A day in the life of… an actress

May 13, 2003

SheSaid gets the goss on being one of Australian television’s biggest bitches – Cornelia Frances…

Describe a typical day…

Typical filming day: Alarm goes of anything between 4am – 6am. Shower and drive to location or studio and straight to make-up and hair, then rush to canteen for purchase of very large latte coffee. Back to dressing room to don required costume for first scene, and run through lines. 8am on set to start shooting first of many scenes. Rehearse, tape, change costume, rehearse, tape until all are completed. Finish at anything between 6pm and 8pm. Exhausted!

What’s the best part of the job?

Satisfaction in knowing you’ve done your best and good reaction from the public, for who it’s done after all!

What’s the worst part of the job?

Very early rising and long waits between your scenes, or acting opposite someone who really doesn’t have a clue.

What would you consider to be your key talents?

To be able to play the ‘bitch’ and convince others, which seems to have happened.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Study your craft, and then listen and learn from those who know.

What was your first job and what was in your first pay packet?

Selling Christmas crackers in Selfridges, London for seven pounds a week.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Always an actress.

Who was the biggest influence on your career?

Probably Anne Bancroft and Maggie Smith, both brilliant and strong women.

How do you deal with work-related stress?

Go home and pour a glass of champagne and do a cryptic crossword on my balcony.

How do you deal with difficult people at work?

Walk away and let someone else cope, or have a quiet word with the director. It’s what they are there for.

What would you spend your last $100 on?

A bottle of French champagne.

What would you never wear again?

Those awful built-up wedgie shoes. I broke my ankle last time I wore some.

What are you reading?

A really great thriller called ‘Tango One’ by English author, Stephen Leather. A stunning read.

What inspires you?

The love of my friends, and watching the performers in ‘Cirque du Soleil’. They are totally inspiring.

Read all about Cornelia’s fascinating life in her book And What Have You Done Lately?.

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