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Is this, I wonder, a result of beginning her career in the Channel 4 soap Brookside?
Has she had to work extra hard to forge a career outside of playing Emily Shadwick in that for five years?
“When Andrew wrote to me after finding out I was cast he said he was gutted Lina doesn’t dance more,” she reveals.
“Lina used to be in the tango sequence at the beginning, but Katherine hated it, so they took her out.
“For five years my mum stuck me on a horse, but I was on the floor more than I was on the horse,” she says laughing.
“But one day I watched Annie and I could not stop dancing, so she took me to a local dance school.” It was her ability to dance that earned her the part in Joel Schumacher’s film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.
And director Jonathan Church has encouraged her to put her own stamp on the part – something that has been helped by the fact she had costumes designed especially for her in the role.
Cooper came in to re-rehearse the musical with the new cast for four weeks, and Ellison says he did so willingly.Up until seeing Ellison for the part, she says the producers had been finding it difficult to cast someone with a soprano voice, who could also dance and act.As it happens, her agent knew David Grindrod, the film’s casting director, and Ellison was invited in to try for the part.A lot of the actors still in it when I left struggled to get work.” She adds: “Doing my own music straight off the back of Brookside got me known as Jennifer Ellison, rather than Emily Shadwick.If you stay in a soap too long, and don’t do much after it, people will always know you as that character.” And have people in the theatre industry welcomed her?