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Zoe Tapper broke the ice on Blood
Zoe Tapper has revealed she was so starstruck working with Stephen Graham on a movie that she had to break the ice before filming scenes as his girlfriend.
The Mr Selfridge actress starred with This Is England and Boardwalk Empire actor Stephen and Paul Bettany in the 2012 movie Blood, charting the collapse of a police family.
"I only had a few scenes with Paul, but I had most of my scenes with Stephen, and as far as I'm concerned, he's one of the best actors we have living today," the actress said.
"I've charted his career and he was so fantastic in This Is England, the film and series."
She said: "We were rehearsing in Liverpool, and I was in such awe of him. He's a very down-to-earth man, very grounded and such a decent person, but I found myself being a little bit shy around him.
"I thought, 'I've got to get over this because I'm playing his girlfriend'. So I said: 'Stephen, I have to tell you. I think you're an absolute legend, a brilliant actor and I'm thrilled to work with you.' Once that had broken the ice, I could get on with it."
The actress was also in star-studded company on the set of the 2006 film These Foolish Things, when she worked with Lauren Bacall, Anjelica Houston and Terence Stamp. "It was extraordinary," she recalled. "It was quite strange in a way, because the storyline slightly mirrored my position in life.
"I was playing a young actress trying to find her way in the world, and I related to it. Then I found myself in the dinner queue with Terence Stamp and Anjelica Huston.
It's quite something for any actor really. You can see why they've got such an amazing body of work behind them because they're just such professionals."
:: Mr Selfridge: Series One is out now on DVD, courtesy of Universal Pictures (UK).