Australian beauty Natasha Leigh is about to star in one of the UK’s most popular TV shows as a new Doctor. Natasha has been in the UK just a few months, yet she is already turning heads and making her mark. When attending the UK’s Inside Soap Awards Natasha was named ‘best dressed’ by both Boohoo and Reveal Magazine! She also caught up with fellow actors at the awards, Chris Milligan & Tom Oliver, she also shared the screen with Chris Milligan in Overture.
In Holby City Natasha plays a feisty Doctor Lilah Birdwood, who left Australia to escape the disapproving eyes of her former colleagues in Australia. When Lilah’s affair with a married consultant was exposed, they turned their backs on her and threatened to end her career. Dr Birdwood is at the hospital as a CTI Doctor and is desperate to make the cut as a surgeon. She is determined not to let anyone get in her way; but how far will she go?
This is the first UK Television role for actress Natasha Leigh who plays the confident young Doctor, having had success in prime time Australian shows such as the hugely popular ‘Neighbours’, ‘Underbelly: Golden Mile’, ‘Bogan Pride’, ‘City Homicide’ and ‘Cops’ (as Natasha Cunningham). On Lilah, Natasha says “she is at Holby City Hospital to prove herself. She’s a great character to play.”
1. What an incredible role to land! Congratulations on the lead role in Holby City! How did this role come about?
Thank you! It was so surreal how it all happened. I was in LA & I taped my audition in my friends kitchen. Came back to Australia & put down a couple more scenes with my parents acting opposite me! Then did an interview with the producers on Skype! An hour later I got the role and two weeks later I was here in the UK!
2. When you found out you got the role, what was your first reaction and how did you celebrate?
I started crying when i heard! (this industry is a rollercoaster & I feel very blessed when I get a chance to work) In terms of celebrating – my girlfriends and I shared a nice bottle of Billecart-Salmon Rose Champagne! My absolute favourite!!
3. You’ve had some pretty great roles on Australian TV. Have you found many differences in working with Australian and UK based production companies?
The more I travel, the more I realise that although Australia is amazing; it is just an island on the ‘other side of the world’. We are very disconnected to what is happening everywhere else, so actors Must travel to really have a shot of going big! I also believe most Australians are down to earth, fun, friendly people; so we are easy to work with.
4. You have a solid fan base in Australia, and in the UK through Australian shows. What do you think makes yourself and so many actors like you so popular in countries like the UK and USA?
I think every actor has to have some qualities similar to your character. Johnny Depp has a great quote – “with any part you play, there is a certain amount of yourself in it. There has to be, otherwise it’s just not acting. It’s lying” . I am like Lilah as in I am very passionate & sometimes intense, but for the most part, we are both just fun loving Aussie women.
5. You’ve played a few different types of roles, what has been your favourite and what types of roles do you get really passionate about?
I have played some very interesting roles! I don’t really have a favourite because they are all so different, but they are always Intense, Raw, Vulnerable and Honest. I love roles you can get your teeth into & test yourself as an artist.
6. What was it like working with Lou Carpenter on Neighbours? Come on… Tell us the truth!
He is lovely really! I actually live down the road from him, so we are constantly bumping into each other at the corner store!
7. Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?
Food wise, anything with basil & salt, I Love. I make my own pesto & use it with pasta dishes, pizza, tapas with cheese.. drinks, I love champagne & a nice subtle pinot noir.
8. What is your favourite thing to cook – if you cook?
I do cook, a lot! I really enjoy being in the kitchen, my whole family does. The most enjoyable time is Christmas when four generations of women make our secret recipe version of the Traditional Christmas Pudding
9. What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?
Besides my Jimmy Choos, which are amazing to wear.. I’d say a few good scarves are essential to any wardrobe. They add texture & colour to any outfit, worn around your neck, belted, caped… & can be used to protect against the sun & wind! Perfect accessory!
10. Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to have and why?
Marion Cotilard always seems to nail her outfits! Simple, chic, sexy with edge…there is something slightly off centre which is absolutely my style !!
11. Is there a feature in your home you love most?
I love to have water around me (I’m a Pisces/Gemini), so being in harmony with my environment is very important to me. I have a glass fountain near the back window which I love to sit by and read. Perfect place to zone out.
12. Where did you grow up and what did you love about growing up there?
I grew up on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. It was lovely to be in between the bush & ocean. It definitely keeps you in touch with nature, though at times I used to crave the city life.
13. Favourite place to relax in Australia or the world?
In Australia is would be the mountains near Byron Bay, it’s such a vortex there, you go to another world with its lusciousness. I’m yet to visit New York, which I think will one day be my home.
14. What is your great extravagance?
My Career! I have sacrificed a lot & invested everything into my career. It’s just what you do when you find something you love & are passionate about, but it can at times be very demanding.
15. This one thing you can’t leave home without is…
Sunglasses! I always wear them. Because my eye colour are so light & almost yellow… they are very sensitive to light. They also complete any outfit & adds a bit of flair!