A few of my favourite things: Once's Jill Winternitz

From Casablanca to Cherry Jones, Once’s leading lady tells us her favourite things

Jill Winternitz's previous credits include playing Baby in the West End production of Dirty Dancing and she can now be seen on stage at the Phoenix Theatre as Girl in the hit musical Once.

We caught up with Jill to find out a few of her favourite things…

What/who is your favourite:


Casablanca – it's romantic, magical, moving, suspenseful, a near perfect movie. It's full of great characters too.

Place to hang out in London?

I have two: I love chilling out in my local neighbourhood, Putney. We have some excellent coffee shops around here. My other favourite place is the Southbank: Borough Market is bliss, strolling by the river, The Globe, The Tate, The National, BFI, all my favourite places in one stretch.

Restaurant? (What would you order?)

I love Roka on Charlotte Street. I actually used to work there when I was at drama school. Now I go back for special occasions. My go-to dish is the miso-seared black cod- heavenly!

Holiday Destination?

New York City- it doesn't get any better when it comes to amazing food, theatre, and culture. A white sand beach is always nice too…

Play/Musical that you have seen?

Doubt with Cherry Jones at Manhattan Theatre Club. I saw this production when I was in my last year of high school and found it hugely inspiring.

Theatre to visit?

Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the US. It's a whole town dedicated to theatre and Shakespeare. They have an incredible company of actors who perform in rep nearly year-round in three different spaces including an Elizabethan style outdoor stage. It's a very special place.

Theatre to perform in?

The Phoenix, of course. Being in Once is a dream come true for me and I feel so at home on our Irish Pub set. It's a great group of people: front of house, stage door, crew… big hearted people.


I've always been a huge fan of Mary-Louise Parker. She does amazing stage work alongside her screen performances. I saw her do Reckless in NY, she's a real talent.

Moment in Once?

I love "Gold". The energy onstage is electric. With the way it's been directed and choreographed, this song becomes something greater than the sum of its parts- it embodies and radiates the spirit of the piece.

WOS: You can listen to "Gold" below.

Once cast member? 😉

Controversial! I'll have to go with the lovely ladies who play Ivonka. There are four of them and they are all so professional and fun to work with.