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From Narnia to the classroom

BY the time she was 18, Anna Popplewell had vanquished the White Witch and saved a kingdom - now she’s facing her toughest test yet, university finals.

BY the time she was 18, Anna Popplewell had vanquished the White Witch and saved a kingdom - now she’s facing her toughest test yet, university finals.

The young actress, who shot to fame in the Narnia films, was among the guests at last weekend’s Memorabilia Fair. The Solihull News managed to grab some time with Anna to chat about archery, acting and the Oxford reading list.

“This is my first convention,” she says. “I was really curious to see what it would be like. It’s amazing, there’s such a variety of people here. I’m going to have to have a wander round later.”

Acting since she was seven-years-old, Anna is best known for playing Susan Pevensie - one of the leading characters in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Prince Caspian (2008).

She tells me that she’d read CS Lewis’ books as a child, but she wasn’t phased about stepping into the character’s shoes.

“I just read the scripts really and worked closely with the director.

“I approached her the same as any other character really. I didn’t have to go and live in a wood or anything like that.”

And did she grow close to her on-screen siblings.

“We all keep in touch and I went out to see them filming some of Dawn Dreader [the next film in the series, out this year]. We all know each really well and it’s nice to meet up.”

Now aged 21, Anna won’t be appearing in the third film - but said it had been nice to try something new.

“I had a great time appearing in the Narnia films, but I’m glad that I’ve gone to university. I really wanted to do it, just for the experience really.

“I finish up in June, providing I pass my exams of course. Then I’ll be looking to go back into acting.”

I imagine that English Literature was a bit of a change in pace from the cut and thrust of fantasy films.

“It was quite gruelling, I did a lot of practise - particularly with the bow and arrow. But actually a lot of the real work was CGI, with them putting the arrows in afterwards.”

So it wasn’t quite as lethal as it looked? “No,” Anna laughs. “I’m not a trained warrior.”

 

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