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Meet the new face of Emmerdale

PUBLISHED: 14:32 05 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:00 07 September 2010

Alice Coulthard

Alice Coulthard

Robyn Rosen A MUSWELL Hill actress and former Fortismere pupil has bagged her dream job as the new wild child in Emmerdale. Alice Coulthard, 27, was propelled on to television screens last month as the vivacious Maisie Wylde, daughter of super rich couple

Robyn Rosen

A MUSWELL Hill actress and former Fortismere pupil has bagged her dream job as the new wild child in Emmerdale.

Alice Coulthard, 27, was propelled on to television screens last month as the vivacious Maisie Wylde, daughter of super rich couple, Mark and Natasha Wylde.

Miss Coulthard, who grew up in Greenham Road, was given the part after a gruelling three-month audition process, competing with 400 other actors.

A pupil at Coldfall Primary School and then Fortismere, Miss Coulthard realised her passion for acting at an early stage when she started Saturday classes at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in Wood Green, at the age of eight.

"Drama was something I was always good at and loved," she said.

When she was 11, a producer visited the drama school and was so impressed by her, he offered her a part in an Ian McEwan screen adaptation of The Cement Garden.

"I was very unfazed by it all," she said. "At 11, I didn't know any different. I was more excited about moving schools to Fortismere than doing the film.

"It did validate my hobby and made me know it was something I could do."

After studying A-levels at Islington College, she moved to Liverpool University to study English literature, while continuing performing through drama societies.

"I loved studying text and wanted more academic education so that I could have something to fall back on if I didn't become an actor," she said.

On graduating, she went travelling and tried her hand at jobs in television production, but realised that her heart lay with acting.

"I really missed acting and thought if I didn't give it a go I'd regret it," she said

So she enrolled in an MA in acting at Mountview where she was spotted by an agent who took her on at the end of the year.

Her first big break was the lead part in the raunchy stage play, Keeler, at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in 2007 where she performed in all 32 scenes, stripped naked on stage and had to simulate sex.

"It was an amazing experience and I learnt a lot about performing," she said.

She then featured in Holby City and The Bill before landing the role in Emmerdale.

"It was such a long and tortuous casting process that I just felt huge relief when they finally told me I had the part," she said.

"The first couple of weeks of filming were really stressful. They wanted to integrate the Wylde family quite heavily so our work load was very intense."

Miss Coulthard now rents a flat in Leeds, where Emmerdale is filmed, but still travels home every weekend to visit her family.

With at least a six-month contract in place, it looks like Emmerdale fans will be seeing a lot of Miss Coulthard's character Maisie.

"Maisie is a fun-time girl who does what she wants without thinking of the consequences," Miss Coulthard said. "There's going to be some pretty shocking stuff coming up.

"A bombshell will be dropped on the family and there will be some steamy stuff between Maisie and one of her suitors."

But despite her new-found celebrity status, Miss Coulthard remains sure her home and family remain close.

"All my family are still in Muswell Hill so it's still my home," she said.

"I have kept in touch with a lot of friends from Fortismere. It's a very close-knit community and everyone still goes back for Christmas and we all see each other.


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