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Vanity Fair’s Olivia Cooke slams gender disparity and claims she’s judged for ‘working class accent’

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Vanity Fair star Olivia Cooke has slammed gender disparity within the acting industry and said she has been judged for her ‘working class northern accent’ in the past.

The actress, 24, who plays cynical social climber Becky Sharp in ITV’s adaptation of William Thackeray’s 1848 novel, hinted she wouldn’t have had the same career opportunities if she had stayed in the UK and not moved to America.

The television leading lady said while male actors from working class backgrounds can ‘rise up the ranks and do all these different accents’, she would be typecast as ‘maid number two’ from the moment she opened her mouth.

Hitting out: Vanity Fair star Olivia Cooke has slammed gender disparity within the acting industry and said she has been judged for her 'working class northern accent' in the past 

Hitting out: Vanity Fair star Olivia Cooke has slammed gender disparity within the acting industry and said she has been judged for her 'working class northern accent' in the past 

Hitting out: Vanity Fair star Olivia Cooke has slammed gender disparity within the acting industry and said she has been judged for her ‘working class northern accent’ in the past 

Speaking in an interview with this week’s Radio Times, Olivia said: ‘It’s such an identifiable factor. 

‘I come into a room, “Oh. She’s northern. She’s from the North West somewhere. She’s working class. If she sounds like that, make her Maid Number Two”.  

‘I’m only guessing, and with the benefit of hindsight, but I wonder, if I’d stayed here as a working-class northern actress, whether I would have had this career path. 

‘In America, my accent’s not a thing, I’m just British. Here working-class men can rise up the ranks and do all these different accents, and I just don’t think they assume women can. But it’s definitely changing.’ 

Hitting out: The actress, 24, hinted she wouldn't have had the same career opportunities if she had stayed in the UK and not moved to America (pictured in character as Becky Sharp)

Hitting out: The actress, 24, hinted she wouldn't have had the same career opportunities if she had stayed in the UK and not moved to America (pictured in character as Becky Sharp)

Hitting out: The actress, 24, hinted she wouldn’t have had the same career opportunities if she had stayed in the UK and not moved to America (pictured in character as Becky Sharp)

The actress hails from Oldham in greater Manchester and was born to a police officer dad and sales rep mum.

Having got her first job at age 18 alongside Christopher Eccleston in Blackout, the actress has not stopped since, but it was her lead role in Bates Motel that got the ball rolling.

She was then cast in films like The Quiet Ones, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Thoroughbreds, as well as Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi adventure Ready Player One.

But Olivia admitted she wasn’t a fan of ‘dreary’ costume dramas until she landed her role in Vanity Fair, explaining to Radio Times: ‘I’ve found in the past that they can be quite dreary. 

Working class roots: The television leading lady said male actors from working class backgrounds can 'rise up the ranks and do all these different accents'

Working class roots: The television leading lady said male actors from working class backgrounds can 'rise up the ranks and do all these different accents'

Working class roots: The television leading lady said male actors from working class backgrounds can ‘rise up the ranks and do all these different accents’

‘They tend to marinate in their sophistication a little bit too much. Often it looks pretty but the drama is lacking. The substance isn’t actually there for me.’ 

The actress fell into the industry by chance when she was just 14 and started going to the Oldham Theatre Workshop, and while she has enjoyed a sharp rise to success, she insisted it’s more down to hard work than simply good luck. 

 Read the full interview with Olivia Cooke in this week's Radio Times , on sale now

 Read the full interview with Olivia Cooke in this week's Radio Times , on sale now

 Read the full interview with Olivia Cooke in this week’s Radio Times , on sale now

She said: ‘It was just something fun to do with my friends after school. My trajectory has been a quick one. It has been an adrenaline rush for the past six years.  

‘I hate saying the word ‘lucky’. It’s incredibly patronising. I’ve worked really, really hard. I’m called ‘lucky’ because of my background.

‘Someone that’s born into it isn’t called lucky – and I think it’s the other way around. They’ve had a bit of a leg-up and their DNA is inherently really lucky. 

‘I’ve got to eat and put food on the table. I’m lucky to do something I really love, but that’s it. I sound like a w****r.’

Read the full interview with Olivia Cooke in this week’s Radio Times, on sale now.  

Not a fan: Olivia admitted in the interview she wasn't a fan of 'dreary' costume dramas until she landed her role in Vanity Fair 

Not a fan: Olivia admitted in the interview she wasn't a fan of 'dreary' costume dramas until she landed her role in Vanity Fair 

Not a fan: Olivia admitted in the interview she wasn’t a fan of ‘dreary’ costume dramas until she landed her role in Vanity Fair 

Elias Alex Ifeanyichukwu is a realist, keen writer born in Nigeria, he is a graduate and an active member of JoelsBlog Team, Elias Alex has a great sense of humor, writes great contents and is ready to serve you with what's Latest in Nigeria!

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