To The Ends Of The Earth
William Golding's 'To The Ends Of The
Joanna Page plays Marion
It was real-life drama on the high seas for Joanna
Page when she had a close encounter with a shark while on location
filming in South Africa.
"I was on a whale-watching trip with some of the cast
and crew. We had to wade through the water to get to the boat and we were
heading out to sea when, suddenly, there was a massive bang," she explains.
"They pulled the engine out of the water and there were
bits of shark flesh everywhere. We had no idea that a shark had been circling
us and it had got caught up in the engine. All I could think was, 'I've
just been in the water up to my thighs!' It was very scary."
Fortunately, Joanna, 27, came away from the incident unscathed,
and continued filming her role as Marion Chumley in To The Ends of the
The pretty Welsh actress had a great time filming in South
Africa, the only downside being that she desperately missed her husband,
actor James Thornton, whom she married in December 2003.
"I was out there filming for three weeks and it was the
longest we've been apart. Every night we were on the phone for hours.
Half of my mobile phone bill has already come in and I don't want to get
the next half. Honestly, my fee on the production will probably not cover
the phone bill!" she laughs.
The couple both starred in BBC ONE's production of
David Copperfield four years ago, but as they didn't have
any scenes together they hadn't actually met. It wasn't until they saw
each other on screen in the drama that the attraction developed.
"I was watching David Copperfield at home when I saw
James playing Ham Peggotty. I said to my mother, 'Oh my God! I want that
man to be the father of my children!' I thought he was absolutely lovely."
Little did Joanna know, but she had also caught James'
eye. The pair didn't actually meet until three years later when a friend
of Joanna's was in a play at the National Theatre with James.
"My friend asked me to come and see the play because there
was an actor in it who said he was in love with me. When I got there,
I realised that the actor was James, the guy I'd fancied for the past
three years!" explains the bubbly actress.
"We met in the bar afterwards and just hit it off. All
that time we'd liked each other and had never met but from that evening
on, that was it. After a week, we knew we wanted to be together and he
moved in straight away."
Joanna's real-life love story is reflected in To The Ends
of the Earth, when Edmund Talbot falls madly in love at first sight when
he meets the demure Marion, an orphan who is the ward of Lord and Lady
Somerset (Charles Dance and Cheryl Campbell).
But, unlike Joanna, Marion had to behave within the social
constraints of the time.
"Marion does nearly get swept off her feet by how much
Edmund falls for her, but she contains herself," explains Joanna.
"She is a very innocent young woman, but also feisty and
strong, and she tells Edmund that he can't behave the way he does and
he needs to pull himself together."
Joanna is no stranger to period drama and she loves dressing
up in the costumes. Wearing a heavy period costume in the South African
heat might be some people's idea of torture, but Joanna found it helped
her get into the role: "I love wearing corsets because they make me feel
so feminine and sexy.
"In a corset you really feel that you don't have
to do too much acting - once you've put the costume on, that's it really.
The only downside is that you can't eat as much when you're wearing one,"
she says, "And if you want to go to the loo it's a bit awkward with so
many petticoats and having to use those awful portaloos."
Rising star Joanna was born in Swansea and has worked
ever since leaving RADA in 1998. Despite being a newcomer, she's already
starred with Johnny Depp in the film From Hell and she was in the hit
film, Love Actually, playing a porn star stand-in alongside Martin Freeman.
"Thank God we weren't completely naked!" giggles Joanna
as she recalls filming the sex scenes with Martin. "I had to have so many
bits of double sided sticky tape everywhere and thongs with the sides
cut out so you look naked.
"Luckily Martin was in the same position as me so
it was okay! I had so much tape on so everything was covered up but at
the end of the day you have to peel it all off. I've never tried waxing
but I can imagine that it is the same pain!"
Last year, Joanna also co-starred in the ITV dramas Mine
All Mine, with Gryff Rhys Jones, written by Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies;
and Making Waves with ex-EastEnder Alex Fearns (Trevor).
Incredibly, the latter production was pulled from the
schedules after only three episodes and, although Joanna was disappointed,
she admits her family were more upset about it.
Joanna's next role is in the British film No Snow, which she is
currently filming in Luxembourg. When she isn't working, Joanna is a self-confessed
"I've recently discovered internet shopping which is
great as you don't even have to leave the house!" she says.
One of her more unusual purchases was on eBay for a pub
sign called 'The Jack Russell' in honour of the other love of her life
- her Jack Russell dog, Daisy.
"Oh my God, she is so pampered and is carried around everywhere.
I was laughing with my mum the other day about the time I saw James on
the television and said I wanted him to be the father of my children.
It's the children I don't want yet, as they would ruin my career!" she
"Anyway, having Daisy is just like having a child, she
is my baby for the moment."