She told me that if I ever needed to do an accent I should move to the area and go into shops perfecting my vowels, so that’s what I did.
I had no money to buy anything because I wasn’t working, so I just pestered people with questions and chitchat.’When The Iron Lady was being cast, multi-Oscar winner Meryl Streep was a shoo-in for Mrs Thatcher in her prime.
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After landing the role, she discovered acting was her métier, applied to Rada and was accepted.
Alex had an impressive body of work behind her, yet she encountered a wall of what can only be construed as class-based snobbery.
Although she’s no longer in a relationship with Glaswegian actor James Mc Ardle, the pair remain friends.
And by way of cocking a quiet snook at her patrician classmates Alex was given permission not to attend her graduation ceremony, because she had already landed her first job.
Big time,’ she says, with a tincture of sarcasm that ought not to sit well with a rosy-cheeked 25-year-old, but somehow does, because this girl from the Valleys, who numbers Meryl Streep among her fans, has one helluva mature head on those young shoulders.
‘I sleep with my bag near the bed in case there’s a fire, so that I can squeeze Ronnie Barker into it and run.’ Ronnie Barker is Alex’s miniature dachshund and constant companion, whom she brings on set and to photo shoots whenever she can. He sits on my lap for a wet-nosed cuddle in make-up and potters about when we’re filming,’ she says.‘He is the one constant in my life, a lot of which seems to be spent waiting in car parks or draughty warehouses.I wanted a small dog because they’re easier to carry about, but I don’t do a Paris Hilton, so he still has the use of his legs.’All this is said in a mellifluous Welsh accent that I could listen to all day; born in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, Alex is a fluent Welsh-speaker who spent her early teens appearing in the long-running soap Pobol y Cwm.She played rebellious teenager Elin Owen who had an affair with the vicar and would probably have ended ‘up the duff’ had Alex not left to go to drama school, with a Best Juvenile Actor in a Soap trophy under her arm.Becoming an actress was not an obvious career path and Alex wandered into her soap role, aged 11, by sheer chance.‘I was visiting a friend one Saturday morning and she said she was going to an open casting and there was room in the car, so I went along for a laugh and got the part,’ she says.‘When I got together with my boyfriend at drama school, who is also an actor, I was so caught up in it all, I could feel my speech going and the muscles on the right hand side of my body jerking about.