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5 minutes with: Ellie Nunn - 'You can have one great job then months of watching Gossip Girl'

The daughter of Trevor Nunn and Imogen Stubbs is currently starring in Desperate Measures. She discusses growing up around actors and her current role at the Jermyn Street Theatre

Ellie Nunn

Having appeared in Gatsby (Arts Theatre) and Shakespeare in Love (Noel Coward Theatre), Ellie Nunn now takes on the role of Isobel in the new musical Desperate Measures at the Jermyn Street Theatre. Ahead of opening night next week, we caught up with Nunn to find out more about the actor behind the famous name.

I grew up around a lot of theatre and was lucky enough to be taken to a lot of wonderful shows so I think that influenced me quite a lot. Drama at school and the National Youth Theatre got me interested in acting but I actually wanted to be a dancer for quite a long time so that took quite a big focus over my teenage years.

Acting was something I always wanted to do but that sounds so clichéd now because of X Factor and Britain's Got Talent. We're so cynical whenever someone says it's what they've always wanted to do but I do believe a lot of actors have that. You never go into this lightly.

I was aware it was a viable profession from quite an early age because I grew up around actors but I think I really started to take it seriously when I was about 16. I think that was when I started to feel like people took me seriously .

I find auditions, like most actors, very difficult. You're in a high pressure situation and you're having to draw on a confidence and show a snapshot of what you can do which can be very difficult when everything about them is incredibly nerve-wracking. I never like to sit down before I'm called in because I completely freeze when I stand up again, I am that actor pacing around, annoying everyone else.

In Desperate Measures, I'm playing a version of Isabella from Measure for Measure called Isobel. It is a new musical based on Measure for Measure but set in the 60s in London. It is pretty much scene for scene the same story transposed but looking at it from a different time period. In some ways I think makes it very accessible.

The score in the show is phenomenal. I'm quite a snob with music but I really love the score, so many different musical styles, there is something in there for everyone. There are so many fresh faces as well, it's a young cast and there's lots of new talent. They're all incredible, it would be a shame for anyone to miss new performers making their debut.

There's no guarantee and no consistency as an actor, you can have one great job then have five months sitting and watching Gossip Girl at home and then it can pick up again. Next after Desperate Measures, it will be auditioning and seeing what comes up and hoping for something exciting.


Desperate Measures runs at the Jermyn Street Theatre from 27 Novemberto 20 December (previews from 24 November).

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