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Local hero with his sights set on Hollywood; Actor Edward Atterton tells how a need to show off brought him fame.

Tamworth-born actor Edward Atterton is feeling emotionally battered and physically bruised these days.

His love affair with the stunning actress Salma Hayek is over and he is feeling saddle sore after spending hours on horseback from filming Avalon, a story based on the legend of King Arthur.

Eton-educated Edward moved to Los Angeles in 1997 to be with the Wild Wild West star, but admits that agreed to go their separate ways last May - and so far he has found her irreplaceable.

'The split was amicable and we are still good friends, Salma is a very busy lady but we keep in touch as often as possible,' he says.

'Since then I have been out on a few dates but there has not been anybody who I thought might be the one for me.'

He has decided to stay in America for the sake of his career, although he will be spending the next few week living in the Czech republic where he is making Avalon with Anjelica Houston.

Fortunately his rather nomadic upbringing has left him well prepared for living out of a suitcase. As a child his family were moving constantly because of his father's work in the West Midland foundry industry.

Eventually his parents decided to send him to boarding school in Rugby when he was seven and then on to Eton.

'We seemed to move around so much I never really had any long-standing friends when I was young. So when my parents asked me if I would like to go away to school it seemed like a great idea.

'I just thought about the chance of having lads the same age as me who I could play sports with and have as friends.'

His 'new money' background set him apart in the elite environment of Eton, but Edward claims it taught him how to survive as an outsider.

A desire to be 'seen showing off' led him to start acting at Eton.

He won a choral scholarship to Cambridge, where he studied Social Anthropology, but when he graduated he chose to put aside his dream of becoming an actor.

'I didn't really want to go asking my parents to fund another course after having had such an expensive education so I went to work as an assistant to a professor of music in Japan.'

Although he enjoyed his spell working in the Far East, he soon returned to England and secured a place at London's Central School of Speech and Drama. He never completed the course as he landed the part of Marius in Les Miserables at Nottingham Playhouse.

He spent a couple of years working in theatre and television shows such as Peak Practice, Pie In The Sky and playing The Comte De Beauvoisis in the BBC's Scarlet And Black opposite Ewan McGregor.

Described by Salma as 'gorgeous, funny and charming' Edward is usually cast as the good guy. This weekend ITV viewers will get to see him in an unpleasant new light in the thriller Rough Treatment.

He plays one of two officers who rape a fellow officer played by This Life actress Daniela Nardini.

'I don't think my character actually believes he is involved in a rape to start off with. He is a charmer and usually gets his own way so he can't understand why Daniela's character rejects his advances.'

After the rape and a failure to win justice through the legal system Nardini's character becomes a woman set on revenge against her attackers.

The harrowing two parter contrasts dramatically to the frothiness of his next role, in a film of Noel Coward's Relative Values, starring Julie Andrews, Stephen Fry and Jeanne Tripplehorn.

'I'm the Earl of Marchwood who returns home having married a Hollywood starlet. It's very funny but I don't think I could ever see myself marrying a Hollywood starlet in real life.'

However, going on his past track record it is hard to tell whether he is being serious or not.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 24, 2000
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