Actress Jemma Redgrave is back as pioneering Victorian medic Eleanor Bramwell in a new ten-part ITV series.
The award-winning Bramwell (Monday, 9pm) has firmly established Jemma as yet another star from the Redgrave family. Here are ten things you never knew about her.
\AS A third-generation member of the famous Redgrave theatrical dynasty, Jemma, 30, has acting in her blood. She is the daughter of Corin, niece of Vanessa and Lynn, granddaughter of the late Sir Michael, and cousin of Joely and Natasha Richardson.
BEING a Redgrave didn’t guarantee an acting career and she admits struggling at drama school. “I’m very proud of my family name,” she says. “Maybe it does open doors – people are more willing to see you because they are curious. But it doesn’t mean success.”
HER mother, Deirdre, split from her father when Jemma was in her teens. “I married into a wild bunch of the most illustrious, talented, pig-headed, idealistic and controversial people. It was a privilege I wouldn’t have missed,” says Deirdre.
JEMMA, who has a younger brother Luke, had an unorthodox childhood. “My mother was quite avant garde. She took me to see a Siouxsie And The Banshees concert when I was 13, which made me the envy of my friends -and scared me to death,” she says.
SHE is 5ft 8in, but was overweight as a youngster. Her favourite food is smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels and Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
“I ate for comfort when my parents split up, but I started losing weight around the time of my first ever date,” she says.
THERE was a storm of protest four years ago when she starred in The Buddha Of Suburbia.
During the controversial series she did her ironing in the nude, writhed naked with Anthony Sher and took part in an explicit orgy scene.
“I would do it all again if I wanted to play a part as badly as I did that one,” she says.
SHE wed barrister Tim Owen, 39,in July 1992. They live in north London and have a three year-old son Gabriel who visits her on the set of Bramwell. “He is very well behaved and know when to be quiet when filming starts,” says Jemma.
HER most frightening experience was watching the Childcatcher entice the children in to his cage in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
“My brother was three and wet himself. I had to be enticed out from behind my seat in the cinema,” she says.
JEMMA is an accomplished stage actress, starring with her aunts Vanessa and Lynn in The Three Sisters and romantic comedy Chatsky. She also starred in the Oscar-winning Howard’s End with Emma Thompson and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
TWO of her acting heroines are Ava Gardner and Ingrid Bergman.
“They were both strong and feminine at the same time,” she says.
Jemma is surprised and delighted how successful Bramwell has become. “I had no idea how well it would be received,” she says.
Jemma Redgrave will have temperatures rising when she returns to our screens as Dr Eleanor Bramwell.
For in the new series, we discover more about Dr Bramwell’s private life as her romance continues with Finn O’Neill – and it promises to be streamy.
As Jemma explains: “Victorian life wasn’t as stuffy as we are led to believe. People did have sex as well as blazing rows.
“She is human, warts and all. I would like to have her as a friend. But I think she would be exhausting and demanding.”
Meanwhile, Jemma revealed that her number one fan is her three-year-old son, Gabriel.
The wee fellow is a regular on the set of Bramwell.
Jemma said: “He particularly likes the microscope. It’s great that I am able to take him to work.”