Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Meet Matilda; INTERVIEW My Voice Is Way Too Posh Matilda Sturridge May Come from a Posh Stage Dynasty but the Great Gatsby Star's Life Hasn't Quite Taken the Expected Path, as She Tells Richard Godwin My Voice Is Way Too Posh'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Meet Matilda; INTERVIEW My Voice Is Way Too Posh Matilda Sturridge May Come from a Posh Stage Dynasty but the Great Gatsby Star's Life Hasn't Quite Taken the Expected Path, as She Tells Richard Godwin My Voice Is Way Too Posh'

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Godwin

IF YOU wanted evidence for the theory that the entire British thespian class is related to one another, you might start with Matilda Sturridge. The engaging 24-year-old actress is currently earning admiring notices for her performance in The Great Gatsby musical at the King's Head.

Her big brother, Tom Sturridge, one of the rising stars of the British acting scene, will shortly be seen in the adaptation of On the Road. He has just had a baby with his partner, Sienna Miller. Robert Pattinson is a family friend. The little brother, Arthur, has just finished a stint in Edinburgh. Their father, Charles Sturridge, directed a number of productions including the classic 1981 TV series of Brideshead Revisited. Their mother, Phoebe Nicholls, starred in it. Their grandfather was the venerable character actor Charles Nicholls. You get the picture.

"Yup, yup," Matilda giggles when we meet for coffee in Holland Park. "We're trying to beat the Foxes," (Edward, Emelia, Freddie, James etc). "But we all came across it in such different ways. Tom didn't really want to become an actor until it just kind of happened. I'd always wanted to do it. Arthur doesn't want to do it" the 19-year-old is studying philosophy at Cambridge but he's the most talented of all of us. He's one of those really irritating people. He's so cool. We all want to be him."

At the moment, it doesn't seem so bad being the middle Sturridge. She describes her trajectory from the feepaying Harrodian school in Barnes where her contemporaries included Robert Pattinson, Jack Whitehall and Caggie Dunlop and then on to Rada as "very smooth, very natural".

However, her life has not quite taken the expected path. When she was 22, she gave birth to a boy, Rudy, who is now 18 months old. The father is a young fashion designer named Charlie Crockett, who has a shop on Portobello Road. They are no longer romantically involved though they remain "best friends".

Pregnancy and motherhood do not generally figure in the early career plans of Rada-trained actresses, I remark. "It wasn't planned," she concedes, "but we kind of knew that it would happen."

It has turned her into a glowing advocate for early motherhood. "My youth hasn't been taken away from me it's been enhanced. It's such bullshit when people say that they have to wait until they're at a certain status before they have children. There's never a right time if you look at it that way."

Instead of seeing the arrival of a baby at 22 as an end to her acting ambitions, she says he was a spur. "I think at that point, I was thinking, 'Maybe this is never going to happen to me'. And then when I had Rudy, I was like, 'I have to provide for my child, this has to happen'.

And also, I needed something for myself. I think it helped. …

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