We meet Nell Hudson, who plays Skerrett in the ITV adaptation of Victoria. She is also well known as Laoghaire in Outlander. She appears in the new BBC thriller, Informer. Photo by Chris Floyd
The pram in the hall
My grandfather was Cyril Connolly [contemporary of Orwell and author of the 1938 classic of literary criticism, Enemies of Promise] but he died when mum was 14. My grandmother is still alive. My mum is a writer and my dad is from farming stock. I grew up on a farm in Worcestershire. Dad started a confetti business and grows flowers.
My mother says that Cyril Connolly had a little quip about Vita Sackville- West. The lover in Lady Chatterley’s Lover is called Mellors and as you know he’s a hunk…so the quote about Vita was that she was Lady Chatterley above her waist and Mellors below.
My grandmother, Deirdre Levi, was painted by Duncan Grant. Says my mother: “Vanessa Bell used to lean over my cot. Leonard Woolf lived nearby and Cyril took me to tea and showed me Virginia Woolf’s ashes in a tall jar!”
A slice of Victoriana
Victoria was a game-changer for me because it was three years of work. It is very rare as an actor to know where your next pay cheque is coming from. I’ve been able to buy a flat in London. There was an eight-month shoot in Yorkshire, though, so I wasn’t at home much earlier in the year. My new job is in a thriller for the BBC and it’s being filmed in London, so I’ve been able to feather my nest.
I have a lovely ukulele that I got given for my 22nd birthday. I love it, but I think it has a bad reputation. I associate it with being an annoying girl doing a Mockney voice, going “Look how cute I am”. My friend did a bank advert with a ukulele. It’s gone mainstream. Hopefully it will go back to being niche again. Maybe I’ll keep it in my trailer with me. It’s a good trailer instrument. Something to occupy my hands and brain.
This is an extract from a longer interview which appears in Idler 63. Buy a copy here.