Page 16 - Phonebox Magazine December 2016
P. 16

Interviewing Samantha Womack
RWe learn about her love of cats, food and living in the moment
By Jennifer Borrill
ecently, we had the brilliant opportunity to interview Samantha Womack of Eastenders fame and she was a pleasure to talk to. A
kind, funny and inspiring lady that we all know as Ronnie Mitchell from Walford, the  ctional borough of East London – it was great to learn about what makes her tick, what she lives for and her plans for the future. Samantha will be starring in this year’s Milton Keynes Panto Dick Whittington as Queen Rat. It’s her  rst time playing the villain and she’s rather excited, ‘It will be really fun, a bit different to last time when I dangled with a wand!’ Samantha tells me that she has always been a fan of panto along with her love of the stage and musical theatre. She takes her children every year and has fond memories from her childhood when her Grandmother would take her to see West End shows, including Follow The Star at the London Palladium, followed by a cheeky Chinese in Soho. Peter Pan is a  rm panto favourite of hers, which she absolutely loved when she was a child.
Samantha’s grandmother was an actress and choreographer and she lived with her for two years on the QE2. It was there that she developed a real taste for showbiz, acting, singing and dancing. It was her  rst introduction into music and big bands as well as her understanding of theatre. She also found her love of food, ‘it was so luxurious and with all the exotic food it made me a gannet!’
So what would Samantha take along with her on a journey from rags to riches like our friend Dick Whittington? Well,  rstly the  ve Spanish cats that she rescued earlier this year, of course her children, some music and perhaps a pot of hummus! Samantha tells us that she’s not in favour with her husband at the moment as he’s allergic to cats, however it’s ok because he is just being dramatic. We’re sure he’ll fall in love with those Spanish felines too and he better enjoy them quick before they head off to their new homes! Samantha is no stranger to the stage or our television screens, having appeared in many productions and shows, she tells us a few of her favourites and what it’s like to be an actress. ‘I played Adelaide in Guys
& Dolls which was a lot of fun and I really enjoy Mount Pleasant too which has been running for 3 years on Sky1. Liverpool 1 is of course a  rm favourite as that’s when I met my husband.’ Samantha starred alongside Mark Womack in the police drama back in the late 90s, they went on to marry in 2009 and have two children Benjamin and Lily-Rose. Is it dif cult for her to switch between real life and the characters she plays? ‘It can be sometimes, the story line about the death of Ronnie’s daughter, Danielle, in Eastenders was very hard and traumatic – not necessarily psychologically, but it is very tiring and sad and can affect you a bit afterwards’
What about those nerves? ‘At the beginning of a new job I do get nervous, with South Paci c, I hadn’t done musical theatre in a few years so I was very nervous about it. As you get older, change gets more nerve racking and I quite like having a routine.’
Samantha has taken part in lots of events for charity over the years as well, one place she would love to revisit is Kenya where she went several years ago as part of Comic Relief. They stayed in a slum and lived and worked as the locals do; she really felt a part of their community and saw how everybody lives together as great friends and
neighbours like one big family and she loves that.
What does Samantha have planned for the next year? ‘I really want to take more time to be in the moment and stop rushing around like a lunatic! The other day, I sat and watched my cats playing in the leaves and it was really nice. I need to do that more often and appreciate these things.’ Samantha does have time to relax occasionally and when she does, a nice walk around Hampstead Heath is a favourite, looking after her animals, listening to music and cooking and eating. She loves her home comforts!
If she could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and what would her desert island track be? Samantha told us she would love to visit Japan as the culture is so different and it would be a wonderful experience – fantastic food as well of course and cats are quite popular there too. She’ll  t right in! Her desert Island track would be Songbird by Fleetwood Mac, a wise choice Samantha. A beautiful song that never grows old. Samantha will be starring in this year’s panto Dick Whittington, at Milton Keynes theatre from 8th December to 15th January. Tickets are available from miltonkeynes
16 Phonebox Magazine | December 2016

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