Actress Holliday Grainger still can’t believe she has a stylist.
The 27-year-old star found early success playing various characters on British TV shows, before hitting the Hollywood big time with period films like Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina and Great Expectations.
She’s now a fully fledged A-lister, which means she has a stylist on hand to help her dress for red carpet events.
“If you would have told me two years ago that I’d have a stylist I would have been like, ‘shut the f**k up. Who do you think you are?’” she laughed to Britain’s Marie Claire magazine. “But Rebecca Corbin-Murray offered to sort out clothes for me for BAFTA this year for free and it was so lovely and easy. You can literally say, ‘This is the kind of look I want’, and someone will do your shopping for you. And I hate shopping!”
Her dislike of shopping means Holliday only ever picks things up when she needs to kill time, including when she’s waiting for a flight. In fact at one stage the Cinderella actress’ wardrobe was completely dominated by airport purchases.
“I tend to only shop at airports when there’s that hour before your flight,” she explained. “There was a period of my life where my entire wardrobe was from Mango, because I was flying from Manchester airport a lot and at the time I was the only shop there I liked. Now if it’s from Heathrow it’s Zara or Fat Face – I have so many Fat Face swimming costumes.”
(source: Belfast Telegraph)
“Holliday commands the screen; she has an incredible strength, while also being vulnerable and compassionate.” – Director Craig Gillespie, The Finest Hours
By 27, British screen and stage actress Holliday Grainger tackled roles in a continental triumvirate of novelistic adaptations—Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Anna Karenina (2012), and Great Expectations (2012). But the Guardian-affirmed New Brit Pack member stays refined through treacherous depravity, too; incest and murder aside, she brought a virginal charm to the orgiastic fervor of The Borgias (2011—2013). And next year, Grainger will put her vulnerability and compassion to use; in Disney’s upcoming sea disaster flick The Finest Hours, she takes on the role of Miriam, wife of lifeboat lifesaver Bernie Webber, played by aorta-crushing Chris Pine. After Hollywood sea rescue, let’s all put listless perusals of Dickens and hedonistic royal parties high on the CALIFUK to-do list.
16 Born 27 March 1988 [a]
16.a “I used to hang around gas stations.”[i]
16.i Michael Hacker,[ *] from: “Playwright Doesn’t Run on Empty“
by Janice Arkatov | Los Angeles Times | 27 March 1988
* Michael Hacker’s play Long Time Coming was based on his memories of old gas stations, including one on the corner of Franklin and Argyle, with a little driveway in the back, as he recalls. Acclaimed theater designer Robert Zentis built the set, a complete gas station facing imminent razing by an oil company.
Happy birthday to Holliday Grainger !! 🙂 <3
Holliday Grainger is not, repeat not, posh. But she is also well aware that there might be a perception problem here.
‘I think a lot of people assume that I am a posh, public-school blonde, and a lot of people are shocked that I’m not.’
The assumption, she admits, is forgivable. First there’s her name, like something straight out of an F Scott Fitzgerald novel (her parents were just playing word association with Mollie and Billie, she says). Then there’s her recent career, where she has shone in an array of well-heeled roles, many of them with her brown hair dyed a regal blonde, playing every shade of aristo from Lucrezia Borgia in the TV series The Borgias, to a baroness in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina and Estella in Mike Newell’s Great Expectations. Not to mention Lady Chatterley, the role she starts filming next month (opposite Game of Thrones’s Richard Madden as her gamekeeper-lover Mellors), in the new Jed Mercurio-directed adaptation of the D H Lawrence classic, to be screened on BBC One next year.
Her latest role in Lone Scherfig’s film adaptation of Laura Wade’s award-winning stage play Posh, now called The Riot Club, might also suggest a degree of la-di-da-ness. Except that in The Riot Club, for once, her character is the working-class heroine.
The film charts the course of one anarchic evening gone bad for a crop of filthy rich, entitled and thoroughly spoilt students at an Oxford University dining club – evidently The Riot Club is based on the Bullingdon Club, the exclusive all-male society at Oxford notorious both for its illustrious former members, including David Cameron and Boris Johnson, and also for their heavy drinking and sometimes dreadful behaviour.
The film boasts some illustrious names from the cream of young British acting talent – Douglas Booth, Freddie Fox, The Hunger Games’s Sam Claflin, Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay and Game of Thrones’s Natalie Dormer. Holliday’s Lauren is the chalk to the braying poshos’ cheese, a grounded Northern girl who falls in love with new recruit Miles (Max Irons) and tries to steer him away from the club. Lauren was a character created especially for the film, and it’s hard to imagine that Laura Wade didn’t have Holliday Grainger in mind, so striking are the parallels.
‘I do see a lot of me in Lauren, actually. She’s a Northern girl, not posh, who is obviously very intelligent and quite socialist in her views. She has got into Magdalen College along with the boys. I think of her as representing the modern Oxford, Oxford as it is now – except the truth is that there are still elements of The Riot Club at Oxford even today. Some of the male actors did their research and chatted to people, and it actually sounds as though what goes on in this movie is quite tame compared to what happens in real life.’
Holliday has been acting since childhood, in a string of roles from the BBC’s 1994 comedy All Quiet on the Preston Front (when she was six), via Where the Heart Is and on to Waterloo Road, before her big break in The Borgias. But in all that time, Lauren, she says, is ‘the only character I haven’t had to research. She’s the only one that I wasn’t nervous about because, basically, she’s me.’
Not only is Holliday from Manchester, smart and engaging, but she applied to Oxford herself – and to Magdalen College. ‘I went for four days of interviews at Magdalen. I didn’t know it was the most oversubscribed college. I just basically chose it because it looked pretty and had wi-fi. I arrived at the interviews and I was the only Northern girl there.’
What she also didn’t know was that Magdalen has a reputation. ‘It’s the very posh, old-school college. I was shocked when I arrived at how “other” I felt. I was always sort of the posh one at my local comprehensive [her mother, who raised her, was a graphic designer] and so I had never experienced feeling so working class and Northern – even though I’m not!
‘After a couple of days at the interviews, some jokes started to go round about the “two Northerners”, which was me and this guy from Birmingham. I was, like, “Mate, Birmingham’s not even in the North.” But I’m not sure they were too bothered about the geography.