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Sunday 11 December 2016

Top model Miriam Cooke ditches archaeology to focus on acting with role in Nazi war movie

Miriam Cooke
Miriam Cooke

She swapped Gucci for Gore-Tex and now former model and archaeologist Miriam Cooke, who grew up in Meath, is earning her acting chops.

While most models focus on fitness, beauty and blogging, mum-of-two Miriam chose to do a PhD in archaeology while modelling.

The blonde beauty, who presented BBC show Country Tracks, has turned her hand to acting and now has a starring role in the Nazi war film Soldiers of the Damned.

The movie is set on the Eastern Front in 1944 and tells the story of a German army major who is ordered to escort a female scientist into a mysterious Romanian forest.

"I play a scientist called Professor Anna Kappel. She is quite a badass and I had to film all my own stunts, which was exciting," Miriam told the Diary.

"You don't always get the chance to do that and I found the whole thing quite enjoyable. I had to learn how to fall properly, which was bizarre."

While she had a high-flying modelling career, working with top international designers and top publications, Miriam decided to train as an actor.

Designers

"I started modelling when I was younger and ended up in New York. I have done shoots for Vogue, Glamour and Armani," she said.

"I always had an interest in acting and started training for drama school. I was living in Milan at the time and trained with an Italian school.

"When I moved to London I started thinking about studying history. I grew up in Meath, so was surrounded by historic sites as a child."

Miriam, who left Ireland aged 18 to pursue her fashion dream, was awarded a first in her BSc in Archaeology and a distinction in her MSc in Environmental Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. After this she moved to Durham University on a PhD scholarship.

"Then I started presenting for the BBC on Country Tracks. So I went from modelling to archaeology, from Gucci to Gore-Tex," she said.

"But I started to miss the acting so in the past few years I have been investigating more projects. I would love to do more work in Ireland as I have a real attachment to the country.

"I also love music and have been back in the recording studio working on new songs."

The 33-year-old also recently worked on BBC documentary Story of Now with Idris Elba.

She lives in Brighton with her husband Nigel and her two children.

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