'Do you still use this word - doyle? We need to keep it alive'
— Film star Charlotte Riley, who hails from Grindon, Thorpe Thewles, Skype-calls Acklam Grange students and answered their questions
The sparkle of Hollywood came to a Middlesbrough school when pupils got the chance to interview a movie star. There was no need for a red carpet for local lass Charlotte Riley as she Skype-called students at Acklam Grange School to answer their questions.
Waiting nervously for the Wuthering Heights star’s call were students taking part in the school’s BBC News Day on March 27 when students get to experience the world of journalism. But any tension evaporated when the former Teesside High pupil’s smiling face projected onto a screen and she asked: “What’s the weather like in Middlesbrough?”
The students then asked a range of intelligent and quirky questions. Charlotte Sutton asked: “It’s just been International Women’s Day, who inspires you? Charlotte, 32, said:
“It’s easy to pick people on the international stage, but women quite close to home inspire me. My mum, she’s not been very well with cancer and when you see someone deal with their own mortality it can be very inspiring. And Cate Blanchett, she does a great deal for women in our industry - So people close to home and then Cate Blanchett.”
Talking about her Teesside roots Charlotte, who hails from Grindon, Thorpe Thewles, said:
“Just being around northerners, I love it. I heard a really northern word today. Do you still use this word - doyle? We need to keep it alive. I do like a parmo, but I’m more of a fan of a London Pizza with loads of garlic sauce, obviously.”
On working with Tom Cruise in the upcoming film, Edge of Tomorrow, she said:
“I think you get a preconception that they are like aliens, but they’re just normal guys.”
And when asked about being engaged to Dark Knight Rises star Tom Hardy, Charlotte laughed and said:
“To me he’s just Tom. I don’t go around saying ‘Hi Tom Hardy, can I have a cup of tea?’”
Charlotte offered the students advice and said:
“If you’re going to dream, dream big. You just have to believe in yourself and believe in being you.“
After the interview, Student Lorna Davison, 15, said: “It’s amazing to have that opportunity to talk to a Hollywood star. They’re portrayed as big divas, but she’s just normal. Charlotte Sutton, 15, said: “I thought it was great talking to someone who’s made it from Boro.“ Joe Ramsey, 15, said: “It was like talking to someone I knew, it’s inspiring to know we can do the same.“