SHE is a former Westcliff schoolgirl who is now treading the boards with Hollywood stars in the bright lights of Los Angeles.
Katie Amess, the 28-year-old daughter of Southend MP David Amess, will appear alongside Pulp Fiction star Tim Roth and acclaimed actor Steven Berkoff in Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, which will be directed by Oscar-winner William Friedkin, who made the French Connection and the Exorcist.
Katie says it’s her big break.
She told the Echo: “It’s my career highlight to be in this showwith such amazing actors.
“It’s awe inspiring to be working with such talented fantastic people. I’m learning so much every day.
“I had the audition and they told me within about four hours they wanted me.”
Katie, who was born in Basildon, but grew up in Southend when dad David was elected as Conservative MP for Southend West, has appeared on British screens, but it’s in America where she is carving out a career.
After being in in E4’s Funny Cuts, she moved to America to appear in NBC’s Fatal Encounters and made headlines last year when she picked up a lead role in a parody of the hit musical Les Miserables, entitled Miserable Lesbians. Despite her success on the other side of the Atlantic, Katie, a former St Bernard’s schoolgirl, remains a south Essex girl at heart.
She said: “Southend is a beautiful place. I love coming home and going for walks on the seafront. All my friends and family live there still. It's such a beautiful town. I’m proud to be from Basildon and Southend.”
Katie now lives in Los Angeles and will play Lulu in the play.
She was nominated for the BAFTA newcomer award in 2013 and also received the Dame Helen Mirren award, named in honour of another former St Bernard’s schoolgirl.
Katie said: “She went to the same school and drama school as me so I look up to her. To be recognised by BAFTA means a huge deal to me as well.”
The Birthday Party is at the Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, from February 4 to March 16