[Part 1] [Part 2]
[OP note: For those on mobile, be aware that your screens may temporarily be hijacked by Gremlins and run on molasses. Enter at your own risk. Gif usage is in effect. PICS AND TEXT HEAVY!]
For what’s the sound of the world out there—those crunching noises pervading the air?
So, sit down for this interwoven story (this is bestseller material, y’all): About a few weeks ago, I (an American to clarify) came across another American anglophile (I will not name names here) who got wrapped in a conversation with a good British sis (who has lived in the UK their entire lives, needless to say). The American believed that their living in the glorious four kingdoms that is the UK for half a year somehow gave them an enlightened and authoritative perspective on the classism plaguing the very old, traditional, complex and nuanced culture of Britain...
It’s man devouring man, my dear. And who are we to deny it in here?
Do They Know Things? Let’s Find Out!
Stars & Celebrities Who Grew Up Posh
& Understand Privilege
“I was very much a product of the public-school system.”
‘I’m Friends with Racists’ Pocket Prince Daniel Radcliffe (I can’t help myself; I still love his dumb white ass) has been rather honest about his middle-class, West London upbringing. Dan’s father, Alan Radcliffe was raised Protestant and working-class in Northern Ireland and was a literary agent (he later left his job to chaperone Dan on set). His mother, Marcia Gresham (nee Jacobson) is originally from South Africa of Jewish heritage. She grew up in Essex from the time she was two in a middle-class household and worked as a casting agent with projects for the BBC until 2011. One of Dan’s first roles, aged nine, was the young titular David Copperfield for BBC One with Dame Maggie Smith (Dan claimed Smith recommended him at some point to the Potter producers and director Chris Columbus watched him in the programme while searching for a Harry). Although he had little ambition to act at first (it was a brief interest when he was five; he had a bit part in a school play), his mother, he said, helped secure the part for him as an alternative to his unhappy school experience on advice from a family friend, talent agent Sue Latimer (actor Freddie Highmore’s mother). Clearly, both his parents had many insider connections (including the producers on Copperfield) and enjoyed a relationship with Potter producer David Heyman; he was considered a friend of the family when on request from Columbus, he asked Dan’s parents if he could audition. His parents were also child actors and performers—his father a ballroom dancer and his mother a ballerina (not world famous, but all the same). Their personal experiences in the industry—and their particularly negative account of working as child actors—kept Dan grounded and they initially said no to Dan being involved in the Warner Bros. franchise, which was then to be filmed in America.
He went to three independent schools, including Redcliffe; the all boy’s prestigious institution Sussex House School which he attended until age 13 and saw that he was verbally abused by the deputy head teacher for his less than stellar academia (fees there are £22,005 a year as of September 2019); and the City of London School where he wasn’t popular—partly due to jealousy—and found himself at the centre of schoolyard fights (Skandar Keynes from the Walden Media Narnia franchise is an alumnus). Dan said in 2012 to Parade that his private school Sussex House was, “an almost exclusively white, very privileged place.” Candidly, he claimed: “I fucking hated school.”
Luckily for him, he was allowed to leave school early while he was rehearsing for the West End run of Equus at 17 and never looked back. He has openly criticized his schools for his shitty treatment and scoffed at the staff taking pride in his former attendance there. For Out Magazine in 2013, he admitted he felt an outcast among his classmates who came from more privileged backgrounds and wasn’t exceptionally studios due to his dyspraxia (which he was diagnosed at age seven). He lamented at one time if his short attention span was also due to ADHD and he credits his tutors and thespian co-stars (Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, Alan Rickman, Dame Maggie Smith, etc.) on the Potter set for granting him a better, diverse education. “[I had] a much more varied [community on set] than at school, age-wise, background-wise. I was very much a product of the public-school system. There was only one other kid in my class who had parents not involved in the stock market or law,” he was quoted in 2009 for Time Out London.
Understandably, his rise to fame was a confusing period and from the ages of 18 to 21, Dan turned to alcohol to help him deal with his star status and insecurities, drinking himself to the point of blackouts late in the evenings. In 2008, he showed up to the set of Half-Blood Prince hungover on most shooting days. He said, “I was too young to move out on my own from home. And I had too much money.” Social media then wasn’t as insanely advanced as it is now and Dan was surrounded by friends who protected him from the paparazzi whilst he was too disorientated to fully realise what was happening (although, camera phones definitely were a thing albeit primitive and in 2015, he said he absolutely despises them). Bless him.
Although, thankfully he would bounce back and he announced to Attitude Magazine in 2012 that he switched alliances from the Liberal Democrats to the Labour party, calling out their views on income tax payers: “I think, if you make a lot more money than most people—like I do—you should pay more tax and subsidise people who work just as hard as you, but don’t earn as much.” His estimated net worth as of 2019 is $110 million (roughly £84 million); his Potter salary was $33 million in 2011, placing him in the top one percent of the wealth divide. Okay, Dan. Go get your girl Emmione on the HP cast WhatsApp and do her a favour by giving the Tax Evading Kween some lessons (homegirl is lost).
Source 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
“I found it really difficult when [private school] teachers talked down to me.”
Private educated child stars extend beyond Harry Potter. Queen in the North Sophie Turner was raised on an Edwardian property in the country near Leamington Spa by a “comfortably-off Midlands family”, she took drama classes as early as three, she attended the independent day school for girls’ The King’s High School and she joined the prestigious Playbox Theatre Company in Warwick. While there, Sophie formed a friendship with Mairi Ellen Challen who was cast in 2009 as young Alice played by Mia Wasikowska in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
Her mother, Sally was a nursery-school teacher until she quit her job to chaperone Sophie on set. Her father, Andrew works for an international pallet distribution company. Her older brothers, James is a doctor and Will is university educated. Sophie stated to the Telegraph in 2015 that her family have always supported the Labour party while she votes Green and said that her childhood was a pleasant experience, especially living on a large estate with a farm and animals. She cited she always held ambitions for drama from as early as age eleven. Fortunately, the casting director for Game of Thrones, Nina Gold was visiting King’s High drama department, seeking potential girls for the role of Sansa Stark. It was Sophie’s drama teacher, Sarah Barker Doherty who recommended that she audition; she was twelve at the time. Her parents never expected she would actually get the part and didn’t push her into it. I respect that Sophie doesn’t deny her drama education got her where she is today; folk musicians Lucy Rose and June Tabor and Thrones co-star Gemma Whelan are alumni of her school.
However, like Pocket Prince DanRad, at 17 she found private education to be an unfulfilling experience. She announced to Interview Magazine in 2013, “I found it really difficult when teachers talked down to me. I thought to myself, ‘Shouldn’t we be having an interesting conversation here’?” She favoured her on set tutoring over her traditional classroom lessons (although, she would later promote the school as being “excellent”) and even acknowledged that playing Sansa was in itself a privilege. “At the moment, I can still treat acting as my very favourite hobby since I don’t have a mortgage to pay!” In 2019, her estimated net worth is $8 million (about £6.1 million), which is expected to annually increase (each episode of the final season made $15 million; actors are paid by their screen time).
And like the Potter star, she struggled with her fame. Unlike Dan, she grew up at the height of the digital age, candidly opening up about her depression and the toxicity of social media on her mental health in 2019: “Having your adolescence being displayed in public, that’s something I really wish hadn’t happened. I think I’d be a much saner person if I hadn’t been documented from 13—your most awkward, uncomfortable, unsure-of-yourself years. […] I was too aware of my body at a young age. And it just kind of took over my mind, it was all I would think about.” But she adds: “You want to be normal, to go out without the fear of people hounding you, but if I’m happy then I’m not going to give that up to be private.” I’ll confess: I never watched GOT (well, one episode—oop), but protect this precious Winterfell Queen.
Source 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25
Seconds & Desserts:
Try the friar. Fried, it’s drier. No, the clergy is really too coarse and too mealy. Then actor. It’s compacter. Yes, and always arrives overdone.
[Spoiler (click to open)]
+Bonus #1 (Seconds): Westminster Queen (of one of the most expensive HMC day and boarding schools listed in 2014-16)—Helena Bonham Carter (from a very well-connected family of politicians, merchant bankers and the like, mind) published to the Time Out letters page in the 1990s (once upon a time in the dark ages before Twitter): “If you’re not pretty and you’re working-class you have an easier time in terms of people’s attitudes to you.”
Comedian Kathy Burke slays again and wrote in response: “As a lifelong member of the non-pretty working classes, I would like to say to Helena Bonham Carter (Fast & Loose, TO 1364, wholly privileged member of the very pretty upper-middle classes): shut up you stupid c****.”
The unnecessary C-word aside… Helena, sis… # IWasRootingForYou!
This was back in the good ol’ ‘90s when she was—what?—24 to 33? Is it naïve of me to hope she’s learned something now she’s in her fifties? Is there anyone posh I can still trust, I mean???
Thank you to anjnaadams for the suggestion and zazie_toujours for finding this!
[Spoiler (click to open)]
+Bonus #2 (Seconds): RADA Posh Whine Girl—Phoebe Waller-Bridge clapped back at criticisms for her show Fleabag (which she created and starred in) claiming it caterers to a posh audience as it focuses on a middle-class lifestyle, stating on the podcast How to Fail in 2019: “To criticise a story on the basis of where the author had come from, or how privileged the author is, undermines the story. […] It’s not like my privilege created Fleabag. I created Fleabag, but from a point of place in my life where I was able to sit and write. I like to think that whatever life I’d lived, wherever I’d been born or brought up, I would still have written if I had been given the encouragement.”
Just 25 percent of writers in entertainment identify as working-class.
For our information, she was privately educated before attending RADA, she descends from a line of Conservative politicians, the Clerke Baronetcy and landed gentry. Her father, Michael is the founder of Tradepoint, an electronic trading platform and was named in the Paradise Papers for tax evasion.
I enjoy her work and she’s hilarious, but… OOF, sis.
Thanks to vikingsmn for the info!
[Spoiler (click to open)]
+Bonus #3 (Seconds): Cokethorpe, Wychwood and St Edwards alumnus—Florence Pugh said to the Guardian in 2018, not convinced her private education helped her career: “For a long time it was like, ‘I know these people [the school] don’t back me’, because they didn’t. When I wanted to do The Falling [OP note: in October 2013], I was told it wasn’t going to work, which was shocking to me, because [drama is] the only thing I’ve ever been good at. I don’t think there’s enough listening or thinking time. Having to make life decisions when you’re 14? My dad would be like, ‘It’s all a load of toss!’”
It should be of note that her father, Clinton is a restaurant owner in Oxford, her mother, Deborah is a dancer and her older siblings, Toby Sebastian (Game of Thrones) and Arabella Gibbins are actors as well as her younger sister, Rafaela.
Girl, I loved you in Lady Macbeth, but… NO.
Thanks to saemcrh for finding this!
[Spoiler (click to open)]
+Bonus #4 (Seconds): Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Royal Shakespeare Company Yorkshire King—Sir Patrick Stewart has spoken openly about his impoverished childhood in Mirfield. He is the son of a weaver, Gladys (nee Barrowclough) and his father, Alfred was an alcoholic; he worked as a labourer and postman and suffered from PTSD after serving in World War II (he was present during the evacuation of Dunkirk). He physically abused his wife and Patrick has been a massive spokesperson for domestic violence victims (he supports Amnesty International, Combat Stress and the charity Refuge and self-identifies as a feminist). He said of his father to the BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are? in 2012: “We experienced an angry man, where he hadn’t been angry before [when he returned from the war].” He added to Hello! Magazine in 2019: “As a child, I witnessed repeated violence against my mother. I knew the exact moment when I should move to put myself between my father’s fist and my mother’s body—a skill no child should have to acquire.” He commented to Variety in January 2020: “[I lived in a] one-up-one-down [terraced house—no central heat, no hot water]. The outside toilet was my study, reading room, private place [and I read by candlelight].” When he appeared in his first local play as a child, he reflected: “Nothing bad could happen to me for the two and a half hours that we were doing the play, because I became somebody else. I wasn’t Patrick Stewart anymore, from Camm Lane, Mirfield. I was Hopcroft Minor in a boys’ private school. The very first thing that brought me into this business was the feeling that I was safe. And that feeling has never gone away.”
Thanks to archersangel, pretty_angel and sleepy_jaffa for the info and nomorefrostbite for finding this!
+Bonus #5 (Seconds): London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art Scotsman and Golden Globe Winner—Brian Cox said to the Guardian in January 2020: “People who don’t know poverty haven’t lived, quite frankly. You know everything is conditional. […] When I came to London as a student in the 60s, it was a great period of social mobility. It was in the wake of John Osborne and the angry young man, the rise of people like Albert Finney and Peter O’Toole. And that’s a legacy I’m so proud of, that I was at the tail end of. I was given a grant [to LAMDA] and had my expenses paid, and I was grateful for it. And now it’s like that never happened. I think it would be bloody impossible for me [to become an actor] if I were starting today. The tragedy in the UK is there’s a whole working class that is being removed from the culture. […] You can’t blame Damian Lewis or Eddie Redmayne or whatsisname, er, Benedict Cumberpast, er, Cumberpat, no, Cumberbatch—that’s it.” A true ONTDer! “You know, talent is talent and one has to be careful about not being mean. But it says something about our creative work that we haven’t got an even playing field. Egalitarian thinking is completely lacking in the UK.”
His father Charles, a butcher and shopkeeper, died of cancer when he was eight, leaving his already destitute siblings and spinner-employed mother Mary Ann Guillerline (nee McCann) struggling worse financially. His mother later suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized, he candidly revealed.
# Modern Legend. He’s officially my new favourite unproblematic white baby boomer.
Thanks to peppermint_fox and littleorcs for the info and neuers for the original post (which I missed, sorry)!
[Spoiler (click to open)]
+Bonus #6 (Seconds): Carrie Fisher’s Mini-Me—Millie Bobby Brown, then 12, said to the Daily Fail in August 2016 that before she won the part of Eleven/Jane on Netflix’s cash cow series
The awful thing is: her father, Robert had a decent white-collar job as a real estate agent (and later as a businessman) in Bournemouth, Dorset (so, they were solidly middle-class) when he decided to leave to Orlando, Florida then L.A. and bank on Millie’s acting career being a success, relying on her as the family’s sole breadwinner. On advice from her talent manager, Melanie Greene he quit his job due to unrealistic expectations of Hollywood and, from the sound of it, works as her manager 24/7.
Before Stranger Things, Millie had other television parts that never seemed to take off before her family became essentially “broke” (in her words; I believe her), looking to her manager to lend them money. They moved back to England, living with her aunt in late summer 2015 before she got lucky with a taped audition for the upcoming Netflix show. Robert obviously went to the Thora Birch and Macaulay Culkin Dad School of Parenting and in late 2016 after the show gained a following, The Hollywood Reporter exposed him for demanding an insane amount of money from at least five agencies to sign his daughter.
Yeesh. CPS, where you at?
(Dis)honourable Mentions (Desserts): Richmond Drama School and Drama Centre London Nepotism Brat—Tom Hardy (his dad is a screenwriter, playwright, novelist and creative director for Channel 4, ITV and BBC One; he also LOVES to pretend he's some cockney bitch; Edit: So, in 2011, Tommy boy said on Chatty Man, “I'm just suburban.” Interpret this as you will, but I personally think he sounds miserably constipated not trying to come off posh because he wants to be Gary Oldman so badly, apparently) [OP note: Thanks to jellycar for the suggestion and genbu_no_miko24 for the video!]; Old Etonian Bruhs—Eddie Redmayne, Ivo Stourton and Matt Lowe; The (How to Train Your) Dragon School Boy—Jack Whitehall; Academy of Live and Recorded Arts Aristocrat—Miranda Hart [OP note: Thanks to paceyringwald for this insight: “She was the odd one out in her family, she had mental problems and because of her struggles she rejects that part [her upper-class upbringing]. But I think that she is still a part of it imo. Also, in her show, you can see that she cherishes middle-class but that doesn't mean that she's a part of it... [S]he does mock upper-class mercilessly, she even mocks the posh accent on her show (S01E05 in particular) and is self-conscious about her own posh accent.”]; Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club Comedian—Stephen Fry; Cambridge University Dramatic Amateur Club Fashionista—Sacha Baron Cohen; Old Harrovian Toffs—James Blunt (also of University of Bristol) and Laurence Fox (also of RADA); Collegiate School, Vassar College and New York University DJ of the Ronson Clan—Mark Ronson (he is related to business tycoons and Conservative politicians who fuck up their taxes, including the alleged child rapist MP Leon Brittan) [OP note: Thanks to 9and14 for the info!]
+Posh Boos We Can Root For: Oxford Playhouse Queen of Snark—Dame Maggie Smith; Central School of Speech and Drama Queen—Dame Judi Dench (she is an advocate for working-class actors); Newnham College, Cambridge Lassies and Footlights Comedians—Miriam Margolyes and Emma Thompson; Homerton College, Cambridge and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Norwich Native—Olivia Colman (also of Footlights); St Edwards and Drama Centre London Mother of Dragons—Emilia Clarke (she runs a non-profit organization Open Door, which aids underclass youth afford drama schools) [OP note: Thanks to sunstarssnow for the info!]; RADA Queens—Fiona Shaw and Gugu Mbatha-Raw; Latymer Love—Imogen Poots
Honourable Mentions (Double Desserts): ArtsEd and Disney Queen—Dame Julie Andrews; Barbara Speake Stage School Lancastrian—Jack Wild; RADA Fam—Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton, Maxine Peake and Taron Egerton; Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Scots—Robert Carlyle and Kate Dickie; Liverpool Polytechnic Liverpudlian—the late Caroline Aherne; Glaswegian King—Tommy Flanagan; Oldham Theatre Workshop Mancunian Princess—Olivia Cooke; Runshaw College Lancastrian—Joseph “Joe” Gilgun
+Skint Stars Who’ve Disappointed Us: Rose Bruford College Wife Beater and Unapologetic Anti-Semite—Gary Oldman; Redroofs Theatre School Kid and Woody Allen Stan—Kate Winslet
The Meal is Done!
(There may be a hypothetical Part 4, but I can’t make promises!)
A Pie Shop on Fleet Street: Closed (For Now)
Film Recommendations (British Cinema): Seven Up! (Documentary, 1964; Dir. Paul Almond) and the sequels (1970-2019; Dir. Michael Apted); The Whisperers (Drama, 1967; Dir. Bryan Forbes); Small Faces (Drama, 1996; Dir. Gillies MacKinnon); Secrets & Lies (Drama, 1996; Dir. Mike Leigh); Billy Elliot (Drama, 2000; Dir. Stephen Daldry); Dog (Short, 2001; Dir. Andrea Arnold); This Is England (Drama, 2006; Dir. Shane Meadows) and Somers Town (2008); A Boy Called Dad (Drama, 2009; Dir. Brian Percival); A Girl and Her Gun (Short, 2015; Dir. Samuel Dawe and Paul Holbrook); Two for Joy (Drama, 2018; Dir. Tom Beard)
+Bonus (TV): Brassic (Comedy, 2019; Cr. Daniel Brocklehurst and Joseph Gilgun) [OP note: Thanks to darkshineskitty!]
Additional Source: 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57
Pics Source: Google, Tumblr, Sophie Turner Online
Header Graphic: Me
If it is brought to my attention that
TL; DR Did you dislike your private education, ONTD? Were you surrounded by under-baked meat pies (a.k.a. pasty white people)?