Profile - Natalie Press
Name Natalie Press
Born 15 August, 1980, London
Background Just three years after the elfin actress made her professional debut in television soap Holby City she hit the big time with Pawel Pawlikowski’s rapturously received 2004 film My Summer of Love. Press and her co-star Emily The Young Victoria Blunt were jointly garlanded for their naturalistic turns as teenagers dangerously infatuated with one another. The more conventionally good-looking Blunt was immediately wooed by Hollywood, while Press pursued a less glamorous – though more impressive (quality-wise) – career path in British and European film and television. The year after her summer of love, Press played Caddy Turveydrop in the celebrated BBC adaptation of Dickens’ Bleak House. That was followed by Andrea Arnold’s Cannes and BAFTA prize-winning Scottish-Danish co-production Red Road, the first of three interlocking social realist dramas in each of which Press will appear, the second instalment, Rounding Up Donkeys, arriving later this year. Her appearance in Peter Greenaway’s yet-to-be-seen Rembrandt film, Nightwatching, confirms Press has played it smart by recognising the benefits of aligning herself with strong filmmaking talent.
What’s she up to now? About to start shooting the British sci-fi adventure Telepathy, recently wrapped the Mull-set drama The Sea Change, and currently promoting IRA drama Fifty Dead Men Walking, in which Press appears alongside Jim Sturgess and Ben Kingsley.
On doing an Irish accent ‘I found it the most difficult accent I’ve ever had to do. I’ve never needed help on accents before, but on this one it was good that I had a voice coach to test words on. And it was really helpful to be in Belfast, to soak up the atmosphere on the streets. I think that really brought something to the film. It was very important to get it right on this film, which has such a sense of time and place.’
Interesting Fact Press’ first major role in a film was as a single mum in Wasp, the 2003 short directed by Red Road’s Arnold that won a Best Short Oscar.
Fifty Dead Men Walking, selected release, Fri 10 Apr. See review.