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Sunday Life

Like mother, like daughter: Kerri Quinn talks her show at the MAC and being upstaged by little Libby


Actress Kerri Quinn and daughter Libby
Actress Kerri Quinn and daughter Libby

By David O'Dornan

Actress Kerri Quinn has revealed a plot twist she wasn't expecting - she auditioned for a movie role and missed out, but her seven-year-old daughter landed a part instead.

Proud mum Kerri admitted that for once she was glad to have been upstaged, but only because it was little Libby stealing the limelight when the pair went to try out for new film Nowhere Special, which started filming in Belfast last week and stars McMafia hunk James Norton.

Coronation Street star Kerri (36) said: "My daughter hit me with it the other week, she was like, 'I want to be an actor'. And I went, 'Jesus no' - she's seven.

"And she's been hooked by it but she's got it - she's just landed her first feature film and I'm terrified because it's looking like she could maybe follow in my footsteps. It's in her blood, but I'm petrified because I know how bloody brutal it can be."

Nowhere Special is by The Full Monty producer Uberto Pasolini and is based on the true story of a window cleaner called John (played by Norton), a single dad given months to live who desperately tries to find a new family to look after his three-year-old son.

Kerri said: "She went for the audition and I was like, do you know what? Fine, I'll get you headshots done. If you want to do it, fine.

"But I was hard on her. I said, 'Libby you'll not get this now - because there's going to be wee girls that are much more experienced than you and you have a very specific look, so if you don't get it, don't be downhearted, it just means that you weren't right for that.'

Nowhere Special - James Norton
Nowhere Special - James Norton

"And she was like, 'That's OK mummy, I know I'm good.' I was like, 'She's so confident' - and she got it, first audition.

"It's a beautiful film - the thing about it was, I auditioned for it, and I didn't get it. And she said to me, 'How does that feel, mummy?'

"And do you know what? She is actually really good, and I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter, because I've no time for that s**t. She's really natural.

"It's a beautiful wee script and there's something very raw about it. It's filmed in Belfast so I'll be home for it - but I'm not in it."

While Kerri's daughter makes her acting debut here, she has been travelling back and forth to Manchester for her highest profile role to date, starring as Vicky Jefferies.

She said: "I'm here to November. I've just been filming the stuff where Vicky and Michelle discover the other one, so that's been some really tough scenes because obviously Vicky's going to be left completely devastated but I'm really happy how it's going to play out - I can't really say too much.

Actress Kerri Quinn
Actress Kerri Quinn
Kerri Quinn as Vicky Jeffries in Coronation Street with Tristan Gemmill (who plays Robert Preston)

"We're about to go into the Christmas storyline, so it's going to be busy and obviously Vicky has the baby so we've all that to do."

But Kerri confessed that she has one eye on her next role after her stint on the cobbles, hoping that national exposure and an increased profile will help her case.

She said: "I am terrified, because I'm going, 'Right, what do I do?' I finish in November, I'm back to the drawing board, I have no idea where my next job's coming from.

"I'm excited, but I'm s****ing myself as well because there isn't as much work in Belfast as there was. I'm just riding a wave of fear at the moment."

One gig she does have in the meantime, though, is a cabaret style show at the MAC next month called Don't Tell Ma Ma, where she will sing and dish the dirt with backstage anecdotes of an actor's life.

She will be accompanied by Matthew Reeve on piano, who was the musical director of Cabaret five years ago, as well as being joined by special guest Ross Anderson Doherty.

She said: "Initially we were toying with the idea of devising a script and I thought, do you know what? It's just basically a bit of craic - I'm just myself, I'm not taking on a character or a role or anything. We're setting it in a theatre and we're addressing the reality of the industry, so it's a bit of banter and us sharing stories which are mostly good craic but some more sentimental moments as well.

"It's a cabaret gig and we'll take you on a bit of a journey, but it's an opportunity to come along to sing along to some really fantastic theatre songs, get drunk, have the craic and the audience will be getting involved as well.

"It's showcasing ourselves but giving a wee bit of insight into what actually really does happen in a dressing room - it's not all zen and flowers and good luck cards, it's sanitary towels and empty bottles of wine. It's not the zen place that you think!"

Kerri and Libby with Charlie Lawson and his partner Debbie
Kerri and Libby with Charlie Lawson and his partner Debbie

Kerri also admitted it is not just her role in Corrie that she gets noticed in public for - she takes a bit of stick over the local telly advert for Lidl as well.

She joked: "What's really funny is, if I'm standing in Tesco or Marksies or wherever, you get people coming up behind you going, 'Should you not be shopping in Lidl?' or 'Traitor!' and I'm going 'I know!'"

÷ Don't Tell Ma Ma is at the MAC in Belfast on October 11 and 12. Tickets from or the box office on 028 9023 5053.

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