herald

Friday 19 September 2014

LA director told me I was twice size of other actresses and ancient -- Victoria

Top Irish actress Victoria Smurfit has revealed how she had to develop a much tougher skin after a casting director in LA told her she was 'too big' to make it.

The About A Boy beauty (39) upped sticks and moved to the Sunshine State with her hubbie Doug Baxter and their three children nearly two years ago.

But despite being in the acting industry for nearly 20 years, Victoria admits she was still taken aback after some choice comments about her physical appearance.

"I went for this audition the other day with a director and we got on like a house on fire and he was, 'Oh my God, you're amazing'.

"It was all fantastic and then he turned around and said, 'but you're twice the size of my lead actor' because at 5ft 8in, you're a giant. And at 39, you're ancient."

Victoria admits that it has been a huge adjustment for her, going from being a well-known personality to a total unknown in a city full of actresses.

"You might go for an audition in Ireland and be up against 15 girls," she said. "In London, you might be up against 30 girls and here you might be up against 3,000 of them. It's huge, so any gain is amazing and the losses are pretty daily.

"I have become much more business-like and clinical about it all. You have to, you can't take any of this personally."

Describing it as a "very tough road", she told Irish Tatler how everything is hard won because everyone is fighting for a piece of the pie.

However, she has also been encouraged to branch out into writing since moving over to LA -- and has even had a script for a show called The Vein bought by producer Mark Gordon of Criminal Minds fame.

"Before I left Ireland I had this crazy idea and it wouldn't leave me alone, so I thought I'd start scribbling it down," she said.

"When I got here, I thought I should put it into pilot form and I met this incredible writer who has had a show out here for years called Make It Or Break It.

"It was a huge show here on ABO. She read my script and said, 'you're a writer but it's too Irish'.

"She and writer Holly Sorensen then reworked it before pitching it to Gordon, who snapped up the finished script."

Yet, while Victoria is loving life Stateside, she admits there are still a few things she misses about Ireland -- namely her family, Irish people, bread and "the idea that if you eat a carbohydrate, it's not a mortal sin".

Read the full version of the interview in this month's Irish Tatler

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