and Tom Cruise in Minority Report
It's one of
the most talked about films of the year and the chances are you
didn't even know one of the leading actors comes from Nottingham.
Minority Report is being sold on the fact that it's directed
by Steven Spielberg and stars Tom Cruise.
But not much
further down the cast list you'll see the name Samantha Morton.
She plays Agatha,
a "precog" detective. In the movie that's someone who
can see and experience future crimes.
enable cop Cruise to stop murders before they happen.
It's quite a
role for a woman who's only 25. Not that Samantha Morton is an unknown
quantity in Hollywood.
In Britain she's
best know for TV programmes like Cracker and Band of Gold.
They mean little
in the States but Morton's still likely to be recognised in the
streets of Los Angeles because of films like Sweet and Lowdown,
a performance which earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.
a world away from the days as a 13-year-old when she attended drama
workshops at Carlton (then Central) studios in Nottingham.
Morton and Tom Cruise at the premiere of Minority Report
But that in
itself was a welcome escape from an unhappy childhood.
Not that you'll
find much written about Morton's Nottingham upbringing.
she'd rather forget and when journalists probe she tends to clam
In an article
for the Observer newspaper she said "I just get really defensive
as soon as anyone comes near my personal life.
I made a decision
early on that it's strictly off-limits. No exceptions."
It's easy to
see why. Born in Wollaton but brought up in Broxtowe, her family
were evicted from their council house when her parents split up.
She was just three.
years saw her being shunted from care homes to foster parents.
She was bullied
and had precious family possessions burnt.
Through it all
she's managed to remain strong. In the Telegraph she said: "Isolation
can make you even more powerful in whatever you want to do. The
more other people choose to isolate you, or you feel isolated, the
more you're determined."
bad memories she still visits Nottingham about twice a year.
Given the high
media profile around the release of Minority Report she might
find it difficult to make even these visits in the future.
Morton isn't resting on her laurels. Another movie, Morvern Callar,
will be out before the end of the year.