Anne-Marie Duff has likened acting to having a series of "passionate love affairs".

Anne-Marie Duff

Anne-Marie Duff

The 50-year-old actress admits the real-life reality of working in the industry is markedly different to what she initially imagined.

She explained: "After my first job in acting I believed everybody would be best friends for ever. We’d all become so close.

"You realise quite quickly that it’s like lots of passionate love affairs. Along the way you collect people and they stay with you. You might not see each other properly for five or six years then you’re back in rehearsals together and it’s as if you never left.

"That’s the nature of actors - they’re generally very open, funny and forgiving people."

Anne-Marie can still remember crying tears of happiness after securing her first acting job.

The London-born star admitted to surpassing her own expectations, having grown up "on a grey breeze-block council estate".

She told the Guardian newspaper: "I remember getting the bus home from my very first job. I was skint, on Equity minimum, it was a small part. I cried with happiness.

"I thought: My god, I’m actually doing this. I’m actually acting for a living. I came from a world where it would be considered f****** stupid - dreaming of becoming a classical actor on a grey breeze-block council estate. I couldn’t believe my luck."

The UK's theatre industry has been thrown into crisis by the coronavirus pandemic.

But Anne-Marie can't wait for the pandemic to ease and for the industry to return to something like normality.

She explained: "Being in a room when a dancer holds another dancer or an actor makes themselves vulnerable is going to be so potent.

"We’ve been behind masks for ages. It’s very powerful psychologically what that does to us – you can’t see me smile, can’t hear me properly. It will be amazing to hear someone play a guitar in front of you.

"The real world is what we do, but the arts are who we are."

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