The Victoria star on red-carpet style, super-fans and why fashion should be funny...
The Lancashire-born actress bagged her first TV role in Emmerdale, before turning her hand to everything from period dramas (Death Comes To Pemberley) to Hollywood hits (Captain America: The First Avenger). But it’s her role as Clara Oswald in Doctor Who that really catapulted her to fame. Now, she's left the time-travel in the Tardis behind and instead you'll find her popping up on your Sunday TV screens in Victoria, ITV's historical period drama that tells the story of the early life of Queen Victoria from the day she came to the throne at the age of 18. On-screen as Victoria you'll find her in gowns and tiara, but off-screen she’s more about Current/Elliott dungarees and Converse...
‘Growing up, my grandma lived ten doors away, so I used to nip to her house and play dress-up. She is very glamorous, so her wardrobe has lots of chunky necklaces and dresses in bright patterns.’
‘As a child, I had a crushed-velvet green dress that I used to wear to birthday parties. I’d still wear it now if it fitted!’
‘When I was ten years old, I got my first acting job – it paid £30 a week. My mum took me to Tammy Girl and I bought a pair of silver flares. It was the first time I was able to buy something with my own money.’
‘I was in New York when I found out I had won the role of Clara in Doctor Who. I stumbled upon the accessory designer Wendy Nichol’s workshop, so I bought a black leather bucket bag to celebrate.’
‘When I’m filming, I have to get up really early, so I live in Current/Elliott dungarees, with Bella Freud or Acne jumpers and Converse or Timberland.’
‘My stylist Rebecca Corbin Murray pushes me outside of my comfort zone on the red carpet. She makes me try on things that I wouldn’t normally pick up, which is good. You have to find something that’s right for the occasion, but you still want to feel like you. That’s the tricky bit.’
‘For the Doctor Who world tour, I needed 22 outfits. It was the first time I’d met Rebecca and we only had two hours to plan it all. She turned up at my house and it looked as if she was moving in. We mixed a lot of Dior and Victoria Beckham pieces with vintage Biba and Ossie Clark dresses.’
‘The tour was a mad adventure. The fans are incredible. They will screen-grab a photo of Clara and find out exactly what she’s wearing or find something similar on eBay. I’ve met so many in costumes that are exactly right from head to toe.’
‘I’ve had loads of input on Clara’s style. It’s quite English rose meets sci-fi girl. She looks pretty, but underneath she’s a total action hero who can kick ass.’
‘I felt like a mermaid in the Burberry dress that I wore to the Bafta tea party in LA. In the evening I carried an Anya Hindmarch clutch bag that looked like a custard cream. I found it hilarious – it tickled me all night. I think humour is really important in fashion.’
‘I’ve been living out of three suitcases since last year as my wardrobe is in storage. It’s forcing me to be more creative.’