phone mail2 facebook twitter play
‘Acting professionally is wonderful but also terrifying!’ - An Interview with Laura Whitmore
Image Credit: Helen Maybanks
‘Acting professionally is wonderful but also terrifying!’ - An Interview with Laura Whitmore
Image Credit: Helen Maybanks

‘Acting professionally is wonderful but also terrifying!’ - An Interview with Laura Whitmore

3 March 2017 Belphoebe New

Irish presenter Laura Whitmore is an instantly recognisable face on television. She got her big break in 2008 after winning a competition to become the face of MTV Europe, and since then she’s been a regular presence on our screens, appearing on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here Now! the Brits coverage and most recently competing on Strictly Come Dancing. She’s certainly made a name for herself as a presenter, but now Laura is focusing her attentions on acting. She’s currently touring the country in Not Dead Enough, a gripping murder mystery by renowned English crime writer Peter James. Ahead of her performance in Bristol, we spoke to Laura about this change in her career direction, her theatre icons and favourite interviewees.

London Calling: How are the performances going?
 
Laura Whitmore: We started previews in Dartford and we’re currently in Woking, we’re getting a great tour of the country but I can’t wait to go to Richmond as that’s close to my home at the moment. All my friends will be going to that one!
 
It’s a great script, exactly the type of thing I would go and see. Just like with presenting, you only ever want to be involved with something you truly care about. I love the crime genre and Peter James’ books are brilliant.
 
LC: You’re known for your presenting work primarily, so was there ever a fear about how people would react?
 
LW: Oh yeah, it was my biggest fear I suppose. But you know ultimately when you go in there with your script it really doesn’t matter whether you’ve spent your career on television or not. I remember Joshua (producer) sent an email to my agent basically saying ‘we thought that Laura was going to be shit but she’s actually really good!’
 
LC: Can you tell us a little bit about your character in Not Dead Enough?
 
LW: My character is Cleo Morey, she’s a pathologist and she cuts up the bodies and takes DNA. She’s very important to the storyline and finding out who the killer is. She’s dating the detective, and as much as there’s this gruesome crime story there’s also a love story going on too. And without telling you too much, she’s slightly closer to the situation than she’d like to be.  
 
LC: What’s it like to being back on stage and how is it different from presenting?
 
LW: With presenting you’re sort of acting as well, because some days for I’m A Celebrity you’d be getting up at 11pm at night but you’d really have to be happy and turn it on for the shows. I worked on quite a few plays back in Dublin when I studied drama and it’s always kind of been my thing, but more of a passion project. To get to do it professionally is wonderful but also terrifying.
 
On stage you’re not in control really. With live television you have an ear piece with a producer moving things along, and being on stage is a little bit different. It’s the rawness, you can’t really hide and you never know how the audience will react. You’re also not you. Once you’re up there on stage you’re not Laura, you’re Cleo. At the costume fitting someone asked me ‘how do you like your clothes?’ and I was like ‘I don’t have to like them, Cleo is wearing them!’
 
LC: How did you approach the role of Cleo, was there anything that inspired you?
 
LW: I have a journalism background and I remember working on crime cases back in Ireland and I was obsessed with our state pathologist in Ireland, Marie Cassidy. I always thought she was quite glamorous for a pathologist. She did this podcast where she spoke about being a woman in that industry, and I felt like there were a lot of similarities to the character of Cleo, because it really is such a man’s world.
 
LC: And it’s interesting because there are parallels to that and being a woman in the entertainment industry.
 
LW: Yeah, I think things have changed a lot. Years ago women were always just a bit on the side but I think that’s changed with people like Cat Deeley, Tess Daly and Davina McCall. I’ll be presenting at the Baftas and I honestly think I’ll get more people talking about what I wore rather than how I act. Apparently everyone I’ve ever interviewed I’ve dated too!
 
LC: Do you have any theatre icons that you look up to?
 
LW: I saw Billie Piper in Yerma, and she’s just unbelievable. Michelle Williams in Blackbird on Broadway was great too as it was this completely different role for her, it just left me with a sense of shock when I left the theatre. The other play I saw was by an Irish actress called Denise Gough who won the Oliver for People Places Things. Seeing those women really gave me the motivation to get back into it.
 
LC: As an interviewer, who’s been the most interesting person you’ve ever interviewed?
 
LW: That’s so hard! I remember interviewing Ed Sheeran and I was one of the first people to ever interview him, and then meeting him again afterwards when he was really famous, same for Katy Perry. I’m also a massive Foo Fighters fan so I remember interviewing Dave Grohl and having to be like ‘act like you don’t care, act like you don’t know everything about him!’
 
Laura Whitmore will appear in Not Dead Enough between 13 – 18 March at Richmond Theatre and will be touring across the UK and Ireland until 1 July. Find out more and book tickets here.

Tell us what you think

You may also like

Sister Act Live Choir

Sister Act Live Choir

A unique immersive cinema performance of a cult film, with a live choir!

“I love the theatre, but it has become more terrifying over the years” - An Interview with David Tennant

“I love the theatre, but it has become more terrifying over the years” - An Interview with David Tennant

The former Doctor – and veteran of various acclaimed stage performances – is set to take the eponymous lead in Patrick Marber’s Don Juan in Soho at…

Top 5: Rooftop Bars in London

Top 5: Rooftop Bars in London

We’ve seen a few glimpses of the sun recently, and if you’re anything like us, you’re itching in anticipation for long summer nights sitting in the…

The Treatment

The Treatment

Delve into Martin Crimp’s contemporary satire at the Almeida Theatre this Spring

How to: Get Your Dog Fix in London

How to: Get Your Dog Fix in London

Are you certified ‘dog crazy’ but just can’t commit to owning your own dog? Maybe you’re not one of those lucky people who can bring their pooch…

Life of Galileo

Life of Galileo

A masterpiece about science, power and belief at The Young Vic.

April in London: Top Literary Events

April in London: Top Literary Events

With the Edgar-Allan Poe-esque winter days almost fully behind us - when all you wanted to do was curl up in a cosy café, buried in…

The Brighton Fringe 2017

The Brighton Fringe 2017

Enjoy the very best of comedy, theatre and entertainment this summer at the Brighton Fringe 2017!

FILM REVIEW: Letters From Baghdad

FILM REVIEW: Letters From Baghdad

Watching this documentary might potentially ruin the idolised icon of T. E. Lawrence, depicted as a spy who single-handedly played with the fate of whole…

Most popular

Summer of Love at Shakespeare’s Globe

Summer of Love at Shakespeare’s Globe

Feel the love with some of Shakespeare's most romantic plays this Summer.
MADE LONDON – Bloomsbury The Contemporary Design and Craft Fair

MADE LONDON – Bloomsbury The Contemporary Design and Craft Fair

Learn more about intricate design and craft and build up your collection in a beautiful setting.
Annual Tulip Festival at Arundel Castle

Annual Tulip Festival at Arundel Castle

Be wowed by over 36,000 beautiful tulips in the enchanting gardens of Arundel Castle in West Sussex.
North End Road Spring Market

North End Road Spring Market

Celebrate Spring at Fulham’s buzzing North End Road Spring Market.
The Brighton Fringe 2017

The Brighton Fringe 2017

Enjoy the very best of comedy, theatre and entertainment this summer at the Brighton Fringe 2017!
Eroica by The Little Orchestra

Eroica by The Little Orchestra

The Little Orchestra return with their uniquely relaxed and unpretentious approach to classical music.
Amy Winehouse Late: Icon

Amy Winehouse Late: Icon

Delve into the life of a music, style and queer icon with a evening of creative events.
Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future

Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future

An exciting exhibition of the work of Giacomo Balla, one of the undisputed masters of modern Italian art.
The Londoners: Portrait of a Working City 1447 - 1980

The Londoners: Portrait of a Working City 1447 - 1980

See the forgotten faces and identities of London's past.
Living Proust and the belle époque

Living Proust and the belle époque

Join performers and researchers for an immersive recreation of Proust’s classic novel ‘In Search of Lost Time.'

Your inbox deserves a little culture!