To start off our year and the tenth edition of Portraits of London, we met with born-and-bred Londoner and actress Olivia Grant. You may recognize the flame haired beauty from her career-launching role in the movie Stardust and most recently from Channel Four’s Indian Summers, but we bet you didn’t know about her penchant for hip-hop and her ballerina background.
Braving the cold in the mews of Belgravia, Olivia took a break from shooting to sit down with Hugo & Charlie to tell them what 2017 has in store for her…
Hi Olivia! Thanks for joining us on this chilly Winter’s day, so great to see you again. How’s London life?
London life is great. I spend quite a bit of time here, although I do also spend a lot of time in various far-flung hotels too pretending to be someone else to pay my mortgage.
We’ve had the pleasure of seeing you on our screens quite a bit this past year. Has acting always been your passion?
No actually, I was always performing but I didn’t discover acting until quite late in the day. I was with the Royal Ballet when I was much younger and then thought that I might be an opera singer for a bit. I started acting at university mainly to get out of college and make friends and it was only when I noticed I’d semi-deliberately skipped all the graduate open days and wanted to keep performing in plays that I realized I’d jumped off the deep end and was intent on acting professionally.
The Royal Ballet, that’s incredible! So have you always lived in London?
Yup, I was born and raised in Fulham, which is probably part of the reason why I can’t ever imagine not living in a city.
A real born-and-bred Londoner like us then! What’s your favourite part?
I’m currently living in Aldgate East which I love. It really is such a foodie hotspot over here. So many great restaurants pop up all the time. My current favourite is Gunpowder which is a wonderful Indian restaurant which has appeared right next to Som Saa which does the best sticky rice in East London.
We’ll definitely have to check those out. If someone was to visit for a weekend in the Winter, where would be your top tips to go?
Maybe tea at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho for hot chocolate and their Battenburg cake, a frosty walk to Liberty’s for a browse ending up somewhere in East London to round up the day, maybe Blixen in Spitalfields.
We’re nearing the end of our first month of 2017. Did you have any New Year’s Resolutions?
Lots. Probably the most bizarre is wanting to get really good at street dance. I’m a secret fan of the ‘Step Up’ movies and lose my mind to the dance routines to cheesy commercial Hip Hop…which is, by extension, also totally my jam.
Interesting, the real O.G.! Maybe we’ll be seeing you on the dance floor then. What does 2017 have in store for you?
I’m finishing off a feature film remake of ‘Heidi‘ with Bill Nighy and Mark Williams imminently and will then head to LA to spend a bit of time with my US reps.
Bill Nighy, a big Taylor Morris team favourite. We can’t wait! And finally, which is your favourite pair from the collection?
The limited edition Rollright glasses are dreamy. They are white and have 18 carat gold lenses which is a pretty sure-fire way to pimp up any outfit.