As Walford’s Kirsty Branning looks set for a rocky road, actress Kierston Wareing talks to TV Times magazine about her own unpredictable journey to success…
We’ve heard that your road to fame began in an unusual way…
“I’d been auditioning for a part in a Ken Loach film and got down to the last couple…”
And then you ran into him on the Tube?
“Yes! I went ‘Hi, Ken’ and he said ‘Oh, hello Kierston, what are you doing here?’ I went ‘I’ve been at Court… working.’ [training as a legal secretary]. I thought I’d blown it because I looked immaculate, all suited and booted, whereas I’d dressed all fashionable for the auditions. But now, I look back and I think it was fate.”
Was that the turning point for you?
“I’d promised myself, even if I got down to the last two, I was giving the acting up – and I even told Ken that. In about 10 years, I’d had a couple of bit parts on The Bill and one line in EastEnders. I was Kat Slater’s mate in the Anthony Trueman days and I had to say ‘Come on, you old slapper; we’re missing out on drinking time, here!'”
You inevitably then got the role in Ken’s film, It’s a Free World, which in turn led to you receiving a BAFTA nomination for best actress!
“I’ll never forget that man. He changed my life, without a doubt.”
And you’re now in EastEnders as Kirsty Branning…
“I’d been for an audition before at the soap and I didn’t get it – it was for Phil Mitchell’s wife or girlfriend.”
Kirsty put a stop to Max and Tanya’s wedding when she turned up on the Brannings’ doorstep on Christmas Day and revealed that she was Max’s wife. Now, Kirsty is so desperate not to lose Max, she has lied that she’s pregnant…
“Of course, that lie is going to get deeper and deeper, but Kirsty thinks ‘I’ll just jump on him and get pregnant!'”
What would you make of someone like Max in real life?
“If a Max Branning even tried to approach me, I’d be like ‘See you later, goodbye!'”
Can you relate to Kirsty?
“What I don’t understand is why she won’t leave him. I know she’s lonely, but you can be even lonelier in a relationship. I’d love her to kick him into touch. She’s found a friend in Kat and I’d love to see that progress; having them go out and about and having a good time together.”
You’ve done some varied jobs in the past, including opening up your own business in South End, Pinky’s, doing bikini waxing and vajazzling!
“I found out about vajazzling on the net and I thought ‘That’s a great idea!’ If a lady wanted a red heart or her boyfriend’s initials shaved in, I’d do that, or you could get crystals stuck on. But people weren’t really doing it then; they were like ‘This is weird.’ And it was in the wrong location.”
Your career seems to be going from strength to strength at the moment. We know you’re starring as Delilah in a new US TV adaptation of The Bible – so is it next step Hollywood?
“I believe that life is fated; what’s going to happen, will happen. So you might see me in EastEnders in 20 years, you might see me in Hollywood, you might never see me again! If I can carry on acting, I’ll appreciate it, because I’ve struggled to get here. It’s a wonderful job and people will give their right arm to do it.”