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Paddington schoolgirl set for stardom after meeting Idris Elba
By SP_COP on December 03, 2014 | From www.telegraph.co.uk
Paddington schoolgirl set for stardom after meeting Idris Elba A British schoolgirl is set to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Emma Watson to become the new darling of the film industry, after taking a starring role in the new Paddington film.

Madeleine Harris, 13, was picked from hundreds of hopefuls to win the part of Judy Brown, after embarking on her acting career following an encounter with Idris Elba in a pub.

The young actress, then at primary school, so impressed the star of Luther and The Wire with her love of acting that he put her in touch with his agent.

The teenager, who has received no formal stage school training, is now appearing in the blockbuster film based on the Paddington Bear books by Michael Bond, alongside actors including Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi.

It is the big screen debut for Miss Harris, who made her first professional acting appearance on BBC drama Casualty.

The modest actress has disclosed she was eventually given the part of Judy Brown after being initially overlooked for looking too young, saying her first thought was a relieved: “I’ve grown!”

She will now combine her acting career with her school work, as her teacher hails her laid-back attitude to fame as a “real credit”.

Miss Harris, from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, has already appeared on the red carpet at the London premiere of the film, but has returned to school as its stars travel the globe on a publicity tour.

Her acting career, which is set to propel her to worldwide fame, began in unusual circumstances, after an encounter with actor Idris Elba in a London pub ran by her parents.

After telling him of her passion for acting, despite never attending any formal drama training, he offered to introduce her to his agent, who spotted her natural talent and immediately signed her up.

Her first role was in BBC drama Casualty two years ago, when she played a young girl called Izzy Forrester who caused a car accident.

Since then, she has appeared on British television with parts in Mr and Mrs Jones, Man Down, and BBC drama the White Queen.

She is now learning to deal with her new-found fame, despite proving popular among her student peers.

"They're really funny," she said. "I have some of the older people in the school come up to me as a joke asking me to sign things.

"It's really funny and a great laugh, everyone's so great about it. It's not a big deal really; we don't tend to talk about it much."

Her first film role will see her play Judy, the teenage daughter of Mr and Mrs Brown who unexpectedly adopt a small Peruvian bear found at Paddington station.

She added her advice for anyone wanting to be an actor is "anything is possible".

"Don't give up. If you carry on wanting it then you can achieve it," she said.

After attending a series of interviews and callback, in which she was initially thought to look too young, she was offered the part.

She said: "The first thought I had was 'I've grown!' Because I've always been really small.

"I was really shocked, it still has not really dawned on me I'm in the film. I'm only just starting to realise.”

She added her favourite part of filming had been a late-night shoot at the Natural History Museum....
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