“I certainly think that you learn a lot off your first job; you learn how you want to be as an actor from the people that you’re working with” – Kate Phillips
One of the new faces in the Downton Abbey film is Kate Phillips, who portrays Princess Mary (daughter of King George V and Queen Mary). Of course, Phillips is no stranger to BBC programming, having made her debut in the critically-acclaimed 2015 miniseries Wolf Hall and being a recurring cast member of Peaky Blinders. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly about her big-screen debut in Downton Abbey, Phillips also spoke about how she got cast on Wolf Hall and what she learned from her work on the series.
Phillips reveals that, shockingly, her very first audition led to her breakout role. She explains:
“Wolf Hall was my first-ever audition. I was completely green to the whole experience and I remember reaching out to the one person in my year group who had ever done an audition and he gave me some tips as to how to attack the whole situation. It’s amazing to think how naive we were to the whole industry when we were at drama school. I met with Robert Sterne [casting director]and about a month or two later he called me in again to meet with the director Peter Kosminsky. To this day, I am so grateful to Peter and to Robert for casting me; it was a great first job and the most amazing experience, but also I know that it changed everything for me. My journey into this industry would be very different had I not had that job. I really feel like Peter really took a chance on me and I’m really grateful to him for that.”
Phillips did not take that early success for granted and points out that she took the opportunity to learn from her castmates, including seasoned professionals like Claire Foy and Damain Lewis. She says, “I certainly think that you learn a lot off your first job; you learn how you want to be as an actor from the people that you’re working with, so there were some wonderful role models on the job. “