Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Audrey Hepburn Week - Movies: Audrey's Early Roles

After being spotted by an ABPC casting director in Sauce Piquante, Audrey Hepburn registered with the British film studio as a freelance actress while working in the West End.

Audrey's first role was as a Hotel receptionist in One Wild Oat, a British film starring  Stanley Holloway, Robertson Hare and Sam Costa. The film was adapted by Vernon Sylvaine from his 1948 play. 

Audrey's second role was in The Lavender Hill Mob as Chiquita. Audrey is in the film for one short scene that is less than a minute long but Audrey remember the role fondly and said she was thrilled to be able to work with Alec Guinness 

Audrey's next role was Laughter in Paradise as Frieda the cigarette girl. Audrey was originally offered one of the major female roles in this film, but was committed to a stage play and had to turn it down. She ended up with a bit role playing a sexy cigarette girl instead.

Her next role was Young Wives' Tale, a 1951 British film directed by Henry Cass. Audrey has a minor role as Eve Lester, a shy woman to share a house with two couples after a post-war housing crisis. Comic situations arise as the new roomer becomes infatuated with one of the husbands. 

Here is Audrey  in One Wild Oat, Young Wives' Tale and Laughter in Paradise:

Audrey's first major supporting role came in Secret People when she played Nora Brentano, a prodigious ballerina. Audrey performed all of her own dancing sequences.

Hepburn was then offered a small role in the film being shot in both English and French Monte Carlo Baby (Nous Irons à Monte Carlo). t was during the filming of this movie that Hepburn met Colette, who recommended her for a stage version of her novel, "Gigi." This led directly to her being cast in Roman Holiday.

The next post will cover Audrey's rise to fame after getting the starring role in Roman Holiday.

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