Helen McCrory

Extract from Time Out London:

Helen studied at the Drama Centre in the late 80s and early 90s. “They rejected me at first, telling me I hadn’t lived enough. Undaunted, I went away to Italy for a year, then on my return I sent the Centre an envelope stuffed with photocopies of the letters I had written to other schools rejecting their offers of places. It did the trick.

"It wasn’t just a foundation in acting,” McCrory remembers, “but a preparation for the job, which isn’t quite the same thing. It was a tough course, but it’s a tough profession. It teaches you to ask questions, how to look at yourself – which you need if you’re an actor – and how to keep constantly training yourself.”

Helen found Drama Centre’s focus on character analysis illuminating. “What you get are blueprints for work as an actor, which you can either reject or go with. When I was there, we learned 8 or 9 of the key approaches about acting, character analysis and psychology. Drama Centre is quite unique in that respect.

Drama Centre genuinely inspired me. It changed me in fact as a person, as well as an actress. Lots of people can act, but after a few years in work, there are so many genuinely unhappy people, because they hate being freelance or can’t take the criticism. At Drama Centre London you find out at 23 whether you have the stomach for criticism rather than at 45, as a card-carrying member of Alcoholics Anonymous.”