October 26,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Holliday   Photos   Posh

The Riot Club


Hunger Magazine

06.jpg 07.jpg

October 3,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Holliday   Photos   Posh

2013 (Kevin Westenberg)
TIFF Portraits 2014
16.jpg 18.jpg 17.jpg
Another Magazine

September 27,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Interview

01.jpg 02.jpg

Who is your acting inspiration?
Cate Blanchett. After working with her [on Cinderella], I can say she is actually the image of feminine perfection. She has her really lovely kids on set, is super professional, incredibly intelligent and nice to everyone. I think she might actually be a perfect human being.

What are you must-haves on set?
A bottle of water, my sides [mini-scripts] and some chewing gum – you have to get up close in people’s face all the time and you might have just eaten some onions.

What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Realising that a lot of it isn’t acting. You spend such a short amount of time on set in character, compared with the nerves, the preparation for audition and then all the press stuff. It was hard coming to terms with the fact that this is all part of the job.

What’s the biggest difference between British and American actors?
A director once told me that Americans focus on a scene whereas Brits focus on the project as a whole. I am not sure if I agree, but I suppose British actors tend to be a bit more earnest in their research, they treat it as a craft, and Americans go to acting class more. So Brits are more cerebral and Americans are more practical.

Have you had an ‘Oh my God, I’ve made it’ moment?
When I finished my degree, I had a lot of work lined up and I freaked out. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I am actually an actor.’ As a kid, I thought I’d do something proper like writing or directing or producing. Acting is not a real job, is it? I pretend to be someone else for a living.

How do you handle being naked on set?
I just don’t think of myself as sexy, so it’s fine. It’s like when toddlers get naked. When wardrobe come up to me with a towelling robe after a naked scene, I’m like, “Dude, everyone’s just seen it, it really doesn’t matter.” I get a little excited when I get to take off my clothes on costume dramas. The sets are usually boiling hot and I’ve been in a corset all day, and I get to take it all off and lie on a bed, and I think, “Ahhh, I can do this.”

Have you ever been starstruck?
I froze when I walked past Judi Dench at Pinewood. All I could do was hold the door open and squeak, “Hello.” Thank God [co-star] Jack O’Connell was coming up behind me and introduced himself. So then I could mention I was also starring in Tulip Fever with her. I put on a posh voice. It’s Judi Dench. She is a proper lady.

What’s been the most glamorous moment of your career so far?
Going to the Baftas. Where else do you see so many people in so many beautiful dresses? It’s like a fairytale.

What’s been the least glamorous moment of your career so far?
I spent a day on Tulip Fever plucking chickens and gutting fish. I played a 15th-century maid and the director and I thought it would be boring if I was just cleaning the whole time.

What was your fancy dress outfit of choice as a child?
Peter Pan. He lives between Victorian London and a fairytale world, mermaids fancy him and he can fly. He is cool. I had a Peter Pan T-shirt that I would wear with a belt, wellies and leggings.

What’s the most surprising track on your iTunes?
I have some breathing exercises from the voice coach Penny Dyer that begin “Hello, Holliday” in a quite breathy voice. If I have my iTunes on shuffle and that comes on, it scares the shit out of me.

What was the last selfie you took?
On the set of Tulip Fever. It’s set in 1600s Amsterdam and we wore these ridiculous hats that look like penises. There were also a lot of pigs’ heads on set, with their eyes vaguely open, so I took a picture of myself licking a pig’s head in my knobhead cap.

What’s been your biggest fashion faux pas?
The whole Peter Pan obsession fed into my teenage years. I wore a lot of floaty dresses and boots in all shades of green. I was 19 and refusing to grow up.

What makes you angry?
Racism makes me burn with anger. When you are a liberal-minded person living in a multicultural society surrounded by similar people, you forget that it isn’t the norm. So when I was in the Deep South, I would be having a drink with someone and they’d say something that would make my blood run cold.

What makes you laugh?
My nana’s laugh and my mum when she has a giggling fit.

Why was it so important to continue your degree after your acting career took off?
Because I thought my acting was never going to last, and I had been saving up for it my entire life. I had to work pretty hard. There were a few afternoons of crying in coffee shops, writing essays in between acting jobs, when I wondered what I was doing. But I am proud of myself for seeing it through.


September 25,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Holliday   Photos

Photography by Lara Jade.

00.jpg 02.jpg 01.jpg

September 21,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Holliday   Interview

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.

click to read more »

September 20,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Posh

The scene where Holliday Grainger’s character, Lauren, arrives to witness this grotesque debauch, and is presumptuously invited to partake for money, was a particularly hard one to shake off.

“It’s hideous. I mean, I’m going into a scene having to say our sperm is so special you should be paying us for it. What kind of a line is that to be saying? And poor Holly and Jess [Brown Findlay]. They would come into that lair every day when we were filming in the room. And as soon as we’d get going, it would be like a furnace of hideous banter. Even when the camera’s not rolling, we were throwing it around, and creating this whirlwind of disgustingness. One of them said: ‘Douglas creeps me out on set!’ We left that day and just felt gross.”


September 19,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Interview   Posh   video

September 18,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Holliday

01.png 01.png 01.png

September 18,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Holliday   Interview   Posh   video

010873.png 010020.png 010717.png 010727.png

September 18,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Event   Posh

22.jpg 17.jpg 30.jpg 32.jpg

September 17,2014