Beverley film star Eleanor Tomlinson on Hollywood and Jack The Giant Slayer
A YEAR ago Beverley actress Eleanor Tomlinson was bracing herself for international super-stardom.
After being cast in the latest Hollywood blockbuster from X-Men director Bryan Singer – Jack The Giant Slayer – it was only a matter of time before her perfectly-sculpted cheekbones were plastered 12ft-high across advertising hoardings, she was posing for photographers at glamorous A-list launch parties and stalking red carpets in killer heels.
The 19-year-old had already started making a name for herself with supporting roles in movies such as Alice In Wonderland and Brit teen comedy Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging, but this was the one to push her over the edge into leading lady status.
And then, just as excitement was building, Jack's release date was bumped back, and back again, leaving the former Beverley High School pupil on tenterhooks as to when the world would see her feisty heroine Princess Isabelle on the silver screen, opposite young heartthrob Nicholas Hoult and former Jedi Ewan McGregor.
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Almost exactly a year later and the Hollywood glitz machine has finally cranked into gear.
Following in the bread crumb- strewn footsteps of fellow fairytale heroes Hansel And Gretel, Jack reaches a multiplex near you next week.
It has been an agonizing wait admits Eleanor, now 20, but one she believes will be worth it in the end for movie-goers.
"Yes, obviously I was disappointed that the movie was pushed back as I was so excited about it," says the down-to-earth Yorkshire lass who, on discovering she had landed the plum role, celebrated by nipping to Tesco with her mum for a bottle of bubbly.
"I spoke to Bryan Singer about the reasons it had been pushed and he said that the movie had actually come in under budget so they had a little more money with which to amp up the special effects.
"It therefore didn't make much sense to rush it out and have it compete with both Snow White movies that were released that year. I'm really pleased they did push it as what they have done with the effects is incredible. Now it's out, it's kind of mind-blowing as we have been waiting so long to see it.
"I have only seen the movie twice, my Mum and Dad haven't seen it yet, so I can't wait for them to see it as they've obviously been a part of the journey right from the audition process to the making of the movie.
"I still pinch myself as I can't believe it is me. It's such an honour to be part of such a fantastic movie."
The CGI-laden $200m budget movie puts a new spin on the old tale about farmer's boy Jack who gets more than he bargains for when he trades his horse for a handful of magic beans – reigniting an ancient war with a race of fearsome giants in the process.
The film took the top spot at the US box office earlier this month, winning generally positive reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter even going as far to say it was "markedly superior to the recent Hobbit".
In the past ten days the movies has taken more than $66m at the box office – with the movie still set to open in "territories" around the world.
Not surprisingly, Eleanor says she is still trying to get her head around being the star of America's top fantasy flick.
"I was delighted when I heard the movie made number one at the box office," she says.
"I think it was a pretty 'soft' box office weekend when it opened as it didn't do as well as they wanted it to but I believe the viewings are now picking up.
"The main thing is that it came top of the movies that were released that weekend and it has had some good reviews.
I'm really looking forward to it coming to the UK as I think with a mainly British cast, it should go down really well. I also believe it is being released as the schools break up for their holiday, so hopefully lots of families will be able to go and see it. The press junket was actually held in London at Hampton Court Palace, where we shot a bit of the movie – the palace was supposed to be my house. It's not everyday you can say that is it?
"It was amazing working there and a great place to do the press junket as it got you back in the mood having had such a big break from the movie.
"I was then flown out to LA for the world premiere, which was incredible. It was my first trip to the States so it was crazy, but to be able to go on the back of a movie like Jack The Giant Slayer was priceless.
"I was supposed to be going with my London agent, however she had to pull out at the last minute, so I called Ross, my brother, and asked if he would come with me ... of course, he jumped at the opportunity. We had a really great time."
With her giant slaying duties nearly done, Eleanor is not resting on her laurels.
She already has another movie, A Siberian Education, opposite John Malkovich due for release this month and will soon be seen in a glossy BBC historical mini-series The White Queen, about the War Of The Roses.
With so many projects on the go, it is unlikely we will have to wait another year to see this homegrown talent in action again.
Jack The Giant Slayer is released on Friday, March 22. Visit www.jackthegiantslayer.warner bros.com