In the latest series of Malory Towers, Amelie Green joined the cast of the Enid Blyton screen adaptation as Bill for her first series regular role, filming alongside a cast including Ella Bright (as Darrell Rivers) and Danya Griver (as Gwendoline Mary Lacey). Malory Towers airs on CBBC and BBC iPlayer in the UK, and is also shown overseas, and recently, Amelie filmed on location in both the UK and Canada, reprising her role for the announced Series 4 and the two-part Christmas special. As well as filming Malory Towers, Amelie has other screen experience, having previously played Maisie in the 2017 feature film The Children Act, in which she worked with her real-life sister Melody, playing the nieces of Emma Thompson (Fiona Maye) and Stanley Tucci (Jack Maye). In the West End production of School of Rock, Amelie played Summer, and for her first professional role in a musical, she played Tessie in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre. For Amelie’s West End debut, she played Dixie in the 2017 production on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for the Young Vic at the Apollo, and she currently trains at DMA London with Dominique Moore. Amelie chats to us about joining the cast of Malory Towers as Bill in Series 3, filming as Maisie in The Children Act and her time as Summer in the West End production of School of Rock.
You joined the cast of the screen adaptation of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers in Series 3, what originally drew you to the role of Bill?
I watched the show during lockdown – I loved the series and when I used to go visit my nanny, she used to read me the books as well, so when I got the audition through I was super excited! I love the fact she is so straightforward, brave and really fights for what she believes in.
How was it meeting the rest of the cast for the first time and filming on location?
I was incredibly nervous to meet the girls, you can tell just by their chemistry on screen how close they were, so I was worried about fitting into the group. But I can say that they are the most welcoming people I’ve ever met, and the girls are now my best friends. The outside shots of the school are filmed at Hartland Abbey in Devon and North Cornwall. So it was beautiful to be surrounded by the countryside and coast – I loved shooting there with Nemo (who played my horse Thunder).
How are you finding the experience having Bill as your first series regular role and what is she like to play?
Being able to play Bill has been such an amazing experience, I hadn’t been on a set in such a long time so a lot of it was very new to me. Getting to play Bill is such a dream – there are so many aspects to her character that I loved to explore, including her kind and honest side but also her adventurous and cheeky side.
Can you tell us about Bill and how much did you know about the character and Malory Towers before booking your role?
I had read the books when I was little and so had my mum and grandma. Also, when the show came out in 2020, I had seen it and absolutely loved it. So when I heard about the auditions I was so eager to learn more about Bill and her storyline. She is a horse girl who grew up on a farm with seven brothers, so when joining Malory Towers she’s a bit unsettled. She is very brave and honest and I loved being able to bring those characteristics to life.
What was it like preparing to play Bill and getting into character for your first day on set?
When preparing to play her, I reread the third book and really tried to encapsulate her free-spirited essence. I remember being in my trailer on my first day and just looking at me in my costume and going over everything I know about Bill – I was so worried about being able to bring her to life. For my first scene, we were filming the feast in the woods scene and I remember feeling so incredibly nervous but the girls were so reassuring. And we even got to eat a bunch of treats from the scene, which was very fun! To play Bill, I had to get all of my hair chopped off, which I donated to the Little Princess Trust. I also had a few horse riding lessons so when I met Thunder I knew the basics of riding.
Is there anything you enjoy most about working with the rest of the cast and being part of Malory Towers for CBBC?
The Malory Towers cast and crew is like a family and I love being able to go to work with my best friends. Production organised many special treats for us on set, such as pizza trucks and a disco, which was a lot of fun!
Can you say about playing Maisie in The Children Act and what was the film like to be part of?
The Children Act was an amazing experience to be a part of – I got to work with Stanley Tucci and Emma Thompson, who are just incredible. My little sister, Melody, and I were cast in the roles of Maisie and Sally (their nieces). In the scene where Stanley tells us a bedtime story, I would tap Melody’s leg when it was her turn to speak as she was only four years old. Richard Eyre, the director, was so kind to us and we were invited to the cast and crew screening, which was a really amazing experience.
What was Summer like to play in School of Rock in the West End and do you have any stand-out highlights from your time in the musical?
When I got the role of Summer I was amazed, as I had been auditioning for Katie (the bass player). It was a really full-on experience – my first show as Summer was the same week as my first day of secondary school! Some of my favourite experiences were performing at the Royal Albert Hall in Magic at the Musicals and winning a Mousetrap Award for my role as Summer. This was a really fun afternoon spent with my family and other West End performers!
How was your time playing Tessie in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre for your first professional role in a musical and what was it like being in the cast?
Annie was a favourite musical of mine growing up, so little ten-year-old me was very ecstatic to be cast in the show. I still remember my first night and lying under the beds on stage waiting for the show to start, feeling both excited and nervous at the same time! Tessie was a really adorable character – I loved all the high-energy dance scenes, the costumes and the makeup, which meant us smearing dirt on our faces!
In 2017, you played Dixie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for Young Vic at the Apollo, what was the show like to be part of and how was the experience performing in a Tennessee Williams play?
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was my first West End show. I played Dixie, who is very spoilt! One of my favourite scenes was getting to throw firecrackers on the stage and race around causing havoc. Our costumes were gold frilly dresses – we looked really crazy. They even let us take the costumes home – it’s still hanging in my wardrobe!
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you start?
One of my first memories is going to watch The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music with my grandpa when I was four. I loved the shows so much and wanted to be Dorothy when I grew up! My nanny, grandpa and uncle are actors so I would often go and watch them or their friends working.
Can you tell us about your acting and performing training?
I train at DMA London with my amazing mentor Dominique Moore – she has been so supportive and helpful in navigating the industry as a teenager!
How do you like to spend your time away from your career and what are some of your favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch?
In my free time, I love going to London with my friends, going to the cinema and baking! Some of my favourite things I’ve seen this year include: Heartstopper, Stranger Things, and anything with Florence Pugh in it!
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