Actor Erin Doherty How good a footballer by Chelsea
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Actor Erin Doherty How good a footballer by Chelsea

Erin Doherty grew up in Crawley, West Sussex, and graduated from Bristol Old Vic theatre school in 2015. Her screen roles include the young Princess Anne in The Crown on Netflix, and Becky in the BBC thriller Chloe. On stage, she has starred in Jack Thorne’s Junkyard and in Alan Ayckbourn’s The Divide. She’s currently appearing as Abigail Williams in the National Theatre’s acclaimed new production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, a fictionalised account of the Salem witch trials of 1692, written originally as an allegory for 1950s McCarthyism.

What was your relationship with The Crucible before you were cast? Did you read it at school?
I hadn’t had any contact at all with it, which I found really helpful. I didn’t have any preoccupations about Abigail [a young woman accused of practising witchcraft who later accuses many others of “dancing with the devil”]. Lyndsey [Turner, the play’s director] wanted to go against the way she is usually depicted, and I was on the same page. I don’t think Abigail has any more power than anyone else in the play. She hasn’t planned what she’s doing. She’s just trying to survive.

Has being in The Crucible made you think more generally about the state we’re in?
Yes. It’s a play about a community that’s not willing to bend. What’s happening at the minute in our world is that the cost of admitting we’re wrong is really high. So we don’t. We just dig deeper into our beliefs. Before you know it, you’re on one side or another. It’s terrifying. There are so many similarities with where we’re at. When people asked Lyndsey when she was setting the play, she would say: “I’m not setting it in any time. I’m setting it in a place that calls itself Salem.”

A lot of this connects to social media, territory you were also on in the BBC series Chloe, in which you played a woman who inveigled her way into the circle of an influencer. Are you on Instagram?
I am, but I don’t have the app on my phone. I don’t quite understand it, and I’m really bad at it. But also, when you’ve worked on these kinds of projects, it does open your eyes. Social media makes me really nervous. I hold it at arm’s length, and only really use it for work purposes. I’m really proud of the projects I’ve done. I’ll do anything to help those. But with personal stuff, I don’t get involved because it’s just terrifying.

The set design of this production of The Crucible is extraordinary, but it does involve a lot of water. Is it slippery on stage?
Ha! The first show we did, we were slipping about all over the place. They literally auditioned about 20 towels to see which one would soak up the best, and since then we haven’t had any problems.

You have an amazing ability to transform yourself. Listening to you now, it’s hard to imagine you as, say, Princess Anne.
It all comes from the voice. Again, I didn’t know anything about her before I was cast. I recorded a video of her from YouTube, and I would just walk around listening to her. After a while I thought: I know who this woman is. There’s a certain constraint in her voice, and the moment I started doing that myself, I felt angry and kind of caged psychologically.

What did you feel watching the Queen’s funeral? Was it strange?
Yes. We spent two years imagining what those people’s lives were like. There was sadness for the family, but on some level [the experience of making The Crown] made it more beautiful. I’m always asked what I would say if I ever met Princess Anne, and I just don’t know. I think the world of her. I really, really love her. But she’s also intimidating to me.

Is it true that, as a teenager, you had to choose between football and acting? How good a footballer were you?
I was good. I got scouted to play for Chelsea. I was pretty intensely committed to it, and I really loved it. But on Sundays, my dad had to drive me to football matches, and then to my drama club. At a certain point he was just, like: Erin, I can’t do this any more. I had to choose. At the time, it didn’t feel very fair. But I appreciate it now. It meant that from quite a young age – I was about 13 – I was really choosing what I would do with my time. Acting wasn’t something I just fell into; I was passionate about it. I feel a bit sorry for people who don’t really know what they want to do. I’ve never experienced that. From the minute I had to make a decision, it stuck.

Did you cry when the England women won Euro 2022?
I was filming that day, but only in Harrow. I managed to make it back to my flat for extra time. I was on WhatsApp with my sister and my dad. Honestly, my sister was bawling. We know how much work it took for those women to get that far.

Do you know what you’ll be doing next?
No. It sounds so lame, but I’m just really excited about spending Christmas with my sister. I’ve got a film – Reawakening, with Juliet Stevenson and Jared Harris – coming out. I’m not sure when. We wrapped it in July. And a couple of other things I can’t talk about. Things are happening, which is exciting. I love theatre. Working at the National Theatre is a bucket list moment for me; I’m so chuffed to be here. But what I’d really love to do is to play a queer woman like myself. I’m intrigued by the complexity of queer relationships, and I’d love to be a part of putting that on stage or screen. I’m just putting that out there!

Berlin’s International Film Market (EFM) and has actually introduced


It’s funny how brightly lit and close-up the first quarter of


The Movie Horror in January 2023 “Skinamarink”