Leamington teenager Leila gets big break in new TV show

Outgoing and chatty Leamington teenager Leila Mimmack has developed a new personality for her role in a television series due out next year.

The 16-year-old Stratford College student has spent the last three months filming on the set of ITV comedy drama Married, Single, Other and as a result is sporting dyed black hair.

In the six-episode series about three couples, Leila plays an 'emo' or 'goth' 15-year-old called Gina who is the daughter of a child psychiatrist and likes to wind people up.

Acting with a cast which includes Lucy Davis of The Office, Miranda Raison from Spooks and The Royle Family actor Ralf Little, life for the former Trinity School pupil has been transformed.

She said: "It is an experience I never thought I would have and has been completely out of this world.

"Everyone involved with it is amazing and so down to earth. I have learnt so much."

Leila's big break came after she beat 300 competitors to win a 'best teenage actress' award at a Growing Talent convention in Paris last year where she was signed by an agent who put her forward for the part.

She said: "I was overwhelmed when I found out I'd got it and we had a big family celebration."

Leila is the daughter of Maddy Kerr and Peter Mimmack who run the Heartbreak Productions theatre company in Spencer Yard, Leamington.

But while growing up surrounded by actors and drama did influence her, Leila says she never made a conscious decision to become an actress.

She said: "Heartbreak was part of my childhood and we often had actors round at the house, but there was never a point where I said 'I want to be an actress'.

"I always wanted to do something within the arts and think it is fascinating."

Currently studying for AS-levels in history, Spanish, English literature and drama, she was a member of the Loft Theatre's workshop for young people and for the past four years has received training from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art teacher Ann Mulraine.

This experience, which she has shared with her 15-year-old sister Athena, has developed her knowledge of different plays and techniques and "broadened her horizons".

But while Leila has just been accepted into the National Youth Theatre and a successful career in acting may beckon, she is keeping her feet firmly on the ground.

She said: "Getting the part has given me an opportunity I never anticipated and am just going to make the most of it and see what happens."

Her mother Maddy added: "I'm delighted for her. She has worked very hard and had a stroke of luck many actors don't get in their lives."

The young actress is due to appear at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during the last two weeks of August in a Warwick School and King's High School production.

This weekend she will be helping with a Heartbreak Hub production at the Space Upstairs in Spencer Yard on Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm.