Eleanor Tomlinson interview

Eleanor Tomlinson must be the only teenager who can post the words "currently on location with Pierce Brosnan" on her Facebook page. The 16-year-old - whose killer cheekbones and cut glass English accent have earned her the tag of 'the next Keira Knightley' – talks to hellomagazine.com about her new period film with the Irish actor.

You're currently shooting Heaven And Earth with Pierce in South Africa. Your friends must be so jealous...

"They are. Absolutely. I've been sending e-mails back to them telling what he's like. He is literally the sweetest guy ever. I'm having the most amazing time in South Africa.

"It's really, really hot today and there are so many palm trees. Compared to England where it's cold it is amazing."

Tell us a bit about the film.

"It's a true story about a doctor called James Miranda Barry. He's actually a woman who dresses up as a man in the 1800s because at that time women weren't allowed to work as doctors.

"There's a lord in the film who falls for James when he realises he's woman. I play his daughter from a previous marriage – Pierce Brosnan's daughter, not bad!"

Your breakthrough role came in Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging, directed by Gurinder Chadha, the filmmaker who cast Keira Knightley in Bend It Like Beckham. How does it feel to be touted as the new Keira?

"It's fantastic to be compared to her. She's a great role model and has done really well for herself and I'm proud to be associated with her and given a chance like she was."

Your last project was Tim Burton flick Alice In Wonderland which stars Johnny Depp. What was your reaction on hearing you'd got the job?

"I screamed and screamed and screamed – and then my mum cried. We were just completely hysterical for about four hours. I haven't met him yet, hopefully I'll meet him at the premiere."

The first premiere you attended was for the The Illusionist, in which you had a role opposite Ed Norton. Do you ever feel intimidated by red carpet events?

"It's lovely being in the limelight, but it's obviously very nerve-wracking. The adrenalin rush when you step out of the car is amazing."

Do your friends treat you any differently because of your acting?

"No, that's the good thing. You have your tough times because sometimes they don't know how to deal with it, but they're all really supportive."

Your parents and your little brother are also actors...

"Yes, but they're not pushy parents. (Mum's here shouting in the background, 'Yes I am'!) This is the path I chose. I really enjoy it and they've just supported me."

How do you combine this with your school work?

"I usually have a tutor when I go away for a job so I've been able to keep up with my studies. I did my GCSEs whilst filming and I got 2 As, 4 Bs and 3Cs. Now I'm doing drama, history and English literature A level."

You were the ambassador for the World Vision 24-hour famine recently. Tell us about that.

"It raises money for kids in India aged 11 to 16 who are forced to work into becoming sex workers. We got people to give up something for the day – their i-Pod, money, food – in aid of giving children a better future.

"I went to India and it was one of the best experiences of my life, an emotional rollercoaster. It was so hard to deal with at times, but at the same time it was uplifting because they're so happy."

You can read the travel diary Eleanor wrote during her visit to India at http://eleanortomlinsonworldvision.blogspot.com/