From drama school to television to movies, Elaine Glover has had a busy decade. We caught up with her ahead of the York premiere of her first feature film Whoops! to find out the long journey an actor has to take to forge a career.
Elaine Glover’s first acting break came when she was in her last month at drama school, when she was spotted by the Casting Director of a show called Footballers’ Wives at the actor’s end of year showcase at Soho Theatre. "The programme was a bit trashy and very tongue in cheek," says Glover, "but it had a huge following: I couldn’t believe it when I was called in for a casting! I had no TV experience whatsoever, so was really thrown in at the deep end. And they didn’t half make me work for it."
Four auditions later, the actor was offered the role, "a very exciting and whirlwind start to my acting career. I didn’t even have an agent or anything. The last month of drama school was pretty relaxed after that, apart from when God struck me down on my graduation day - just in case there was any chance I was in danger of getting ahead of myself - when I tripped up and fell flat on my face when going to collect my degree."
After Footballers’ Wives, Glover reckons she was "very lucky" during her early career as the offers came thick and fast, landing her a role in Silent Witness and a leading role at the West Yorkshire Playhouse which was a childhood dream come true for Glover, being a Yorkshire lass. "I was very fortunate and enjoyed lovely parts in both TV and stage. There were of course quite times which are rubbish and hard to get through but they’re all part and parcel of the life of an actor. But I’ve done more things then I ever believed I would and I’m very grateful to have the career I’ve had, with all its huge highs and equally massive lows at times. It’s certainly never dull."
Glover took on the lead role of accidental serial killer Rose Clements in Whoops! "because I loved it! Who wouldn’t bite someone’s arm off to play Rose Clements? Firstly, I’d never been up for a feature film before so there was added excitement there. But I genuinely loved the script. It was broken down to me as a ‘dark British comedy’ but I’ve always seen it as a love story."
I was so pleased when the festivals and reviewers focused on Whoops! as a love story. The comedy and gore are hilarious but it's Rose and Dave's relationship that makes the film for me. That and getting to accidentally kill people.
Glover counts Whoops! - shot in York in 2012, screened at the Raindance Film Festival last year & picked as the sole British feature to tour Vue cinemas this summer - as "without a shadow of a doubt, the most fun I’ve ever had on a job. There was magic on that set. And now there’s magic in the cinema. This film and the incredible crew and cast have a very special place in my heart."
Since being regularly covered in blood, mud and rain - and asked to stab, slash and hack her way through Whoops! - Glover has enjoyed her West End debut at The Noel Coward Theatre in Simon Beaufoy’s stage adaptation of The Full Monty, which was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. However, like the Whoops! shoot, her West End experience was not always the height of dignity:
"In one scene, my character had to urinate on stage - not literally of course. It’s amazing what you can do with a catheter bag, water and an extra large thong. But yes, didn’t quite envisage that that’s what I’d be doing in the West End but still, weeing in the West End is better than not being in the West End at all!"
AFTERWORD: Whoops! screened to an appreciative audience of over 600 people at Reel Cinema York on Thursday 13 November.