Created 2nd April 2004
|Dawn Woods (nee Hope)||
played by Julia Mallam
|16 February 2003 - present|
TAKE ME AWAY FROM IT.
Celeb CV; Julia Mallam (20): Emmerdale.(Features)
Julia's new dawn; Why Emmerdale's young newcomer JuliaMallam is an old hand when it comes to top drama. By RachelMurphy.(Features)
Emmerdale new girl talks about her love scenes
Steve Hendry Exclusive
SHE may be just 20 but Julia Mallam has the confidence of someone twice her age.
Which is just as well, since the latest Emmerdale star is about to marry a man old enough to be her father.
Julia made her debut as Dawn Hope, daughter of Woolpack regular Bob (Anthony Audenshaw), a few weeks ago.
But entering the soap on the arm of Bob's best pal Terry Woods (Billy Hartman) has made quite an impact. Tongues are wagging - and not just on screen.
Playing the bride-to-be of middle-aged Terry and even puckering up to Billy held no fears for Julia, who already has an impressive television CV for one so young.
Past credits include high-profile shows like Stan the Man, Fat Friends, Peak Practice and playing Robson Green's daughter in the wife-swapping drama, Take Me.
But Julia admits she was overawed on her first day in the Woolpack.
"Billy must be the same age as my real dad," she said, laughing. "We had to kiss on the first day but he was lovely and put me at ease. I think he was probably nervous as well.
"With me being new, nobody gave me a ribbing about it but Billy had a time of it: `You've got a bit of a young one!' That sort of stuff. He got a far harder time than me."
Appearing in Emmerdale has made Doncaster-born Julia public property and she's still getting used to the idea.
"I've always been recognised in my home town because I've been doing stuff since I left school but now it happens everywhere," she says in a bluff Yorkshire accent.
"I find it a bit weird, especially when people don't say anything but just stare. At least if they say, `Oh are you so-and-so?' you can a have a laugh or whatever.
"I'm getting a bit more used to it. When I see someone staring now, I don't stare back because it's obvious why they are looking. I just smile and try not to be offensive.
"I don't think I would get recognised the same way if I was in a big movie. I've been reading all about Colin Farrell, the new Hollywood hot property.
"He commands dollars 10million a film but I bet you wouldn't recognise him if you saw him at the frozen peas. But there's me in Emmerdale for a few weeks and I'm getting it all the time.
"A man ran up to me in Sainsbury's just last week. I was with my flatmate, who's a bloke, and we must have looked quite domesticated because he stopped me in the aisle and said: `Does Terry know you're messing about behind his back?'
"I said: `Yes, he knows I've got a bit on the side.' He was laughing but I just couldn't believe he would stop me and say that.
"I've been getting all sorts of mail sent to me at work and even got an engagement card with a message saying: `Congratulations, Dawn and Terry, on your engagement.' I find that weird, to be honest. I can understand somebody writing in and asking for a signed photo or something but to go out and buy that card... It was sweet, really but I don't know why you would do that.
"Some people laugh and chat away because they feel like you've known them for years. Sometimes it's nice but sometimes you wonder: `Do they think I really know them?'"
As you may have gathered, Julia is no shrinking violet. Despite her youth, she has an opinion and knows how to use it.
She said: "From an acting point of view, I was really pleased to get Emmerdale. It was something to get my teeth into and it's good to be able to establish the character right away and get the chance to do something rather than popping up in the cafe or the Woolpack every couple of episodes.
"My very first scene was one with Tony - my screen dad Bob - and Deena Payne, who plays Viv, in the cafe.
"It was my dad finding out I'd just come home with Terry and we had a huge fight. I was terrified, physically shaking. But with it being a shouting scene, I just got it all out of my system. I really went for it and had a right go at Tony. Being able to shout and scream dispelled my nerves. I feel like I've been here for a year now."
Whether Dawn and Terry's wedding day will go ahead still hangs in the balance, with disgruntled Bob plotting to stop the odd couple taking their vows.
Emmerdale specialises in wedding day altercations and all that's certain is that nothing will go smoothly.
Julia is on a standard, six-month contract and hopes to extend her stay in the Dales, though not indefinitely.
"Some people are in a soap for 10 or 15 years but I'm only 20 and I would like to try new things," she said.
"I've only done television for the last two years and I would like to get back into theatre because I don't want to get to the stage where I think I've lost my bottle.
"But I would love to see where Dawn goes and whether she ends up married, having a baby or an affair or whatever. I would like to take the character further." Julia has been with her student boyfriend Craig for two years. He's supportive of her career and even Dawn's fling with Terry.
"He knows it's all make believe," she said. "He thinks it's a laugh."
Having started out in amateur drama, she joined the National Youth Music Theatre when she was 15 before switching to the National Youth Theatre at 16 and concentrating on acting.
Julia was all geared up to go Manchester University to study English and Drama when she went to an audition for a new TV drama. She went for the experience... and got the job as Robson Green's daughter in Take Me.
"I never thought I'd get it," Julia said. "I was just excited to get the audition. I only found out I'd got the part two days before I went to uni. They weren't best pleased but I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
"I was thrown in at the deep end. It was my first big job and I had a lot meaty scenes but Robson Green was really nice, took me under his wing. It was great. Everybody working on the production was amazing. I enjoyed it all the more because it was my first one."
The TV work has flowed ever since but she has resisted the temptation to take the money and run, holding out for jobs of good quality and serving behind the bar of a local pub whenever she has struggled to make ends meet.
Even so, she hasn't ruled out a return to university and has in fact applied for a place.
"If I do finish Emmerdale after six months, I will probably go because I still have the desire to do it. I've always been quite academic and I get quite restless anyway," she said.
"If Emmerdale renews my contract I'll defer my place but, if they don't, I don't think I could sit around and do nothing.
"The money I've earned on Emmerdale would pay me through university.
"Most of my friends are at college and sometimes I think it would be a real laugh to go, too.
"It would be nice to have a student life. It could still happen."
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