As far as landing your first major television gig goes, earning a part in a brand new series of one of the best loved dramas of the ‘90s certainly isn’t bad. That’s exactly what happened to 18-year-old Ella Hunt, who was cast as Ellie in Cold Feet, the teenage daughter of returning characters Karen and David, after just one audition – no call-backs necessary. You might also recognise the young actress from her previous role in Robot Overlords (opposite Gillian Anderson and Sir Ben Kingsley, no less) and an appearance in the big screen adaptation of Les Miserables.
Ella has already managed to turn heads in the fashion industry, too – she reportedly managed to catch the notoriously steely eye of one Anna Wintour at London Fashion Week: the legendary editor of US Vogue was overheard asking ‘Who’s that girl?’ while sat front row at the Roksanda show. For everyone else that’s wondering the very same, we caught up with Ella to talk personal style, dream roles and her career to date…
On starring in Cold Feet
Ella's big break came when she was cast in the new series of Cold Feet. She plays Ellie, the troublesome daughter of Hermione Norris's Karen and Robert Bathurst's David. 'I had been out to a Christmas party the night before the audition and arrived in yesterday's make-up with dirty hair,' she explains. It certainly made an impression on director Terry McDonough, who cast her on the same day. 'I felt really special being welcomed into such a well-loved and established ensemble, and being part of the next generation,' she says. Her on-screen twin is played by Daisy Edgar Jones, who Ella describes as ‘spectacular.’
On her first time at London Fashion Week
The recent round of S/S’17 shows marked Ella’s first London Fashion Week, where she held her own on the front row alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. 'I was lucky enough to be invited to some amazing shows - I felt like I was at the theatre!’ Ella tells Grazia. ‘Roksanda was the highlight of my week. I was sat next to the lovely Heida Reed from Poldark, and was completely captivated by the elegance of the clothes. I dream of wearing one of those amazing dresses.’
On her biggest ‘pinch me’ moments to date
'I was sat next to [British Vogue editor] Alexandra Shulman at Osman, which was surreal, but my highlight had to be attending the Green Carpet Challenge event hosted by Livia and Colin Firth and Anna Wintour,’ Ella explains. ‘I was pinching myself looking around the room seeing people like Keira Knightley...'
On her early career
Given that she’s achieved so much at an age when most of us were worrying about UCAS forms, it’s no surprise to learn that Ella has always wanted to work in the industry. ‘I was spotted by an agent in a school production of The Mikado,’ she reveals. ‘I was 11 years old, playing Katisha and wearing a fat suit.’ It’s safe to say that her career has taken a slightly more glamorous turn since then…
On her personal style
Yes, she's now a front row fixture, but like any other teen, Ella is still a fan of high street brands - and raids her mum's wardrobe when she can. 'I tend to keep it fairly casual day to day, and love brands like Topshop,' she says. 'I'm also lucky enough to have access to my mum's amazing wardrobe for some vintage treasures. I'm only 18 and with a limited budget, so I like experimenting. I did a fun shoot the other day where I got to wear a lot of androgynous looks which I loved, but equally I loved wearing the blue velvet fitted dress by Archive for Alexa at M&S for an event last week.'
On her dream role
The actress would love to play Lorna Doone in a screen adaptation of R. D. Blackmore's historical romance, 'shot on Exmoor where I live,' and is keen to work with Tom Hooper, director of Les Miserables and The Danish Girl. Other than that, she's after 'emotionally complex, real, three-dimensional women.' Can we get a fist pump emoji?
What’s next for Ella?
Off the back of Cold Feet, Ella has already landed a part in the next season of the ‘60s-set Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour, which will air in 2017. After that, well, watch this space, but the actress enjoys her down time, too. ‘I play the piano and walk my dogs to switch off,’ she tells us. Sounds ideal.