EastEnders’ Actress Lorna Fitzgerald talks about her acting career
EastEnders actress Lorna Fitzgerald, known for her role of Abi Branning speaks to Youth Arts Online about her acting career.
The role of Abi Branning was introduced to EastEnders in 2006 and is described as ‘bubbly’ and confident. She lives life as a teenager such as, taking exams, wanting to go to university and having a group of friends.
Fitzgerald was four years old and attending a performing arts school when she took part in a short film about Stephen Lawrence. “They wanted fifty kids from the school for the film and I was lucky enough to get picked, and it all kind of moved on from there.”
The actress was really lucky to get the role of Abi Branning in EastEnders at the age of 10, she said, as she had previously auditioned to play another child on the soap a few years earlier. “I didn’t get that job,” she said. “Then, when I was 10, I auditioned for Abi and I got it. The first audition was very different to my second one; the first was a group of kids and a lot of improvising and the second audition was one-on-one. I got the interview through an agent that saw me in the Stephen Lawrence film so I was very lucky.”
Fitzgerald went to a normal school but on the weekends she attended the performing arts school for three hours, where she learned to act, dance and sing.
The seventeen-year-old has not been to many other auditions since joining EastEnders. When asked if nerves got the best of her she replied, “When I was younger I didn’t get nervous, but now I would be. I even get nervous here sometimes if there is a big scene. My nerves never really go away; they are always there in my stomach but I do think they help sometimes.”
Still, nerves remain the hardest aspect of acting, according to the young actress. “The nerves can get the better of you, especially if you mess up a line and panic because you feel everyone is watching. You just have to get that out of your head.”
Fitzgerald wishes to develop as an actress in her own way, as she is learning all the time from different people. “When I started here I didn’t think I would be doing the scenes I’m doing now, so you don’t really know what is going to happen.” The aspiring young actress’ future dream is to win an Oscar. “It would be great to be in a movie one day but I’m really happy here, I would like to stay here for ages.”
Many things inspired Fitzgerald to become an actress and she really enjoyed learning her craft at the performing acts school. “I went to see a play when I was really little and that’s when I said to my mum ‘I want to do that’. When I was younger I loved Lindsay Lohan. I loved her films, Life-size, Herbie, The Parent Trap and Mean Girls.”
The key advice that Fitzgerald gives to other aspiring actors/actresses is to be professional. “I think that’s one of the biggest things. I’m not sure there is a right way to get in to acting, I kind of fell into it. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen”, she said. “You just have to roll with it.”
And finally when asked to name her favourite movies she says, “Oh I have a top five. The first is Gladiator, I do love that film. My second is Braveheart I like a film with a big dramatic speech. I also like Fight Club, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. I like a film with lots of action that keeps you on the edge of your seat.”