Jess By February 07, 2017 0 Comments

Ella Purnell is set to star as a nameless teenager in a play about the internet age at Southwark Playhouse.

Ella said working with Margot Robbie and Keira Knightley made up for not going to drama school. The 20-year-old east Londoner has played younger versions of both the Hollywood stars and said they helped her “learn the craft”.

She is now about to put her lessons to good use on the stage, playing one of three nameless teenagers in Natives, at Southwark Playhouse, about young lives in the internet age.

With her film experience including portraying the younger version of Knightley’s character in 2010’s Never Let Me Go and the young Jane (Robbie’s role) in last year’s The Legend Of Tarzan, Purnell said she had no problem playing supporting roles to such “successful, amazing women”.

She said: “I love it, it is one of my favourite things. I never went to drama school and shadowing them is a great way to learn the craft.”

On filming The Legend Of Tarzan, Purnell said: “We had three days together and the way it worked was if she took three steps to the right I would have to take three steps to the right. You really start to see the thought that lies behind every word and every move.”

Natives, which opens next month, sees her playing a young woman obsessed with numbers who measures her life in calories and how many likes she gets for her posts online.

It is a subject Purnell, who has 213,000 followers on Instagram, says she can understand. She has used her online presence for everything from starting a debate about the UK prison system to asking her fans to commit three random acts of kindness a day.

She said: “I try to inspire people and start debates about things.”

Natives by Glenn Waldron is at Southwark Playhouse from March 29 to April 22.

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