If you were going to categorise Ellie Bamber’s 2018, 'intense AF' springs to mind. No stranger to a gritty role – you will recognise Ellie from her chilling role in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals – Ellie jetted to Brazil to portray a real-life backpacker who was kidnapped, repeatedly raped and abused in the back of a tiny van for the film, The Seven Sorrows of Mary.
Then if that wasn’t gut wrenching enough for one twenty-one-year-old, she popped on a corset and tackled one of the most iconic roles of all, Cosette in BBC’s sans singing adaption of Les Misérables. Set to become Christmas TV’s break out star, Ellie’s star turn takes her from rising eugine to fully fledged power house.
Here, one of Britain’s best rising stars opens up her photo album and takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her 2018 from the trap music loving set of Les Misérables to the Couture show…
Do you wanna build a snowmannnn…
I don’t think this snowman has been my best work. With this being taken a year ago, I am looking back at myself in this picture and realise I have gone through tonnes. I don’t think I would speak to you about things in the same way, then. It’s hard to put my mind in the same place that I was because I feel like I’m growing at such a rapid rate that I can’t even keep up. Playing different roles escalates that growing up process, too.
Les Misérables Trap Queens
My first reaction when I watched Les Misérables was, ‘wow, my hair looks good!’ They put half a wig in and I was always kinda worried it was gonna make my head look twice as big! This is the girl playing younger Cosette and I. It was actually really bizarre as there was an even younger child, called Milo and then there was a baby me. It was interesting to see what they had gone for and how similar they had made us.
The real lol was, one morning at 5am I asked Dominic West if it was it ok if I played trap music and he said, ‘absolutely I love trap music!’ Next minute I’m playing trap music and we’re having a dance around the trailer. That was fun.
Some Friday nights the crew put on parties in the car parks where we had the trailers. We had fire breathers, smoke machines, disco lights, like, 90s raves!
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Turning it up in Tenerife
This is a beach in Tenerife. Is that guy slightly naked? I didn’t realise that before! I needed some warmth and some family friends own a like villa within a hotel. I don’t know when it was, but I took a flight out there on Easy Jet, not realizing it was five hours long and I was squished in. I basically just read a lot of books and at one point ended up at this party in a recording studio in Tenerife after we got really friendly with the restaurant owner. It was so bizarre.
Keeping it Classy in Chanel
This was Chanel haute couture show – I love Karl Lagerfeld, he’s super cool but I was intimidated by him at first. Working with the brand has taught me to keep it classy but also shake things up. I love that about Chanel because I get to be pretty, but I also get to ride my skateboard in Chanel. I used to longboard loads. Actually, this one time, my friend was teaching me to kick flip and I said to him, ‘please, I have to have pads on my knees as I’ve got to film in a few days,’ and he was like, ‘I’m not going out if you put pads on your knees!’ Next minute I go over a bump in the road, fall straight onto my knee and I am limping home. I’ve never seen someone apologise to me like, Will did, then.
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Brutal filming in Brazil
That’s THE van which I pretty much spent the entire time filming The Seven Sorrows of Mary in – I wanted to ceremoniously burn it at the end. I was away from home filming for such a long time. These guys were the baddies in the film and the young boy here was just from the local favela – he loves Trap music, so we bonded over a lot of Travis Scott. The Brazilians have definitely taught me some new dance moves, too! There are often riots in the favelas and they can be really quite dangerous but actually I didn’t experience any kind of violence in the favelas at all, actually everyone was so friendly, so I think that’s a large misconception. When it comes to playing a character where your safety is literally in jeopardy in order to feel safe within yourself it’s important to just be strong enough to say no and realise there’s a fine line you can’t go past, or things get weird.
Rallying in Summer time
This was at a rally back in the summer. There was such a large group of people and it was amazing to be talking with so many different people in Trafalgar square. It’s so important to get your voice heard, get out there, support what you believe in and what you wanna fight for.
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This is my brother at the Audi Polo in the summer, wearing a shirt I actually bought him for his birthday. We have a really, really close relationship -and that was a really fun evening for lots of reasons wasn’t it, Josh!
This was taken in Dorset at my friend Jasper Conran’s summer party. I spent a lot of time at this party swimming in the pond. It was amazing because there was silt at the bottom of the pond and everyone was convinced it was going to be brilliant for our faces. So, we were making our own mud masks and I literally came out of this pond with weeds all over my hair. My name for the rest of the day was, swamp girl.
I’ve been drinking… Watermelon a-la Beyoncé
I think all I need to tell you here is that I was in Ibiza! Need I say anymore?! We were there for a party in the hills, it was a really bohemian kind of party and decided it might be quite fun to cut up a watermelon.
Because you Cannes, Cannes, Cannes!
This is Cannes. I was there for Les Mis. Dominic, David and I had a really fun few days there. I stayed at my favourite hotel, La Colombe D’or Hotel... That was gorgeous, so nice!
I was in East London when I found out I got the role in The Trail of Christine Keeler so I took this to remember it. I really like East London and I thought like the TV show, this was quite 1960s. My flat now has a 60s vibe, too. I am always so excited when I get roles. When I first got my first ever role, I literally ran around the house screaming for a solid two minutes. Now I think I do still scream sometimes especially if it’s one where I really want it – Les Misérables was one of those roles. I walked out of the audition and I’d been crying so much in it. I thought I’d done so awfully, and the tears suddenly came. I was walking through Covent garden with tears down my face, feeling really sorry for myself because I didn’t think I’d got it, but then when I did I screamed.
Les Misérables starts on BBC on 30th December.