"The best piece of career advice I've ever had was actually given to me by a New Zealander," Morfydd Clark tells us. "An actor called Rawiri Jobe told me that you've got to realise when you're on a job, that's when you're on holiday. The bits in-between is the work."
The Sweden-born, Welsh actress is talking to us from her current home in Auckland, where she's spent most of the last year working on a top-secret Tolkein TV series for Amazon - a project which will no doubt propel her from emerging talent to bonafide star. But it was her breakthrough role in 2019's psychological thriller Saint Maud which set film critics abuzz.
Clark describes Saint Maud as "absolutely the film that changed my life", and it's seen her shortlisted for BAFTA's EE Rising Star Award as a result - the eventual winner of which will be voted for by the public. Jennifer Ehle co-stars in the thriller, playing a cancer patient assigned for care to a sinister, psychotic nurse (Clark).
"She's an actress that I've admired for most of my teenage years, and kept me company on sick days where I'd watch re-runs of Pride and Prejudice," says Clark of Ehle. "To actually work with her but also to have the best experience of meeting your heroes, it was just wonderful."
She describes being shortlisted for the EE Rising Star Award as "completely bizarre - yes I'd say bizarre is the main thing".
She continues: "But also it's just wonderful to be in a list of names that I admire so much. Florence Pugh, John Boyega... Well, everybody who's previously been nominated for this award I think are wonderful. So to be amongst that list is really special."
But what if her acting career hadn't turned out quite so well?
"If I wasn't an actress I think I'd want to be a therapist or a psychiatrist, which I think is fascination with people, and observation of people," Clark says. "But also, I'd love to be a midwife."
From her guilty pleasure to what makes her happiest and the advice she'd give her teenage self, discover everything you don't yet know about Morfydd Clark in our exclusive video above.
Public voting for the EE Rising Star Award is now open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA and the winner will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 11 April 2021.
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