EXCLUSIVE: Comedy legend Helen Lederer on new film To Trend on Twitter and advice for actors
Helen Lederer is a British comedy legend known for classic TV shows Naked Video, Absolutely Fabulous, The Young Ones, Bottom, French and Saunders, and Hollyoaks as well as having the bravery to take part in ITV celebrity diving competition Splash! and the 20th edition of Celebrity Big Brother. Here she tells Mandy News about her latest film – dark, satirical comedy To Trend on Twitter– and a new literary prize she's launched called "Comedy Women in Print".
Helen, how did you got involved in acting?
I wrote and performed my first sketch show, aged 10, trying to be like David Frost. Then much later, after a degree in sociology, I went to drama school. I began in a double act in the 80’s alternative comedy scene then radio and tv and some plays followed in various ways …
What drew you to working on To Trend on Twitter?
I was fascinated by the power social media has over us all. Andy Wooding, the director, was very focused on wanting to create an important film on that topic. It is in aid of charity CLIC Sargent.
Tell us about the film and your role as Belinda.
To Trend on Twitter follows a single woman called Susie Jenkins who has a terminally ill baby son and attends group therapy. She doesn't find it much help and is quickly seduced by the celebrity aspect of charity events. I play an over the top therapist who does not always serve the needs of her clients –misguided or sinister, you decide.
What was it really like to be on Big Brother and would you do it again if asked?
It was like a dream, looking back. I tried to remain myself but it is challenging to be part of a social group that is competitive. Mind you, so is life at times. I'd probably do anything if it was right at the time – not naked pot holing though.
What are you currently working on?
Setting up a literary prize for female comedy fiction called "Comedy Women in Print" for 2019 with amazing judges – planning a tour of my Edinburgh comedy show and a book…
What advice do you have for up-and-coming actors?
To check if it is what you really want and – if it is – to go for it. Find other ways to keep the mind healthy and earn money on the side. Embrace the highs and accept the lows
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