that has a great community which works hard to protect and conserve the village and surrounding natural areas, so yes I have grown up and have been instilled with a strong sense and knowledge and importance of both.

ABCF: Through your work as an actress in film, television and theatre you have a unique reach of people. What would be the key message about The African Bush Camps Foundation you would like people to know about?

Ellie: My message would be that when I saw what was being done by ABC, the way they work along-side the local communities, in a non-profit aid to conservation in partnership with the local people and also to help the wildlife – it made me feel humble and very lucky and ultimately want to help.
This was a life-changing trip for me.

ABCF: You visited Zimbabwe, and experienced a safari with African Bush Camps, in July 2017. How did you enjoy it? Are there any wildlife sightings or experiences that you still really treasure?

Ellie: Oh wow the safaris were incredible experiences. Getting up in the early hours with the excitement of what you might see, set in the beauty of the surroundings, was jaw dropping in fact! I loved the elephants and was especially excited when we saw Cecil’s Pride!
All the guides are so knowledgeable that I learnt so many interesting facts!

ABCF: What is your favourite African wild animal, and why?

Ellie: The Elephants! When I watched them in their natural habitat, taking in their sheer enormity but yet seeing how gracefully they move both the young and the old together, just so beautiful and majestic.

ABCF: The ethos of our work is to partner with rural communities located in vulnerable wildlife areas to improve their quality of life and achieve long-term conservation. You visited some of the projects whilst you were in Zimbabwe. How did you enjoy meeting the Zimbabwean people and communities we work with?

Ellie: Where do I start! I met the Rangers, I met their families, I met children of all ages and actually didn’t want to leave! The people are so genuine and it was great to meet and chat to the children too. They were just beyond excited to show and tell me all about the new classroom and toilet facilities that are now being added thanks to the work of ABC.