Actress has year to remember

FOR an actor only a year out of drama school, Samantha Foley has an impressive collection of roles under her belt.

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Samantha Foley has had a busy 2013
Samantha Foley has had a busy 2013

The 23-year-old, from Rutherglen, has toured the UK, performed in Brazil, completed a sparkling run in panto in Cumbernauld and made two movies.

"It's been a fantastic 12 months, and to finish it up at Cumbernauld making people happy in time for Christmas, was perfect," sighs Samantha, happily.

"It's been a bit of a whirlwind as I haven't stopped working since I left college."

Samantha, part of a new generation of rising stars in Scottish film and theatre, studied at Langside College for three years (alongside Iain de Caestecker, now starring in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) and completed her degree at Motherwell.

Her younger brother and sister - Lewis, 18 and Cassie, 21 - are following in her footsteps. Lewis is in London, studying musical theatre, and Cassie is training to be a director.

"I don't know why we all went into the arts," muses Samantha.

"It doesn't come from our parents, but it's all we've ever wanted to do. It's great, because we travel the UK to see each other perform, and it's lovely to have that support from your family."

After graduating, she toured the UK with Thickskin Theatre's award-winning production of The Static, in the lead role of troubled 16-year-old school girl Siouxsie.

"That was a great experience - we went to the Edinburgh Fringe with the play, and then abroad, completing our tour in the summer in Brazil," she explains.

"It was a physical theatre show, so very demanding, but it was brilliant. I got to work alongside Julie Wilson Nimmo, who is a Scottish actress I really admire.

"Next year I'm working with Thickskin again on a play called Boy Magnet, and I can't wait."

And 2014 is already shaping up to be another busy year for Samantha, with the release of two films - MATE, directed by Glasgow actress Jayd Johnson (who played Paddy Meehan in the newspaper drama Fields of Blood) and Let Us Prey, an upcoming horror movie starring Game of Thrones star Liam Cunningham.

"Let Us Prey was great fun but it was a bit nervewracking as it was my first experience of filming on that scale," recalls Samantha, adding with a laugh: "It's a really scary movie but I don't end up as a victim, thankfully..."

She says: "MATE is about a group of friends in Glasgow and it's about the dark side of the city for young people, I suppose - how friendships can go wrong."

Away from satanic horror and dark tales, Samantha relished the challenge of her first panto since her college days when she landed the role of Gerda in The Snow Queen at Cumbernauld Theatre.

Her character, along with her trusty sidekick Duggie the Dug MacDouglas, travels to the North Pole in search of her best friend, Kai, who has been captured by the wicked Snow Queen in the adaptation of the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

"I have loved being in The Snow Queen," she says.

"It was hard work, with sometimes three shows a day, but it was great.

"It's such a lovely tale and I think I have more in common with Gerda than I thought!"

She grins: "I just got a puppy for Christmas and he follows me everywhere. I was thinking of calling him Duggie, but in the end, I decided on Clyde."

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