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Connie Fisher on TV casting  
In the first of a series of interviews, Connie tells us about her Sound of Music journey.
The Sound of Music UK Tour poster

As The Sound of Music UK tour prepares to head from Cardiff to Bradford, we spoke to leading lady Connie Fisher about her experiences of the ‘casting by TV phenomenon’ – and whether she watched Any Dream Will Do…

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria was obviously the beginning of the “casting by TV” phenomenon. Did the massive popularity of the series take you by surprise?
Yes! I thought I was going to an open audition which happened to be filmed! I felt I had missed an opportunity at my graduate showcase at drama school when I missed my top note and thought I had messed it up. I viewed this as a chance to showcase my talent and perhaps make that breakthrough. At the time I was getting a long way in the audition process and was seeing great casting directors like David Grindrod and Pippa Ailion. I was being seen by the people you need to be seen by and getting really far and getting good compliments but still not getting the part. I just didn’t know why, I think I was different looking and I just didn’t fit into the ensemble. I suppose I had to wait for a lead and that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, so this was an ideal opportunity for me. I never expected it to be as big as it was. When I was telling everyone I was going in for it they were as sceptical as I was. I wanted to work my way up the ladder in the traditional manner, I really did, but nothing in my life has ever been traditional! I was a very lucky girl.

What is your enduring memory of the series?
Winning! I think that was the moment when it was right down to “Am I going to win or not – it’s a one in two chance!” I just didn’t believe it. My life changed completely in that one moment. I completely lost control! Everyone practices their winning and their losing face and looking back at the footage my winning face didn’t exactly turn out how I expected! I was euphoric!

A truly life changing moment…

My life changed completely in that one moment. I didn’t know quite how things would change in my life but it has changed my life and it has made me a stronger person.

Did you watch the Any Dream Will Do and I’d Do Anything series?
Yes I did – I was onstage myself at the time but I remember running offstage to try and catch as much as possible. It was weird. As people had told me with the Maria series – I had picked my favourite from the beginning!

Did you vote for anyone?
No – I was always on stage but I told my mum and nan to vote and they did. Initially we voted for Daniel but when he got voted out I found myself saying “Oh yes, I knew Lee would win it. I picked him from the beginning”, so I was a bit swayed. I always knew Lee was good!

It’s strange isn’t it, once the winner takes up the role it is impossible to imagine anyone else playing that part…
Oh I don’t know, although I somehow feel I have claimed Maria, sometimes when I watch others play her in rehearsal….

So it was probably a combination of the right time and the perfect role for you.
Oh totally. If it had been Nancy in Oliver!, or Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz I wouldn’t have got it. I don’t look right for it. But if had been Funny Girl, or Mary Poppins I feel I would have had a good chance. I think that for me, being a bit of a tomboy as I am often referred to, Maria was perfect.

Check back for more from Connie next week..
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Posted on: 26th August 2009

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