London-born Belinda Stewart-Wilson, 43, is best known as Polly McKenzie in The Inbetweeners.
She talks to YL about playing an American novelist in new Disney series Evermoor, her top tips on staying in shape and which comic book heroine she’d like to be …
YOUR SPOOKY NEW DISNEY SERIES EVERMOOR LOOKS LIKE IT CAN’T FAIL. IS IT GOOD FUN TO WORK ON?Oh such good fun, and it has all the ingredients needed for a success, I think.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER FIONA. IS SHE BEST DESCRIBED AS AN AMERICAN J.K. ROWLING?(Laughs) She’d probably fancy herself as that, yes. She’s quite a successful children’s author, but she’s troubled a little bit. When we meet her, she’s got writer’s block and she comes up with all sorts of weird and wonderful ways to get her creative juices flowing, and has her head in the clouds half the time; she’s a bit scatty.
WHICH PART OF AMERICA IS SHE FROM?
I don’t know, but I was told to portray her as a “middle-America newsreader”.
HOW EASY OR DIFFICULT IS IT DOING THE US ACCENT?
I really enjoy doing the accent. I have a wonderful dialect coach and found it really good fun playing someone from a completely different country with a completely different accent.
HAVE YOU ENJOYED WORKING IN THE LIVERPOOL AREA?
Yes! I’ve never been to Liverpool before. I’d only ever been to Warrington, which is where a lot of stuff is filmed. It’s great being up there. It’s a totally new experience.
IS IT DAUNTING KNOWING YOU’RE ABOUT TO BE IN A SERIES THAT’S GOING TO BE VIEWED IN 160 COUNTRIES?
When you put it like that, it is quite a big deal, especially playing an American when I’m not one. That is a little bit nerve-racking, although that is also quite a fun prospect.
WHICH HAS BEEN THE MOST INTERESTING DAY OF FILMING?
It was all so fun, working on those Disney sets is the most fun. Every time I turned up for work it was really exciting.
AS DISNEY ALSO OWNS MARVEL, DO YOU FANCY PLAYING A SUPERHEROINE AT SOME POINT?
Oh my God. Who wouldn’t? I would absolutely love to play Wonder Woman, but I think I’m a bit old for that now. Maybe I could play her mother. (Laughs)
WHICH DO YOU FIND EASIER, COMEDY OR DRAMA?
I absolutely love doing comedy. That’s my first love and I probably do find it easier than drama, although drama is great fun to do because it is something to get your teeth into. It exercises a different muscle really, so it’s good to do both.
YOU LOOK LIKE A MILLION DOLLARS. HOW DO YOU
STAY IN SHAPE?
Thank you very much. That’s very kind. Drink a lot of water, get your beauty sleep, keep your skin clean. I go to the gym, do yoga, all that kind of stuff.
ARE THE CATERING TRUCKS ON SET RATHER TEMPTING?
Yeah. I don’t have very good willpower and I go through phases of being very healthy and then, every now and then, I will eat completely unhealthy. I’m not the greatest role model when it comes to eating healthily.
YOU MUST BE AMAZED BY THE SUCCESS OF THE INBETWEENERS
Yeah, it is absolutely unbelievable, and so well deserved by the writers and the creators of it. It’s captured everyone’s hearts and is quite amazing to be a part of.
INBETWEENERS 2 IS THE MOST LUCRATIVE BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR. ANY PLANS FOR A THIRD ONE?
Is it really? Goodness me! Well, if it’s doing that well, you think ‘Why not?’. I don’t know what their plans are. I think they’re putting it to bed, as it were, but you never know.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING PROJECT, GREGOR
That was a comedy pilot for Bwark, I think, who were the production company for The Inbetweeners. It was a couple of young, new, up-and-coming writers, so I did it to help them out really. I thought it was very good.
YOU’RE ALSO WORKING ON A CHILLER …
Yes. Terror Island is a horror film that is in pre-production at the moment and I’m meant to be playing the wife of a member of Bros – Luke Goss – which is quite a thrill. I was never a “Brosette”, though.
IS THERE A DREAM PROJECT YOU’D LIKE TO DO?
I would love to do some really good theatre, if I’m honest … if I find room for it. It’s a really good position to be in. I’m very lucky.
CAREERWISE, WHERE AND WHEN WERE YOU HAPPIEST AND WHY?
I have to say right now. I’ve never been happier. I’m very pleased with the way things are going.
Evermoor airs on Disney Channel from October 10 at 6pm.