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Natalie happy to leave movie star lifestyle; Uni studies first for talented young actor.

Byline: NEIL ATKINSON

SHE'S tasted a little of the Hollywood jetset lifestyle.

But Natalie Gavin is content at the moment to keep her feet firmly on the ground in Huddersfield.

Despite starring in an award-winning film and several popular television programmes, actress Natalie is back at the University of Huddersfield completing the final year of her Drama and Theatre Studies degree.

It is vital after taking two years out to pursue her career on TV and on the stage.

But she admits she did enjoy the fuss which came out of her appearance as controversial Yorkshire writer Andrea Dunbar in the hit docu drama The Arbor.

The film, which is to be screened on TV, has proved a hit at film festivals in the UK and abroad.

And it meant the champagne lifestyle for Natalie, 23. "They put me up at The Mayfair in London while the film was showing at the festival there, and the run was extended.

"And when it was shown at the Falmouth Film Festival, they took me down there and then flew me back for my studies at the University of Huddersfield.

"I enjoyed it, but I'm not in this for the fame, although it may come.

"I just love the work, the job, and want to learn as much as I can about it. That's why I'm concentrating on my studies between now and next May, when I hopefully graduate."

Natalie was brought up in Bradford and lived for a time on the notorious Buttershaw estate - centre of Andrea Dunbar's most controversial work Rita, Sue and Bob Too.

She was delighted to secure the role of the Bradford playwright in The Arbor, directed by Clio Barnard.

It saw her starring alongside ex-EastEnder and East Is East actor Jimi Mistry, and Natalie filmed scenes on the Buttershaw estate in Bradford, where Dunbar lived her life.

The scenes were shot out on the estate where current residents often stood and looked on in the background.

The low-budget film has received rave reviews and has won numerous film awards across the globe, including the top Sutherland Award at the London Film Festival and Best New Documentary Film Maker at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

"The film will go on TV and DVD," said Natalie. "It has just finished its run in the small picture houses, where it was only supposed to be on for a week, but the majority have had to run it over to three weeks because they were over booked. At the film festival as well, they had to open another three screens due to its popularity."

It's not Natalie's first success.

She landed a role in the cult TV series Shameless in 2007 and followed that with a role in another TV drama, The Chase.

She has also just had a run on the stage in London's Young Vic and was delighted to work with a series of young writers.

But now she is putting all her energy into completing the final year of her degree before she rejoins the acting profession.

"I am studying at the moment, where I am learning to be confident and to work with a professional attitude both on and off stage.

"When I finish my degree my ambition is to become a full-time actress.

"It may sound odd as she is much older than me but I'd love to be Julie Walters, who is an amazing actress.

"I don't want the fame - I still want to be able to lead a normal life - but I do want to work in this profession."

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* SCREEN, STAGE AND STUDIES: Natalie Gavin * ACCLAIMED: Huddersfield University student Natalie Gavin as playwright Andrea Dunbar on location at the Buttershaw estate in Bradford in the hit docu-drama The Arbor
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 26, 2010
Words:629
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