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Actress Janet McTeer talks of how York inspired her
OSCAR-nominated actress Janet McTeer has spoken to The Press about how growing up in York inspired her to go into acting.
Janet, who went to Queen Anne School off Bootham, said working as a waitress at the Theatre Royal and designing cotumes for the Mystery Plays influenced her ambition to become an actress.
On one memorable occasion she said she served coffee to legendary actor Gary Oldman, who had recently finished studying at RADA, and advised her to apply to the famous drama school.
Now the pair have both been nominated for Academy Awards – Janet as Best Support Actress for her role in gender-bending drama Albert Nobbs and Gary for Best Actor for his role in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Janet said: “We didn’t have a lot of drama at school. My English teachers were fantastic but mostly my influence was the theatre. There were various actors there that used to tell me which drama school to go to. Gary has also been nominated this year.”
She said her parents Jean and Allan, who live in Haxby, were delighted to find out about her nomination. “They were very excited, there has been lots of texting going on.”
Janet, who moved to York at the age of six, said she had many fond memories of the city, including a stint working at the Old Starre Inn in Stonegate as a teenager.
She said: “York is my home and I always think of it with great fondness and like being able to take people home.
“Before I worked at the Old Starre, I used to sell tickets to go up York Minster. I worked my way through my teenage years.
“I love coming back and visiting my mum and dad and walking through the Museum Gardens.
“Me and my friend, Jane, made costumes for the Mystery Plays and I just loved it.
“Those were my influences from a very early age.”
Janet said she was excited to learn of her nomination.
She said: “I’m so excited for me and for Glen Close (nominated as Best Actress in Albert Nobbs). She had been trying to get this project going for such a long time. The fact the two of us are there together is great.”
The 50-year-old, who was previously nominated in 2000 for her performance in Tumbleweeds, a low budget American film, said she was enjoying the experience more a second time, although was daunted about finding a dress to wear.
“Being nominated a second time is a bit more fun. I was quite scared the first time,” she said.