The Tudors News Site


Star back in class
March 6, 2008, 3:04 am
Filed under: The Cast
c_67_article_2023079_body_articleblock_0_bodyimage.jpgBlossoming Hollywood actress Natalie Dormer retraced her steps to her old school yesterday to celebrate its 50th birthday.The 26-year-old, who starred as Anne Boleyn in BBC2’s The Tudors last year and has just finished making a second series of the hit drama, returned to Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common for her first visit since her success.Miss Dormer, who was head girl of the school in 1998, spoke to drama pupils preparing for their GCSEs, and watched some of them perform a play, a song and a monologue in the new drama studio.The actress, who now lives in London, said: “I remember some very happy times at Chiltern Edge.“I remember cross country, which I enjoyed, and history, which I enjoyed a lot too. I also remember sitting outside eating sandwiches in the winter and complaining about how cold it was.”During her school career Miss Dormer was a successful public speaker, and during her visit she was shown the trophy her team won for their public speaking at the Kenton Theatre in Henley in 1998.She told pupils: “Chiltern Edge was always really good at public speaking back in the day – we thrashed places like Reading Blue Coat School.“Keep going with it because there is a lot in it, it’s something that my employers always picked up on.“It’s a lot more important than you think it is. Don’t ever underestimate the impression it makes on people. Being a rounded person and having a lot of interests is just as important as the academic marks.”Miss Dormer was given a tour of her old school and presented with a cake and flowers to thank her for her visit.She said: “I was shocked to be invited back to the school, because I have just finished shooting the second season of The Tudors in Ireland and I don’t have work at the moment.“I’m back to walking into rooms trying to impress writers and producers into employing me, and I feel I’m back on the ground and I’m never going to work again.“Every time you have to prove yourself and it’s easy to get disheartened, but to be invited here and be given a point of reference has made me realise how much I’ve achieved.”She encouraged pupils who dreamed of being in her shoes to work hard and keep focused on their ambitions.“GCSEs are the fundamental learning time,” she said. “In terms of succeeding in your career, only part of it is to do with talent – it’s about persistence.“Keep knocking on the door and don’t take no for an answer, eventually someone will open it.”Miss Dormer’s former teachers were delighted to see one of their pupils again.Claire Smith, her former French teacher, said: “Natalie was excellent at languages, I think because of her public speaking ability it gave her confidence.“The kids were very motivated by meeting her today, because it shows what you can achieve in the next step after school.”
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