It's not every young actress who gets her first break
in a Hollywood movie, but Christina Cole is clearly destined to be an
exception rather than the rule.
Straight out of drama school, she landed a role in What
A Girl Wants with Colin Firth and Amanda Bynes and in the year that's
followed she's been working ever since.
Not a bad record in an industry renowned for its unemployment
rate and awash with pretty young actresses.
Acting is not something that runs in the Cole family.
She describes her parents as "very straight-laced": her mother is a
telecentre manager and her father is a driving instructor.
Christina is the eldest child in her family, with a
younger sister Cassandra and teenage brother Dominic.
In He Knew He Was Right, she takes the role of a younger
sibling, Nora Rowley, who travels across the world with her older sister
Emily, to be her companion and, her parents hope, to find a husband
of her own once she's in London society.
"Nora is passionate but calm," says Cole, "She is the
voice of reason between her and her sister. She's very much the second
child and knows when to keep her mouth shut, although she tries to give
a lot of advice."
Nora is not only a foil for her sister. Almost as soon
as she arrives in London she is courted by the eligible and rich Mr
Glascock, played by Raymond Coulthard.
By this time, she has already met the impoverished Hugh
Stanbury (Stephen Campbell Moore), a lowly journalist who is denied
her father's seal of approval, but who has clearly won her heart.
"Nora's story is a love story where she has to choose
between marrying for love, or marrying for money. She's passionate about
what she believes in and fights her father tooth and nail to marry the
man she loves. It's a very difficult decision for her.
"She knows that if she could just choose money
it would solve the family's financial problems, but she has to follow
After Cole made her first feature film, she was chosen
by acclaimed director Terry Hands to star as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet
for the Welsh National Theatre.
"It was a completely contrasting, mind-blowing experience.
It was great. I had done Shakespeare at college and didn't fancy myself
much as a Shakespearean actor at all. I thought, 'Oh God, I'm not very
good at this.'
"I thought I'd totally blown the audition and then
I got a call to say I'd been offered it, I didn't even have to go back
for a second time."