JORGIE Porter rose to fame playing Theresa McQueen in the Channel 4 drama Hollyoaks, before skating to success as a contestant on ITV’s Dancing on Ice. Now she’s covering new ground with her first stage role, although she says she’ll be right at home starring in Fame – The Musical.
“It’s a young girl’s life in the world of wanting to make it and be famous,” she says, explaining her character, ballerina Iris Kelly, adding with a laugh: “It’s quite similar to what I went through!”
“I spent three years in the Hammond Dance School in Chester dancing every day. You would be in the common room and there would be a trumpet going off, and drums, and everyone would be singing. So this is literally like when I was 16 years old. It’s really weird!”
Fame made an impact on Jorgie from an early age. She remembers going to her local church for dance lessons as a tiny girl, and the title song, Fame, was one of the tracks that left an indelible mark on her.
“Those lessons were where I found my love of dance,” she recalls. “I’d jump up and do the star jumps at the beginning of Fame! The show gets your heart going because the music is just so incredible.”
Jorgie’s acting ability is well-known after her small screen success but, panto aside, theatre is a new challenge for her, and she admits to a few doubts about this new role.
“I get really nervous,” she says. “I think everyone does when you get a new job, and you think ‘I’m not good enough’, but eventually those nerves become excitement and adrenalin and every single show becomes hyped.”
Jorgie, who stars alongside singer Mica Paris and Keith Jack in the 30th anniversary tour of Fame, based of course on the hit 1980 film and TV series than ran from 1982 to 1987, is thrilled to be working with such a talented cast. “They’re incredible – so impressive. Many are fresh from graduating and learn so quickly. I’m one of the oldest, which is freaking me out!”
As an FHM cover girl (no fewer than five times), she’s used to looking after her body and says: “If you’re doing a stage show, you can’t really fit pizza in when your partner is lifting you so much! You adapt to what goes on and you get fit doing the job, really, which is a great buzz.
“I’m a very active person too. If I wake up in the morning and haven’t done a 20-minute run on the treadmill, I’ll feel like I’ve got too much energy.”
Fame rehearsals pushed Jorgie to new fitness levels, and she has suffered for her art, explaining: “At the end of the day I couldn’t physically move and my feet were bleeding!”
But she says it’s worth it, adding: “There’s so much depth in this production. There’s a lot of shocking things, and lots of subjects that are being touched on.
“The cast is super, I get goosebumps every time some of these kids sing, and I feel so lucky to be a part of something that feels so great.”
Fame – The Musical comes to the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, from Monday (1 Oct) until Saturday 6 October.