There is something refreshing about a young actress making it into the business the good ol’ fashioned way… by auditioning! Talulah Riley gracefully and provocatively enters the herd of boys in Pirate Radio and in a sea of greats, stands out. She, alongside past cast-mate Carey Mulligan, are easily the two new faces to watch out for. Something tells me that when her upcoming film, Inception is released, we’ll be seeing a lot more of her.

Riley has only been in the business a short while but has already been making waves. Check out how she’s been landing all of these amazing parts and how she tackled Pirate Radio below…

How did you get this role in Pirate Radio?

TR: I auditioned.

Was this before your role in St. Trinian’s came out?

TR: No, this was after St. Trinian’s. Although his daughter likes this film, which I think helped.

What did you know of Pirate Radio before you did this film?

TR: I knew of it. I knew of Radio Caroline because my mother told me about it and she used to listen on a little transistor radio, but I didn’t know to what extent. I didn’t know it was illegal to play rock and roll music in the UK for more than an hour, which I found quite shocking. Our impression is it was the time is free love and anything goes, but clearly not

What do you think of your character in this film?

TR: I have to say, I had slight issues. I was sort of saying, “No girl would ever, ever, ever behave like this in a million years.” But Richard said, “It’s the 60’s. Its free love.” Do I like Marianne? I don’t know, I think she is the type of girl at school that I wouldn’t have been friends with. [laughs] She was a bit mean.

Would you say that she is more of a sex object or a woman of lax morals?

TR: I certainly don’t think she is an object. No, she is has a very determined path of her own, clearly. I think it was the sexual revolution. That’s what I’m clinging onto. That is the good thing about Marianne, she is a girl of her time.

How was it working with Tom Sturridge who was head over heals for you?

TR: Well he is one of my best friends, so we knew each other before we did this. It was quite strange, actually. We have never kissed or done anything vaguely in that direction. To have to lie naked under sheets, it was pretty, not awful, but different.

Was it more uncomfortable than having to lie next to Nick Frost?

TR: Yeah. Nick is very jubilant, funny, and extroverted all the time. We had never been in a bed before, in a bedroom scene, and we both were really nervous. He was saying, “So, I am getting married!” He got really nervous, and I was too. He subsequently had more bedroom scenes with Gemma than I had with Tom.


When did you begin acting?

TR: I started acting when I was 18. I used to go to Saturday acting classes. I basically auditioned for extras, but I looked like a younger version of an actress for a time piece. Then Joan Wright was looking for unknowns for Pride and Prejudice, and I went straight from school into that and just kept going.

That was with Carrie Mulligan?

TR: Yeah, it was her first job and my second.

Can you tell us anything about Inception?

TR: It was fun to do. It was very different to Pirate Radio and St. Trinian’s.

How were you cast in Inception?

TR: I auditioned. I guess that is how I get jobs. I just go and audition and I get them.

What has been the most interesting auditioning experience you have had thus far?

TR: Oh gosh, I actually did something terrible. I was still a bit scared, but I used to be terrified of flying. Terrified. I had to fly back to come to an audition on my own, it was a call for something, and I was so scared on the plane that I took all four diazepam that I had with me. I was still so frightened that I kept passing in and out of consciousness. The guy sitting next to me told the air stewardess that I had done this, so she took me to the front of the plane and sat with me. Then as soon as we were on the ground, I just collapsed and fell asleep. I still went to my audition, and I can’t remember it very well. I was very sleepy all the way through. I think I really embarrassed myself. I think I bowed to the director.

Did you get the part?

TR: No. [laughs] It was that terrible. It was a learning experience. Don’t go to an audition straight after getting off a plane, and don’t take four diazepam on the way. I took one and it had no effect, so I was like, “They aren’t working!” I was really frightened.

Are you often recognized by fans?

TR: Mostly by 12-year-old girls because of St. Trinian’s [laughs]. And 45-year-old men [laughs]. Those are the two demographics.

What have you found when you watch yourself? Do you enjoy it?

TR: Well I always look quite different in everything I do, which is nice because it never looks like me in the costumes. The first time I see something, that I am in, it is difficult, because you are looking for the bits that you are in going, “Ahh! Did I do anything horrendous?” But then the next time you watch it, you can watch it as a film, which is nice. It was funny because the first time I was watching this, I wasn’t really bothered about it. I was just like, “It is lovely!”

Check out the lovely and promiscuous Talulah Riley in Pirate Radio November 13th!

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