CLOSE UP JESSICA BROWN FINDLAY Magic is all around us, is the belief of Jessica Brown Findlay and her character Beverly in A New York Winter’s Tale. Magic has and still continues to be evident in her life and career. At first it seemed her destiny was to be a dancer. She trained with the National Youth Ballet and the Associates of the Royal Ballet and at the age of 15 she was invited to dance with the Kirov at the Royal Opera House for a summer season. But the career switch to acting came after a bungled ankle surgery ended her dancing career. The thing I adore about acting is that it is not me: you get to experience all these emotions but essentially it’s not you. Her first film was a Short called Man on a Motorcycle where she was credited as a Girl in bed. Her second film was the feature Albatross. She played Erica, an aspiring novelist who has just arrived in town. She soon falls in love with her writing coach Jonathan, who is her friend’s father. Erica is a misfit who imposes herself on a family in need of help. Her friend Beth (Felicity Jones) is somewhat reclusive and bookish and Erica shows her a world of fun. She introduces herself at the beginning of the film. I’ve a story to tell. I come from a no parent family. My Mum threw herself off a bridge because my Dad didn’t love her. So you might say I’ve got the perfect excuse to be a bit rebellious. The success of the film is really due to believing in Erica, and Jessica certainly achieves that from her introduction and there is excellent chemistry between her and Felicity Jones, another fine young actress. Albatross is a wonderfully entertaining film due to its excellent cast. It offered Jessica a leading role which she grabbed with total confidence and showed the promise of what was to come. It also offered her character lines which she relished saying: I have never seen so many ugly men in all my life. I mean look at them, they’re trying to wear their brains on the outside. Impressive as it was, her role in Downton Abbey as Lady Sybil Crawley and Lady Sybil Branson was magnificent.