Samantha Morton: ‘I felt a lot of anger when I was a teenager in care’

The actress, director and activist opens up to Jane Graham about her younger years, sharing her experiences of living in care

At 16 I was living in a homeless hostel in Nottingham – it was called an independence unit but basically it was a dumping ground for kids who had to leave care. We were just forgotten about really, with no support or follow-up. The people who ran the unit were great, they were as helpful as they could be with helping you get your money or applying for college. But it was a very tough time. I felt a lot of anger when I was a teenager. I’d been in care since I was a baby, so it had been a massive part of my life.

I was angry at the system, the state, for failing to take care of me in the most basic common-sense way. Why was I being abused by residential social workers but I couldn’t stay the night at my friend’s house because their parents hadn’t been checked out? Of course I was angry.

My stepfather, who I adored, was Glaswegian and very outgoing. If I’m anyone’s child it’s not my mother’s or my father’s, it’s my stepfather’s. I’m very like him – he was very outspoken and a real character.

Despite my unstable upbringing, I was never shy. I loved fighting for the right to do or say something. I always had my hand up in class. And my stepfather supported me in everything I did. I lost touch with him for certain reasons. But when I was with him I did say thank you. He knew how grateful I was.

I told him I wasn’t into crime any more and I’d cleaned up my act,

Sometimes all you need to turn a child’s life around is one person who notices, who cares, who goes the extra mile. For me it was Mr Thompson at my junior school. He saw something in me. He knew I liked doing school plays and he encouraged me to visit the Central Junior Television Workshop run by Ian Smith. So I went to an audition and the rest is history. I found drama and I found Ian Smith.

Ian became my teacher, my mentor. He was the guy I phoned when I was in the cells again. He was incredible to me. I was in and out of the Workshop from age 14 and when I was 16, and ready to really turn my life around, I got back in touch with him. I told him I wasn’t into crime any more and I’d cleaned up my act, having been part of the rave scene. He put me back into the Workshop, got me to auditions, and I started to get proper speaking parts. I owe so much to those two teachers. [ . . . ]

Continue at THE GUARDIAN: Samantha Morton: ‘I felt a lot of anger when I was a teenager in care’

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Two for Joy review – heartfelt tale of a family facing calamity 

Samantha Morton and Daniel Mays star in Tom Beard’s beautifully shot drama about a fateful trip to the seaside

Tom Beard is a British photographer and filmmaker, here presenting his debut feature: a confident, good-looking, heartfelt film in the pastoral social-realist style, with strong performances from an excellent cast, including Samantha Morton and Daniel Mays. There are some lovely images and ambient moods conjured by cinematographer Tim Sidell, and, with editor Izabella Curry, Beard creates a plausible rhythm to his story, moving from a tough urban estate to an almost idyllic looking seafront and back. Continue reading

Harlots: Who are these corsetted women and where do I know them from?

Harlots returns to Lightbox tomorrow with a second season full of intrigue, feminism and corset-ripping good times. The show is full of famous faces, but where have you seen them before?

Samantha Morton

Who is she playing? Margaret Wells! She runs a brothel in 18th century Britain, and her brutal upbringing working in Lydia Quigley’s brothel has turned her into a ruthless madame vying for survival. She’s ambitious, she’s intelligent, and she knows how to survive. Basically, she’s your new problematic feminist idol.Where have I seen her? If you spent the late nineties and early aughts hovering around independent cinema, and why wouldn’t you, you culturista you, then you’ll recognise her from arthouse classics Under the Skin, Jesus’ Son, Code 46 and my own personal favourite, Morvern Callar. If you’re more into the mainstream side of things, you’ll have seen her in Minority Report and as the begrudgingly sympathetic villain in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. She’s also done her dash in BBC-esque drama already, playing murderess Myra Hindley in Longford and a jewel thief in The Last Panthers.She’s kind of a big deal, is what I’m saying [ . . . ]

Continue reading at THE SPINOFF: Harlots: Who are these corsetted women and where do I know them from? | The Spinoff

British star Lesley Manville loves playing brothel madam on Harlots

LESLEY Manville’s character in Harlots is the gift that keeps on giving.

 

LESLEY Manville’s character in Harlots is the gift that keeps on giving.

The celebrated actor, famous for her work in Mike Leigh films including Another Year, is relishing the chance to play nasty brothel owner Lydia Quigley in the British period drama.

Harlots is set in 1763 when one in five women in London make a living selling sex. There is even a book, The Covent Garden Ladies, which rates prostitutes.

The series centres on a rivalry between Quigley and another brothel owner, Margaret Wells, played by Samantha Morton (Minority Report)
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Read More: British star Lesley Manville loves playing brothel madam on Harlots | The Courier-Mail