Helena Blackman stunned by Pennyworth budget

Helena Blackman was blown away by the "crazy budget" on 'Pennyworth'.

The British actress plays the Duchess of Windermere in the crime drama TV series which is a prequel to the Batman story - which was created by DC Comics - and follows Bruce Wayne's future butler and carer Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon), a former British SAS soldier who is working as a security guard at an exclusive London nightclub.

It is one of Helena's first roles in a major television series and she admits it was a very different experience working on set to her usual roles in the theatre.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, she said: "I loved doing that, I love Batman, I'm such a fan, so to do a prequel was so great, what an experience. The budget was just crazy. It is so different to theatre because you've got your own little trailer and you get given your food and all the rest of it, but it is just another extension of being a performer. Being on set was so exciting."

Helena first found fame when she competed in BBC One talent show 'How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria?' - which documented the search for an undiscovered musical theatre actress to play the role of Maria von Trapp in the 2006 Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian stage production of 'The Sound of Music'.

Since finishing as the runner-up on the programme, Helena has worked on the stage ever since and can currently be seen starring as the titular villain in 'The Snow Queen' at the Rose Theatre Kingston in London but her ambition for 2020 is to star in more TV projects.

She said: "It really is the dream for me to pick up as many pieces of television as I can, but TV happens so fast from when you're cast that you're not always available because you're booked up for theatre so it can be a very difficult balance.

"My absolute dream has been to do television, I watch so much of it. Theatre makes sense for me because I've always sung and I've always acted so it made sense to do it together, I'm very grateful to be doing it and I love it but there's something about that television buzz that is just incredible. More of that please!

"This year was the first year that TV work started coming through and I had to make some tough decisions about being available for it and saying to some theatre stuff, or just making sure that when I say yes to theatre work that it's something I really want to do like 'The Snow Queen', I'd never played a baddie before, I always wanted to work at the Rose, I always loved new writing, I wanted to be able to commute for Christmas. Theatre has to work for you because it's such a hard slog of commitment and it really is a sacrifice, even for family members. So you have to tick all those boxes otherwise you're not happy doing it and I never want to be doing anything that I'm not happy doing."

Go to www.rosetheatrekingston.org for more information and tickets for 'The Snow Queen'.