Tamsin Greig

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  • Trivia

    • Tamsin has admitted that she has a problem with most of her comedy roles, as she often breaks character by laughing out loud.

    • Theatre Awards

      Olivier Awards
      Best Actress for Much Ado about Nothing (2007) (Won).

    • Tamsin contributed a Doodle to the National Doodle Campaign (2008), which auctions off celebrity doodles for charity (The Neurofibromatosis Association).

    • Tamsin admires actress Judi Dench, enjoys A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and thinks the movie Fargo is hilarious and heartbreaking.

    • As Tamsin has regular TV work outside of long-running Radio show, The Archers, her character is frequently sent to Hungary to manage a farm her family has an interest in there, in a specially written plot device.

    • In June 2008, Tamsin recorded a seven minute monologue, Always the Teacher Never the Bride, written by teacher Sarah Butler, a prize-winning entry in Staffroom Monologues - a writing competition run by teachers.

    • Tamsin's younger sister, Abigail is a teacher, and her older sister, Dorcas is an adult learning tutor.

    • In 2008, Tamsin appeared in God of Carnage at the Gielgud Theatre with Ralph Fiennes, and later in the year, she appeared in David Hare's Gethsemane at the National Theatre.

    • In 1992, for her role on popular radio show The Archers, Tamsin was nominated as 'Best Newcomer in Radio' in the Independent Radio Awards.

    • Tamsin was one of the prime choices of the casters to play character Carla Borrego in popular show Jonathan Creek but was unavailable due to her work on less-known Black Books. She eventually guest starred instead in the episode Angel Hair.

    • Tamsin appeared in an advert for an insurance company, pretending to give birth - three weeks later she gave birth to her own son.

    • Tamsin converted to Christianity when she was 30, though her mother was an atheist.

    • Tamsin grew-up in Camden, in London, but after moving to university swore she wouldn't return. However, she came back home to look after her dying father in 1996 and currently resides in London.

    • At the Q Rock Awards Bono knelt and kissed Tamsin's heavily pregnant belly.

    • Tamsin was first recognised due to her voice only - a fan of radio show 'The Archers' listened to her whole conversation at a restaurant table.

    • Tamsin desribes fans of the series, Black Books, as "bizarre", including herself in the category.

    • Tamsin tries to play-down her new-found status as a sex-symbol, by denying it's the truth.

    • Tamsin copes with her fame by participating in ordinary activites - swimming, shopping and going to the park.

    • In one episode of 'Black Books' Tamsin's character tried to seduce Johnny Vegas. She described the experience as such, "Like being on a hot date with a soup dragon. Quite hot, but at any minute you could get fried. Also, hilarious, he's a beautiful man."

    • Tamsin's impressive stage credits include work for the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing Lady Macbeth in Stratford.

    • Tamsin is a widely talented actress, choosing to act in both drama and comedy.

    • Tamsin used to be in the risky business of parachuting!

    • Tamsin cites Smack The Pony as possibly her biggest influence.

    • Tamsin used to work as an administrator for the Family Planning Association, before her acting took over full-time.

    • Tamsin says she is often mistaken for Sharleen Spiteri, the lead singer of band Texas, or impressionist and actress Ronni Ancona.

    • Tamsin's role as Caroline in Green Wing earned her a BAFTA nomination and a Royal Television Society Award.

    • Tamsin lives in London, where she claims to enjoy the multicultural life on offer.

    • Tamsin met her husband, fellow actor Richard Leaf, while filming the series, Neverwhere.

  • Quotes

    • Tamsin (In 1997, talking about her upcoming marriage to Richard Leaf): It suddenly hit me one day: after we're married I'll be called Mrs T Leaf!

    • (on her BAFTA and Royal Television Society Award nominations for "Green Wing")
      Tamsin: I feel very privileged in getting my work recognised but I confess that I also felt a bit odd in getting it for Green Wing, given that it is such an ensemble piece. Isn't it a bit peculiar that you could say, 'Right, which is the best colour in the rainbow? Which one shall we give an award to?'. And you pick one colour out and then it's not a rainbow any more. I suppose, in the final analysis, it is about people relating to a character rather that giving marks for a performance.

    • (on balancing career and family)
      Tamsin: I was very blessed. When I first had children I had no huge career to surrender, no great dilemma about work versus family. If someone had said back then: 'One day you will be in three TV shows and radio and breast-feeding a baby,' I'd have said 'no way'. A career on a slow burn has been perfect for me.

    • (on finding God at age 30)
      Tamsin: When I came to faith, I thought I would have to stop being an actor, because it's all about artifice and manipulation. But we're living in a world where God doesn't really have an influence, unless it's fundamentalists, so I'll always be an outsider because of my faith. And when you think about it, faith and acting are all about stories, so the two are not mutually exclusive. I decided to try to use what I'd been given in a creative way.

    • (on why she would never make it in Hollywood)
      Tamsin: I'm far too puffin-faced for that, too weird-looking. No, I think I'll probably stick to telly, if telly'll have me, though I wouldn't mind doing radio plays as well. I always did enjoy radio.

    • (on finding love)
      Tamsin: I do think there's someone out there who is perfect for you but you have to have your eyes open and your heart ready to recognise it when it comes and you can't be obsessive about looking for it. It's a bit like catching a bus you can't make one come along but you can be ready to jump on it when it does it.

    • (on her work-life balance)
      Tamsin: It can get tricky, yes, when things all happen at the same time. I'm doing a full time job now, which means I see them less than I want to. But I suppose that's the cost of working. I have a lot of support and a lot of encouragement, and very forgiving children.

    • Tamsin: We all engage in dysfunctional relationships, of abusive interdependence and mutual shafting.

    • Tamsin: We should all live with an eager sense of hope and utter lack of shame.

    • Tamsin: I've been acting since I could function. I got into acting to get attention as a child.

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