SHE was spurned by Rada and suffered years of rejection from casting directors, but Olivia Cooke’s acting future is now set fair. Olivia plays anti-heroine Becky Sharp in a lavish ITV adaptation of classic novel Vanity Fair starting tomorrow — and it is a performance critics are falling over themselves to rave about. Her Becky is straight out of real life, a recognisably modern, ambitious young woman who even slouches about instead of standing around primly — possibly a first for a costume drama. And it seems Olivia was born to play the character from William Makepeace Thackeray’s 1847 satire, who by sheer determination climbs from poverty-stricken beginnings to high society — horrifying snobs along the way. Olivia’s own beginnings were also humble — and she has done her share of upsetting acting snobs, with moves like starring in a One Direction video. The actress, 24, and younger sister Eleanor were brought up by mum Lindsy in Oldham, Greater Manchester. Sales rep Lindsy had split from their policeman dad John when the girls were young.Olivia has recalled: “My mum had to be both parents. She’s the person I call at 1am.” At eight, she first got the acting bug when… Read full this story
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