Fresh Faces: Joanna Vanderham (Motilo Magazine)
The latest addition to our pretty impressive Fresh Face line-up is the daintily beautiful Joanna Vanderham. This actress may have a Dutch name, but she is actually from Perth, Scotland, and her acting career is about to make the move from national to international sphere.
After attending and graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a distinguished back-catalogue of stage performances and TV bit-parts, she landed herself a life changing role in Sky’s TV adaptation of Martina Cole’s gritty crime drama, The Runaway. In it, Vanderham played Cathy, the central female character who murders one of her prostitute mother’s friends in order to try and escape her miserable life. Her love interest was the steamy Skins actor Jack O’Connell, and a key friend was played by Alan Cumming as a transvestite, Desrae. It was a surprisingly dark debut, an East End epic filled with violence and graphic sex.
Vanderham followed her stellar reviews with slightly lighter projects, such as Young James Herriot, a study of the Scottish vet, and Dancing on the Edge, about an all-black jazz band trying to make it in the world of 1930′s aristocracy.
The two projects that have gained her recognition throughout the UK have been her role in the fourth series of Above Suspicion, named Silent Scream. Vanderham plays the victim of brutal murder: a world-famous actress and centre of tabloid gossip, Amanda Delaney. Following this, she was the focus of The Paradise, a gorgeous BBC costume drama telling the tale of an eponymous 1870′s Department store, its sexy owner, and new girl Denise (Vanderham) who has a penchant for retail.
She also appeared in her first feature length film this year, with an all-star cast of Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan and Alexander Skarsgård, What Maisie Knew. It retells Henry James’ novel in modern New York settings, with Coogan and Moore playing a bitterly divorcing couple using their young daughter as a means of manipulation. Skarsgård and Vanderham play the couple’s new partners.
When it comes to style, we’ve seen Vanderham in pretty much everything during the last 12 months. As a mere 20 year old actress, she is still somewhat of a blank canvas. Last August she appeared at a screening of The Debt wearing a tiny micro-dress and shoe-boot combination that not many people could get away with. In The Paradise she swans around in 19th century dresses looking picture perfect, and in What Maisie Knew she channels that New York mix-and-match look of urban ease and effortless style. The question is, which look suits her best?Source, with more photos: Motilo